Wow, these bank robbers are amazing! They're all dashingly handsome
and articulate, with a nice sense of irony; they wear exquisite
clothes with flair, drink 30 year old Scotch and smoke fine cigars;
they have the skills of a martial artist when fighting opponents, are
stock market savvy, and can find their way into any municipal
occupation or site without effort (while wearing the official
uniforms). Yet unlike the Ocean's 11-and-Counting movies, this group
ends up mostly dead — but only after a lot of solid, breakneck
action, including a spectacular foot chase through downtown Los
Angeles that rivals the French Connection pursuit. Matt Dillon comes
up short, but the others deliver — most especially T.I. (who was also
one of the six [!] executive producers) as the hinge on which it all
revolves; this guy just crackles. A solid entry in the heist-gone-
wrong category. — Jeff Schultz


A superpower invades a distant undeveloped land and is continually
thwarted by guerrilla fighters whose unconventional savagery flummoxes
the superpower's ordinarily triumphant troops. As one soldier puts it,
“This is a new kind of war, a war without honor, a war without end.”
No, not Afghanistan: this is 2nd century Northern England, where the
Picts are resisting the Roman Empire with great success. Actually, I'm
not certain the filmmakers were intent on drawing parallels with
modern times — because after a suggestive set-up, most of the rest of
the film is pure action. And what action! Some of the best hand-to-
hand combat scenes ever filmed, with a gore factor that uses blood in
an almost Abstract Expressionist way: swords, arrows and lances
inflict wounds that explode and splatter like a Pollack. The period
feel comes and goes — now archaic, now modern — but this is bang-up
entertainment for sure. — Jeff Schultz


Top notch acting from the entire cast pulls this movie out of its
genre and qualifies it as full-fledged drama. The two leads, exorcist-
unbeliever Patrick Fabian (who should have transitioned from TV to
movies long ago) and possessed (?) girl Ashley Bell, never wink for a
moment at the material; they take it seriously and thus so do we.
(Kudos as well to a smoldering newcomer named Caleb Jones playing
Ashley's brother; too bad he is essentially “disappeared” before the
big finish.) Hardly any special effects. Very sparing use of the
electronic score. No cheap scares. This is that rare horror movie that
actually pulls some of its punches. And if the ending is a bit too
familiar in the wake of Blair Witch and Cloverfield, the resolution
still satisfies. — Jeff Schultz


The Sixth Sense meets Jacob's Ladder, without the clever surprise of
the former or the unsettling creepiness of the latter. Is Christina
Ricci really dead? Or has she been drugged by serial-killing mortician
Liam Neeson to add to his sick collection of living corpses? The movie
does a decent job of keeping you guessing throughout. And at its best,
it becomes a meditation on the difficulty of letting go — for both
the one who's dying and the ones she leaves behind. As a thriller,
though, it's too sluggish. And Justin Long, while competent in a
dramatic role, is an actor with a natural inclination to make you
laugh — so it's difficult to accept him as consumed with grief.
(Ricci always seems dead anyway, so her work here can hardly be
considered a stretch.) This movie had a limited release last April and
is now On Demand, possibly because Anchor Bay couldn't figure out how
to market it. — Jeff Schultz


Any comedy that makes you angry is not a good comedy and that sums up my reaction to this half baked DINNER. A complete waste of talent is on display here…Steve Carell phones it in, Paul Rudd plays the straight man, and there are maybe three chuckles to be found in this 106 minute wasteland. And why call a movie Dinner For Schmucks and have the dinner IN THE LAST FEW MINUTES?! Everything before that is pure filler. Unfunny, pathetic, jaw droppingly bad filler. Gets my vote for worst movie of the year…or at least the most disappointing. Suggestion for Carell: find a new agent because you're one more bad movie away from becoming the next Matthew Perry.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Storm Curry.


The trailer pitches this as a madcap race-against-the-clock comedy,
and it is. What's surprising is the naturalism of the inner city
Section 8 setting, which rubs some grit into the laughs. Unlike the
Death at a Funeral remake, which blandified its all-star black cast
into a mirthless snooze, here we get standout set pieces from at least
three actors: Mike Epps devours everything else on screen in his
single appearance as a Reverend preaching the gospel of himself. Keith
David chews up and swallows everyone around him as the Godfather of
the Projects. And Ice Cube milks pathos out of his washed-up boxer
wannabe. In fact, everyone here is solid. I just wish the soundtrack
had been catchier. — Jeff Schultz


The best thing in the movie is a sight gag involving Jerry O'Connell's
mutilated penis. Another horrific-hysterical scene carves up a
parasailing sexpot. And there's an over-the-top, hot-girl-on-girl-
action underwater swimming scene that had the audience hooting. Plus,
the big Spring Break mass carnage set piece is ok. But what's
unforgivable about PIRANHA 3D — is the pathetic non-use of 3D! Never
have so many opportunities for fun been squandered. (No, IGNORED.) In
terms of photography, this is the ugliest-looking movie I've seen in
memory. O'Connell's performance (he's essentially playing Joe Francis)
is a disgrace; he embarrassed me. So too Christopher Lloyd.
(“Paychecks, please.”) Too bad; this could have been a blast. — Jeff


