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Richard Roeper Blog

Archive for August, 2012

Roeper’s Late Summer Report Card: Worst of the Year So Far

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

We start the Loser List with the worst comedy of 2012 so far. Adam Sandler, come on down! Actually I have to say it’s a tie between Sandler’s god-awful “That’s My Boy” and the equally stupid “The Watch.” What’s more unfunny, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn doing impersonations of their most clichéd roles, or Sandler playing a perverted creep who became a novelty celebrity because he was seduced as a kid by his bombshell teacher?

The award for Least Scary Scary Movie goes to “Red Lights.” This paranormal hokum trots out every overly used gotcha moment in the book. Add to that a comically over the top performance by Robert De Niro and a twist ending that will have you heaving your popcorn at the screen, and you’ve got a Razzie contender.

My runaway winner for Most Ridiculous Romantic Comedy is “This Means War.” The attractive, talented cast is trapped in a horrible plot that makes Reese Witherspoon a duplicitous ditz who’s seeing two guys at once. Even worse, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine are secret agents who resort to peeping Tom tactics to win her heart. Who thought this was a good idea for a movie?

As for the most inexplicable hit, I’m going with “The Vow.” Sure, I get the star appeal of Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, but even though this story is very loosely based on real events, it’s nearly unwatchable. Rachel’s memory loss doesn’t just erase Channing, it turns her into an entirely different human being. Sam Neil and Jessica Lange play her grotesque parents, who are actually thrilled about their daughter’s brain damage because she’s once again the superficial zombie they raised. W.T.F.

And finally, the worst movie you’ve already forgotten about is “Joyful Noise,” with a hideously surgified Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah engaging in least funny catfight in modern motion picture history.

That’s it for the Losers. Next time we’ll celebrate the winners, including Best Comic Book Movie and the Funniest Film of the Year so far.

TIME-LAPSE of Stop Motion Animators working on “ParaNorman” + Trailer

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The Campaign: Roeper’s Review

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are fierce rivals in a battle so nasty it makes Romney-Obama seem like synchronized swimming. My review of “The Campaign,” next.

Casting Will Ferrell as a buffoonish lech of a congressman and Zach Galifianakis as his do-gooder rival seems too easy. More like a “Funny or Die” short than a whole movie. And there are times when “The Campaign” seems like an extended sketch rather than a complete comedy. But the material is so offensively funny and the laughs are so consistent, this is one of the best comedies of the year.

With real-life campaigns veering so close to self-parody, you probably have to get this outrageous for a political satire. “The Campaign” is like a political version of “Trading Places,” with Dan Aykroyd now playing one of the wealthy brothers manipulating a poor sap. He and John Lithgow are the Motch brothers, who tab Galifiankis’ Marty Huggins to run against the scandalized five-term incumbent Cam Brady, played by Ferrell.

With his horrible sweaters and his fanny pack and his unsophisticated and naïve ways, Marty seems like a hopeless patsy. But after he gets a makeover, the rivalry turns into a genuine contest.

 

“The Campaign” isn’t about the issues, it’s about the process. Director Jay Roach and the screenwriters pull no punches, literally, with even a baby taking one to the jaw in the name of tasteless comedy. It’s all beyond ridiculous, but then again, that can be said of most of the real-life scandals we’ve witnessed in recent years, from Anthony Weiner to Herman Cain to John Edwards. This is lowbrow comedy at its funniest. I give “The Campaign” an A-. I’m Richard Roeper and you can get all my reviews at richardroeper.com and on Reelz.

A look at Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln; and others through his career

Monday, August 13th, 2012


Daniel Day-Lewis | In the Name of the Father | The Crucible | Gangs of New York | My Left Foot | Last of the Mohicans | The Age of Innocence | There Will Be Blood | Lincoln | Hollywood Dailies | Movie Trailer | Review

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: Roeper’s Review

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, the Batman returns but is it too late to save Gotham City? My review of “The Dark Knight Rises,” next.

With all the insane hype surrounding the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s masterful “Dark Knight” trilogy, can we all agree to take a deep breath and just focus on the movie as a movie? I hope so, because “The Dark Knight Rises” is a majestic, gorgeous, brutal and richly satisfying epic.

We pick up the action eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, who has become a post-mortem hero in a peaceful Gotham City. The Batman is no more. Bruce Wayne is a now a recluse, hobbling about on a cane. He can’t even stop a cat burglar from stealing his mother’s pearls.

Ah, but there’s a storm coming, in the form of Bane, a vicious thug with a metal cage on his face. Tom Hardy sounds like Sean Connery as he delivers monologues worthy of the French Revolution while encouraging utter anarchy.

With plot points about financial meltdowns, the haves vs. the have-nots and unrest in the streets, “The Dark Knight Rises” has clear parallels to the real-world America. And when Bane and his band of terrorists strike Gotham, it’s hard not to think of 9/11. This is a superhero movie in which the superhero has no magical powers; a superhero movie in which the action, even at its most preposterous, is more grounded in reality than in any other comic book film.

In addition to the Oscar-level cinematography and the sharp if occasionally overlong dialogue penned by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, “The Dark Knight Rises” soars with this amazing cast. Bale owns that Batman growl; Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are soothing presences as his oldest friends; Gary Oldman adds a Shakesperean touch to Commissioner Gordon. The newcomers include a purring Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Marion Cottilard as a gorgeous philanthropist and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a cop with a back story and a future. They are all outstanding. It is movie heaven to watch this cast at work. And though Hardy’s face is obscured by that mask, he delivers strong work as Bane.

At times the multiple storylines get tangled up and meander a bit. Once in a while I had a hard time understanding what Bane was saying from behind that mask. But these are minor issues compared to all the breathtaking action, all the memorable exchanges. And the final sequences of “The Dark Knight Rises” constitute the most satisfying five minutes of any movie so far this year. What a perfect ending. This is a worthy conclusion to one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time. I give “Dark Knight Rises” an A. I’m Richard Roeper and you can get all my reviews at richardroeper.com and on Reelz.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012


The Expendables 2 | Jason Statham | Terry Crews | Dolph Lundgren | Randy Couture | Hollywood Dailies | Movie Trailer | Review

Angry Woman ‘Crashes’ Reporter Live Shot in NYC

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

 

FIRST LOOK: Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

“Daniel Day-Lewis as he was shooting Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln last fall,” EW.com.

To learn more CLICK HERE and head to EW.com for their exclusive.

What it took to land Curiosity rover on Mars

Monday, August 6th, 2012

NASA’s Curiosity rover is a 1-ton robot that will make an unprecedented Mars landing on Aug. 5, 2012. See how the risky maneuver will keep rover team members in suspense for 7 fateful minutes.
Credit: NASA
 
 
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