Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Catch Me If You Can is a very fine take on a true story. It brings together three of Hollywood's biggest names Di Caprio, Hanks and Spielberg in a collaboration that is certainly no pretender.
Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding, "Catch Me If You Can" is the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), a teenage boy growing up in 1960s New York who ran away from home following his parent's divorce and made a living out of slyly and meticulously impersonating a doctor, a co-pilot for Pan Am airlines, and a lawyer. Hot on his trail but seemingly always one step behind is FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), who grows to admire and respect Frank's clear brilliance despite having only met him once. Told in elongated flashbacks as Frank is being escorted by Hanratty to an American prison, Frank had cashed more than $2.5 million in fraudulent checks around the world and in all fifty states by the time he was caught at the age of 19.
As if Spielberg hasn't shown himself to be the foremost American cinematic storyteller yet, Catch Me If You Can solidifies his position. This is the kind of film that reminds you of the absolute enjoyment of watching a great story in the hands of a great director and cast working with a love for the cinema that radiates from off the screen. But let's get one thing straight: Spielberg doesn't automatically make great movies because he's a great director; he's a great director because he has the ability to make great movies. Catch Me If You Can is one of them.
Spongebob: Always funny!
I'm ready, I'm ready!" This hilarious phrase, spoken by television character SpongeBob SquarePants, has been said by many children and teenagers after first hearing that a SpongeBob movie was in the making. Well, it is finally here. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie exercises the voice talents of Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks), Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) and Rodger Bumpass (Squidward Tentacles) from the original Nickelodeon television series SpongeBob SquarePants, and adds Alec Baldwin (Dennis) and Scarlett Johansson (Mindy) to the bill.
The movie is conventionally animated, with SpongeBob and Patrick on a mission to reclaim King Neptune's crown. SpongeBob's boss, Mr. Krabs, has been framed for the crime, so our heroes hit the road for a forbidden zone known only as Shell City, where the crown supposedly has been taken.
SpongeBob is not completely altruistic since he watches the world revolve around him. He's upset that he's been passed over for a promotion at the Krusty Krab restaurant where he toils a bit too happily as a minimum-wage slave. He figures that by saving the boss, he may take the manager job from Squidward, his boringly stable coworker.
Along the way he and Patrick encounter a hit man biker named Dennis (voiced by Alec Baldwin) and Neptune's mermaid daughter Mindy (Scarlett Johansson), who encourages the two on their quest.
Despite the juvenile antics, the movie has a well-defined sense of humor, thanks to creator Stephen Hillenburg, who links his love of marine biology and animation with a message that kids can accomplish the most just by being kids.
A Silly, but Delightful Comedy
Anchorman launches us into the world of the 1970's broadcast journalism with local San Diego anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) as the poster boy for men behaving badly. His supporting anchors introduce themselves by breaking the fourth wall with all the casual gusto of their on-air person as. There's good-IL'-boy Champ Kind (David Koechner) with sports, ladies' man Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) in the field, and dumb-as-a-Brick Tamland (Steven Carell) on weather. Soon, new reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) enters the fray. Improbably, Ron and Veronica hit it off until a series of events puts her in the co-anchor seat and professional jealousy rips them apart, sending Ron on a downward spiral.
Anchorman is funny from beginning to end, mainly thanks to Ferrell's incessant and skillful need to be zany at all moments of filming. Ferrell is so good at turning even the worst material into something witty that there is really no point in analyzing the script; the only thing that can be said is that the script obviously gave Ferrell and the rest of the cast free range to work their magic, and also throws in some calculated jabs at the television journalism. For instance, for the entire movie all of the news stations are clambering over the story of a pregnant panda at the zoo, labeling it as "the story of the decade." Funny enough, this isn't too far from the truth as local news tends to put a huge emphasis on unimportant animal stories.
Written by Will Farrell and director Adam McKay, it's a campy, extended "Saturday Night Live" skit - but an amusing one. While Ferrell embodies the clueless buffoon, he and Applegate have a cheerful comedic chemistry which is even more apparent in the outtakes that play over the final credits. Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins and Vice Vaughn pop up in cameos, and the soundtrack is a delight.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Unique Comedy Movie
You know, we've seen it all before. Man meets woman, man and woman marry, man and woman have three cutesy kids, man and woman divorce, man dresses up as woman to be with his kids... Oops, hang on a minute.
Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) is an actor, the type who perpetually seems to be losing one gig then searching for another - not least of all as he has a certain tendency to be difficult, deciding to rewrite scripts to suit his own beliefs. He's married to Miranda (Sally Field), pretty much his antithesis as the smart-dressed business-headed interior designer. They have three kids ranging from five to thirteen, and a pretty home in San Francisco (well it must be, as it has hills and cable cars).