The Expendables is like watching an NBA All Star game. Lots of familiar faces get in the game, nobody takes it too seriously, and everyone gets a chance to make a big play…usually getting set up by a fellow teammate. If you’re looking for anything more than a fun ride with your favorite action stars kicking butt…don’t bother. This one gets you giddy during the fight scenes and winks at the audience while delivering what we paid to see: delicious carnage. The last 40 minutes? Just awesome…with bullets flying, blades stabbing, and everything exploding. And just when you think there’s nothing left, MORE stuff blows up! Just a lot of fun. Bring on the sequel! — Stormy Curry

If Julia Roberts newest movie is “Eat, Pray, Love”, then THE EXPENDABLES could be subtitled “Shoot, Stab, Blast”! It's an orgy of carnage that will satisfy any guy. Action stars from the '80's are almost as prevalent as the dead bodies the group seems to rack-up without much care. With the exception of one “set-up” scene on a Pirate ship, the first two-thirds of the movie drag a bit as we learn back stories and give just a little bit of context to what these Mercenaries are all about. The best part of that portion of the movie is the scene with Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger. But enough with being thoughtful, time to blow some crap to smithereens! The last 40 minutes are worth whatever you paid for a ticket. The bullets fly, the body parts fall and buildings just go bye bye! And just when you think they've set off every explosion possible just wait, there's another one right around the corner. There's no social commentary here, maybe a tiny message about being brothers in war. But if you're looking for that, look elsewhere. This is just a thrill ride for any fan of any of the movies the stars made 20-30 years ago! And as Mr. Stallone put it so eloquently in the midst of all the mayhem.. “I'M OUT”! — Alan Yudman

Bad actors (Stallone, Lundgren, Li, Schwarzenegger) at their worst.
Good actors (Willis, Roberts, Rourke) trying to look interested. Car
chase cliches (through a crowded outdoor marketplace, under the El).
So many explosions it becomes laughable overkill. A tired banana
republic plotline that wouldn’t pass muster as a Mission: Impossible
tv episode. A clunky screenplay that lingers forever over scenes of no
interest, including a tattoo parlor bull session and the who-cares?
relationship between Jason Statham and his girlfriend. Not a single
fresh punch thrown or explosive detonated. Truly, this piece of
product is as expendable as it comes. — Jeff Schultz


Imagine if young love played out like a video game. A new beau would have to deal with a girl's ex-boyfriends s by defeating them, thus removing them from the equation of the new relationship. That is exactly whats going on in SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD. Edgar Wright captures the feel of a video game right from the video game look and music of the Universal Studios logo to the last shot after the closing credits. But it's not all flash and effects. There's a decent , yet familiar, story here about a guy and a girl and her past. The script is non-stop funny, the jokes coming at you like the aliens in Space Invaders. Sometimes you just don't get them all, and they're all killers. Michael Cera tones down his geeky hero just enough to make it work perfectly. Brandon Routh was never this interesting or funny as Superman. Jason Schwartzman is great as the evil genius/music producer behind the :League of Evil Ex's. Kieran Culkin has some killer lines as Scott's gay roommate/bedmate. Every cast member has their chance to either make you laugh or beat the crap out of Scott Pilgrim. If your a fan of Wright's hilarious BBC series SPACED, then you'll recognize a lot of the same quick humor and even quicker edits. The soundtrack is also fantastic with amazing contributions from Beck. This “epic of epic epicness” is one of the funniest most watchable movies of the year. If it was a video game, it would be worth dropping another quarter to see this again. — Alan Yudman

There are laughs, and a clever look, and at least one engaging
performance (from Kieran Culkin, proving again that his family’s
chromosomes contain a magical acting gene). But this teen romance/
action comedy is travelling ground that by now’s been worn into ruts
by the Hollywood wagon train — starting with Michael Cera, whom we
were hoping would move on after Youth in Revolt. In this picture, his
traditional saucer-eyed, lovestruck bewilderment doesn’t really mesh
with the extraordinary battle skills he employs, videogame style, to
battle his lady love’s seven evil ex’s (a problem that also plagued
Kickass). The graphic realization is top-notch — from the studio logo
at the top to the very last frame of the credits. And I wonder if
director Edgar Wright was a fan of the Fox series Parker Lewis Can’t
Lose, with which PILGRIM shares its comic ‘tude. But the quick
resolution at the end with everybody going smiling into the moonset
left me scratching my head over just what exactly the dilemma was that
Scott had come through triumphantly. — Jeff Schultz