Review: "27 Dresses"

A highly predictable rom-com, "27 Dresses" manages to cover every wedding film cliche in the canon, and does so without yielding any genuine laughs. Leads Katherine Heigl and James Marsden are solid performers and share a surprisingly good chemistry, but they're the only thing of note in this otherwise bright and cheery celebration of tedium.
The failure here comes as a surprise considering scribe Alice Brosh McKenna penned 2006's "The Devil Wears Prada" and Heigl is coming off of last year's "Knocked Up" - two admittedly over hyped but nonetheless far smarter, wittier and more original romantic comedy efforts than this.

'Dresses' sticks to formula like white on rice, never straying into any new or exciting territory whatsoever, so its often lacking a pulse despite the zippy editing and frequent wardrobe changes. 'Dresses' has earned the nickname 'white-lace porn' in some circles for its unabashed adoration of the chick-flick field. The heroine is a put-upon singleton who's seen all her friends married but can't quite find the right guy. The hero is a roguishly handsome bachelor who's never been tied down yet, and despite his bravado he secretly longs for commitment.

Along the way there's lots of clothing and wedding talk, cringe-inducing drunken karaoke, and an honest mistake that separates the two before bringing them back together in a big public place with a heartfelt speech. It's tailor made to make both soon-to-wed and newlywed couples feel good, and all the rest of us single, gay, lesbian, divorced, etc. types feel ashamed for not desiring the supposed wonders of monogamy and marriage.

What does overcome the material is the cast. Heigl is smart, bright, attractive, very likable and surprisingly adept at comic timing. Despite being still a relative newcomer, she handles the weight on her shoulders like a pro but without the attitude that comes with so many young starlets. James Marsden displays his slightly goofy charisma and whilst not as engaging or unabashedly funny as he was in the recent "Enchanted", nonetheless serves his part well in spite of a touch too much smugness.

Judy Greer steals her few scenes as the typical wise-cracking friend whilst Ed Burns has a few scant lines but seems far more comfortable in this genre than the action/thriller arena he seems desperate to break into.Admittedly fans of romantic comedies aren't exactly known for demanding originality, but something this bland can only appeal to the most hardcore fan who knows what there in for and actually demands it sticks to the script - brides to be will certainly be getting this DVD out with regularity leading up to their day at the altar. I enjoy efforts in this field more than the average guy I know, but even I found it tedious and lacking both spark and wit.

It's pure guilty pleasure food - perfectly satisfying for those who are specifically after it but rather bland and unfulfilling for everyone else. Shame really, as being formulaic doesn't have to mean being so devoid of emotion or creativity.

Review: "First Sunday"

After some horrific kiddie-targeted pratfalls ("Are We There/Done Yet") and action misfires ("XXX2"), Ice Cube returns to his "Friday" roots with 'Sunday', an attempt to fuse cornball slapstick and clean church humor with a basic uplifting story of redemption.The result is a somewhat unfocused hodge podge of ideas. The story has two routinely unemployed friends, the goofy LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan) and the smarter and more strait-laced Durell (Ice Cube), robbing a local church for some quick and much needed cash. A should've been easy burglary becomes a drawn-out hostage crisis.
Themes of urban decay, community and overcoming one's lot in life get rolled around with quirky stock characters engaged in manic verbal fisticuffs with our two bumbling leads.It shouldn't work, yet somehow manages to hold together. Unlike Tyler Perry's strange fusion of soap opera style melodrama with almost cartoonish comedy, 'Sunday' feels more natural in its segways from Christian-approved family drama to lighthearted guffaws, helped by the fact that the humor remains clean and relatively positive throughout. It touches upon some real issues, even if it gives them only a quick swipe with predictable moral cliches.

The cast prove a decent lot. Tracy Morgan basically channels his "30 Rock" gift for physical humor but sadly lacks that show's great scripting to support him - getting his biggest laughs early on in a scene involving a transsexual masseuse. Cube just stands around snarling or acting indignant, but it suits him better playing the straight man opposite Jordan and Katt Williams' flamboyant choir leader.

Keith David in a small role as a judge lends a welcome air of cynicism.Still though it's often a slog to get through, especially during the drawn-out hostage crisis middle act which grinds the pace to a halt. Writer/director David E. Talbert fares well on the direction front with confidence in handling the camera, but his scripting skills leave a lot to be desired. His desire to create a family-safe, and ultimately hopeful movie is a positive one - but in doing so he relies on humorless gags, fortune cookie philosophy and cartoonish characters that zap. 'Sunday' is hardly a bad film, but like church - it's an utter bore.

