Latest Film Reviews
I Love Lucy—The Complete Sixth Season [DVD Box Set] (1956)
The alpha sitcom of the fifties and forever more,
I Love Lucy
went out, without ceremony, at the top of the ratings heap.
Keeping Up with the Steins (2006)
Fatally short on laughs. The jokes are mostly bad vaudeville, as when Piven asks, "How much for 50 Cent? Okay, how about 17 Cent?"
Over the Hedge (2006)
The voice work and animation are both a cut above the average, and the film's energy is brisk.
National Treasure (2004)
It's bad news when a Bruckheimer movie makes one downright nostalgic for
Banshun (Late Spring) (1949)
exemplifies Ozu's rich, mature style, an apparent stylelessness of patient, lifelike rhythms, unobtrusive camerawork, and credibly subtle performances.
Wenders bops around Tokyo with the assurance of a skilled filmmaker, and emerges with an understated but certainly curious sociological postcard of '80s Tokyo.
The Andy Griffith Show—The Complete Sixth Season [DVD Box Set] (1965)
The sixth season proved there was still life in the now-classic sitcom...[and] Knotts shows up in an Emmy-winning return appearance.
The White Countess (2005)
[The] soft-glowing facade always seems more real to Ivory than harsh reality...represent[s] our own attempts to stave off reality with the romantic projections of cinema.
There's camp, and there's just plain lousy writing.
The Lost City (2006)
The Lost City
is a lot of things, but what it's not is incisive.
Goal! The Dream Begins (2006)
Obvious...All [but soccer fanatics] can pass on
Goal! The Dream Begins
and make plans now to avoid its two upcoming sequels.
An American Haunting (2006)
On more than one occasion...a girl scrapes her fingernails across a wood floor as an invisible poltergeist attacks her. The wood floor may not be a chalkboard, but it's close enough.
Just My Luck (2006)
Why does the new Lindsay Lohan picture have such a poo fixation?....Could it be that director Donald Petrie is Freudian slipping on his s**tty material?
Down in the Valley (2006)
Though the film around it is often ungainly, an interesting idea lives at the heart of David Jacobson's Down in the Valley. When controlling parents alienate their children, they create an environmen...
Art School Confidential (2006)
Zwigoff too often picks up his putty knife when he should be running with scissors...doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts, but some of the parts are pretty amusing all the same.
Jimmy Buffet may be known for his Hawaiian shirts, but there's something undeniably plaid about
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
A thrill ride, and a gripping one: plausibility-straining, predictable at times, but pulse-pounding all the same.
Detailed and graced with irreverent humor and fine performances, Mehta's film deals powerful blows to economic injustice and misogyny.
Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
Dramatically jerry-rigged in every possible way.
Stick It (2006)
Too lazy to perfect its own routine...[but] a surprisingly appealing vacation, from sense to sensibility.
Color me surprised when Barry Sonnenfeld's family comedy turned out to be a palatable picture that doesn't rob Robin Williams of his dignity as a comic actor.
United 93 (2006)
A unique film about a unique event...but what will we think of
in five years or, for that matter, fifty?
The actors play it with poker-faces, but the further we go into the noir territory of hard-boiled, fast-paced dialogue and dames wrapped in crimson and black, the more ticklish
American Dreamz (2006)
Not everything works in this semi-audacious challenge to the American Dream, but Weitz consistently and amusingly hits the broad side of the barn.
The Sentinel (2006)
Strictly boilerplate...fail[s] to pursue any interesting avenues, using the cardboard characters as mere shooting-range targets.
Snoopy, Come Home (1972)
Charlie Brown: "I have a philosophy that tells me no matter how bad things get, they will always turn out good in the end." Lucy Van Pelt: "That's not a philosophy—that's stupidity." The born...
A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
The appeal of Schultz's pop philosophy hasn't faded in forty years: this kind of sincerity can't be faked.
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
I just don't see much entertainment value--or, certainly, a shelf life--in a contrived string of mildly amusing parodies of bad movies. Here today, yawn tomorrow.
Kinky Boots (2006)
Rigged for your pleasure...everything is played up for schmaltz value or dopey laughs.
Hard Candy (2006)
Skews just enough toward
Death and the Maiden
and away from
Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (2006)
Since Lu depicts the punishing, unforgiving determination on both sides of the conflict, the film is not entirely pitiless for the pathetic criminal class.
Sir! No Sir! (2006)
Offers nothing in the way of balancing the protest viewpoint...[but] still usefully revisits--during our current unpopular war--the internal conflict of America during the Vietnam War.
The Notorious Bettie Page (2006)
More clever than insightful, [but] Harron makes the most of that humorously earnest style ripped from the pin-up pages.
Friends with Money (2006)
Gives the characters relatable failings and the story some ironic bite...[but] lacks the depth of empathy Holofcener showed in
Lovely and Amazing
Take the Lead (2006)
The dance remains the same...
Take the Lead
has exactly two things going for it (each worth one star): the always entertaining Antonio Banderas and a lot of ballroom dancing.
The Outsider (2006)
With The Outsider, documentarian Nicholas Jarecki paints a revealing portrait of filmmaker James Toback, the prickly screenwriter-director with a manic streak and a weakness for gambling. Jarecki dem...
It's heartening to be able to report that
is as much like
as it is like
Boys in the Hood
....Robinson may overdose on style, but he also respects the homegrown origins of this
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
The seams show...a somewhat grudging social obligation for audiences over the age of ten to tow their younger charges.
Lacombe Lucien (1974)
The collaborationist anti-hero finds Malle instantly broaching a cultural taboo, compounded when the traitorous young man forces himself into a sexual relationship with a not-entirely unyielding girl named
Le Souffle au coeur (Murmur of the Heart) (1971)
In all their messiness, here are love, sex, society, and family, met with cleansing laughter.
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