Reviews

2 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
3/10
Very Contrived + Very Predictable = Extremely Boring
17 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Being a Steve Carell fan, I opted to watch this film with my wife and mom-in-law (knowing full well the synopsis read as a cheesy romantic comedy). The movie, for us, turned into a contest to see who could predict the next occurrence. And we were all very successful. Marie being the brother's girlfriend? Mom-in-law predicted that while they were still "falling in love at first site" at the book store. The bowling alley surprise walk in? I got that one.

The movie ripped off the formula for The Family Stone in such a blatant way that I wonder if the same writers just re-hashed the script with new character names. It even included a similar bar scene.

As for cheesy-ness factor: The boys against girls crossword puzzle scene? The dance kick-box scene? Diane Wiest's over-the-top overbearing motherliness? And when did this huge family find time between all their activities to rehearse for that talent contest?

This movie entertains those who enjoy this genre of films despite the repeated use of the same old film formula. And Steve Carell is still about as funny as they come in delivering his lines. But he spends the majority of the movie moping around while being teased by his brother's girl friend and whined at by his bratty daughters. And did I mention the movie was really boring?!
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Sword of Gideon (1986 TV Movie)
8/10
An Eye for an Eye
5 December 2005
With the upcoming release of Steven Spielberg's film Munich, I think it would be a good idea for many people interested in this subject to go out and find this gem (and little known) film to watch first.

There are a few films out there that I never tire of watching -- this is one of them. This is an intelligent film that doesn't gloss over the inner conflicts that each of the Mossad agents must struggle with while performing a "righteous act" for their country to avenge the murders of their fellow Israelis (the 11 athletes).

Moreover, the incorporation of a very well played Golda Meir and her reverberating quotes really bumps this movie up a notch in my view. The makers of this film could have easily sidestepped the decision makers roles, leaving it as a viewer assumption, but fortunately they did not.

This is not a campy "Delta Force" revenge movie from a Chuck Norris/Steven Segal genre of films. The Sword of Gideon challenges us to ponder the real and complex problems of ethics, righteousness, honor, and duty. I'll be interested in seeing how much of this movie Spielberg leverages in "Munich."
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