‘Larry Crowne’ proves that Hanks should stay in front of the camera
Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks star in “Larry Crowne.”
- “Larry Crowne”
★ (out of four)
Dir. Tom Hanks, U.S., PG-13
- New films
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part
Director: David Yates.
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson.
The plot: The end begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to
Hogwarts to find and destroy the final horcruxes. But when
Voldemort finds out about their mission, the battle we’ve all known
has been coming — Harry vs. Voldemort — looms large on the horizon.
And who will triumph?
Genre: Action, adventure.
“Winnie the Pooh”
Director: Stephen J Anderson, Don Hall.
Starring: Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson.
The plot: While out looking for some honey, Winnie the Pooh is
pulled into a quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary
Genre: Animation, family.
- Film roundup
★★★ (out of four)
Until now, Pixar was never in the sequel business — save for the
“Toy Story” films, which proved that with the right cast and crew,
animated follow-ups could be much more than a cash cow. But with
the release of “Cars 2,” and announced sequels to “Monsters, Inc.”
and “The Incredibles” (with a fourth “Toy Story” entry rumored), it
is clear that the studio is now embracing the idea with gusto. This
decision has caused a fair amount of controversy, as Pixar has
always been rightly viewed as a haven for creativity and
originality — words that aren’t exactly synonymous with
★★ 1/2 (out of four)
Here is a film that is fashioned from the Spielberg model, from
the themes of childhood innocence right down to the director’s
trademark photography techniques. Director J.J. Abrams (the
television power player who has attempted to make the leap to the
big screen, with limited success, with “Mission: Impossible III”
and “Star Trek”) has aped Steven Spielberg so well that, sans
credits, one could conceivably mistake “Super 8” as being directed
by the master himself — that is, if you’re only looking at the
‘X-MEN: FIRST CLASS’
Matthew Vaughn is no Christopher Nolan, and “X-Men: First Class”
is no “Dark Knight.” Vaughn does not completely reinvent the genre
here, nor does he dabble in philosophy and subversive themes, as
Nolan does. Vaughn plays things relatively straight (a little
homosexual subtext notwithstanding), but he assembles his
old-fashioned picture with deft precision and confidence. Nolan
wrote the book on how to completely retool a franchise from the
ground up, but Vaughn deserves his own accolades for providing a
template for how to resurrect a good-as-dead film series while
still remaining true to the predecessors’ tone and overall
‘THE HANGOVER PART II’
I went into “The Hangover Part II” with the understanding that I
would be witnessing a cynical act of studio-sanctioned pandering,
and that’s exactly what I got. Yet, since I was going in with
lowered expectations, I was able to let my guard down and
appreciate this crass cash-grab on its own limited terms. And, lo
and behold, I had a good time. I suppose the importance of
creativity is diminished when one is faced with the prospect of a
drug-dealing capuchin monkey riding a motorcycle. Or a heterosexual
man being seduced by a Thai lady-boy, or any number of the other
lewd gags the film lays out with record speed.
Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011 9:10 am
Sometimes — not often, but sometimes — I see a movie so
completely worthless that I wish I could dispense with a full
review and simply say something like, “‘Larry Crowne’ should be
avoided on the grounds that it is stupid, and also Julia Roberts is
a hag.’” It’s simple, succinct and tells you everything you need to
That’s part of the reason I don’t like reviewing bad films:
They’ve already wasted two hours of my time, so why should they
waste another hour, plus five of yours, after it’s already been
established that said film is a complete waste of time? Think about
Friday, July 8, 2011 9:10 am.