Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first scene of The Dilemma starts with The Band's lyrics, "Baby don't you do it, don't do it!" For some reason, these words resonated with me immediately as if they were telling me to get the hell out of the screening of this movie before it started. I didn't heed the warning and boy, do I regret it! The Dilemma is about Vince Vaughn's painful struggle over whether or not to tell his best friend (played by Kevin James) that his best friend's wife (Winona Ryder) is cheating on him. Simple enough concept that should have been delivered more than capably by this "all-star cast" which also includes Queen Latifah and Jennifer Connelly. But the main problem with this bromance is that it cannot decide whether it is a comedy or a brutally-dark drama. If you go in thinking this is a comedy, you will be shocked by the sinister violence perpetrated by and upon a couple of characters in the movie - something I was not prepared for or appreciated. Listen, I watched The Fighter and loved every minute of it - so, I am not against violence in movies where I go in knowing what I've bargained for. But when I go into a movie billed as a romantic comedy, I don't want to be subjected to seeing any kind of violent bloodshed. Even worse, I felt absolutely zero chemistry between any of the couples, so much so that I almost found myself rooting for the affair between Winona and Channing Tatum. Except they miserably failed to heat things up too and were terribly mismatched. Plus Winona played an extremely unlikeable character. I just did not get the point of this movie. Best I can say about it is that at least Channing provided good eye candy. At times. So, thank you Channing for making this movie bearable. One final thought: I just want to know how did the director of A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard get attached to this train wreck?
"We're all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work,"
says one of Reese Witherspoon's two love interests in her upcoming
movie, How Do You Know. And by "small adjustment" he meant the addition
of Reese's love into his own life - a life which had taken a bit of a
wrong turn without any fault of his own but which he knew could be
course-corrected with the love of the right woman by his side.
How Do You Know takes a contemporary and romantic look at the question, "How do you know (when you are in love?)" In this movie, Reese has two equally-cute but horribly messed up men vying for her love - played by Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd. Each man would bring unique charm, potential, challenges, compatibility and inherent flaws to the table - and it's up to Reese to realize which one of the two men is the love of her life.
I won't tell you whom she picks or if she picks either at all, but I will tell you to go see this incredibly heart-warming movie. I don't know why movie critics make a habit of slamming one romantic comedy after another, like they have done with this movie. I mean, seriously, we don't go into such films looking for Oscar-worthy moments. Those of us who love light-hearted romances, simply want a break from our every day lives and in that respect, this movie delivers enough charm, laughs and touching moments to qualify as a a great chick flick.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I first heard that Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Eat Pray Love, was
being adapted for film, the first thought that ran in my mind was, "How
could that book be made into a movie?" The book seemed too big for a
single movie. I thought, perhaps a mini-series could encapsulate all
that is required to fully tell the whole tale, but not a single movie.
Also, for me, the most interesting parts of the book are Elizabeth's
honestly-raw yet oft-humorous introspections and thoughts and I just
couldn't imagine how thoughts could translate well on film without
producing one hell of a dull movie.
When I found out Julia Roberts was cast as the main character of Elizabeth, my interest was piqued, so, I looked forward to seeing the movie despite my initial hesitation.
Eat Pray Love opens this Friday but I had the chance to view the film early at a screening tonight. As I had feared, Ryan Murphy's film adaption of the book is flawed, at best. The short synopsis of my review before I give away spoilers is: You should not see this movie if you do not L-O-V-E Julia Roberts or if you have not read the book. As to the former, Julia is the only saving grace in this extremely prolonged movie--her natural charisma and charm are the only reasons I don't say run and run fast away from this movie. But even she cannot make this movie good given its many flaws. As to the latter, if you have not read the book, you just won't get what happens in the US, Italy and India. You all will probably enjoy the scenes in Bali, but then again, that doesn't justify seeing the movie in its entirety.
