"Sex and the City"
** (out of four)
It's only fair to gauge the movie in a relatively objective manner, just as a female film critic would be obligated to take a balanced look at a movie revolving around, say, barbeque and strip clubs. So the central question becomes: Will fans of the series be satisfied? The answer, I think, is yes. I've only seen about a dozen episodes from the show's seven-year run (not of my own volition), but I'm familiar enough with it to say with some degree of authority that the movie is pretty much more of the same. Whether or not that's a good thing is up to you to decide.
"Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
Clearly, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was never going to be another "Raiders of the Lost Ark." That was a one-time phenomenon in which all the elements came together perfectly to create the ultimate adventure film - a feat that has not been equaled since, and will probably never be surpassed. It's also no "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," which some viewers loathed for its darker, "nasty" tone but I adored for its boldness and rapid-fire action. This one is more on par with "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," which had its share of pacing issues but nevertheless earned the right to stand tall beside its predecessors.
Despite its straight-forward nature and lack of daring, "Iron Man" delivers on a level that not even the most fervent and blindly optimistic comic book geek could have anticipated. Favreau may lack the ingenuity of directors like Sam Raimi (the "Spider-Man" trilogy) and especially Christopher Nolan ("Batman Begins"), but what he lack in originality he more than makes up for in old-fashioned storytelling savvy. His "Iron Man" is lean and proficient, and hits all the right notes in bringing this long-awaited project to the big screen.
Movies are reviewed by News-Sentinel movie reviewer Jason Wallis every Saturday.