Kickin' It Old Skool
Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) returns to multiplexes this spring to fight still more CG
villains--this time around it's the dastardly Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Hobgoblin
(James Franco), and the unlikely Topher Grace as the decidedly not-Topher Grace-looking
Think there's enough plot to fill a movie yet? You're probably right, but
we've apparently also got Spider-Man getting married!
Wow, that's a movie, right? But wait! Bryce Dallas Howard will also
be appearing as Gwen Stacey for a sexsational love triangle between Spidey and Mary Jane
Watson (Kirsten Dunst)! Hot damn!
Done with the plot yet? Not even! Spider-Man's also going slowly and
violently crazy as a result of him wearing a living version of his costume!
Okay, but clearly that's enough, right? Of course it is! But we haven't
even told you that in this one, J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) shoots lightning out of
his fucking dick and bench-presses Spider-Man's aunt (Rosemary Harris)!
Wow, you'd never guess this was the third film in a starting-to-look-a-bit-winded
franchise and the producers were desperately packing as much shit as possible into this
thing to keep audiences' interest from flagging.
A professional gambler (Eric Bana) sits at a poker table, explaining the rules of the game
to his new squeeze (Drew Barrymore). Idiotically, she smugly stage whispers that he only
needs one more heart for a flush, causing everyone else to fold. Suddenly, an enraged Bana
swells into a 10-foot-tall green behemoth and smashes Barrymore's broken body through the
table. Oh sorry, wrong movie.
Speaking of hulking idiots, though, Horatio Sanz bets a cool $10,000 that Bana
can't hit three golf balls, doubling over in horror and revulsion when Bana easily does so.
But what's this? Here comes Bana's estranged father (Robert Duvall), who's also a
professional gambler. According to his father, Bana has things backwards on the issue of
whether to live your life like you play cards. According to everyone else, the way Bana
lives his life is in the shadow of his father. Suddenly, Bana turns into a mythical king of
Thebes, slays his father, and marries his mother. Oh, sorry, wrong Oedipal drama.
Instead, Bana and Duvall both enter the World Series of Poker, beating tough
customers such as Colonel Harland Sanders and a bald guy in a Hawaiian shirt until it's at
last down to father and son facing off at the final table.
WARNING: CONTAINS HORATIO SANZ
In Theaters May 11 The Ex[/subtitle]
An ad man (Zach Braff) discovers his new creative partner (Jason Bateman) is also his
wife's former partner in both cheerleading and deep dicking. Braff commits one faux pas
after another, first chiding Bateman for failing to catch a thrown ball before realizing
that he's paralyzed, and then throwing him down a flight of stairs to prove that he's not.
(He also mistakenly mocks an Irishman's accent, then the trailer cuts Bateman off mid-line.
Meanwhile, Bateman beats Braff up and tries to steal his wife. Meanwhile,
's Fred Armisen seemingly plays two separate roles as a couples' counselor and
a co-worker at Braff's ad agency. Caring co-worker trying to help Braff's struggling
relationship? Struggling counselor inspired by Braff to make a better living as an ad man?
Or twins? Is it worth ten bucks to find out?
Jason Bateman was so good in Arrested Development and various roles as a Frat
Pack pledge that his presence in a movie is now actually a compelling reason to watch. Zach
Braff, though? We've heard a lot of testimony that he's funny, but haven't seen much hard
evidence. Frankly, it's hard not to cheer for Bateman. It's like Reality Bites,
where we're supposed to want Ethan Hawke to win Winona Ryder, but he's so insufferable that
we end up rooting for Ben Stiller. And speaking of Stiller, wasn't this premise with the
disabled-but-otherwise-too-perfect romantic rival already done in There's Something
Three bumbling National Guardsmen get shipped out to Iraq, but the Humvee they've crawled
into for a nap gets dumped out of their cargo plane en route due to bad weather. The human
jetsam awaken to find themselves in the middle of the Mexican desert, assuming it to be
Iraq. There doesn't seem to be a single starting point in the continental US where it would
make sense to fly over Mexico to Iraq, so the confusion is somewhat understandable. They
don't figure it out until one bad "Don't ask, don't tell" joke later, when they liberate a
nearby village from a bunch of stereotypical banditos, one of whom is captured and finally
tells the gringos where they are.
From then on, it's a fiesta of cervezas, piñatas, and luchadores until
the banditos come back with a horse-drawn tank (although it might just be a horse standing
in front of a tank), and they're forced to defend the town with bazookas, dilapidated
cannons left behind by Santa Anna, and good old-fashioned blue-collar American pluck.
What do you get if you multiply Three Kings by The Three Amigos? Nine
friendly kings, obviously. But if you divide that by the number of working brain
cells collectively owned by this movie's leads, you get an error, and that's exactly what
Delta Farce is. Of course, one tired internet meme states "Chuck Norris can
divide by zero," and it's surely no coincidence that this terrible-looking comedy
bears a similar title to his 1986 action thriller Delta Force. The tantalizing
possibility of a Chuck Norris cameo is in itself enough to get a legion of feeble-minded
ironists up out of the cheap seats, hooting and hollering. But there's no sign of this
happening. Chuck Norris seems content to keep on making his own movies, each of which is
unintentionally funnier than this so-called comedy is liable to be on purpose.
That's not to say Delta Farce won't evoke some sort of
reaction. Larry the Cable Guy's nasal bleating of his "Git-'er-done!" catchphrase in this
trailer is enough to prompt an audible groan of angry disgust, followed by a walk around
the block to cool down. But if you're looking to actually enjoy a movie about
three friends shipping off to war, you'll probably find more laughs in The Deer
In Theaters May 18 Shrek The Third[/subtitle]
More smart, silly fairy tale spoofing from the Shrek franchise, with
the usual "flying over the kids' heads" adult gags and even more
merchandise-ready characters you'll likely be seeing on every toy shelf, video game
tie-in, and Burger King cup in the country in a few weeks.