(Spoilers ahead.) The parts of the book which made the reader relate to Elizabeth on any level are entirely absent on film. Gone is any explanation of the breakdown of the marriage between Elizabeth and her husband, Stephen (played by Billy Crudup) or the prolonged struggle Elizabeth experienced before abandoning her marriage. There is no mention of the fact that Stephen wanted to start a family and Elizabeth's repulsion of the idea. There is no talk of both partners having witnessed the breakdown of Elizabeth into a "madwoman" or that they had been "fighting and crying" or that they had "the eyes of refugees." They are simply shown as a normal couple, living the high life in NYC until Elizabeth decided to leave Stephen.
Also painfully absent is any intensity, addiction, passion or heartache experienced with her boyfriend, David (played by James Franco). If you see the movie without having read the book, you will not understand why Elizabeth leaves this relationship either. She just looks like a shallow, pleasure-seeking, escapist.
Other major themes of the book are entirely stricken. You are never told that Elizabeth got an advance for her book and that is how she paid for the year-long trip or that she practiced celibacy on purpose on her trip to self-discovery. Like the major events in the States, the ones in Italy and India are equally rushed and glossed over. What's worse is that the movie lacked spirituality which is the underlying theme of the book.
At this point, I am running out of steam of how else to convince you that this movie is not very good - I think this movie sucked my energy. So, I will leave you with: See it if you love Julia or have read the book. Otherwise, go see something else. --Parisa Michelle, author, CelebMagnet.com
Guess who the schmuck is? Me and anyone else who was fooled into hoping
that a movie by such comedic powerhouses as Steve Carell and Paul Rudd
would be worth the $14 ticket price. Or worth our time.
I wanted to leave the movie 10 minutes into it when I had not even laughed once. Then, Carell made his scene entry into the movie and a smile came across my face. "Carell will make it all better" I thought. Not only did Carell not make the movie any better, he made it agonizingly more painful.
Before you accuse me of not having a sense of humor, know that I have loved the two-previous Rudd and Carell joint ventures: The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Dinner for Schmucks is nothing like either of those two movies but instead more like a bad Saturday Night Live skit that goes on five minutes too long.
Schmucks uses plenty of cheap and unoriginal tricks to either grab laughs or to advance the plot but fails miserably at both. Best you can hope for are a few and I do mean a few scattered laughs, amidst a lot of creepiness, meanness and awfulness. Save your money. Save your time. But, if it's comedy you're in the mood for, go see the aptly-named The Other Guys--as those other guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, brought it! That comedy left both my jaw and stomach in pain from laughing so hard throughout the movie. Parisa Michelle - www.CelebMagnet.com
Just when you think, "If you've seen one Will Ferrell movie, you've
seen them all," think again. Ferrell is back and totally redeems
himself from the flop that was Land of the Lost by giving one of his
most genius performances to date.
It does help that Ferrell is partnered with hottie Mark Wahlberg who delivers a superbly-angst-ridden-yet-hilariously-gut-ripping performance. The movie is filled with fresh, sarcastic, and humorous one-liners, non-stop laughter, plenty of action, car chases, and explosions, and a complex plot with a thought-provoking political message. Just make sure you stay through the credits.
I cant't remember the last time I laughed out this loud and this often in a movie theater. One early particular scene in the movie in which Ferrell and Wahlberg argue over whether a lion or a tuna would win in a fight is so well acted and delivered that I was left gasping for air after laughing so hard. And don't be too sure you know who would win such fight, because their logic doesn't go the way any of us could have imagined.
I watched this movie right after I saw the painfully boring Dinner for Schmucks. But that can't be the only reason I loved this movie because the whole theater was laughing and clapping along with me, so much so, that I missed half the jokes due to the sheer volume of both. I don't know what else to say about this movie other than "Go see it--it's by far the best comedy of the summer." Parisa Michelle, www.CelebMagnet.com
Knight and Day uses some pretty bad computer-generated imagery to bring
to life one of the most over-the-top, predictable, silly, far-fetched
movies I have ever seen. And I absolutely loved every minute of it.
