Lucky Number Slevin: 2.75 Stars. For once all the reviewers were right. This elegantly wallpapered mash of Pulp Fiction and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is long on style and short on much else. Still, it was a good time with lots of star power. Josh Hartnett turns in is best performance since 40 Days and 40 Nights. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Stanley Tucci, and Sir Ben Kingsley (sporting a ridiculous accent) show off their high-caliber talent. The real surprise in this film, though, was Lucy Liu, who, it turns out, can do more than look cute with a blank expression on her face. Kudos to her, and may she find more roles where she doesn't have to kick anyone's ass.
The Constant Gardener: 2.75 Stars. All of those critics out there who called this a "taut thriller" and other such spy-movie accolates need to be beaten. There wasn't much thrilling about this movie, and it certainly wasn't a spy flick (and that's what Barb and I were in the mood for when we rented it). Having said that, it was still pretty good, if dreadfully slow at times. It was a surprisingly English film for the Brazilian director of the phenomenal City of God, and while John Le Carre might find that a compliment, it's not really meant as one. The sort of it is that diplomat Ralph Fiennes's leftist wife, Rachel Weisz, is brutally murdered, and Fiennes tries to find out whodunit. However, it's not much of a mystery (your standard corporate bastards in search of profits above all else). This flick does redeem itself at the end, though, which borders on sublime.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason: 2.75 Stars. Considering how much I enjoyed the original Bridget Jones' Diary, it's surprising that I only managed to catch this on Encore last week, but in the end, I was glad I didn't pay to see this in the theater. The usual suspects are back, and as stereotypical as ever. Renee Zellweger looks far better with some extra poundage on her usually skeletal frame, but for some reason the script has her behave more cartoonish than ever. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth are their usual seedy and staid selves, respectively. The real problem with this movie is that they had Bridget getting locked up in a Thai prison. While they made the most of it (it was more a Broadway musical's interpretation of a Thai prison than the real deal), it was still too silly for a purported romantic comedy. They manage to salvage the thing by the end, though, and cap it off with a repeat of the 1st film's Cleaver-Darcy fight to The Darkness's "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." There's also a Robbie Williams tune for your auditory pleasure. Perfect cable viewing.