But all is not peachy. On returning home from work early to find a veritable menagerie of farm animals and children running roughshod over her house courtesy of a Daniel-driven birthday party for their son, an argument ensues until Miranda has finally had enough, and citing the usual clichés ("we've grown apart", "we have nothing in common") asks Daniel for the dreaded 'D' word. Bye bye fourteen years of marriage.
The three kids absolutely dote on their father, as he does on them, so his departure (in his wood-paneled station wagon, the type of car that only people in movies seem to drive) is devastating. Daniel seeks refuge with his brother, Frank, a stereotypical gay guy (played with great gusto by Harvey Fierstein, who tends to get a lot of these roles) and his partner Jack (he's Aunt Jack to the kids, but seems to have foregone the bright blue dress and boxing glove here). It's here that we discover that the couple are movie makeup artists - hmm, now this could be a handy plot device...
Custody proceedings ensue, and Daniel is given 90 days to land a secure job and set up a decent home. If he manages to do so then joint custody will be granted, if not it's the one-day a week shuffle for he and the kids. He's appointed a po-faced court liaison who he completely fails to charm, finds a dump of a flat and lands a job in television - boxing and shipping film cans. Hardly auspicious, but it's a start.
As Miranda starts a 'flirtin' with an old "acquaintance", Stu (Pierce Brosnan), and Daniel sees the slick Englishman finagling his way into his kids' affections, he becomes increasingly desperate, and when hearing that Miranda is employing a housekeeper the old light bulb above his head tinks to life - hmm, now why can't he do it? Well, let's see. You're a forty something, remarkably craggy and hirsute man whose absence from the house is the reason for the job coming up in the first place. The odds aren't too good, but with a dowdy skirt, a generous amount of padding and a lot of help from your brother and his skills, who knows? And so Mrs Doubtfire is 'born' - a sixty-five year old nanny with an accent that veers all over the place between English and Scottish, and a face that could sink a thousand ships. Even with a head covered in prosthetics and three feet of makeup 'she' is definitely a sight.
Meet the Parents (2000)
A "must see" movie!
Imagine asking Robert De Niro for his daughter's hand in marriage. (Shudder!) Now imagine he's an ex-CIA agent who keeps a lie detector in his basement. (Eek!) Now imagine you're Ben Stiller.
Now you see where "Meet the Parents" gets all its best laughs.
A middling comedy-of-the-uncomfortable escapade in which casting is the key, "Parents" stars Stiller as Greg Focker, a very nervous boyfriend spending a nightmare weekend at the childhood home of the girl he loves (Teri Polo).
Plagued by Murphy's Law while trying desperately to buddy up to her folks, Greg's missing luggage containing the engagement ring is the least of his problems (that is, until the wrong bag is delivered later, packed with S&M paraphernalia). He can't seem to get a laugh out of Mom (Blythe Danner) and Dad to save his life. His little white lies -- a domino effect begun when his girlfriend whispers "Oh, yeah, and we're not living together," as they arrive -- keep coming back to bite him in the backside. And before long the slapstick kicks in: A spilled urn of grandma's remains, a sorry substitute for a missing housecat and an overflowing septic tank are all pivotal gags in what should be a side-splitting comedy.
When he and De Niro are playing off each other, this gag-fest is at its best -- but mostly because De Niro has a hilarious arsenal of innocuously threatening glances he keeps feeding the camera at a steady clip. He catches Stiller poking around the polygraph machine in his concealed workshop and says "Go ahead, try it on!" like a suspiciously encouraging carnival barker.
Collateral: Best Movie of 2004!
More than anything, this film is stylish--from camera shots to sound, to costuming and acting, it's a movie with a brain, and maybe even a heartbeat. The actors hit their marks--Foxx as a man who wants more than a job as a cab driver, Vincent as cool-headed cleaner--and with a winning subplot following the sleuthing attempts of an L.A. detective, the film goes up a notch in wisdom. Most if not all the elements come together, and it makes for a satisfying experience, on the dramatic and aesthetic scales.
The beautifully-shot LA is a dark, dangerous, compelling place - tinged with every hue of grey and blue, matching the prowling presence of its star. Cruise, hair flecked grey, is obviously meant to be wolfish, but his character is perhaps closest to a Great White Shark: killing is nothing personal, it's just what he does.
