Cinema-Scene.com > Volume 5 > Number 39

e-mail

Cinema-Scene.com
Volume 5, Number 39

This Week's Reviews:  NONE.

This Week's Omissions:  Duplex, I Capture the Castle, Lost in Translation, Luther, The Rundown, Under the Tuscan Sun.

Capsule Reviews:  American Wedding, Daddy Day Care, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Dumb and Dumberer:  When Harry Met Lloyd, Freddy vs. Jason, Jeepers Creepers II, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider -- The Cradle of Life, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, The Lizzie Maguire Movie, The Medallion, My Boss's Daughter, The Order, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, What a Girl Wants, Wrong Turn.


 

American Wedding

As one of the few people who sees no charm in either of the American Pie films, it should come as no surprise that American Wedding, a film that attempts to up the offensive nature of the previous two (especially in the elevation of the popular Stifler character) receives a pan from me. There are a couple of earned laughs here and there (usually, as has been the case in all these films, in then hands of Eugene Levy, as well as Fred Willard and Strangers with Candy actress Deborah Rush), but nothing to merit its existence.

Director:
Jesse Dylan

Starring:
Jason Biggs
Seann William Scott
Alyson Hannigan
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Thomas Ian Nicholas

Release: 1 Aug. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Daddy Day Care

Eddie Murphy is in dire need of a hit, but Daddy Day Care, regardless of what profits it may make, isnít the aesthetic hit he needs. Sure, thereís a cuteness to much of the kids, but the flimsy writing and the castration of one of the Ď80ís funniest and most abrasive comedians comes as a step backwards. His last great film remains Bowfinger, and even that has become more of a lasting memory of Steve Martinís artistry than that of Murphy.

Director:
Steve Carr

Starring:
Eddie Murphy
Jeff Garlin
Steve Zahn
Regina King
Kevin Nealon

Release: 9 May 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

There are moments of charming humility in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star that hit on something Iíve been saying for some time, which is that David Spade is an accomplished comedian who seems to only get bad scripts. Most of the film is on par with his usual output, but there are the occasional nuggets that harken back to his finer days on Saturday Night Live and Just Shoot Me.  Another pleasure is the barrage of cameos from child stars throughout the film, including an odd but somewhat enjoyable closing credits song.

Director:
Sam Weisman

Starring:
David Spade
Mary McCormack
Scott Terra
Jenna Boyd
Craig Bierko

Release: 5 Sep. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

In the pantheon of sequels the world had no desire to ever see, Dumb and Dumber, an underrated gem from the early years of the Farrelly brothers, gets the latest reincarnation. With no original cast members and the director/writer team unaffiliated with the production, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd becomes exactly what one might expect: a complete and utter waste of time.

Director:
Troy Miller

Starring:
Eric Christian Olsen
Derek Richardson
Rachel Nichols
Cheri Oteri
Luis GuzmŠn

Release: 13 Jun. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Freddy vs. Jason

There are the occasionally good Nightmare on Elm Street films, but nothing of worth has ever come out of the Friday the 13ths, which continues into the long awaited (and dreaded) merge of the two franchises. Little more than boring extended battle scenes between the two, framed by the killing of teenagers who usually deserve their demises, Freddy vs. Jason is one of the yearís worst films.

Director:
Ronny Yu

Starring:
Robert Englund
Ken Kirzinger
Monica Keena
Kelly Rowland
Jason Ritter

Release: 15 Aug. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Jeepers Creepers II

Although my understanding of the mythology behind the first Jeepers Creepers runs counter to what happens in Jeepers Creepers II, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe a little discontinuity would be okay if it generated some scares or had something to add to the horror genre. It didnít. I felt betrayed. Damn you, Victor Salva, and your crazy pederast ways.

Director:
Victor Salva

Starring:
Ray Wise
Jonathan Breck
Garikayi Mutambirwa
Eric Nenninger
Nicki Lynn Aycox

Release: 29 Aug. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider -- The Cradle of Life

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one of the most dumbed down action films of 2001 gets the sequel treatment (that everything is getting this year), turns out to be one of the few that actually works better than the original, if only slightly. That said, the bar was set pretty low by Simon Westís horrid original film, meaning that Jan de Bant, while getting the pace a little better, finds himself slacking off in the pleasures of being Judasí son.

Director:
Jan de Bont

Starring:
Angelina Jolie
Gerard Butler
CiarŠn Hinds
Chris Barrie
Noah Taylor

Release: 25 Jul. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde

The charm of Legally Blonde is dulled in its sequel, one of the many to mar this yearís Summer release schedule. Reese Witherspoon hasnít changed, but the writing has, losing a lovable, affable freshness to move into unfunny, forced farce. Its cookie-cutter realization of Washington politics is counterproductive, turning the film into the greatest advertisement for the Green Party, and its rock-the-boat ways, since its inception.

