Archive for November, 2009

The Fourth Kind

Review – Peter Ricci – FlixCritic writer

The Fourth Kind explores the world of alien abductions. The film is the latest found footage thriller to merge “reality” with fictionalized storytelling, with Milla Jovovich as Dr. Abigail Emily Tyler. The movie takes place in the most remote locations of the world, the city of Nome, Alaska. Dr. Tyler’s truthful story which some may speculate is rather shocking yet startling in a sense. She has paid her price for all that she has gone through.  She lost her husband, her daughter, and perhaps most significantly, her sanity. The movie focuses around the truth of what happened over the course of nine days in October of 2000, there is still a great deal of speculation over whether her audio and video recordings are nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

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Old Dogs

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Old Dogs is a throwback style comedic film that is becoming more and more extinct in the modern age of comedies. The lack-luster film uses every possible aspect, from relationships between two protaganistic men, the women in their lives, views, the kids, their business behavior, their thoughts and the basic elements of each character. Some may say the film is simply filled with flaws and predictable storylines, which in some cases are true.

Thank God Travolta and Williams were a lot to breath life into a script (“Old Dogs”) that most actors would be unable to pull off. I’m not saying that only A-list actors can make a bad script good, but John Travolta and Robin Williams is such an odd pair it makes the film sort of work, even with the hair plugs. Throwing in two engaging actors, in this case John Travolta and Robin Williams, and that’s what you get, a mediocre comedy without a punch. To break it down, Travolta has really become that actor who can be just about anyone as long as he puts his mind to it, but Robin on the other hand is still quite funny, but his earlier works like “Mrs. Doubtfire” or “The Birdcage” are still this best. It seems as Robin was holding back his comic funny bone is some of the scenes where I expected him to really go for it. The best example is a scene where the two friend’s medications get mixed up when Robin’s kids accidentally spill the pills into the sink and reorganize them into the pill boxes. Travolta shinned in this as he really reenacted facial paralysis pretty accurately. Robin was funny, but not as great as he normally is in films with funny scenarios such as this.

The film gets its point across regarding the word compromise, but did I want to compromise while watching the film, NO! Instead the film delivered simplistic none throughout comic situations that two men could possible go through in life while being friend. The film touches on spontaneity when Robin’s character gets married on the spot, really? Is that even believable, no not really! There’s no inspiration behind it, only the desire to be mildly pleasing. Unfortunately there’s no truth in it, only the desire, again, to be a mildly pleasing film. “Dogs” resides in a distant suburb of good, yet mostly vague, but incontrovertibly pleasurable.

There are five or six big laughs in this movie is one the golf course with Robin, (Williams) finds out that he has a pair of fraternal twins, he married and divorced their mother (Travolta’s real life wife) over the course of 24 hours in Las Vegas eight years prior, Robin as a babysitter, Robin watching his son in a public bathroom trying to have a conversation and the funeral scene with Kelly Preston. Then finally, Seth Green and singing to the Gorilla in the Zoo and doing Karaoke in Japan when sent on assignment.

So why does Williams look so depressed in this movie, playing a man who finds out he has two nice kids by a beautiful woman? Really, it was driving me crazy, because it kept looking like Williams was saying in his mind, “Why am I Doing This movie?” Travolta is more cheerful, and has some of the better comic moments, but he also has the most excruciating scenes, in which he has to regale potential clients with funny stories.

Now the shocker is the late Bernie Mac was in the film and man can I just say it’s sad that he’s no longer with us, because Bernie shinned in the small role given to him. Funny how they never tell you he’s even in the film or give him honorable mention saying Bernie’s last on-screen moment. It was weird actually, because once you see Bernie in the film you automatically think of all the loss and tragedy these four people have gone through in the real lives. Bernie has past away last year, Williams’ recent heart surgery, and the fact that Travolta and Preston lost a son in January was a lot to think about and oh yeah I was watching a comedy. It’s just not a good mixture. My final note about Old Dogs is the metaphor of Travolta losing his best friend in the movie and having an epiphany about life and its meaning. I’m just glad they cut the original scenes with Travolta; it was a little too much and completely took away from the film. This version helps to keep the pace and move forward with the overall simplistic throwback style storyline.

