Reviews written by registered user

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227 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Has no right to claim the 'National Lampoon' tag!, 20 November 2005

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003) Randy Quaid, Miriam Flynn, Dana Barron, Jake Thomas, Sung Hi Lee, Eric Idle, Fred Willard, Ed Asner, D: Nick Marck. Embarrassing direct-to-video flop has oafish Cousin Eddie and family on an expenses-paid vacation to the South Pacific by his boss, hoping the dunce won't sue his company after being bitten by a smarter lab monkey! Idiotic spin off can't measure up to any of the Vacation films (even European Vacation!), with a question of whether or not the filmmakers thought the script was actually funny. Not even Quaid, Willard, or Asner can make it remotely watchable. 83 min., Not rated. *

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, 10 April 2005

Singing Detective, The (2003) Robert Downey Jr., Robin Wright Penn, Mel Gibson, Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes, Adrien Brody, Jon Polito, Carla Gugino, Saul Rubinek, Alfre Woodard, D: Keith Gordon. Half-baked translation of the 1986 BBC TV miniseries casts Downey Jr. as a hospitalized mystery writer suffering from a painful skin condition—who feels trapped in his own skin—and plays out a murder mystery musical in his own mind with him as his fictional alter ego, an L.A. gumshoe. Crime noir, slapstick comedy, and '50s rock n' roll musical audaciously combine to make an intricate puzzle structure, but compressed results never really draw you in. Everyone in the cast is very good, but the film is all over the map. Judging on its own merits, it misses the mark. Written by Dennis Potter, who also wrote the original. 109 min., rated R. ** ½

Sin City (2005)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
'Sin City' is brutal, violent, gritty, and a lot of fun, 10 April 2005

Sin City (2005) Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jamie King, Brittany Murphy, Benicio Del Toro, Nick Stahl, Elijah Wood, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Madsen, Josh Hartnett, D: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino ("special guest director"). Gritty, violent, visually sensational comic-book film noir, based on Frank Miller's graphic novels, is set in the corrupt, crime-infested Sin City, full of thugs, dirty cops, bloodthirsty killers, and sleazy prostitutes. Film has a collection of interweaving stories: a burly brute (Rourke) on a mission to avenge the death of his love; an ex-photographer (Owen) who kills a cop with a gang of prostitutes and must cover it up; and a soon-to-be-retiring cop (Willis) who tries protecting the girl he once rescued. Virtuoso visual style (black-and-white with only splashes of color) feels overly self-indulgent at first, then overtaken by terrific energy from graphic violence, an array of hard-working talent, and crackling humor. Given a hard R-rating for a reason! 123 min., rated R. *** ½

Hitch (2005/I)
One of Smith's best roles, 2 April 2005

Hitch (2005) Will Smith, Eva Mendez, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, D: Andy Tennant. Smith shows off his movie star magnetism and slickster charisma playing Hitch the Date Doctor, a New York City professional dating consultant who offers tips and coaching to hapless bachelors. His latest client is a shy and tubby accountant (James) who wants to win over a rich and beautiful socialite, but Hitch has his own problems when he starts to fall for smart gossip columnist Mendez, who has the power to see right through him. Even if it's a bit too long given the forgone conclusion, this entertaining romantic-comedy is both smart and funny (a rarity for today) without relying all on slapstick, and TV's sitcom King of Queens star James is hilarious. 115 min., rated PG-13. ***

Hostage (2005)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Flawed though enjoyable action-thriller, 2 April 2005

Hostage (2005) Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Jonathan Tucker, Ben Foster, Serena Scott Thomas, Rumer Willis, D: Florent Siri. Grizzled hostage negotiator Willis exchanges his LAPD badge for a police-chief job in a sleepy town after two victims are killed on his watch. He gets a shot at redemption when he simultaneously tries to free an accountant and his two kids, held hostage in their hillside armored mansion by three delinquent teens, and—not known by his fellow lawmen—Willis's own wife and child, kidnapped by another group of unknown bad guys. Hard-edged, dynamically made action thriller has a veneer of sleaziness, mainly from the quietly psychotic delinquent (suitably loathsome and creepy by Foster). But its claustrophobic suspense, operatic slasher-inspired climax, and double-story make it entertaining throughout. Based on the novel by Robert Crais. Willis co-produced. 113 min., rated R. ***

