Film Reviews

Despicable Me: One to Gru On

A supervillain isn’t so bad, and neither is this animated film.
The trailer for Inception has caused a stir in movieland by being mysterious and not giving away too much of the movie’s plot. Well, the trailers for the animated 3-D kids’ movie Despicable Me have been playing in theaters ...

Eclipse: Lady Ante Bella

The third Twilight movie is the best so far, for what that’s worth.
The Twilight movies have frustrated me, not because they’re made out of junk but for the opposite reason. Stephenie Meyer’s mega-selling series of novels gets unfairly knocked because the fan base is mostly teen and pre-tee...

A Solitary Man Goes Back to School

Michael Douglas tries to hold back the years in this mild comedy.
Since the turn of the new century, Michael Douglas has gradually been phasing himself out of the stardom that he enjoyed in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when he often played angry white men under siege. These days, he’s ...

Knight and Day: Up in the Air

Cruise and Diaz star in this action-comedy. What’s it about, again?
I’m not in the habit of using the word “piffle.” Yet that sprang to mind as I was watching Knight and Day, and the more I thought about it, the more appropriate the outdated word seemed. This plush escapist thriller/roman...

Dragon Tattoo: I Love Playing with Fire

Revenge is Swede in this film version of the hot detective novel.
It’s not every week that a Swedish novelist who’s been dead for six years makes the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Such is the engrossing power of Stieg Larsson’s posthumously published Millennium trilogy of Swedish-langu...

Pixar Re-Opens Its Toy Chest

Toy Story 3 can’t match the first two, but it’s fun.
The following statement is true –– and also pretty much meaningless: Toy Story 3 is the weakest Pixar movie in the last 10 years. It’s true, because the movie never achieves the emotional weight of so many of its fellow P...

Please Give Weaves a Guilt-Edged Story

Charity begins at home in this richly observed comedy.
If there’s any doubt that Nicole Holofcener should have filmed the Sex and the City movie, her latest comedy Please Give should remove it. The independent filmmaker directed episodes of the TV show in the 1990s, presumably to...

The Karate Kid: Kung Fu Shuffle

Rest easy, Daniel-san. This remake is a worthy successor.
All right, this is bugging me: Why is this movie entitled The Karate Kid? I understand why the filmmakers would want to keep the title of the 1984 movie that they were remaking, but this new version is set in China and revolves...

David Lowery Creates a Mood

A local filmmaker goes a different, quieter route.
Since so many locally produced films are cheap horror flicks, it’s refreshing to see something like David Patrick Lowery’s St. Nick, a drama about two runaway children that aims for gentle lyricism and achieves visual beaut...

A Rock Star’s Greek Orgy

The laughs are as thick as Snow in this raucous rock comedy.
About two-thirds of the way through Get Him to the Greek, it all clicked for me. In the middle of a scene at a Las Vegas strip club that involves gunplay, martial arts, a large dildo, a raging fire, and a guy being shot up with...