Archive for December, 2009

Nine

Review – Peter Ricci – FlixCritic writer

Nine may not be the best musical to hit the silver screen – but it’s NOT the worst. It has its moments of enchantment and electrifying moments. However, the problem doesn’t lie in the musical aspect of the film, it lies in the basic storyline, which is surface and shallow. Some of Guido’s woman are miniscule approached upon and not defined; you have no idea who they were to him except a vision of his past unexplained. It’s frankly shocking that a musical on this caliber drops the ball and comes off rather flat. I had to think about how much I really liked the film and how much did it really dazzle me. I have to be honest and if you subtract the storyline and only have the musical numbers I have to give the movie and average rating as it seems to have lost the quintessence of the film from stage to screen. You would expect more from a star-studded cast such as this one, plus they added the legendary (Sophia Lauren) his affectionate mother, who has all of three lines and a song, I would have like a little more from that as well.

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Sherlock Holmes

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Let’s just start off like this – Thank God for Guy Ritchie and he’s adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. It’s about time we see a new non-boring Sherlock who is quick-witted, fast, tough, and somewhat of a closet homosexual as written. Yes Sherlock has a taste for Watson’s goodies, but it’s more like a jealousy or fear of losing him to a woman in the film. Holmes is also a slob, and druggy, but they don’t hit on it as hard as in other films, which I was pleased. We all know who Sherlock Holmes is and if NOT – I suggest try reading a book and learn.

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It’s Complicated

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

It’s complicated is everything you would expect from Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. The movie is hysterically funny from start to finish. It’s exactly what Meryl Streep fans desire of her – something funny, wicked, clever and something wonderful. Streep delivers once again. This is why she’s and Oscar winner, because there is nothing Meryl cannot do, she electrifies the screen, dazzles audiences and fills our hearts with cheer and hope. Bringing us to the premise of the film, woman loses husband to younger woman – husband realizes he lost a good thing once ex-wife gets her life in order and wants her back – woman cheats with ex-husband for benefits and so on…. It’s Nancy Meyers’ niche’, she is familiar with this type of writing and film style so why not – a amiable, self-regarding, fitfully charming fairy-tale luck of middle-aged women wealthy enough to maintain a delightful standard of living after a divorce. You know the movie wouldn’t work if she were broke.

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Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Well there is not much to say about these three little guys except don’t expect much from this film and you’ll completely enjoy it. It for the kiddies, so mom and dad’s be ready to take your little ones to the theater, get a bucket of popcorn and sit back for the next eighty eight minutes of kiddies fun.  “Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel” is exactly what you expect – not much and OMG this cost me how much to see it? Even Jason Lee the lead to the movie and box office draw took an old approach like back in the day when Anthony Edwards/”Revenge of the Nerds II” did the – I’ll be in the movie, but only in a few scenes and on the phone, I have better movies to do. The movie starts at the top when Dave (Jason Lee) gets injured so his participation in the film is limited from that point on, making the movie straight up for the kids. Talk about an easy check for Jason.

Therefore, Survivors of the first “Alvin” may not be as enlightened by this slapstick, flatulent joke fueled film. It’s very unimaginative for the adults and how many times does one think testicle bashing is funny, this is not America’s Funniest Home Movies. Other non-surprising or shall we say lack-luster scenes of the film is the pop culture category where the chipmunks reference  “Silence of the Lambs” and “Taxi Driver.” We just have to ask why was this film made.

But for entertainment’s mature audiences, this movie has four things going for it: It’s cute at times, the song selection is decent, David Cross has two or three funny scenes, and it’s only 88 minutes long. Maybe you could sit home instead and watch Al Pacino’s Tragic & predictable thriller “88 Minutes” instead. It’s like needles in your eye and hey you didn’t have to leave home to feel the pain.

As the year comes to an end so does the choice for worst film of the year. At this point Did You Hear About The Morgan’s?,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel” and “ “All About Steve” are neck and neck who will win. We are still working it out.