  • Director: Walt Becker
  • Producer: Garrett Grant, Andrew Panay, Peter Abrams
  • Stars: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Ella Blue Travolta, Lori Loughlin
  • Genres: Comedy and Kids/Family
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studios: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Recommendation: “Old Dogs” is a semi-funny film  without the punch. It’s nowhere near “Wild Hogs” a much better story line, but if you like simple pleasures in a film then “Old Dogs” has its moment and gets its point across: C

See what the critics are saying around the Nation:                   Overall Rating: D

Boston Globe – Ty Burr – A pitiful family comedy…” more..

Chicago Tribune – Matt Pais – “A great opportunity to gather family members you clearly think are stupid.” more…

New York Post Kyle Smith – “Old Dogs does to the screen what old dogs do to the carpet. It’s unfortunate that only the latter can be taken out and shot.” more…

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The Road

Review – Peter Ricci – FlixCritic writer

The movie “The Road” is remarkably good, but yet rather dark in the grim imagery of a post apocalyptic future where America has been devastated. It’s a rather straightforward blunt in your face movie where habitations have been destroyed or abandoned, vegetation is dying, crops have failed, and the infrastructure of civilization has disappeared. It’s a recent memory that even the young boy remembers a time when the world was a healthy place to live and grow up. There is no reason why the world has turned savage and destroyed, maybe global green house affect perhaps, but the point is made and it is powerful, but the film lacks the some basic core of emotional feeling. The dialogue is somewhat restrained and less baroque than usual for author, Cormac McCarthy.

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Ninja Assasins

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

If you love Ninja’s, karate, and the ancient art of the mystical and mysterious life behind the life of a ninja then this movie is it, well patricianly. What we really mean to say is the film is straight up action, blood, guts and gore with a minimal storyline. The film drenched with repetitive action sequences, CGI blood splatters and a sexy ninja then this movie is it. Assassins is geared for the dudes, the guys who are still in high school, into karate, numb-chucks, flying daggers, knives on chains and warrior combat.

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SPOILER: Twilight: Eclipse – Count down to Eclipse!

Peter RicciFlix|Critic

The next installment of Twilight is “Eclipse,” which hits theaters on June 30, 2010. Bella (Kristen Stewart) finds herself in danger yet again when Seattle is ravaged by several mysterious killings and a malicious vampire are out for revenge.

Bella must also choose between her love for Edward (Robert Pattinson) and her friendship with Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Like every decision comes consequences and her decision will cause an ageless struggle between the vampire and werewolf. Bella graduation day  is quickly approaching and she’s confronted with the biggest and most important decision of her life. Mortality or immortality? But that’s not the only problem as the film has come to a snag in the script.

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SPOILER: Iron Man 2: War Machine – Prelude To What’s To Come In

Peter Ricci – FlixCritic writer

The inside scoop on the controversy over Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle. The recasting of Terrence and the reason’s behind the drama is now unfolding. Yahoo News Movie Talk reports, In a much-publicized contract dispute, Terrence Howard was dropped from the sequel and replaced by actor Don Cheadle. While the exact details of why Marvel Studios made the switch, Entertainment Weekly reported that Howard’s original contract made him the highest-paid actor in the first film, and when the producers tried to scale back his paycheck for the sequel, Howard’s representatives balked. Cheadle told IGN that he was approached for the role after Howard had already left the project, and he only had a few hours to decide if he wanted to step in.

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FLIXCRITIC REVIEW: 11/27/09 staring Korean pop-star Rain in Ninja Assasins:

Review – Peter Ricci – FlixCritic writer

If you love Ninja’s, karate, and the ancient art of the mystical and mysterious life behind the life of a ninja then this movie is it, well patricianly. What we really mean to say is the film is straight up action, blood, guts and gore with a minimal storyline. The film drenched with repetitive action sequences, CGI blood splatters and a sexy ninja then this movie is it. Assassins is geared for the dudes, the guys who are still in high school, into karate, numb-chucks, flying daggers, knives on chains and warrior combat.

I haven’t seen this much blood since last years, “My Bloody Valentine.” It’s your basic splatter film, but I don’t think the movie would have sold well as that. It’s gritty, raw and extremely graphic when it comes to the multiple killing scenes. Continue reading review