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THE BOUNTY HUNTER

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence

Starring: Gerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Christine Baranski, Jason Sudeikis and Natalie Morales

Directed by: Andy Tennant

What it’s about: Gerard Butler plays a bounty hunter who gets a warrant for his ex-wife, played by Jennifer Aniston. He gladly takes the job, and the two get caught up in a dangerous web of police corruption, gangsters and murder. Oh, and he has a big gambling debt. Oh, and there are closet homosexual thugs chasing him. Oh, and they honeymooned at a bed and breakfast outside of Atlantic City… and a whole bunch of other random crap.

What I liked: can’t say that The Bounty Hunter is the worst film of 2010, but it is in the running. Still, in the tradition I learned at summer camp to compliment as well as criticize, I can find some positives.

First, while I’m not a fan of Jennifer Aniston, I did appreciate the all-too-obvious costume choices that accentuated her breasts. And Gerard Butler was funny at times… I guess.

What I didn’t: It all boils down to the script. This movie was so half-baked, you could feel the squishy insides. It reeks of studio meddling and bad writing from an amateur fresh from a Robert McKee class. All kinds of shit it thrown at the wall – compulsive gambling, goofy stalkers, killers with no tattoos who run a tattoo parlor – and nothing seems to stick.

In a better movie, it’d be the chemistry between the co-stars that would save the day. Unfortunately, there is none between Aniston and Butler. Sure, he’s proved in the past that he can perform the acting equivalent of bouncing a deflated basketball against a Select Comfort mattress when he worked with Katherine Heigl in The Ugly Truth, but it’s getting to be an old schtick.

Sigh… If ever there were proof that Aniston is a TV star rather than a movie star, this is it.

Who is gonna like this movie: Ummm… I’m still thinking about an answer to this one.

Grade: D+

REPO MEN

Studio: Universal

Rated: R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity

Starring: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Joe Pingue and Liev Schreiber

Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik

What it’s about: It’s Repo!: The Genetic Opera without the Nine Inch Nail music video look and pretentious production numbers that take themselves too seriously.

What I liked: I like a good speculative fiction piece, and there was a lot of potential with Repo Men. There was also a lot of potential for gore and violence. And plenty of potential for Forrest Whitaker’s lazy eye to haunt my dreams… but I digress.

The concept of Repo Men is sound, and the cast is pretty solid. They do the best with what they’re given, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t pause while passing by this movie late at night on HBO. While it abandons most of its speculative fiction pizzazz for unimaginative moments, it’s not awful to watch.

And as rock-stupid as the movie becomes in the third act, the ending does redeem itself a little bit… a little.

What I didn’t: It’s not that I was disappointed with Repo Men but rather than I was saddened at a missed opportunity. The plot doesn’t make much sense in its own context. Is it an alternate reality? A not-too-distant future? I never quite figured that one out. After all, we’re nowhere near developing an infection-resistant artificial pancreas, but the characters are driving 2010 model Smart Cars, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Repo Men falls into the trap that many a modern sci-fi film does… it has a pretty good start but deteriorates when it becomes a fugitive-on-the-run story. We saw that with everything from Demolition Man to Surrogates, and it really is getting old.

Who is gonna like this movie: People who like speculative fiction that isn’t all that speculative.

Grade: C-

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

Studio: Fox

Rated: PG for some rude humor and language

Starring: Chloe Moretz, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick and Zachary Gordon

Directed by: Thor Freudenthal

What it’s about: : A kid enters middle school, chronicling the shenanigans there and at home in his diary… er… journal.

What I might like: Because the studio did not screen this film in my market, I have to guess on this one. My kids are crazy excited about this film, as they have read all the books in the best-selling series. I will admit that I am intrigued by the trailers to this movie. There seems to be a rustic and weird sense of humor with the kids. And when a ginger kid showing off his wayward freckle with a hair growing out of it is a more compelling box office attraction than two hours of Jennifer Aniston’s boobs, my interest is piqued.

What I might not: This is a kids’ movie, after all, and I haven’t read the books myself. A best-selling book does not mean a great movie, which was proved by the first Twilight movie. After all, I remember when How to Eat Fried Worms got made into a movie, and it wasn’t nearly as clever or even that reminiscent of the original story. Kids movies have blown hot and cold recently. For every Fantastic Mr. Fox or Coraline, there’s an Old Dogs or Planet 51.

Who is gonna like this movie: Kids in early grade school.

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


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