Recommendation: It;s family enjoyment fro the kids – if you like slap-stick comedy then Alvin and the gang is a cute additive to your holiday season: D+

See what the critics are saying around the Nation:                   Overall Rating: C-

Boston Globe – Ty Burr -“Little kids will love it. You’ll need a hazmat suit.” more…

New York Times – Neil Genzlinger – “The earlier Alvin movie made more than $217 million just in the United States. It’s hard to imagine this somewhat confused sequel doing as well.” more…

USA Today – Claudia Puig – “For anyone over age 8, the arrival of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel may not be the most welcome news.” more…

Avatar

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Where do I start about one of the most extraordinary films made this year? I was immaculate. The script tight, the acting on point the visuals stunning and the in or out of 3-D the movie is the bomb. I loved it from start to finish. I was and will probably be that pinnacle film for Director James Cameron. He has really outdone himself with this $400 Million dollar to make movie. There is nothing to say but to bow my head at a remarkable and electrifying film. It was great to have that action and intrigue of “Alien 2,” especially with one of my favorite actresses (Sigourney Weaver) as Dr. Grace Augustine, the lead scientist of the “avatar” project, a process that combines human and alien DNA into an interactive “being” that looks like the planet’s native Na’Vi, but is completely controllable by the host.  Then to even increase the stakes James added (Michelle Rodriguez) one of the hottest edgy chicks on the silver screen, she brings you that boyish charm in every movie, from “Fast & Furious,” “Resident Evil” and now “Avatar,” Michelle is the shit.

The movie falls on one basic premise to conquer and invade an already living planet that doesn’t want us there in the first place. Does this sound familiar? Kind of like us presently fighting battles and war with other countries on our own planet. Makes you think will the human race ever learn. Probably NOT!  Anyways, Avatar has some key elements that make the movie so enchanting, for insistence there is Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), a handicapped marine desperate to walk again.  Jake and Dr. Grace don’t meet eye to eye in the beginning of the film, but their characters grow and come together in a well-written way. But in all films there is a villain and this one is head of security Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) asks him to spy for his corporate bosses, of course our hero agrees as he is cohersed by a bribe that most would take if they were in his situation unfortunate. Jake doesn’t know the complexity of the Na’Vi until he becomes one and meets a beautiful warrior named Neytiri (Zoë Saldana). It hard to believe that Neytiri is not real in parts as to me Zoë really shines, but its only her voice and not completely her, if you know what I mean. The closer Jake gets to them, the more information Quaritch gets so he can destroy the indigenous population finally.

I really don’t want to give mush of the film away as it is that film that almost makes you hate the human race for what we are. If you think about it we are killing our planet everyday, especially when you see a person throwing litter on the ground. From the smallest rapper to a cigarette bud litter belongs in garbage cans and toxins belong in barrels that are not a threat to our environment or us. Avatar probably will not open the eyes of most moviegoers as I hope, so I am saying this please be more conscious of our planet and she needs each of you to heal her wounds so we all can survive. That’s enough of my soapbox.

Avatar has taken film making into the next millennia as it is visual overload and is a cinematic orgasm of pleasure to the eye and mind. It’s the story of humans invading a planet called Pandora is a mishmash of every speculative fiction theme committed to paper, but it is a stunning masterpiece. Avatar is filled with lush landscapes, the primeval forests bursting with alien life, the gorgeously lithe Na’vi and their graceful yet strong athletic movements, it hard to imagine that this film at one point or another only exists on a computer imagery and is 100% fake, it makes your brain starts to stammer. There is so much to see that I recommend trying to see the film in the theater at least twice if not three times to catch-all the fine detail of the world of Pandora. It is the art of digital deception on a whole new level. Cameron has clearly put everything he knows about directing into this film, giving it the magical cinematic Cameron touch. It makes the two-hour and forty-five minute movie flu by like nothing. That is what a movie is about escapism – painless to watch and completely enjoyable from start to finish, something that electrifies the senses and brings an emotional response to the viewer. Cameron does every bit of that and then some.

Recommendation:If you want to escape, if you want to be dazzled and if you love action suspense and thrillers with an amazing storyline of survival then Avatar is your movie: A

  • Release Date: December 18th, 2009 (wide)
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Producer: Colin Wilson, Laeta Kalogridis, James Cameron
  • Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez
  • Genres: Action/Adventure and Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.
  • Studios: 20th Century Fox

See what the critics are saying around the Nation:                   Overall Rating: A-

Boston Globe – Ty Burr -“It’s easy to get lost in the visually spectacular world …” more…

Chicago Tribune – Michael Phillips – “The first 90 minutes of Avatar are pretty terrific — a full-immersion technological wonder with wonders to spare. The other 72 minutes, less and less terrific.” more…

New York Post – Lou Lumenick – “…it’s rarely less than absorbing and never boring over its nearly three-hour length.” more…

Rolling Stone – Peter Travers – “Cameron’s talent may just be as big as his dreams.” more…

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Did You Hear About The Morgans?