How sad is it that, two sequels into this family-friendly CG cartoon, comedians like Mike
Myers and Eddie Murphy are actually less of a draw to this thing than the
troll and donkey they're voicing? Sure, Murphy has Norbit, and Myers has ... some
closet shelves he was straightening ... but really, do you know anybody that honestly saw
and enjoyed Norbit? (If so, why are you still talking to them? Do they owe you
money? Do they have pictures? Pictures of you doing things you're not proud of?)
Murphy and Myers' floundering careers aside, though, the Shrek
franchise has always been one hell of a great time, the sort of movie you can take your
parents to and all have fun watching, and this looks like no exception. If you're a
Shrek-hater, there's clearly not enough actual misery in your life, and you're
just picking things randomly to vent at. You need more hobbies.
In Theaters May 25
Hey, remember that movie with no ending you all paid $13.00 to see last year?
Well, here's the ending! That'll be another $13.00 please! Why yes, we do
nothing but bitter, naked contempt for humanity. Funny you should ask!
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End is essentially little more than
the final twenty minutes of the last Pirates sequel stretched out to feature film
length, so clearly it'll make ten powzillion dollars and everyone at Disney will wrestle,
laughing and naked, in the building-sized piles of money being delivered daily to the
studio. On the plus side, At Worlds End does at least finally deliver on the
long-rumored, never-before-seen cameo by Keith Richards as Captain Jack Sparrow's father.
There's also an octopus, if that floats your boat, and Orlando Bloom's as delicious as
ever. Keira Knightly's jutting, inhuman-looking chin also makes an appearance. The gang's
all here, basically! Like you need our say-so to go watch this thing.
In Theaters June 1 Knocked Up[/subtitle]
"Do you know how I know you're gay? You had one-night stand with a woman and got her
pregnant." Wait--that doesn't make sense. Well, neither does Steve Carell's big, shaggy
sidekick from The 40-Year-Old Virgin getting to score with the luscious Katherine
Heigl, but that's what's going on in Knocked Up. Heigl informs Rogen of their
gestating problem over dinner in a fancy restaurant on their second date, only to be met
with a flabbergasted and profane response. (Rogen drops three F-bombs and the word "vagina"
in this trailer, but it's an international version, so it's okay.)
It's almost unbelievable that someone let Seth Rogen carry a movie. But that someone was
Judd Apatow, who, thanks to long experience working with Rogen on The 40-Year-Old
Virgin as well as Undeclared and Freaks and Geeks, knows the big
goof is one of the driest, most sarcastic, funniest men alive. And now the rest of us all
get to find that out. Plus, it's nice to see Katherine Heigl being given something better
to do than referee slap-fights on the set of Grey's Anatomy.
If we were giving stars, a romantic comedy could get a maximum four out of
five, owing to the predictability of the genre. You basically know what's going to happen
here. But this trailer has two things that justify the full four: the presence of Seth
Rogen and the words "From the makers of The 40-Year-Old Virgin
." Or, calculated
another way, it has three F-bombs plus the word "vagina." Either way, the math adds up to
four. This looks very, very good.
In Theaters June 8
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) returns with his ever-expanding all-star entourage
for a third installment in the popular heist franchise. Filling in as the
about-to-be-robbed mark this time around is Al "Never Met a Scene He Couldn't Plow
Through Like a Truck Through a Fruit Stand" Pacino, who makes you long for the
understated coolness of Andy Garcia in a way that probably isn't healthy.
One of the factors that made the first Ocean's Eleven remake so much fun was
director Steven Soderbergh, who understood that a movie about charismatic, fast-talking
criminals planning capers requires a lighthearted, brightly lit, fast-paced tone. The first
Ocean's was just damn fun. (It even looked like the actors were having a
big ol' party making it.)
For reasons not publicized at the time--a shovel-blow to the skull,
maybe?--Soderbergh forgot all this for the sequel, Ocean's Twelve, a darkly-lit,
murky pile of unwatchableness, complete with arty-fart camera angles and a plot so
unnecessarily complex as to require sketching out a flowchart on the back of your theater
ticket. Seriously, what the hell was up with that movie? It was about as fun as a rectal
Based on the trailer's funny bits (Clooney's eye roll at the end there gets
us chuckling), we're optimistic that Ocean's Thirteen will be a successful return
to the formula of Eleven, and remember how to be fun again. We've got such high
hopes for this one, we're even willing to ignore the presence of scenery obliterator Al
Pacino, whom we frankly haven't enjoyed in a film in decades and sort of half-jokingly wish
will die of cancer or something so he'll stop dragging his anus all over his own legacy
like a kennel dog with ringworm.
In Theaters June 15 Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer[/subtitle]
A man made entirely of silver flies to Earth from outer space on a surfboard so he
can interrupt the wedding of an invisible woman and a stretchy man. Luckily, another man
who can light himself on fire flies after the surfing silver alien, and they chase each
other around Manhattan. If you'd just moved to America from a third-world country and this
trailer was the first thing you'd ever seen in a theater, you would be forgiven for
assuming you'd just gone insane.
The first Fantastic Four movie was one of those made-on-a-shoestring deals that
almost guaranteed a sequel. Like Blade, Hellboy, and other low-budget superhero
flicks that just barely scraped out a profit in wide release, FF slam-dunked on
DVD, so you're getting another one whether you like it or not. The first movie sort of
blew, and the second one looks like more of the same. If your expectations of a
theater-going experience begin and end with air conditioning, a comfortable seat, and
images being shown to you on a screen, Rise of the Silver Surfer will handily meet
Recommended For Your Pleasure