Kevin Carr’s Weekly Report Card: April 23, 2010



Studio: Warner Bros.

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, a scene of sensuality and language

Starring: Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Columbus Short and Óscar Jaenada

Directed by: Sylvain White

What it’s about: Another comic-book adaptation, and this time it’s from DC and Vertigo. A group of soldiers get burned by a rogue CIA operative while on a mission in Bolivia. After being left for dead, the group get a last chance to clear their names and also get revenge on the mysterious man who tried to have them killed.

What I liked: One of the films I’m looking forward to most this summer is The A-Team. I didn’t watch the show much when I was a kid, but the trailers look like total badass fun. And it’s movies like The Losers that give me something to chew on while I wait.

The Losers is a dumb flick, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s all about the guts and the glory… and some pretty gratuitous shots of Zoe Saldana’s ass. It’s not deep. It’s not character driven. It’s just a big excuse to blow shit up and have some goofy-ass moments. It doesn’t take itself seriously – and the roles played by both Chris Evans (as the goofy singing telegram nerd) and Jason Patric (as the over-the-top silly James Bond villain rip-off) remind us of that. You’re either going to like what these guys are doing with their characters or you won’t. I found them to be pretty funny.

The Losers is The A-Team light… not in terms of violence but in terms of scale. They don’t drop a tank out of a crashing jet, but they do blow up a Hummer or two with gallons and gallons of gasoline. And I had a blast, if you’ll pardon the pun.

What I didn’t: Well, let’s face it. The story isn’t that great. I haven’t read the original comic series, so I can’t speak on it as an adaptation. But there are so many soldier and mercenary cliches that it makes my teeth hurt. Plus, all the twists are pretty predictable, which I why I say don’t go in expecting much of a plot.

Then there’s this really bad CGI airbrush of a Zoe Saldana nip slip. It’s shameful… either show the boobie or do a better ink-and-paint job.

Who is gonna like this movie: The A-Team crowd who wants a quick mid-April fix.

Grade: B


Studio: CBS Films

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including references, some crude material and language

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen, Noureen DeWulf and Donal Logue

Directed by: Alan Poul

What it’s about: Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) is a woman entering middle age who desperately wants to have a baby, so she gets artificially inseminated. Right after she becomes pregnant, she strikes up a relationship with a local goat cheese farmer. She confides in him that she’s with child, and they try to make the relationship work with the pressures of a new baby on the way.

What I liked: The popcorn I had during the movie was mighty tasty.

Wait a minute. I didn’t have any popcorn during this movie. Damn. It was a total loss.

What I didn’t: It has always been my theory that Jennifer Lopez’s success with romantic comedies has been more by chance than by actual talent. And she goes a long way to prove my point in this movie. She’s not a very good actress, and her voice is annoying if she’s not singing. Rather than being a mild hit like Monster in Law or a bona fide success like Maid in Manhattan, The Back-Up Plan feels closer to the red-headed step-child of Gigli.

The script is awful, from beginning to end and front to back. Sure, it hits all of the formula points you’re supposed to have for a rom com, but it does so with the finesse of a rejected screenplay of a C-grade writer at a community college. Look, the movie starts with a forty-year-old lady going after a goat cheese farmer. No amount of cute meets are going to make this any better.

While Lopez doesn’t have great chemistry with co-star Alex O’Loughlin, they aren’t a sizzling on-screen couple either. Lopez has never been one to carry a film, and O’Loughlin can’t support her at all.

There have been some mighty entertaining baby-makin’ movies over the past years, including Knocked Up and Baby Mama, and The Back-Up Plan desperately wants to be in this club. However, it can’t decide if it wants to be a shocking raunchy movie or a sweet love story. What results is a sometimes awkward, sometimes revolting, always wretched film that can’t even crawl.

I mean, have you seen the Super Bowl spot with the goat-bleating lesbian water birth? Truly horrifying.

Who is gonna like this movie: I can’t even begin to guess.

Grade: D-


Studio: DisneyNature

Rated: G

Starring: Pierce Brosnan

Directed by: Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud

What it’s about: To celebrate Earth Day 2010, DisneyNature has released their sophomore feature film documentary. Oceans goes under the sea to look at the many different animals that inhabit the five oceans of the world.

What I liked: If you liked last year’s venture, Earth, you’ll enjoy Oceans. It’s a brilliantly shot documentary, pulling together footage from other international productions. Nature photography has become so phenomenal in recent years with the advent of high definition digital video and high-speed photography. It’s great to see the return of these movies to the big screen.

Oceans is perfectly appropriate for kids and family viewing. It carries a G rating, though there are quite a few fish and some sea lions that become other creatures’ lunch. Though these killings are all bloodless, it does present the circle of life with sometimes unpleasant consequences.

Ultimately, Oceans is a fine way to enjoy marine life without getting wet – or getting eaten. And it brings a level of education to the entertainment experience.

What I didn’t: Oceans isn’t as cohesive of a film as Earth was, though it is still enjoyable. The only real problem I had with it was the part at the end where the narration turns to the audience and scolds us for polluting the world. This message seems to be tacked onto every nature documentary I’ve seen for decades, and I’m just getting tired of being preached to.

Though Oceans goes an ego-driven step further to praise the people who care enough to make nature documentaries like this one. It’s a bit too much of patting themselves on their backs for my tastes.

Who is gonna like this movie: Families, kids and anyone who loves nature documentaries.

Grade: A-

Want to see what Kevin had to say about these films on TV? Check out his interview on FOX…

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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