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of the most entertaining vampire flicks, 2 April 2005

Lost Boys, The (1987) Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, D: Joel Schumacher. Brothers move to the California town of Santa Carla with their jokester grandpa and recently divorced mom, unconvinced that the local punk gang of bikers is really a pack of vampires, until the eldest (Patric) falls in with them! Hip, campy teen spin on the vampire saga isn't too action-packed until a final showdown, but the fun humor, rock music, and effects that are convincing for their time do a job of making up for the weak plot. Sutherland is an ideal—not to mention scary—choice for the gang's spikey-haired leader. 97 min., rated R. ***

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
'Urban Legend' has a clever idea but "routines" it, 2 April 2005

Urban Legend (1998) Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, John Neville, Robert Englund, Danielle Harris, Natasha Gregson Wagner, D: Jamie Blanks. Tepid horror film about coeds at a New England college being killed one by one by an unknown murderer in the style of famous urban legends. Clever concept gets routine treatment, and is further sunken by too many false alarms and an unsatisfactory ending, turning out to be just another SCREAM slasher clone. Red herrings keep one off-balance and logic is sacrificed for some good scares in this more-entertaining-than-most horror entry. Followed by a sequel. 100 min., rated R. ** ½

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Dull as a saw, 2 April 2005

Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Hart Bochner, Loretta Devine, Joseph Lawrence, Anson Mount, Eva Mendes, D: John Ottman. Film students at another New England university attempt to make their final thesis film on urban legends, while competing for a prestigious Hitchcock Award, but one by one the crew members become their own urban legend. Nondescript junk aplenty with gore and violence has the same story outline as Urban Legend, but it's more of an unrelated follow-up with the only returning cast member being Devine as the Foxy Brown-loving security guard. Doesn't catch fire, except in the film's single shock involving a kidney and a hungry dog. 94 min., rated R. * ½

Taxi (2004/I)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An intelligence-insulting opening scene shows how absurd 'Taxi' is, 2 April 2005

Taxi (2004) Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, Ann-Margret, Henry Simmons, Jennifer Esposito, Giselle Bundchen, D: Tim Story. Hopeless comedy-action fare throws a hapless Manhattan cop into the suped-up taxi of a mouthy cabbie who helps him chase four leggy Portuguese supermodels robbing banks. The opening scene—where an athletic bike messenger, obviously a stunt double, rushes through the city—will insult anyone's intelligence when the messenger removes his helmet to reveal Latifah herself. Right from the start, the two stars' comic bickering is tiresome, and Fallon's thickheaded character helps sink this unfunny movie. Only real value are some gratuitous shots of scantily-dressed Bundchen and her Victoria's Secret cohorts. Remake of the French film series. 97 min., rated PG-13. * ½

21 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Any takers to see Ben Affleck in another movie?, 2 April 2005

Surviving Christmas (2004) Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, Catherine O' Hara, Josh Zuckerman, Bill Macy, Jennifer Morrison, Udo Kier, D: Mike Mitchell. Dumped by his girlfriend, a hotshot yuppie doesn't want to be left alone on Christmas so he decides to return to his boyhood home, imposing on the dysfunctional family that now lives there and bribes them to pose as his family. An obnoxious and one-dimensional performance by Affleck, who mainly acts with a flashy smile, makes his character come off as a mentally unbalanced creep, but Gandolfini and O' Hara breathe some life into this mess. Even for farce, its silliness is lumbering, not much makes sense from scene to scene, and its sentimental messages are as phony as Affleck's grin. 91 min., rated PG-13. * ½

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