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40 reviews in total 
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3 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Leave a bad taste in your mouth, 21 December 2007

This is like "Saw: The Musical".

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not squeamish. Murder + humor + music = fun for me.

I'm a big fan of Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" -- have seen 2 professional theatrical productions. Couldn't wait to see this movie.

Started to chuckle at "The Worst Pies in London" (which is a very funny song) -- but the laughter dried up when we were shown close-ups of cockroaches. Lots and lots of cockroaches scampering across Mrs. Lovett's filthy countertop. Too realistic.

Dark humor has to be done with a very deft hand. You can't show the murders too clearly. Yet Tim Burton shows us EVERY slit throat, arterial blood pumping and gushing all over the place. Then down the trapdoor it goes and SLAM! lands on its head. He shows this again and again and again....

Well, nobody felt like laughing after that.

Johnny Depp is gloomy and glowering throughout. Not a good showcase for him. If you love Johnny Depp -- well, go rent a "Pirates" movie instead.

This is a very non-fun and depressing movie. And I think popcorn sales will be down. You don't feel like eating for a long while after.

9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
A Chuckler, 12 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's a hit-and-miss comedy. There's a few laugh-out-loud moments, but mostly you'll only be chuckling or going "Was that meant to be funny?"

John C. Reilly is not naturally funny and is NOT good to look at in close-up. In one scene a man's naked tackle appears next to his head. I didn't know where to look! EW! (Naked guy was no Dirk Diggler.)

I think Judd Apatow is going "I got away with a closeup of a vagina giving birth in 'Knocked Up'. Time for a closeup of male genitalia!" (And there were lots of drawings of penises in "Superbad".)

Did you notice that "Walk the Line" and "Ray" were practically the same movie? I'm guessing Judd Apatow and Jake Kasden did and set out to write a movie spoofing the formulaic musical biopic. This starts out looking like "Walk Hard" but then veers into a trip through popular music history -- which is sometimes fun. I enjoyed the Bob Dylan and Glen Campbell phases of Dewey's career.

The most delightful scene to me was when they were in India in 1967 with the Maharishi and the Beatles (finishing with a "Yellow Submarine"-like cartoon).

The guys playing the Beatles were hilarious (and dirty -- that's why you only see the briefest snippet in the TV commercials.) Jack Black is Paul and Paul Rudd is John and their bickering is hysterical. Justin Long ("Mac" on the PC vs. Mac commercials) was George and Jason Schwartzman ("Rushmore") is Ringo. This scene was far too brief. If only the whole movie had been this funny. I think they need to get these guys back together and make a whole movie about the Beatles!

There are lots of delightful cameos from your favorite comedy actors. The songs seem to be clever, well-written parodies -- I'll have to hear them another way and read the lyrics to fully "get" them.

But it's not as sharp as "A Mighty Wind" or "Spinal Tap".

Reilly is a good character actor and a fine singer -- but he is not the guy to carry a comedy. He doesn't have the "funny bones" of Will Ferrell, Jack Black or Jim Carrey. You start laughing the second those guys appear on screen.

It reminded me of "Blades of Glory" or "Talladega Nights" -- some wonderful moments, but a lot of dull or mis-fired ones. Gags that are repeated till they become annoying.

Beowulf (2007)
6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Warning: IMAX 3-D made me nauseous, 14 November 2007

However, I loved the movie and the 3-D was 85% of what was enjoyable. I think a "flat" version would be flat.

Most of the excitement comes with the 3-D images coming at ya. I had to keep from reaching my hand up to touch the bubbles (or whatever) seemed to be floating in the air right in front of me.

After about 20 minute, I started to feel ooky, so took off my glasses and closed my eyes for a few minutes. Had to repeat this several times. But I'm proud to say I made it thru the 1:55 movie length without barfing.

It's now 2 hours since I left the theater and I'm still slightly nauseous.

However, other people weren't bothered. SO maybe it's just me -- or where I was sitting (last row, far right seat). I think you have to find out exactly where your head needs to be so you don't see double images -- then pin your head to the back of your seat and DON'T MOVE IT!

Another warning: it's pushing the limits for a PG-13 movie. For the timid or very young, it might be too much. Lots of limb-ripping, head-chomping, torso-goring and nudity.

Several children in our theater were crying. (At the sight of Angelina Jolie's 3-D boobies, perhaps!)

136 out of 210 people found the following review useful:
It's no "Something about Mary", 7 October 2007

The horrible crude scenes leave a bad taste and overshadow any funny scenes. I think the Farrelly Brothers wanted to recapture the success of "There's Something About Mary" -- but they've flopped hard.

The universe of "Mary" was completely wacky and any naughty parts just fit into that universe. This one feels like there were too many screenwriters tinkering with it. (5 are listed). Someone wrote a mainstream romantic comedy script -- then someone else (The Brothers, I'm guessing) came along and just stuck in gross shocking bits.

It's very uneven. It loses steam in the third act. Has a very unsatisfying and unpleasant ending. Carlos Mencia is obnoxious. Ben is looking too old to be playing these parts. Meanwhile, the girls still look 25.

201 out of 307 people found the following review useful:
Better luck next time, Dane, 13 September 2007

A very uneven comedy. If 3 out of every 10 jokes working is enough for you, then go ahead.

If you're hoping to see Dane Cook (nearly) undressed, you won't be disappointed. He strips more in this movie than Demi Moore in "Striptease".

If you're hoping to see Jessica Alba undressed -- too bad! Scanty attire is the best you'll get.

If you're hoping to see Dane be as funny as he is in his stand-up -- you'll be disappointed.

If you're hoping to see Jessica be funny -- what are you, nuts? She's got no comedy chops! And that old tired "pretty girl falls down a lot" shtick wasn't funny when it became a movie cliché about 5 years ago.

