Sunday, February 19, 2006

Into the Blue (**)

Eight Below (***)

Dogs die in it. If you can handle that, you'll like it.

Bubble (**1/2)

The Pink Panther (**1/2)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Date Movie (*)

If Twentieth Century Fox, the studio behind Date Movie, had given any one of us this budget, this idea, and this cast to work with, I guarantee you we could make something funnier than this pile of dung. Date Movie is one of the most witless, unfunny movies to come around in quite a while. It aims to be another Scary Movie, but as dumb as those movies are at times, at least they're partially funny. Date Movie, on the other hand, is hopeless. It is shot and edited without a lick of common sense. It's sloppy and too focused on fart and fat jokes. But the real problem I had with Date Movie is its comedic targets. You can't just reference another movie or copy a scene entirely save for some exaggeration and call it a parody. It's not even funny. It's especially not funny when the movies you're "parodying" are comedies themselves. And if you're really going to make fun of romantic comedies, how about actually trying to resemble one and make it a tad ridiculous. Find the comedy within the cliche. Instead, Date Movie throws everything at the wall to see if it sticks, and absolutely none of it does. Every romantic movie made fun of here (My Best Friend's Wedding, Meet the Fockers, Say Anything, Hitch, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is about twenty million times funnier than Date Movie. Definitely in the running for worst movie of the year, if not of all time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Final Destination 3 (**1/2)

I don't know what it is with these Final Destination movies, but I get a real kick out of them. They're by no means "good" movies. But they are one heck of a guilty pleasure. The second Final Destination is probably my favorite (hard to believe I just wrote that sentence), but for those who enjoyed the previous installments, this third one will do just fine. It offers more of the same: elaborate and gruesome deaths of characters you could care less about. In many ways, the audience is rooting for these characters to die, and the filmmakers certainly do their darndest to give the audience what they want. This is the kind of movie you see with a packed crowd on a Friday night. Feel free to talk during it--there's not much you're going to miss. Or better yet, grab some friends, pizza, and beer and have a good laugh watching it at home. If you're into guilty pleasures that is.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (***)

Bad title. Great movie. Tommy Lee Jones makes his directorial debut with this hard-edged modern western. It's written by Guillermo Arriago, who also wrote Amores Perros and 21 Grams, and like those films, boasts a fractured storyline. Jones also stars in the film and gives one of his best performances in years. The movie reminded me a lot, at least in tone, of A History of Violence. It's funny, dark, violent, profane, and very entertaining. Those who love movies will certainly get their money's worth out of this one. It's probably out of theaters by now, but definitely check it out when it hits DVD shelves.