28 July 2002

71.5 Million Dollars Can't Be Wrong

Austin Powers in Goldmember: 2.5 Stars. I was really disappointed when I walked out of the theater after seeing this one, but, upon reflection, I remembered that I spent quite a bit of time laughing. It's not a great Austin Powers movie, but it didn't really need to be. Even a decent Austin Powers movie is better than most of the dreck that passes for comedy out there (see The Sweetest Thing review below). Mike Myers is probably the funniest guy alive, and when he struts his stuff, it's a wonder, and a pleasure, to behold. Here's to the next sequel...Live and Let Shag?

Minority Report: 4 Stars. Wow. Steven Spielberg is still the best director out there after almost 30 years, and he struts his stuff with authority in this masterful science fiction tale. Everyone's good in this one: Tom Cruise, Max von Sydow, and especially Samantha Morton, who's building quite a resume for herself with some of the better directors out there. Couldn't say enough good things about this one...so just go and see it. Now.

25 July 2002

I waited so long for this

The Emperor's New Clothes: 3 Stars. When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was totally hooked. The always excellent Ian Holm plays both Napoleon and the commoner chosen to replace him on Elba. Napoleon escapes to France, expecting his double to reveal himself as a fraud, which he never does. Then his double dies, leaving the real Napoleon wandering through Paris with the masses mourning their Emperor. Then he meets a girl.... What a wonderful premise for a movie, and it almost works. First, it's a bit slow at times. Second, choosing Iben Hjejle (from High Fidelity) as his female opposite was a mistake. While she's a solid actress, and undeniably beautiful, she's far too young to play his love interest. Other than that, it's a good script, a masterful performance by Holm, and a wonderful score by Rachel Portman. This, my dear readers, is why I go to the movies.

22 July 2002

Harrison's Starting to Show His Years

K-19: The Widowmaker: 3 Stars. Good, exciting submarine flick. It was fun to see the 61-year-old Indiana Jones star strutting his stuff as a tough Russian sub captain, complete with a decent accent. Why he chose to use an accent is a mystery, though, since no one else in the film bothered. I suspect we'll be getting more and more of these "inspired by actual events" stories as more and more of the Cold War's archives are opened.

15 July 2002

Playing a Little Catch-up

Lilo and Stitch: 3.25 Stars. It's about time Disney got back on the horse. This crazy romp is the best thing Disney's put out since The Lion King, and while it doesn't quite match the majesty of that grand film, it has lots of fun trying. Stitch is a riot, especially when he starts rolling around like Sonic the Hedgehog. Ving Rhames' character seems a bit misplaced, but he's fun to watch. Congrats to Tia Carrere and Kevin McDonald (from Kids in the Hall) for getting to work again.

Men in Black 2: 2.5 Stars. Unfortunately in movies, lightning rarely strikes twice. This film is no exception. It's fun and occasionally funny with great effects, but the story is a bit light and could use a few more minutes of screen time for exposition at the least (at less than 90 minutes, it hardly gets going before the world is saved). Props to Rosario Dawson for being as lovely as ever and to Lara Flynn Boyle for finally looking like she's having fun in a film (first time since Wayne's World, by my count...maybe Threesome, though.

Reign of Fire: 2.5 Stars. They had the makings for a really good movie here, and it started out pretty well, but it sort of lost itself about halfway through. The victory was too easy and with too little fanfare. I was hoping for grand battles between fighter planes and dragons, not seeing Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey (whose goatee shortens and lengthens with alacrity), and Izabella Scorupco go at it alone against the uberbeast. The "dragon slaying" scene by McConaughey's men is freaking amazing...they just needed more.