Jim Carrey: Great actor, or greatest actor?
Jim Carrey stars in “I Love You Phillip Morris.”
- Film Roundup
★★★ (out of four)
This is exactly what Dwayne Johnson needed. After years of
ignoring his true calling as a badass action star, preferring
instead to parade around in tutus in a bizarre attempt to establish
himself as a “family-friendly” nice-guy talent, the actor once
known as The Rock has finally flung himself full-force into
The bare-bones story of a man out for revenge against the
criminals who murdered his brother, “Faster” delivers some
decidedly nasty thrills and puts Johnson’s larger-than-life image
center stage. It’s a choice role in a good film, but unfortunately,
Johnson is forced to share too much screen time with other, less
compelling characters. The film is solid as it stands, but if
Johnson had the stage to himself, there’s no telling how
bone-crunchingly awesome this thing could have been.
“HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS:
Warner Bros. has been taking some flack these past few years as
their Harry Potter film series took a nose-dive in terms of
creativity and overall effectiveness, and the harsh criticisms are
not without cause. After Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell each left
the series after just one (successful) installment, the studio
turned to the well-respected British filmmaker to close out the
final three chapters, and the results have been uneven.
Sure, the movies still rake in obscene amounts of cash all over
the globe, but from an artistic standpoint, the consensus seems to
be that Yates took a once-vibrant series and ran it into the ground
— perhaps as a result of his own willingness to let the studio
heads call all the shots. Though marginally entertaining, “Order of
the Phoenix” and “The Half-Blood Prince” both suffered enormously
from flat, truncated screenplays that never allowed any breathing
room for these characters or their story.
From “The A-Team” to “Salt,” the season’s films have highlighted
the inability of most directors to creatively and effectively
document movement on screen. The nuances of kinetics appear to be
completely lost on these people, to the extent that their action
sequences are not only unimpressive — they’re genuinely
confounding, largely due to hyper-stylized editing and overly busy
- New Films
Director: Paul Weitz.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Teri Polo.
The plot: The Focker and the Byrnes families brace themselves
for the arrival of a baby.
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen.
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon.
The plot: A young girl recruits a tough U.S. Marshall to track
down the man who killed her father.
Genre: Drama, Western.
Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010 10:10 am
So … yeah. I don’t even know anymore, guys. This time of year is
supposed to serve as vindication for the legions of cinephiles who
happily suffered the slings and arrows of months past, confident
that their patience would be rewarded in the form of awesome fall
movies. Instead, in wide release, the best we’ve gotten lately is
“Unstoppable,” “Faster” and the new “Harry Potter” — and as much as
I enjoyed them in a relative sense, this isn’t exactly what I was
looking forward to for all those desolate months.
Sacramento hasn’t been much help, and consequently most movies
worth seeing aren’t playing outside San Francisco. Hopefully that
will slowly but surely change as the hyped limited-release titles
continue to expand (this week’s pick has finally made its way from
S.F. to Sac), but frankly, I’m running low on hope.
Friday, December 17, 2010 10:10 am.