Review: "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"

Aside from the minor misstep of Drillbit Taylor, Judd Apatow and Co . have been on quite a hot streak. 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad reinvigorated the "hard R" comedy genre. Sure, Walk Hard tanked at the box office, but fans still loved it.

Not only has Apatow brought back the glory days of raunchy comedies like Stripes and Slap Shot, but he's also managed to do it without major star power, launching the careers of ragtag group of relative unknowns outside of the Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared cult fanbase. By now the hype surrounding Forgetting Sarah Marshall has reached full-on fever pitch, which is a shame because few movies can ever live up to that kind of build up. Rest assured, however, if you go into this one with reasonable expectations, you should have a very, very good time at the theater.

Jason Segel is Peter Bretter, an aspiring composer working for a CSI-like TV show entitled Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime. He's been dating the show's hottie star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) for the past five years and, outside of struggling to finish his Dracula Musical, life is going pretty well.But Bretter's world comes crashing down when Sarah ends the relationship in one of the funniest break-up scenes ever committed to celluloid.

She's been having an affair with Brit rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) and grown tired of Peter's immature ways. After a brief bit of post-breakup seed spreading, Peter embarks on a trip to Hawaii in an attempt to forget his troubles. Once in paradise, he encounters his worst nightmare when he learns that Sarah Marshall is also in Hawaii with her new beau.Forgetting Sarah Marshall features a stellar ensemble that includes Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, Jack McBrayer, Paul Rudd and Bill Hader.

Nick Stoller directs and Segel does double duty as writer and star. Segel does a great job with the script, setting up a ton of nutty scenarios that allow this talented group to play off each scene in every which way. Writers rarely get credit when a movie features as much improv material as Sarah Marshall does, but I think its Segel's writing that really elevates the material and gives it such a strong foundation. There are so many quotable lines that I even found myself writing down a couple. Yes, I'm that much of a comedy nerd. The breakout role of Sarah Marshall comes from Brit export Russell Brand.

A relative unknown stateside, Brand is absolutely hysterical as Aldous Snow. Whether it is singing songs like "Inside of You" or discussing his lowly past as a drug addict willing to "rim waiters for a rock," the quick-witted, fast-talking Brand is responsible for some of the biggest laughs in the film. Add to that scores of memorable cameos, from an Aldous Snow-obsessed Jonah Hill (he and Brand make such a great comedy team that they are already co-starring in a future Apatow project) to Paul Rudd's forgetful surf instructor to Bill Hader's tough love brother-in-law to Jack McBrayer's riotous performance as a Mormon on his honeymoon discovering the many mysteries of the female anatomy. And let's not forget Segel himself, who's lowly Peter Bretter undergoes a life-changing experience during his romance with dreamgirl cool chick Rachel Jansen (Kunis).

This is the standard stuff of comedy romance and Kunis is pretty much "the girl," but they have a nice chemistry and even the romantically cynical should find themselves routing for them to get together. I've now seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall twice (which I rarely do) and while some of the shock value laughs may not have played quite as well the second time around, I still enjoyed the experience and even managed to catch a few lines I had missed before.

Granted, there are some flaws and a few jokes that fall flat, but considering the rapid-fire pace at which they're being delivered, the success rate is quite impressive.Forgetting Sarah Marshall may not be a better overall movie than Knocked Up or Superbad, but it had some of the biggest laughs I can remember this side of Something About Mary. That Apatow train keeps chugging along and I'm on board. I can't wait for Pineapple Express.

Review: "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor"

