Archive for June, 2009

Gypsy

Posted in Biography, Comedy, Drama, Musical with tags on June 9, 2009 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketRosalind Russell is a force to be reckoned with as Mama Rose in this biographical musical about the humble beginnings of her daughter, ‘Gypsy Rose Lee’. Natalie Wood shines in an appealing performance as the title character, a nice counterbalance to Russell’s strident display as the stage mother from hell. An eight-minute monologue at the end drags on the film’s 144min running time, but overall an entertaining, lavish movie adaptation of the 1959 Stephen Sondheim / Jules Styne musical.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Posted in Action, Comedy, Crime, Family with tags on June 9, 2009 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketAnemic comedy about a security guard who has his chance to shine when a gang of robbers takes over a shopping mall and sequesters several hostages in the bank there. Shockingly amateurish “entertainment” appears to have been assembled by idiots whose idea of sophisticated comedy is making fun of socially awkward fat people. It’s a shame to see a likable actor like Kevin James demean himself in material that makes him look like such a buffoon. There’s even a foreigner with a thick accent to laugh at too. Most tellingly, this is an Adam Sandler production.

Valkyrie

Posted in Drama, History, Thriller, War with tags on June 2, 2009 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketDecent historical thriller based on a true story about German generals who conspire to assassinate Hitler and overthrow his government from the inside. Ho hum first half of the film is all set up. Story picks up considerably in the 2nd half. Solid performances throughout: Tom Cruise is particularly charismatic as the officer who masterminds the plot. One quibble: Although it is acceptable for an American film to have Germans speaking English, the substantial lack of even German accents is distracting.

Drag Me to Hell

Posted in Horror, Thriller with tags on June 2, 2009 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketA welcome return for director Sam Raimi, who revisits his horror roots in this inventive supernatural film. When a loan officer refuses to grant an extension on an old gypsy woman’s mortgage, she places a powerful curse on the poor young girl. Absolute white knuckle ride full of shocks and scares that deliver on every level. Many surprises will scare the bejesus out of you. Oh and make no mistake, you WILL jump out of your seat, guaranteed. Both funny and scary, story works because it earns its scares intelligently. Film’s protagonist Alison Lohman is everything a scream queen should be, attractive, likeable and grounded,. So deliciously gross, so wickedly funny, it is a near perfect horror film, a classic of the genre.