Rodrigo Santoro

laststand19

As written, The Last Stand is not an interesting movie. It’s a simple modern-day western as action flick with dialogue that’s nearly 100% expositional and a plot that offers nothing in the way of surprise, suspense or subtlety. It could really have been made at any time and starred any major or minor actor and been roughly the same as what we’re looking at this weekend with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the leading role. But The Last Stand is arriving now and indeed with Schwarzenegger’s name on the top of the marquee, his first starring vehicle in ten years. That makes the movie of note all by itself, in such a way that it might as well be actually titled “The Return of Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Or “Arnold is Back,” although this would imply that it’s an opportunity for winking bits of self-awareness. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of silly references to the Arnie classics and signature lines. He thankfully got the obvious “I’m back” shtick out of his system in last year’s The Expendables 2.

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Pregnancy and childbirth are nothing new. In fact, there are few things less new than humans reproducing. It’s been done before. But Kirk Jones’ What to Expect When You’re Expecting accurately captures the inherent selfishness of expecting parents,and their individual “journeys” to the delivery room (and beyond). Unfortunately, even when gifted with a large, mostly eager cast, Jones is also saddled with a script from Shauna Cross and Heather Hach (working off of Heidi Murkoff‘s guidebook of the same name) that is deeply uninterested in providing much variety in their work. The effect is simple one – the film itself is deeply uninteresting. While What to Expect continually reminds its viewers that pregnancy and childbirth are miracles, unique and thrilling gifts, Cross and Hach have concocted one of the most bland, basic, and unadventurous scripts in recent memory.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a fabulous blue feather outfit and takes a trip to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. There, he runs into a couple blue macaws trying to escape exotic bird smuggles, but he’s too busy getting his freak on to help out. Later, he comes back to the states to visit the quaint town of Woodsboro, only this time he’s traded in his fabulous blue feather outfit for a long, black cloak and a “ghost face” mask. After making some calls to random twentysomething girls who are supposed to be teenagers and asking them what their favorite scary movies are, he spent a night in the hospital from a stab wound to the face. Oh, the humanity!

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr thumbs his nose at the major studio releases like The Warrior’s Way and The Nutcracker in 3D. Not only do they look like direct-to-DVD releases at best and stinkers of the year at worst, the studios didn’t let him see any of them. So he turns his sights on some award-bait films in limited release: Black Swan and I Love You, Phillip Morris.

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iloveyouphillipmorris-1

Telling the ridiculous, but true story of a man’s journey from married Texas cop to flamboyantly gay prison escape artist wouldn’t be an easy one. But as it turns out, the two man writer/director team behind I Love You Phillip Morris has pulled it off in a way that would make proud the brothers Farrelly and Coen.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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