Posts filed under ‘Reviews’

Review: Over Her Dead Body Has Some Good Laughs

Over Her Dead Body Movie Online

Over Her Dead Body

All hail Paul Rudd! You give him something lukewarm like Over Her Dead Body and he’ll enliven it with charming sarcasm and impeccable comedic instincts. Of course, he has Eva Longoria working hard to undermine everything he does, flopping around frantically while he delights in understatement, but I think he eventually outweighs her.Rudd plays Henry, a veterinarian whose bridezilla fiancee, Kate (Longoria), is killed on their wedding day. Why he loved such a b-word in the first place is a mystery, and so is his moping that continues for a year afterward. His layabout sister Chloe (Lindsay Sloane) is concerned.

“You don’t smile, and you never leave your apartment,” she says.

“I like my apartment,” he replies. “Nobody hassles me when I don’t smile there.”

At last Chloe drags him to a psychic to see if they can contact Kate and get some closure. The psychic is Ashley (Lake Bell), a pretty young thing who is also a part-time caterer. (The film very awkwardly presents this information by showing her kitchen full of food and an assistant helping to cook it, not telling us until much later WHY all that food is there.) Henry is sarcastic about the whole psychic thing, but he goes along with it for his sister’s sake — plus, he kind of likes Ashley.

When the seance is ineffective, Chloe conspires with Ashley to trick Henry into moving on with his life. She gives Ashley Kate’s diary, with instructions to use the information in it to pretend she has contacted the dead woman. This turns out to be unnecessary, though: Kate’s spirit actually shows up and starts harassing Ashley, whom she correctly believes has a crush on Henry.

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February 5, 2008 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

Review: Rambo is Big Goofy Fun

 Rambo Movie Online


I don’t know how you could purchase a ticket to Rambo and not know what you are getting in to. I mean, it’s Rambo. If you’re expecting some sort of actual narrative or decent dialogue you’re barking up the wrong tree. But if you want to watch John frickin’ Rambo do his thing, with plenty of killing and gunplay in the mix… well, you’re going to be a happy camper here.Burma is the locale for the fourth edition of the Rambo saga. For the sake of simplicity let’s call the Burma bad guys the “bad guys” and the Burma good guys the “Karen Rebels.” The Karen Rebels are actually a real deal rebel group. You can Google them and read all about them; so Sly isn’t just making this stuff up as he goes along. However, the main point of placing Rambo in Burma is to give him that handy jungle locale and plenty of baddies to “interact” with. It all kicks off when missionaries enlist Rambo’s help in going upriver to deliver medicine and bibles to the rebels. But something goes wrong. DEAD WRONG.

Sorry, that just felt right. Anyway, Rambo faces off against a few hundred bad dudes – I’m not going to ruin that for you. Sly looks older, yeah, but still super juiced up and in better shape than 99.9% of the humans in the world. What I’m saying here is that he pulls it off. He has a giant head and he doesn’t talk much but he’s still completely and utterly badass.

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February 5, 2008 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

Review: Untraceable is World Class Terrible

Untraceable Movie Online


Whew boy, is this movie awful. To think that a group of people got together to make this — without any realization of the miserable mess that it is… well, you sort of have to hand it to them. Everyone could use that sort of delusion in their life. I envision the team in the screening room nodding their and heads thinking, “We’ve got it!” Fellas, you didn’t get it. Trust me.Untraceable revolves around the life of FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (played by an exhausted looking Diane Lane). She works the night shift in the cybercrimes division, tracking credit card thieves and the like. She comes across a website that threatens to kill a kitten live on streaming video and we’re off. Nobody cares about the kitten, but of course the nastiness escalates and eventually bigger prey are involved. Though I couldn’t possibly spoil this movie for you, I’ll stick by my lifelong quest to avoid reviews that are only plot recaps and just move on.

What goes wrong? So, so much. Colin Hanks would have been fine as Lane’s partner but his character is written so oddly that you never really warm to him. The Portland FBI office that Lane works in seems to be staffed mostly by the learning disabled and logical problem after logical problem presents itself only to be ignored. The premise of the movie is an online killer — and the more people tune in to his online killing means the quicker the person dies. But the reasonable implications of that are never really considered. Who, for instance, could host 17 million concurrent video streams off their laptop? A vague reference is made to the genius of the killer but unless his dad is Joe YouTube the whole thing seems to be crazy improbable. Sure, I’m supposed to suspend disbelief for the sake of the movie, but when your central theme is how crazy and mean-spirited the Internet is than you’d better at least pay some attention to the details. Otherwise you just look like a fool.