Cameron Diaz and (gulp) Tom Criuse bring so much charm, humor,
chemistry and charisma to the screen that I forgot time and time again
how unbelievable the storyline really is. I just didn't care; I let go,
sat back and enjoyed the mindless ride. And laughed out loud more than
I can recall at scenes which were meant to be funny.
This movie definitely helped me remember why I used to jock Tom Cruise as an actor. He is definitely out of my dog house and back on my good side, at least as far as his artistry is concerned. And, I think this is a pretty damn good date movie too - a perfect mix of action, comedy, and chick flick-ness; a recipe which is hard to get right. Overall, it's a great feel good, light-hearted summer movie. What are you waiting for? Go see it already.
Parisa Michelle is the Founder and principal writer for www.CelebMagnet.com
Do not walk, or worse, stop to read reviews, but run instead to the
nearest movie theater and watch Salt.
I say don't read the reviews because a lot of what the movie critics say may deter you from seeing what is truly not only an exciting summer movie but a movie which is sure to pave the way for other female actresses to play similar lead action hero roles in the future.
The critics may be right in saying that the plot (like a thousand other action movies before it) has plenty of holes and is filled with one unrealistic chase scene after another. And, they may raise a valid point that a movie about post-cold war Russian villains may be decades too stale.
But, what these critics fail to do is give credit where credit is due. And that is: Angelina Jolie delivers an Oscar-worthy portrayal of CIA Agent, Salt, who may or may not be a Russian spy. You never really know until the end as Jolie keeps you guessing with every twist, turn, kick, shot, explosion, jump, chase, injury, and ass whooping, regardless of whether she is the one giving or receiving the whooping.
Yep, I used the "O" word. I don't particularly care much for Ms. Jolie generally speaking which makes me even more certain that she deserves the award. I loved Salt because Jolie made me believe that a 110 pound woman can whip the crap out of 100 men, each two to three times her weight. Actually, she did better than that. She made me forget she is female. I just saw Jolie as a tough-as-nails ass-kicker.
Jolie as Salt had me on the edge-of-my seat nervous. She sent my heart racing the entire time. She made me laugh; she made me cheer; she made me angry. She had me confused as hell as to who she really is. But, best of all, by the end of the movie, she made me find myself holding in my breath for a few seconds and crying a bit because I realized what Jolie has really accomplished by this role.
Jolie has undeniably pulled off a first in history: She more than capably held her own as an action hero lead, a character which was originally written with a man in mind (Tom Cruise). I dare to even say that Salt with Jolie as the lead may fare better at the Box Office than Salt with Cruise would have fared. Why? Without Jolie, Salt would be just another ordinary action-packed movie. Fun, but ordinary. But Jolie adds a few extra layers to the character which Tom may or may not have been able to deliver as well.
At pertinent times, Jolie certainly possesses the requisite coldness and bravado that Tom would have brought to the character. But, when necessary, Jolie also infuses heart, a sense of alluring mystery, charming vulnerability, and woman-scorned vengeance into Salt which makes us fall helplessly in love with that character yet tremendously fear her at the same time. I am not sure Tom or most men could pull that alluring mystery and vulnerability off as well. And what do they say? "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Jolie surely proves that theory correct with her portrayal of Agent Salt.
Call me sexist. Maybe I am. But I loved this movie mostly because a woman was the lead; and because a woman filled the theater to full capacity and had the audience cheering at times and gasping for air at others just like or possibly even better than the Tom Cuises, Matt Damons and Brad Pitts of the world have in the past. Jolie made me a believer. And I know she will make a believer out of movie executives when Salt brings in the ticket sales. And all future female action leads owe Jolie a big thank you for being such a mysterious, vulnerable, charming, money-making, ass-kicking machine. Parisa Michelle Founder, www.CelebMagnet.com