Director Michael Bay has said in interviews that his latest film “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon” was his indirect apology to fans after the car crash that was “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen.”
He was quoted as saying of his latest: “I think our 3D works really well with the robots, the size, the girth, the weight of it… it’s spectacular.”
It seems Mr. Bay maybe confusing the words “spectacular” with “spectacle.” Continue reading
Of all the things the missing from the first “Cars,” — and the were many — more screen time for Larry The Cable Guy was not one of them.
Yet, in “Cars 2,” he takes center stage for the majority of the film’s run time. Sure, he’s represented by a rusty tow truck on the screen, but it’s pure The Cable Guy, with stupidity emblazoned on him like a Trans-Am hood bird, making this marginal Pixar entry as fun as a rainy-day weekend trip along Route 1 in the summertime. (This last one is a local beach reference for those reading this outside my publishing area).
It pains me to speak ill of Pixar, a studio that has consistently provided me (and my family) with hours of indelible cinematic memories year after year. The original “Cars” is the only film from their library that is not in regular rotation in our DVD player (even the animated shorts compilation gets more love). Continue reading
Predictable, perfunctory, with perhaps a penchant for poop-centric puns, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” still prevails as a perfectly passable picture for preadolescents.
For those familiar with the 1938 source material, the film adaptation of “Popper’s Penguins” take some liberty with the story, but does not sully its legacy, albeit for the aforementioned potty humor. It’s also one of the more subdued live-action comedic performances from its lead, Jim Carrey, which works in its favor.
Familiarity breeds contempt. Perhaps that is the rationale behind the critical drubbing “The Green Lantern,” has received upon release. Since 2000, there have been 36 films based on comic books (about six more were created exclusively for the screen). And “Latern” is the fourth of five to be released this year alone (hell, it’s not even the first “Green” superhero in 2011. That distinction goes to January’s god-awful “Green Hornet.” ).
Comics are an easy template for filmmakers, as they already have a tale, a storyboard and a built-in audience. They have the potential for great summer diversions (“Iron Man”) or even overall excellence (“The Dark Knight”). But, as the saying goes in one particular comic-to-film translation, “with great power comes great responsibility.” The missteps have been too numerous to count (“Catwoman,” “Ghost Rider” and “Jonah Hex” immediately rush to mind), and the core audience can be particularly unforgiving, so filmmakers should approach the genre with caution.
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
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
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