The only funny moments seem to be when Dane is improvising. When he's doing the written parts of the script, it clunks hard. (Him dressed in a penguin costume? Yikes.) The two leads try SO hard to show us they have chemistry (a lot of shoulder wiggling and cutesy facial expressions mostly) that it backfires.

There were a lot of gross-out moments that just weren't funny -- the fat sidekick scrubbing his backflap with a scrub-brush for sexual pleasure, a penguin eating his crap, two seduction scenes with obese women (straight out of "Norbit" -- also unfunny).

The sidekick is so foul and obnoxious he throws the movie completely off-balance. You feel like the movie needs a sorbet after one of his scenes to get the bad taste out of your mouth.

The only likable person was the guy playing Jessica's brother (Lonny Ross of "30 Rock"). I actually think he might have made a better romantic lead, than Dane -- who was somehow off-putting.

Maybe Dane will have more input into his next comedy movie. Maybe that will help.

75 out of 107 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable British Comedy -- but not as zany as you might expect, 27 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Simon Pegg leaves his pregnant bride at the altar and 6 years later is regretting it -- especially when he sees her new rich, handsome, perfect suitor (Hank Azaria's comedic talents wasted in a straight role -- you know he does 100 voices on "The Simpsons", right?).

Simon loves his little boy dearly and fears the new guy might take his place in the boy's heart. So he's going to try to pull himself together before it's too late.

There were only 26 people at my noon-on-a-Monday (!) preview screening, but we all were laughing a lot throughout this film. I even found myself wiping away a tear at the moving ending.

This film was written by Simon Pegg ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz"-- which I loved) and Michael Ian Black (edgy American TV sketch-comedy) and I expected it to be a lot wackier than it was.

But maybe they wanted to make something more mainstream to reach a wider audience. Or maybe it was the tempering hand of new movie director David Schwimmer ("Ross" of "Friends"), who does a good job.

A quite enjoyable movie to go see when you want some laughs. A good date movie too, I think.

Take (2007)
22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Excruciatingly Slow Moving and Depressing, 19 August 2007

I notice all the people giving this high marks saw it at a film festival -- with the actors and writer/director in attendance. I think this has tilted their objectivity -- made them more enamored of it.

I found this movie just dark, grimy, grungy and relentlessly sad and slow-moving. There is some deep booming sound on the soundtrack that occurs just before something bad happens (and a lot of bad things happen) -- it made me want to jump out of my skin.

I'm sure the cinematography is great -- but it's mostly of junky-looking places.

The actors are all very good. The story was OK -- but I think I've seen the topic addressed on Lifetime made-for-TV movies.

If you like really slow-moving stories about hopeless people leading hopeless lives -- then this is the film for you.

It's not my cup of tea. I had to come home and put on a DVD of a good comedy movie so I wouldn't have nightmares.

Superbad (2007)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
The First Smart Raunchy Teenboy Movie, 7 August 2007

This is a lot more creative than most of the "high-school-boys-want-to-get laid-before-graduation" genre. The whole audience was laughing all the way through, and the movie kept surprising us.

Michael Cera lives up to the promise he showed in "Arrested Development" as the sweet dork -- you empathize with every excruciatingly awkward moment he experiences.

There are lots of cuss words and naughty gestures and drawings -- so if you're easily shocked (or on a first date) this is not the movie for you.

There are a pair of cops like you hope don't exist in real life -- but played very amusingly by screenwriter Seth Rogen and SNLer Bill Hader.

I'm a bit dubious that boys this nerdy could get girls this hot -- but hey, I guess this is a male fantasy, right? (Someday women writers/ producers will make a movie about plain teen girls getting laid by the cute boys at school. Who call them the next day and ask them to go steady. Girl fantasy!)

The ending is a bit ambiguous. There were murmurings in the audience as to what exactly was going on with the Seth character.

All in all, a wild and funny and original comedy.

The Ten (2007)
14 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Big Stinkin Turd of a Movie, 31 July 2007

There's a cartoon rhino in this film who lays big stinkin turds everywhere. That's a good description of this movie.

There was an Exodus from the theater starting about halfway through.

It's just a loose collection of sketches that have original concepts -- but like an SNL sketch, they just keep pounding the same joke in over and over into boredom.

Forget about the Ten Commandments -- it's really not about them or religion -- or anything much. There's no satire even.

If you think "oh I love dirty comedies" -- you'll be disappointed. There's no naked breasts. Just a lot of fairly unattractive naked men and endless ass-raping mentions.

I like "dirty and brilliant", but "dirty and lame" is a sin against comedy.

9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Geez, Lady -- you need AA, not a man, 12 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So there's this shaky quaky single neurotic New York Gal -- she's aging! She must find a man! Now!

So she goes here and has a drink and there and has a drink and comes home and has a drink and goes out again and has a drink. Drink drink drinky drink drink. (Sometimes there's also pills.)

The film is mostly her staggering around looking like a hangover hag and boo-hooing about guys who don't stick around.

Uh, maybe guys don't want to get stuck with a neurotic drunk?

It's a very meandering film, with scenes that seem promising -- but abruptly end, without accomplishing anything.

It reminded me of another film by a another famous director's daughter -- "Lost in Translation". That film had Bill Murray to save it. He improvised all those funny lines and moments that you remember -- that made people think that was a great film. Otherwise it just meandered a lot.

I think Sophia Coppola and Zoe Cassavetes just transcribed some events in their lives and hoped it made a movie. I think an unknown would have no luck getting either of these scripts filmed.

Zoe must love "Before Sunset" -- because this movie ends with the EXACT same two last lines and just as abruptly.

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