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Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 ,  Written by Brittani Simberg
17 Again (2009)
I have not seen a single moment of a High School Musical movie.  I haven’t even caught a snippet of dialogue (Actually…is there dialogue in those movies or are they all-singing, all-dancing upbeat teen versions of Evita?  These are things I just don’t know.)   My only first-hand experience with Zac Efron is a well-performed role in Hairspray and a charming turn on Saturday Night Live.   So, unlike some parents of eleven year old girls I know suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after multiple viewings of the HSM trilogy, I went into 17 Again with an open mind.  Despite legitimate concerns about floppy hair, I was curious about the answer to the question the producers of this film were clearly posing to the American public – does Zac Efron have a shot at staging an escape from the teenybopper ghetto and ...
Editor's rating: 
 4.0
Monday, 13 April 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Observe and Report (2009)
Studio marketing fails once again. No, I’m not talking about the Wolverine workprint being leaked (although you know someone at Fox is most likely washing windows right now because of that), but of the trailers for Observe and Report. Made to look like yet another Apatow-esque comedy, the film is anything but. In fact, a part of me hesitates to call it a comedy at all. It has its funny moments, to be sure, but it’s more an ode to darkly psychological films such as Taxi Driver and Oldboy.Seth Rogen stars as Ronnie Barnhardt, head of security at a suburban shopping center. As the film opens, a flasher has begun harassing the denizens of the mall, and Ronnie aims to catch the guy. He’s especially concerned for the safety of Brandi (Anna Farris), with whom he is hopelessly infatuated, even ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.0
Friday, 03 April 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
Don’t you hate it when a monster comes rampaging through your town, or beachside resort, or science lab? There’s nothing worse than having a special occasion ruined by a scaled, gooey, or insectoid mutation that comes crashing through the gate, abducts a few women, and eats, maims, or kills a few men. Thankfully, the United States government thinks that monsters are as pesky as you do, and they’ve done something about it. Namely, they’ve locked the creatures up. Forever. And ever. Seems like a win-win situation, right?Not if your name is Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon). Susan just wanted to get married to the man of her dreams, Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd), a Modesto weatherman with designs to one day be a network anchor. That doesn’t pan out when she’s hit by a massive meteorite and absorbs its energy, becoming a ...
Editor's rating: 
 4.5
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Knowing (2009)
There’s a scientific theory known as Determinism. To put it simply (perhaps too simply), it states that all matter acts according to specific principles that, if we were mathematically advanced enough, we could predict with unerring accuracy from the creation of the universe till the end of it. Most scientists don’t believe the universe is completely deterministic (and Quantum Physics seems to suggest it’s not deterministic at all), but the question is still intriguing. Why do we do the things we do? Is it because we want to, or because of external forces acting on us at all times? What if someone were able to run the calculations required to predict future events, and tried to warn us of impending disaster?That’s the question asked in Knowing, the new science fiction thriller from director Alex Proyas (Dark City, I Robot). Nicolas ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
I Love You, Man (2009)
I’ll go ahead and say it: I love Paul Rudd. Ever since Clueless, I’ve followed his career with great interest. He’s a versatile actor, able to play several different kinds of comedy and isn’t too bad dramatically, either. And the man keeps busy. Looking at his IMDB page, you’ll find countless roles, ranging from huge to barely miniscule. He’s in some of my favorite comedies, such as Wet Hot American Summer, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Anchorman. He also caught my eye in more serious roles, especially the striking The Shape of Things. However, I was amazed that he almost never seemed to get any starring roles. I was relieved to see he finally got his shot in the successful, if underwhelming Role Models, and now he’s at it again with I Love You, Man.Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a ...
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