‘Hangover 2’: Hair of the dog

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I had considered possibly resubmitting my initial review for “The Hangover” for its sequel, since that is all the writers of the latest film had done. But then I realized everything I found fresh and funny the first go-round had gone a bit stale in this second serving.

Plus, I don’t think the Cape Gazette would have paid me for it again for the same article. Continue reading

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‘Panda’: All gut, and glory

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Despite a darker tone, Po’s fists of furry fury are just as engaging in “Kung Fu Panda 2,” a solid product from DreamWorks Animation, which has been milking its cash cow… or ogre, rather, churning out increasingly inferior “Shrek” sequels.

DreamWorks nailed it last year with one of the year’s best animated films, “How to Teain Your Dragon.” But in the sequel department, its subsequent “Shrek” and “Madagascar” films dropped precipitously in quality. Continue reading

An amusing, if long, engagement

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Like so many other films in producer/director Judd Apatow’s oeuvre, “Bridesmaids” features astute comedy that springs from a well of genuine human emotion.

And, like other Apatow-branded flicks, it overstays its welcome by about 30 minutes.

He only serves as producer here (Paul Feig is director), but his fingerprints are all over “Bridesmaids,” for better and for worse.

Kristen Wiig (who shares writing credit) stars as Annie, a 30-something single gal whose chipper exterior hides a life in sharp decline: her baking business went belly up, her romantic life is clogged with a creep (played by a wonderfully vain Jon Hamm), her creepy roommates want her out, and she’s just learned that her best pal, Lillian (played by Maya Rudolph), is getting hitched. Continue reading

‘Priest’: Holy shit

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Welcome, parishioners! Our reading today will be from the Book of Paul (Bettany).

It’s the story of a young, striking, classically trained actor with a promising future led into temptation by the draw of the monetary gain of crappy genre films. It’s a familiar tale, originally found in the Book of Julian (Sands).

Back in the early ‘80s, Sands was the overseas thinking-woman’s hunk. Starring in two back-to-back Oscar-winning films (“The Killing Fields” and “Room with a View”), Sands was rocketing skyward. But along came a little film called “Warlock,” that changed the direction of his career. From that point, he filled his resume with films like “Witch Hunt,” “Tale of the Vampire,” and “Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunter.” Continue reading

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