Kevin Carr’s Weekly Report Card: March 12, 2010



Studio: Universal

Rated: R for violence and language

Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson and Jason Isaacs

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

What it’s about: Matt Damon plays an Army officer who is searching for weapons of mass destruction in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. When the searches come up empty, he starts his own investigation and ruffles the wrong feathers in the administration. This leads him to uncover some ugly truths and put him in the cross-hairs of his own government.

What I liked: I’m a huge fan of the Bourne films, and the last two directed by Paul Greengrass were the best ones. It’s nice to see Greengrass team up again with Matt Damon. They make a pretty powerful pair, and Greengrass really brings his badassness out.

The war scenes are gritty and powerful. Like The Hurt Locker, Green Zone puts the audience at ground zero, and we get a real sense of the war from the soldier’s eye view. These moments are where the movie shines. It’s a fantastic action movie and has some really memorable and intense scenes.

What I didn’t: Unfortunately, when all is said and done, Green Zone is a lesser film than any of the Bourne movies. Even though it’s got a relatively straightforward plot compared to those films, the movie does get lost in its own meandering. The plot shouldn’t be hard to follow, but it is at times.

And anyone who knows Greengrass’s style will be prepared for his herky-jerky hand-held camera moves. However, he really overdoes it in this movie. Even the slower dialogue scenes look like they were shot by a drunk on a pogo stick. So if you see this movie, sit in the back of the theater and not in the front row… or you’ll definitely lose your popcorn.

Finally, like many of the other less Iraq war films, there’s some politics being played with the script, and it’s really more of a “what if” story than a telling of what really happened. For the most part, Greengrass tells a straight-up action movie, but he just can’t resist making a point now and then, even if it does get a little silly.

Who is gonna like this movie: Those who like the Damon-Greengrass action flick and won’t get motion sick.

Grade: B-


Studio: Summit Entertainment

Rated: PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin and Tate Ellington

Directed by: Allen Coulter

What it’s about: Robert Pattinson wants to be taken seriously as an actor, so he now stars in this angsty twentysomething tepid drama about two young lovers in New York City who have dreadful families and find solace in each other… until… well, see the movie (or at least look at the Wikipedia page) to find out.

What I liked: Well, maybe Emilie de Ravin’s rock-hard nips in one scene. Yup, that’s… about… it.

What I didn’t: You might think that declaring Remember Me the worst film of 2010 is a bit premature, but even looking at some of the awful films of the past three months, this movie has set a new low bar. It is exactly what you’d expect from a snooty actor who wants to break out of his tween fandom and get a meatier role. Pattinson channels James Dean the way that a drag queen channels Judy Garland… sort of the same but clearly a caricature.

The characters in this film are so wretchedly screwed up that it was impossible to give them any sympathy. Pattinson as the hero is emotionally brittle, violent and sometimes downright mean. Slagging through the plot is like watching an ugly drunk at a party. It’s unpleasant to begin with, but if gone unchecked, it becomes a disaster. Each time I thought the movie had hit its lowest point, it managed to do something so egregiously stupid or ridiculous – especially the idiotic and much buzzed-about twist at the end.

This movie is so bad that it is almost worth seeing to cleanse your palate or at least set a new reference point for bad movies. Now Gigli and The Adventures of Pluto Nash don’t seem so bad.

Who is gonna like this movie: Robert Pattinson’s die-hard fans who will watch him in anything, sparkles or not.

Grade: F


Studio: DreamWorks

Rated: R for language and sexual content

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, Jasika Nicole, Lindsay Sloane, Krysten Ritter and Mike Vogel

Directed by: Jim Field Smith

What it’s about: Jay Baruchel plays a dorky guy – a solid 5 on the hotness scale – who has a chance meeting with a knock-out – a hard 10. They start dating, and he just can’t quite rationalize why she would want to be with him… and let the hilarity ensue.

What I liked: There are moments in this movie that work, and I can’t say that I didn’t laugh. The film definitely tries to be a rom-com in the wake of the Judd Apatow raunchy comedies, a raunch-rom-com if you will.

If you don’t think too hard, you should enjoy the movie, at least in passing, to a certain degree

What I didn’t: While some scenes in She’s Out of My League are funny, most of them are ripped off in one form or another from the American Pie movies. While the film gets a B for funny, it gets a D for originality.

The biggest problem with this movie is its comedy backbone. Jay Baruchel is okay, as is the rest of the cast, but none of them have the “it factor” that it takes to carry an entire film. Rather than feeling like a big release, this has the flavor of an independent comedy where the director cast his best buddies from community theater because they were the best he could do.

Who is gonna like this movie: Fans of the raunch-rom-com.

Grade: C-

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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