Director:
Charles Herman-Wurmfield

Starring:
Reese Witherspoon
Sally Field
Regina King
Jennifer Coolidge

Release: 2 Jul. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
The Lizzie Maguire Movie

The yearís other teenage-girl-goes-to-Europe-falls-in-love-finds-herself movie couldnít be more of a reflection of the unneeded simplicity and hug-worthy dťjŗ vu of American centrism found in What a Girl Wants. The best that can be said for The Lizzie Maguire Movie is that it at least refrains from getting over its head in British politics, instead focusing on postcard versions of Rome.  Also, it's weird watching a family film from Jim Fall, the director of a film about two gay men attempting to get around Manhattan to have sex.

Director:
Jim Fall

Starring:
Hilary Duff
Adam Lamberg
Hallie Todd
Robert Carradine
Jake Thomas

Release: 2 May 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
The Medallion

The downward trajectory of Jackie Chanís career is facilitated by the fact that he doesnít do his own stunts any more, relying on camera tricks and CGI to lift-and-tuck his aging body. Paired with Claire Forlani (woe is the Next Big Thing actress after a disappointing debut), The Medallion piddles around trying to find a point, but never finding it. As a side note, this is the worst score I have ever heard in a Hollywood film, and Iím not trying for hyperbole.

Director:
Gordon Chan

Starring:
Jackie Chan
Claire Forlani
Lee Evans
Julian Sands
John Rhys-Davies

Release: 22 Aug. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
My Boss's Daughter

My Bossís Daughter sat on the shelf for nearly two years because no one knew what to do with it. Having now seen it, I can safely say that it was doing better while accumulating dust. Released on the sudden and unexplainable popularity of star Ashton Kutcher, the film is ultimately a realization that Terence Stamp, regardless of the great performances he has given in the past, will never be fully respected by Hollywood and given anything unworthy of his participation.

Director:
David Zucker

Starring:
Ashton Kutcher
Tara Reid
Terrence Stamp
Molly Shannon
Jon Abrahams

Release: 23 Aug. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
The Order

Tedious and nonsensical, The Order comes from a spiritual horror genre that hasnít been a workable since The Exorcist (with such ugly later incarnations as Lost Souls and End of Days). Heath Ledger plays the least likely priest since Sean Penn donned a collar in Weíre No Angels, though his acting is worse (Penn, albeit a great dramatic actor, hit an all-time low with that film). The special effects come at the most inopportune time, as does the plot, or at least what little there is of one.

Director:
Brian Helgeland

Starring:
Heath Ledger
Shannyn Sossamon
Benno FŁrmann
Mark Addy
Peter Weller

Release: 6 Sep. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

DreamWorks turns in its animated film for the year with a loud thud. Recognizing a slacking design when they see it, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas becomes the most unmistakably anonymous animated film since Fox release their remake of The King and I. Certainly, Sinbad doesnít deserve such ill-attention from its distributor, but it seems more like a distraction for a studio preparing for their Shrek sequel, taking no interest in crafting much of a film for their median animated films.

Director:
Patrick Gilmore
Tim Johnson

Starring:
Brad Pitt
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Michelle Pfeiffer
Damien Ferrette

Release: 2 Jul. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
What a Girl Wants

The illegitimate children of populist Liberal politicians in England now have a Yank DIY guide on getting into the best parties thrown by children of British House of Lords members. Colin Firth, as the office seeking paterfamilias, isnít especially grating in a film that is. The moral of the story is being yourself in the face of uppity Europeans and a father who wants to hide you away is the epitome of patriotis. This is all fine until the film digresses into a Nickelodeon skit gone horribly awry, turning into a boring extended episode of All That.

Director:
Dennie Gordon

Starring:
Amanda Bynes
Colin Firth
Kelly Preston
Eileen Atkins
Anna Chancellor

Release: 4 Apr. 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003
Wrong Turn

Inbred West Virginia hillbillies go Tobe Hooper on some unsuspecting college kids. When played against Cabin Fever, the Eli Roth filmís genre achievements become clear, and the overwhelmingly stupid theatrics, mostly built on gore, of Wrong Turn remain unmistakably amateurish. The scariest thing to be found in this pointless horror film is that its director, Rob Schmidt, has less prowess as a genre filmmaker in his third film than Eli Roth did in his first.

Director:
Rob Schmidt

Starring:
Eliza Dushku
Emmanuelle Chriqui
Jeremy Sisto
Kevin Zegers
Desmond Harrington

Release: 31 May 03
IMDb

VIDEO/DVD/CD
©2003, David Perry, Cinema-Scene.com, 26 September 2003



Reviews by:
David Perry
©2003, Cinema-Scene.com

http://www.cinema-scene.com