Max has lived a mundane life as a cab driver for twelve years. The faces have come and gone from his rear-view mirror: people and places he's long since forgotten--until tonight. Vincent is a contract killer. When an offshore narco-trafficking cartel learns that they're about to be indicted by a federal grand jury, they mount an operation to identify and kill the key witness, and the last stage is tonight. It is on this very night that Vincent has arrived--and five bodies are supposed to fall. Circumstances cause Vincent to hijack Max' taxicab, and Max becomes collateral--an expendable person who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through the night, Vincent forces Max to drive him to each assigned destination. And as the L.A.P.D. and F.B.I. race to intercept them, Max and Vincent's survival become dependent on each other, in ways neither would have imagined.
Shark Tale (2004)
The Godfather Underwater
Forget about comparing Shark Tale to the monster hit Finding Nemo.
Instead, try to enjoy a new film that puts to good use the voices of Will Smith, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, and especially Renee Zellweger, who exudes a sweetish charm without over doing it.
Oscar (Smith) is a tiny but highly animated fish with large dreams. He wants to be at the top of the reef with a luxurious life. But while his dreams keep growing, he continues working as a tongue-cleaner at the local Whale Wash.
Angel (Zellweger), secretly in love with him, is frustrated that she can't make him realize that he has a decent job and she loves him dearly.
When Oscar falsely takes credit for the accidental death of a shark called Frankie, and becomes an instant hero known as Oscar the shark-slayer, he doesn't realize what lethal complications will ensue. For he has attracted the attention of a self-centered Puffer-fish, Sykes (Scorsese) and a sexy vamp, Lola (Jolie). Sykes knows people in the underwater mob; you can expect what is going to come.
De Niro plays Don Lino the shark, preparing his sons, Frankie (Michael Imperioli) and Lenny (Black) to take over the family business. Frankie was believed to be the perfect heir to the mob world. Brother Lenny, does not really relish the competitive world, a closet vegetarian who likes to dress up as a dolphin.
When news of Frankie's demise reaches Don Lino, he also gets to hear Oscar's claims that have made him a hero. Meanwhile, Lenny is more than upset that his brother is killed. He is afraid that his father would expect too much from him now, and runs off with Oscar, pretending to be a dolphin.
The School of Rock (2003)
Jack Black is Back! Better than Ever!
Finally! Somebody has done right by Jack Black. Somebody has actually made a movie where Jack Black can be the man and show off his talents. This is Jack Black at his best and I feel privileged to be alive while this guy's star continues to skyrocket!
Dewey Finn (Jack Black) loves rock and roll. He is the consummate fan who knows every worthwhile group and song. He is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist in his own band called "No Vacancy." But other members of the group have grown tired of his immature stage antics, such as 20-minute solos and stage-dives. They vote him out and hire someone to replace him for an upcoming Battle of the Bands contest.
Downcast and distraught, Dewey doesn't know what to do. Plus, his usually patient roommate Ned (Mike White), a schoolteacher, is being pressured by his aggressive girlfriend (Sarah Silverman) to make Dewey pay the money he owes for rent or get out. When a call comes in to Ned asking him to serve as a substitute teacher at the prestigious Horace Green Elementary School, Dewey decides to assume his identity and take the job.
Of course, faced with a class of fifth-graders all nicely clothed in their school uniforms, this rocker doesn't have a clue as to what to do. So he tells them to chill out and enjoy some downtime. This scheme works for a little while but then Dewey visits the orchestra class. Lights go off in his head and bingo! -- the new class project is to form a rock band. He decides to teach them everything he knows about rock with lectures on its history, the evils of "The Man," and the essentials of playing rock songs.
Dewey's spirits are lifted when he realizes that there are some talented musicians in the class including Zack (Joey Gaydos, Jr.), the lead guitarist; Katie (Rebecca Brown) on bass; and Lawrence (Robert Tsai) on keyboards. Freddy (Kevin Clark), the class rebel, turns out to be an eager learner on drums, and Tomika (Maryam Hassan) surprises him with her unusual singing talent. The smartest girl in the class, Summer (Miranda Cosgrove), gets her chance to excel as band manager while others serve as back-up singers, special effects wizard, head of security, and the official selectors of the band's name.
The humor quotient of the film is heightened by the funny performance of Joan Cusack as the uptight and unlocked principal of Horace Green Elementary School. When Dewey discovers that she is a secret fan of Fleetwood Mac, they are able to connect as friends. The rock fan gets his wish when he has the class entered in the local Battle of the Bands. By the end of this rollicking film, you'll happily be chanting, "For those about to rock, we salute you!"