Thumbnails June 08
by Tony Medley
The Chronicles of Narnia:
Prince Caspian (9/10): Fantasy, animals who speak, mystical lands;
these are not the stuff of which my movie dreams are made. But director
Andrew Adamson has done such a brilliant job of pacing that there is no
point in the movie where you can leave for any reason whatever without
missing something essential. This is an action-packed, fun-filled
adventure in an enchanted forest. I suppose there is someone out there
who might not like this, but Iím not one of them and Iím a very hard
sell. This is 135 minutes that goes by in a trice.
Iron Man (9/10): Comic
book foolishness done better than Iíve ever seen it as Robert Downey Jr.
creates a suit of iron that allows him to be like Superman. This movie
is a lot of fun. But what is superstar Gwyneth Paltrow doing in such a
meager supporting role?
Young at Heart (8/10):
This is a moving documentary about septuagenarians+ who sing rock
and roll. Donít go for the music, though, because this is mostly
commentary by these remarkable, admirable elders.
Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (7/10): Because of a ludicrous story
line (even actor Shia LaBeouf admits, ďItís very ambiguous about whatís
going onĒ), director Steven Speilberg has loaded in far too many
frantic, impossible chases with predictable outcomes. The scenery is
beautiful, the special effects look wonderfully expensive, and the quips
are vintage Harrison Ford. But the plot is so ridiculous that as it
progressed my interest waned, up to the silly ending. Even so, the
hundreds of millions of dollars spent to tell a fatuous story like this
will probably result in close to $1 billion in gross revenue.
What Happens in Vegas
(6/10): Ashton Kutcher and supporting actress Lake Bell give
scintillating performances but they arenít enough to make up for the
deficiencies of co-star Cameron Diaz and the script. Kutcher is brimming
with talent, but it has been his misfortune to attach his star to people
who arenít up to the quality of his gifts. He has time to correct this,
but the clock is ticking.
Roman de Gare (6/10):
Despite a smashing performance by Dominique Pinon, the unique and
interesting story (written and directed by Claude Lelouch, originally
under a nom de plume, Hervť Picard) has plot holes that left me
remembering scenes and lines that seemed to belie the ending. In French.
Made of Honor (3/10):
This enormously irritating derivative drivel has very little funny, and
very little that is not predictable. The only thing it has going for
itself is that Michelle Monaghan is gorgeous and a very good actress.
For women, Iím reliably informed (by a woman) that Patrick Dempsey is a
Hunk. If so, being a ďHunkĒ has nothing to do with being masculine any
Baby Mama (1/10):
This Saturday Night Live-created Tina
Fey-Amy Poehler vehicle is numbingly unfunny. Four of the mawkish jokes
shown in the trailer appear in the first four minutes. Itís downhill
The Forbidden Kingdom
(1/10): Martial arts moves have become clichťs. There is no longer
anything entertaining about some Asian with his hands open in a funny
looking pose vanquishing thousands of foes all by himself. Enough!
Speed Racer (1/10):
Although the color is beautiful, this is aimed at a 10-year-old,
video-game intellect. It is overloaded with 2 hours of noisy, special
effects-laden incomprehensible racing scenes, all filmed of actors in
front of a green screen with everything else inserted graphically. It so
lacks entertainment value that they might have to insert an audience