Thursday, February 21, 2008

Switcheroo: Trading Places

Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy, Don Ameche, and Jamie Lee Curtis star in this totally 80's fun flick. Louis Winthorp (Ackroyd) is a successful businessman with a great job, a great home, and a fiancee. Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) is a con man who bumps into Winthorp and is arrested on account of assault, robbery, and refusal of arrest. Then, the two brothers who run the company that Winthorp works at (Ralph Bellamy and Ameche) bet that they can turn Valentine into what Winthorp is and the same for Winthorp. The bet goes wild, and sets off a chain of events that are hysterical. A great movie for fun, featuring appearances by Al Franken and James Belushi. Wild, funny, and smart. B+

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Life of Pie: Waitress

A great food movie. Keri Russell stars as Jenna, a genius pie maker who comes up with tons of pie recipes. The names are exceedingly corny (i.e. I cheated on Earl but I felt bad pie), but nonetheless play into the movie's quirkiness. The subplot of Earl and the affair with her pregnancy doctor (Nathan Fillion) is too ordinary. The pregnancy subplot was OK. On the bright side, some great side characters: Eddie Jennison's Oki and Andy Griffith's Joe. All of the cast (with an exception of Jeremy Sisto, who played Earl) is amazing. I thought the movie had a delicious edge to it, like a pie crust that is done just right, the specialty of Jenna. A-

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pearl: A Mighty Heart

This Michael Winterbottom take on the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl lacks a personal edge. Angelina Jolie plays Daniel's wife and here her performance is overrated. The only things she does are talking on various phones, walking around, and screaming. Her take on Pearl's spouse is not very good. The viewer only sees Daniel Pearl through flashbacks: big mistake. He is an interesting character. The movie needs more interest. Anyways, the movie is a tight-knit semi-thriller, semi-docudrama thing that is sometimes extremely complicated. It is basically a chase that is for the most part boring and baiting. This movie has major problems. You care about Pearl himself, but his wife is so distant she can't get dialed into, except for the baby factor. Winterbottom has just turned good material into a flawed, weird movie with people on cell phones and computers too much. It is too anxious. Period, paragraph, page. C+

A Mighty Heart is pretty disturbing, as it centers around a kidnapping. Viewers should take notice.