An inauspicious (hopeful) end for this unwarranted franchise, the third 'Mummy' is an even more overblown and vacuous than its two predecessors - and that's despite a notable change in tone, characters and setting which tries to paint this as a more serious Indy-esque adventure movie.It's the earnestness of Stephen Sommers original 1999 film that makes it work. Corny, stupid and way too reliant on special effects - it nevertheless never pretended to be anything other than the comedic "Indiana Jones" rip-off it was, and so came with a dumb charm helped along by a decent cast of British thesps and Brendan Fraser in full action hero mode. The limp sequel however wore out that welcome by commiting the most common mistake of all sequels - doing essentially a bigger and more effects-ridden remake of the first film. As the original was already brimming over with ideas and visuals, 'Returns' became a confusing and messy jumble, overcrowded with convenient script turns, a truly ridiculous storyline, and the inclusion of some uninteresting and poorly acted new characters.
With the latest sequel there has been some good decisions - bringing the focus back on the O'Connell family, restricting the main group of characters, changing the antagonist, and bringing in the generally more grounded albeit less coherent stylings of director Rob Cohen to replace Sommers. Unfortunately they've been outweighed by a lot of bad ones including miscasting, fumbled action sequences, flat humor, and one of the most disjointed and problematic scripts of a major movie this year.Scribes Alfred Gough and Miles Millar hit all the markers of the previous films - a prologue setting up the villain's backstory, a superpowered immortal antagonist (who can shape change this time), various mystical macguffins to lead our characters between set pieces, and requisite gags about either the bumbling Jonathan (John Hannah) or Rick sprouting tired one-liners. Yet it all seems stale, flat and inane. The main storyline is as incorporeal as its titular emperor, and is often subject to sudden and inexplicable changes of direction in order to get to the next set piece. Not helping are a tedious father-son fight/reunion subplot, a forced romance between the son and a young Asian girl, and of course the much talked about random elements thrown in for no reason - whether it be a quick side-trip to Shangri-La, or a bunch of Yetis that behave more like football linebackers than fierce beasts.The characters don't help much either. Rick O'Connell has been forced to the sidelines this time and despite Brendan Fraser's delivery not being much different from his previous works, his lines are certainly clunkier. The most visible problem is Maria Bello, the normally very reliable actress giving her weakest performance to date. Had she been a whole new character it probably would've worked better, but replacing the more comically-adept Rachel Weisz she simply doesn't suit the material and can't match the chemistry Weisz had with Fraser. It's not helped by an awkward attempt at a very posh British accent or jokes made at her expense such as her opening line.Aussie newcomer Luke Ford fares better as Alex O'Connell, but again he's miscast. Ford looks his age (26) and thus does not believably come off as Fraser's son, and he's stuck with most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the film's painfully awkward family dynamics.

The thesp, who impressed earlier this year as an autistic young man in "The Black Balloon", is reduced to mostly smirking or trying to act cocky which doesn't suit him anywhere near as much as his 'father'. Yeoh and Li lend gravitas to their scenes, but they're in so few that each is little more than a cameo. Supporting roles mostly filled by solid Asian actors like Isabella Leong and Russell Wong are cliched and awkward. Action is poorly shot and edited, never displaying any sense of geography or threat. A chase through the streets of Shanghai is confusing and all over the place, the camera never resting or slowing down.

The much anticipated fight scene between Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh displays ridiculous wirework, slow motion and blocking shots that zap any real energy from it - and that's the sole strong fight scene in the film. Cohen's camera thankfully doesn't utilise that extreme shaky close-up that already marred such films as "Hancock" this Summer, but there's a definite need for some more stable and wide angle shots to better establish the action along with a less hyper-edited style.Visual effects are abundant and work only some of the time. Volume has definitely replaced quality here, though some of the terracotta warrior army action is impressive, ditto a cartoonish but well co-ordinated avalanche sequence. Production values are impressive which makes the wasted filming of the great large-scale downtown Shanghai and Great Wall subterranean chamber sets seem almost criminal. The score is typical pounding bombast with very little in terms of memorable tones.

Those complaining that the latest "Indiana Jones" sequel proved a disappointment compared to its predecessors need only look here to see how bad 'Crystal Skull' could have been. Whereas Spielberg's film had a few clunkers, it was overflowing with ideas and was shot, edited and paced in a way that looks like a masterpiece in comparison to this. 'Emperor' is devoid of clever ideas, over-edited, confusingly shot and awkwardly paced. Its a shame as those involved (Cohen, Yeoh, Li, Bello, Ford, Fraser) have all shown they're capable of far more substantial and intriguing fare.

Rajni wants to cure the pain caused by him to the fans

The movie Kuselan’s dialogue was build around superstar Rajinikanth. But this backfired at the box office. Rajinikanth has asked director P.Vasu to cut parts of the dialogues to please his fans.
The two controversial dialogues are:
You keep on saying you will enter politics, but why are you hesitating? Rajinikanth says, I was just saying a dialogue written by a script writer, in one of my films. What can I do if you treat them as real, do you expect me to enter politics?
And the other
Why are you doing films with heroines half your age?
Both of these questions were asked by Sunderrajan to Rajini

Ajiths into experimentation again

With another remake of the Bollywood blockbuster movie Race, actor Ajith is playing a double role in the movie Aegan. It is produced by Hollywood producer Ashok Amritraj. It is know that Ajith got impressed by the storyline, where it revolves around two brothers. Will this work out for Ajith???

Aishwarya Dhanush plans to enter Kollywood soon

Daughter of Rajinikanth and the wife of Dhanush Aishwarya Dhanush is working as an assistant director of her brother-in-law Selvaraghavan. She is involved in the movie Ayirathil Oruvan. Aishwarya says it will be different from other regular movies we have seen. She is also seen as a judge in Jodi No.1 Season-3. Can we expect her soon into CIne Industry.