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Did you here me snoring?, should have been the title for this disaster of a film. I don’t know Where to begin actually. It started with a slight bit of potential and then fell into stereotypical plot lines and scenarios that would have better be left on the cutting room floor. The jokes were all in the previews and Sarah Jessica Parker had no chance to make this movie a little bit of funny. She tried and when I say she tried she really tried, but the chemistry between Hugh Grant and Sarah just wasn’t working. He was too desperate, needy and spineless, plus adding Grants normal dryness into the mix and you have one lack-luster non-whimsical and NOT funny movie.

“Did You Hear About the Morgan’s?,’’ a new comedy that throws no punches, no twist, no imagination, no nothing just a whack storyline that basically leaves you begging for it to be over. It make you ask yourself, what was Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker thinking when they were handed this script. Was it money cause it was a paycheck. Moreover, the flipside it’s that type of a movie that can ruin a career if you didn’t already have a name in the business. Thank God this movie will be left in 2009 as Sarah will be staring as Carrie once again in Sex and the City 2, the now rescue to her career. So when you ask me “Did You Hear About the Morgan’s?,’’ I can say Yes, I have heard indeed, and it was tragic and terrible. Most bad comedies plod from scene to scene. This one plods from sentence to sentence. Grant and Parker stand around as if they’re waiting for someone to yell, “Cut.’’ It was like they were both in separate films and no one knew which film to go with. Not being a Hugh Grant fan, I gave him a shot, but once again he bored me on screen it’s like he never connects with the film in hand. Hugh’s in one movie and Parker is in another, but neither is any good.

So if you have that friend who want to see a movie with Sarah Jessica Parker, just say this simple phrase – Sex and The City 2 and you won’t go wrong. Why? Because Did You Hear About the Morgan’s?, a bad title in the first place, unless you have an extraordinary non-stop comedy, which this is NOT! If you can believe this one – did you hear that Hugh And Sarah Worked together before? Probably not right? Why? Because was in a forgettable 1996 hospital thriller called “Extreme Measures.’’ Now they have two films that are forgettable, maybe they shouldn’t do any more films together, not a good choice.

This is how bad the film really is, so you understand what I’m getting at. The movie is so weak in the acting department by Grant that He has a bigger reaction to the brown bear that chases him (frankly, so does Parker). His punch lines are witless, too. Once they’ve left Grant’s mouth, he looks chagrined, as everyone sits around taking in the dead joke. It was like every time he opened his mouth I felt like I was at a funeral.

Bottom line is pass this one up, it’s a box office bomb and probably one of the worst films out this year. Sad because the movie poster is slamming, so props to the marketing company and graphics people behind that it was great. Maybe if they cast Kate Hudson and Mathew McConaughy this movie would have had a chance as those two have such chemistry on film is ridiculous. In addition, they can make a bad script good, but we are not saying to put them in movies with bad scripts, but it might have worked for this one. Sorry Jessica this film was not a good fit for you, well for you and Hugh. Next time rethink your leading man and you might have a hit. In addition, when reading a script if the jokes aren’t funny on paper they ain’t funny on screen.

Recommendation: If you are completely desperate and have nothing better to do with your life then this may be a choice movie to see, but i think there still might be something better to do like jump off a cliff: D-

  • Release Date: December 18th, 2009 (wide)
  • Director: Marc Lawrence (IV)
  • Producer: Grant Hill, Joel Silver, Andy Wachowski
  • Stars: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss
  • Genres: Comedy and Romance
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence.
  • Studios: Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group

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

Boston Globe – Wesley Morris -“Most bad comedies plod from scene to scene. This one plods from sentence to sentence.” more…

New York Post – Kyle Smith – “The cast is in such fine form that everything seems funny..” more…

USA Today – Claudia Puig – “The world would be a happier place if we’d never heard about the Morgans.” more…

SPOILER: SAG Award Nominations – Is It All About Sandra Bullock And NOT Steve?

Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

The SAG Nominations are in and it’s a year with some surprise. It wasn’t one of those blow out blockbuster years where all the nominations are sealed from the get go and you just know who is going to win. This year, unsuspecting actors and actresses were nominated for best actress, such as Sandra Bullock, who almost turned down her Golden Globe & SAG Award nomination. She said, she finally gave into the film as they were extremely persistent, not giving up on the starlet. Bullock was worried that the movie might break her as an actress, but with training and perseverance Sandra came through and took the role and the training she needed to win viewers over in one of her sought out remarkable roles this year. Bullock had three films released, two of which were extremely well and one was and just might be one of the worst of the year, hopefully Bullock doesn’t make that Award nomination for “All About Steve,” a film best to be burned and forgotten.

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