Boldly going where so many have gone before—but with a brand new cast and a bold new attitude—J.J. Abrams respectfully reboots a tired old franchise and makes it fun again.
What if everyone lived out their entire lives by looking at a screen and trusting machines to do everything for them? Oh, wait, we already do that. But what if you also had a cool, robot version of yourself to go to work and school and the park while you just sat in a chair at home and worked the controls? It would be like Second Life if you lived inside the box and your avatar lived in the real world. (Not sure that sounds like a good time.)
Is “Fame” the original, grittier “High School Musical” or the new, less gritty “Fame”? Yes. And though it’s sure to get the performance juices pumping for the stage-lovers in the audience, it’s not likely to become the most famous of the musical high school movies—or even of the movies called “Fame.”
I can’t remember the last time I both laughed and cried during a movie about giant food falling from the sky. But I do remember the last time I both laughed and cried (in a very restrained, manly way) during an animated movie while wearing giant 3D glasses. It was called “Up,” and “Cloudy” might be the most fun I’ve had at a film since Pixar’s much-loved hit.
Tyler Perry has become one of our most prolific and successful filmmakers, kicking out a new film or two every year—much to the delight of a devoted audience not surprised to hear very Christian-sounding messages resonating through his often melodramatic stories. His next number one box office hit is about a 16 year old and her two younger brothers who get caught stealing and end up on the doorstep of their nightclub singer aunt, a lady who is in no condition to take care of herself, let alone them.
The dark, original, punk-cuddly, post-apocalypitic animated head-scratcher that is “9” is all about shortness. The title is just one digit. The characters are three-inches tall, max. And the running time clocks in at less than 80 minutes. But the story is big on ideas about tech, worship, and the human soul.
We need a word for lame-ish movies with really likable stars. Who doesn’t like Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, or Bradley Cooper? (Okay, I’m not as high on Bradley Cooper.) But “All About Steve,” the story of a harmless and annoying stalker with a stellar vocabulary, proves again that likable stars aren’t enough to make a great flick.
Is there just one person in the world for you—the one person you are meant to be with forever? Is romantic love just fantasy—or is it real and worth believing in no matter how foolish it makes you feel? And if your “the one” is out there somewhere, how will you ever know when you find her/him? These are the questions “500 Days of Summer” would like to use to entertain and torture you, especially if you’re in the hunt for a significant other.
Some movies really make you think about how your life might have turned out if you had fallen in love as a child with a magical fish girl that desperately wanted to be human. “Ponyo” is one of those movies.
Life after college can be tough if you don’t land your dream job and have to move back in with your slightly nutty family while trying to figure out what to do with yourself. It’s a premise with promise but a story with no glory—and not a lot of laughs, either.