Top Rajnikant Facts published

* There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Rajnikant has allowed to live.
* Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Rajnikant.
* Rajnikant counted to infinity - twice.
* When Rajnikant does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.
* Rajnikant is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
* Rajnikant's hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.
* Rajnikant doesn't wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.
* Rajnikant gave Mona Lisa that smile.
* Rajnikant can slam a revolving door.
* Rajnikant does not get frostbite. Rajnikant bites frost.
* Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a Padayappa on Satellite TV
* There are no races, only countries of people Rajnikant has beaten to different shades of black and blue.
* Rajnikant's house has no doors, only walls that he walks through.
* When Rajnikant has sex with a man, it won't be because he is gay. It will be because he has run out of women.
Rajnikant doesn't actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear.
* Rajnikant can divide by zero.
* Newton's Third Law is wrong: Although it states that for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, there is no force equal in reaction to a Rajnikant turnaround kick.
* For some, the left testicle is larger than the right one. For Rajnikant, each testicle is larger than the other one.
* When taking the GRE, write "Rajnikant" for every answer. You will score over 1600.
* Rajnikant invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.
* In the beginning there was nothing…then Rajnikant kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.
* Rajnikant has 12 moons. One of those moons is the Earth.
* Rajnikant grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage.
* Archeologists unearthed an old English dictionary dating back to the year 1236. It defined "victim" as "one who has encountered Rajnikant"
* Rajnikant ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.
* If you Google search "Rajnikant getting his ass kicked" you will generate zero results. It just doesn't happen. It shows now 400+ results. Thanks to these facts.
* Rajnikant can drink an entire gallon of milk in thirty-seven seconds.
* Rajnikant doesn't bowl strikes, he just knocks down one pin and the other nine faint.
* It takes Rajnikant 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.
* The Bermuda Triangle used to be the Bermuda Square, until Rajnikant kicked one of the corners off.
* There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Rajnikant lives in Chennai.
* Rajnikant once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.
* James Cameron wanted Rajnikant to play the Terminator. However, upon reflection, he realized that would have turned his movie into a documentary, so he went with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
* Thousands of years ago Rajnikant came across a bear. It was so terrified that it fled north into the arctic. It was also so terrified that all of its decedents now have white hair.
Rajnikant makes onions cry
Rajnikant can delete the Recycle Bin.
Ghosts are actually caused by Rajnikant killing people faster than Death can process them.
Rajnikant can build a snowman….. out of rain.
Rajnikant can strangle you with a cordless phone.
Rajnikant can drown a fish.
When Rajnikant enters a room, he doesn't turn the lights on,……… …. he turns the dark off.
When Rajnikant looks in a mirror the mirror shatters, because not even glass is stupid enough to get in between Rajnikant and Rajnikant.
Brett Favre can throw a football over 50 yards.Rajnikant can throw Brett Favre even further.
The last digit of pi is Rajnikant. He is the end of all things.
Rajnikant does not know where you live, but he knows where you will die.
Bullets dodge Rajnikant.
A Handicap parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Rajnikant and that you will be handicapped if you park there.
Rajnikant's calendar goes straight from March 31st to April 2nd, no one fools Rajnikant.
If you spell Rajnikant wrong on Google it doesn't say, "Did you mean Rajnikant?" It simply replies, "Run while you still have the chance."
Rajnikant can do a wheelie on a unicycle.
Once a cobra bit Rajnikant' leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.
When Rajnikant gives you the finger, he's telling you how many seconds you have left to live.
Rajnikant can kill two stones with one bird.
Rajnikant was once on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and was the first to spin. The next 29 minutes of the show consisted of everyone standing around awkwardly, waiting for the wheel to stop.
Leading hand sanitizers claim they can kill 99.9 percent of germs. Rajnikant can kill 100 percent of whatever he wants.
There is no such thing as global warming. Rajnikant was cold, so he turned the sun up.
Rajnikant can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.
Rajnikant has a deep and abiding respect for human life… unless it gets in his way.
It takes Rajnikant 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.
Rajnikant once shot down a German fighter plane with his finger, by yelling, "Bang!"
In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Rajnikant could use to kill you, including the room itself.
Behind every successful man, there is a woman. Behind every dead man, there is Rajnikant.
Rajnikant destroyed the periodic table, because Rajnikant only recognizes the element of surprise.
Rajnikant got his drivers license at the age of 16 Seconds.
With the rising cost of gasoline, Rajnikant is beginning to worry about his drinking habit.
The square root of Rajnikant is pain. Do not try to square Rajnikant, the result is death.
When you say "no one's perfect", Rajnikant takes this as a personal insult.

 
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