Friday, August 31, 2007


At the heart of this raucous, silly, juvenile comedy is a warm story of friendship. "Superbad" deserves to take it's place among classic coming of age films like "Dazed And Confused", "American Pie", and "Fast Times At Ridgemont High".

It's the ultimate buddy comedy centered around Seth and Evan's attempt to buy liquor and have sex at an end of high school party. The story is simple but the visual gags and very funny dialog will keep you laughing throughout the film. Jonah Hill plays Seth and Michael Cera (from Arrested Development) plays Evan. They are perfectly cast. Mr. Cera, in particular, has such great deadpan humor, timing and delivery that he makes every scene priceless. Their friendship is tested throughout the film and it really is the soul of the story.

Seth Rogan, so funny in "Knocked Up" co-wrote the film and plays a very unorthodox policeman. Bill Hader (from Saturday Night Live) plays his partner. It seems pretty clear that the character of Seth is based on Mr. Rogan. Also co-starring in his first film, is Christopher Mintz- Plasse as Fogell, who almost single-handedly steals the film.

Produced by Judd Apatow (who has a terrific winning streak with similar films), "Superbad" is raunchy but real and very funny.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rescue Dawn

Werner Herzog's most commercial film to date is a drama inspired by true events. This is the story of Dieter Dengler, a German American pilot shot down in Laos in the early stages of the Vietnam War.

Christian Bale is simply remarkable in the role of Dengler. His dedication to his craft knows no bounds. The hardships he endures are horrible and heartbreaking. Suffering with him as fellow prisoners of war are Jeremy Davies and Steve Zahn. Mr. Zahn, in particular, is outstanding in a role very different from his usual movie characters.

The story is riveting and will have you on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it has not lasted long at theaters and may be hard to find. If you miss it on the big screen, make it a must rental on DVD.

The upbeat ending seems tacked on and a little rushed but otherwise, Mr. Herzog has written and directed an inspiring tale of survival and the human spirit.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Picking up where the last film ended, Matt Damon is still on the run trying to figure out how it all started. Director Paul Greengrass does an excellent job of putting the viewer right into the action and maintains a solid pace throughout.

From the intense camera angles to the live action stuntwork, the film pulls you in and never lets go. The character of Jason Bourne is the ultimate escape artist as he continually finds clever ways to elude the CIA. The film tries hard to bring you up to speed if you haven't seen the first two Bourne adventures but the new film makes more sense taken in context of the full Bourne saga.

Joan Allen and Julia Stiles are back reprising their earlier roles and playing the CIA chief, with nasty secrets to protect, is the always excellent, David Strathairn. As for the role of Jason Bourne, Matt Damon has found a defining character. Given little dialog, Bourne is a man of action and Damon slips back into the character with ease and maturity.

The film travels the globe with fantastic action sequences at every turn. If you're a fan of the series, this is a threequel that delivers the goods.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Simpson's Movie

To quote Homer Simpson, "Why pay to watch something you can see for free on TV?"
Well, for starters, it's 90 minutes of commercial free classic Simpson humor. Need I say more?

If you are a fan of the show, it is a must see. A few liberties are taken with the film that can't be show on TV and for the most part, it's more of what you already love on a bigger screen. One can argue that the story could have been better developed for the film. It's full of elements we've seen before on the show. But the bottom line is that this show is currently one of the longest running shows on TV and there is only so much you can add to it's brilliant humor and satire. The writers do their best to give almost every character, we've encountered through the years, choice bits of dialog but it's hard to do without making them seem like throwaway lines. Still, even throwaway lines from The Simpson's are better than plot points in many other comedies.

If you are not a fan of the show, don't waste your time. You won't "get it". But if you've ever laughed at even one episode, make the effort to see the film. It's a lot of fun.