FSR’s Weekly Report Card for 02.20.09

FSR's Weekly Report Card


Studio: Lionsgate

Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic material, drug content, some violence and sexual situations.

Starring: Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry with Derek Luke and Keshia Knight Pulliam

Directed by: Tyler Perry

What it’s about: Tyler Perry puts on his old-woman fat-suit for another turn as the acerbic grandmother Madea. In this story, Madea finds herself headed to jail for disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, a young assistant D.A. has taken it upon himself to help out a prostitute with whom he has a past, much to the chagrin of his smokin’ hot fiancée.

What I liked: I’ll have to admit that while I haven’t seen very many Tyler Perry movies, I find the character of Madea refreshing and hilarious. This is the glue that holds his movies together. Perry is in the zone as the character of Madea, and her scenes are easily the best parts of the film.

By now, Perry has amassed a big enough following to warrant several notable cameos in this film, including Dr. Phil, Judge Mathis and the ladies from The View. (Forget for a second that all these cameos come from daytime television.) In fact, the Dr. Phil moment is the funniest moment in the movie.

Oh, and it’s kinda cool seeing little Rudy from The Cosby Show playing a prostitute. Didn’t we all think that was Lisa Bonet’s calling?

What I didn’t: For a movie that has Madea’s name in the title, you’d think there’d be more Madea in the movie. For the most part, her character barely connects with the main storyline of the D.A. and the prostitute, which is responsible for about 70 percent of the film. This subplot, though, is hokey, predictable and at times preachy. Here’s the part of the film that will lose anyone who isn’t a Tyler Perry fan.

Give me a little more Madea, and I’d love this movie. But otherwise, it’s nothing more than a grown up after-school special.

Who is gonna like this movie: Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry and all his fans.

Grade: C


Studio: Screen Gems

Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying.

Starring: Nichoals D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer, Molly Sims, Danneel Harris and David Walton

Directed by: Will Gluck

What it’s about: Shawn and Nick are two star football players in high school (even though Nick is clearly pushing 30 years old) who are always scoring with the girls. Instead of suffering through a grueling two weeks at football camp in the hot Texas sun, they opt to join the cheer squad and go to cheerleading camp with 300 horny teenage girls. It’s Wedding Crashers meets Bring It On.

What I liked: As a red-blooded American dude, I will be immediately interested in any movie that features cheerleaders. What can I say, the many shots of ridiculously hot chicks bouncing around in skimpy clothes speaks to me.

Additionally, the Wedding Crashers mentality of the film was fun. It’s a PG-13 teen sex comedy, but there’s enough raunch and silliness to keep me interested. It’s sophomoric, sure, but it had me laughing.

What I didn’t: In some ways, this movie isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Does it want to be a raunchy comedy? Does it want to be a cheerleading flick a la Bring It On? Does it want to be a sweet movie with a lot of heart. Here’s where the film suffers, offering a bit too much Apatow and not enough date movie.

Who is gonna like this movie: Bring It On fans and dudes who like to watch cheerleaders bounce.

Grade: B-


Studio: The Weinstein Company

Rated: PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual material, language and drug content.

Starring: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel and Kristen Bell

Directed by: Kyle Newman

What it’s about: A group of friends and long-time Star Wars fans decide to drive cross-country to break into the Skywalker Ranch so they can watch the rough cut of Episode I before their friend dies of cancer.

What I liked: If you haven’t met me, you might not realize that I am a geek. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fans since I saw it for the first time at age five. Like the guys in this film, I eagerly awaited the release of Episode I, so I connected with these characters.

It’s clear that Fanboys was made for fanboys. It’s rare for me to find a film where I get every joke lobbed at the audience, but I understood all the humor – from knowing the Wookiee home world of Kashyyyk (and knowing it’s spelled with three y’s) to recognizing the guards from THX-1138. There’s a lot of fanboy love at the heart of this film, and anyone who revels in the sci-fi nerdom should find a lot to enjoy here.

What I didn’t: Most people on the internet knows this film’s checkered history, which is undoubtedly playing into the movie’s potential success. However, like Episode I, there is so much hype surrounding this movie, it’s impossible to experience outside of the buzz.

Had I seen this movie knowing nothing about it, or if I had stumbled across it as a piece of indie fun, it would have been spectacular. However, I expected so much from the film that I couldn’t help be disappointed a tad.

Who is gonna like this movie: Fanboys.

Grade: B+

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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