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February 5, 2008 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Review: Cloverfield is Big Fun at the Theater

Cloverfield Movie Online


The film-it-yourself YouTube generation has inspired its first monster movie in Cloverfield, a short, intense, and scary flick that plays out the way Godzilla would have if it had been shot with a bystander’s camcorder.That is the central conceit of the film, which was produced by J.J. Abrams (mastermind of TV’s Lost), written by frequent collaborator Drew Goddard, and directed by Matt Reeves. Someone is videotaping the events at a going-away party for a friend when a giant something-or-other attacks the city. We see only what the video camera sees, the footage apparently having been discovered by rescuers or clean-up crews after the fact.

Call it a gimmick if you must, but it works. Since we only know what the camera-wielder and his friends know, we’re as terrified and nervous as they are. The scenario calls for naturalistic, improvised-sounding dialogue, too, which is rendered with complete authenticity by the small group of mostly unknown actors. In short, there is very little about the film to suggest it’s not exactly what it claims to be. If it weren’t for the dearth of news reports about New York City being attacked by a giant monster, you’d accept the film as a documentary.

The footage comes from a night in May when a group of twentysomethings are celebrating their friend Rob (Michael Stahl-David) and his new job in Japan. Rob’s brother Jason (Mike Vogel) has thrown the party and put their comic-relief pal Hud (T.J. Miller) in charge of getting video testimonials from everyone. Jason’s girlfriend Lily (Jessica Lucas) is there; so is a girl named Marlena (Lizzy Caplan) whom Hud has a crush on — and so is Beth (Odette Yustman), Rob’s long-time friend and one-time hookup who has shown up at the party with another guy.

With those basic relationships established, we get to the heart of things when explosions and fires suddenly rock lower Manhattan. Through Hud’s camera we see panic in the streets as buildings collapse and the Statue of Liberty’s head comes soaring in from the harbor. Hud continues to film as much as he can, realizing immediately that people will want a document of this.

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February 5, 2008 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Review: Subtle Scares in `Orphanage’

The Orphanage

The Orphanage

Floors creak and doors slam. Hidden passages lead to secret compartments. Ratty old dolls show up out of nowhere.

Are these playful signs from the children who lived in “The Orphanage” long ago, or a harbinger of something more sinister? That’s the mystery in this well-crafted if familiar haunted house story, the first feature from young Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona.

Guillermo del Toro serves as one of the film’s producers and Bayona, working from a script by Sergio Sanchez, seems to be aiming for the same mix of the real and the supernatural that del Toro himself achieved last year with his excellent “Pan’s Labyrinth.” It’s a tough balance to strike, and it’s even tougher to live up to comparisons to such a cinematic original. (“The Orphanage” is actually more reminiscent of Alejandro Amenabar’s super-creepy “The Others,” starring Nicole Kidman.)

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January 5, 2008 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Review: `Persepolis’ Is Wildly Inventive



“Persepolis” is a true original in the eclectic world of animation, one that’s full of fascinating contradictions.

It’s a colorful autobiography rendered in crisp black-and-white; it’s about Iran’s Islamic revolution, but it’s a comedy. You won’t see another film like this anytime soon, if ever, which is precisely why you should seek it out.

Marjane Satrapi adapted her own graphic novels (with the help of best friend and fellow comic book artist Vincent Paronnaud, who co-wrote and co-directed) and she did it with great humor, honesty and heart. Except for a chunk of the midsection where “Persepolis” gets a bit draggy, especially after wowing us with its inventiveness early on, you’d never know you’re in the hands of a first-time filmmaker.

The animation style may seem overly simplistic at first, but on the contrary there’s so much going on, it’s impossible for the eye to take it all in at once. Clearly inspired by German expressionism, Satrapi and Paronnaud make especially stunning use of severe angles, silhouettes and shadows.

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January 5, 2008 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Review: `Blood’ Is Anderson’s Epic

There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

Someday, we’re probably going to look back at “There Will Be Blood,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic about greed, lies, manipulation and insanity, and call it his masterpiece.

Which is incredible because, except for the inescapable intensity, it’s nothing like his previous films; if Anderson’s name weren’t on it, you’d never know it was his. It’s thrilling to see him reinvent himself this way, applying his formidable directing talents in a totally different fashion.

Gone are the film-school tricks he made his name with in “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” (and this critic loved those movies). Anderson has moved out of contemporary L.A. and away from the histrionics of the carefully orchestrated ensembles he set there. He now seems more interested in storytelling and character development.

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January 5, 2008 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

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