Thumbnails August 07
by Tony Medley
Rescue Dawn (9/10):
Although too long, this is a beautifully photographed, exciting, high
tension Vietnam War POW-escape through the jungle film, expertly
directed by Werner Herzog, highlighted by brilliant acting by Christian
Bale and Steve Zahn. And it’s all true!
Talk to Me (9/10): Even
though Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Elijofor give Oscar®-deserving
performances in this biopic of irreverent 1960s ex-con radio talk show
host “Petey” Greene, Taraji P. Henson’s riotous over-the-top performance
as Greene’s flamboyant girlfriend, stole the show for me.
Goya’s Ghosts (9/10):
Award-winning director Milos Foreman presents a fascinating, brutal soap
opera of the dying days of the Spanish Inquisition in the days of
Napoleon with a terrific performance by Natalie Portman. Not for
everyone and not really about the painter Goya, but I was fascinated.
Live Free or Die Hard
(8/10): When you go see Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie, you know
what you’re going to get, an indestructible hero, John McClane (Willis),
who is going to get the bejesus kicked out of him, will escape from
innumerable impossible situations, and will always have a smile and
wisecrack when things look darkest. No matter how impossible his
situations, McClane keeps coming...and wisecracking.
No Reservations (5/10):
Hard to believe that a film with gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones in almost
every scene is hard to watch, but this weak romance starts slow and ends
slower. Not a comedy, there are more tears than laughs as 10-year-old
Abigail Breslin shines brighter than Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. For
women only; most men will go nuts sitting through 101 minutes of this
Because of forced and contrived dialogue I squirmed a lot during the
first half, despite the ravishing beauty of Sienna Miller. As the film
descends into darker territory, it gets more interesting and the last
half hour of this 86-minute film did manage to keep me awake.
License to Wed (5/10):
Notwithstanding the presence of the beautiful and talented Mandy Moore,
this is yet another Robin Williams vehicle that is stunningly insipid.
Director Laurent Tirard squanders a terrific opportunity to educate
people about 17th Century French playwright Molière (who
raised satire to a higher level) by, instead, telling a fictional story
in the style of Molière, omitting anything factual. Incredibly, he makes
Ludivine Sagnier, one of the sexiest of European stars, appear about as
enticing as an anteater! This movie is a waste of time, talent, and
money. Molière’s life deserves a good biopic, not a lightweight
fictional farce like this. In French.
Two Days in Paris (1/10):
This has two unattractive, unlikable protagonists, Julie Delpy and
Adam Goldberg, a low moral tone, not much humor, no chemistry between
the stars, and a few gratuitous political cheap shots that will please
writer-director Delpy’s friend, Ethan Hawke. Opens August 12.
Harry Potter and the Order
of the Phoenix (1/10): Unless you’ve read all 3,816 pages of the
first six books and/or endured the many hours of the previous movies,
this is incomprehensible. The person sitting next to me had read the
first two books and had seen the first movie but was still in the dark
after an hour. Maybe you have to be 12-years-old. I’m not.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck
and Larry (0/10): Anyone who thinks that being a film critic is not
work should sit through this oh, so politically correct film without
being able to scoot; a clumsy, unfunny diatribe for tolerance that is
noteworthy for its intolerance, poor taste, and lack of humor.
Read full reviews