Did you find the “Karate Kid” too challenging? Too cerebral? Too thematically dense? Then “Never Back Down” is the film for you. The cinematic debutante ball for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), the picture is an artistic travesty. I’m not sure why the producers even bothered with a plot.
“Sleepwalking” offers the most conspicuous representation of adulthood depression I’ve seen in quite a while. The film is a dissection of damaged goods, but in place of a steady hand guiding matters to believable and sympathetic ends, director Bill Maher (not that one) takes the picture to unwanted extremes of behavior and guilt. This is a strange, messily arranged picture that aches to be insightful.
“Paranoid Park” confirms that Gus Van Sant is so far up his own artistic anus, it’s impossible to take anything he makes seriously anymore.
With a pooped fanfare rivaling the opening of a neighborhood Denny’s, we now have the final “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” poster.
Oh, the mugging in this thing. You would not believe how many of the actors spend all their precious screentime contorting their face into extravagant comical positions, making sure every single audience member comprehends “College Road Trip” is supposed to be a silly movie. It’s nearly 3-D in execution.
Once upon a time Roland Emmerich made greasy popcorn entertainment that was buoyant and exciting (“Stargate,” “Independence Day”). Ever since the epic failure of 1998’s “Godzilla,” Emmerich has been desperately trying to rekindle his old blockbuster flame, but the results have been lackluster at best (“The Day After Tomorrow”). “10,000 B.C.” is a further step backward for the event movie prince, sending the audience to the mystical world of cavemen, yet offering little in the way of substance beyond the abundant special effects.
“The Bank Job” is based on the infamous 1971 Baker Street bank robbery, an event that shook up England, damaging the reputation of government and police officials, before it was locked down with a rare usage of the silencing “D-notice.” It’s a marvelous story, but something tells me all factual elements have been peeled away in favor of a vibrant, violent, lewd approach to the tale. It may be inconsiderate to the real participants, but it makes for rollicking heist cinema.
There’s an ocean of charm to swim in “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” a slightly madcap, endearing comedy that restores a little old fashioned screwball magic to the uptight film marketplace. Oh, and it helps to have two of the industry’s best actresses on display in meaty, observant roles.
What begins as a paean to the musical release of wiggles soon morphs into a sobering reveal of feminine pre-teen dejection in “Girls Rock!,” an intelligent, eye-opening documentary that gives young women a chance to open their tightly-guarded hearts and explore their talents and bliss.
If you’ve been inside a grocery store lately, you may have noticed the ice cream section now takes up nearly half of the available square footage. Cold treats are huge business these days, with every conceivable jumble of flavors out there to make sure you stay the hell out of the average Coldstone or Dairy Queen. It’s war, didn’t you know?