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Just about all the actors in “The Big Wedding” are severely typecast. Diane Keaton is a high-strung, divorced mother like in “Something’s Gotta Give,” Robert De Niro is the father of somebody getting married like in “Meet the Fockers,” Amanda Seyfried is a blushing bride like in “Mamma Mia,” Robin Williams is an eccentric minister like in “License to Wed,” Topher Grace is a deadpan, quick-witted nice guy like in “That ‘70s Show,” and Katherine Heigl is a needy single woman like in every movie she does. Even though the actors are in their comfort zones, not a single person feels natural in “The Big Wedding.” That’s probably because the film doesn’t understand its own characters or their motivations. Nobody behind the camera has any idea what they’re doing, resulting in one of the most awkward romantic comedies of recent memory.
Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse at Wild Horse Pass announced the appointment of Rob Hinkle as general manager. Hinkle’s efforts will focus on all aspects of operations strategy to generate revenue for the destination.
‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starts off with a recipe for grade-A comedy. The cast includes names such as Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey. The director is Don Scardino of “30 Rock,” while Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis of “Horrible Bosses” penned the screenplay. The premise regarding rivaling magicians offers endless comedic possibilities. So how is it that the final product is just mediocre? It’s probably because the audience has to be constantly caught off guard in order for a magic show or comedy to succeed. In “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” the audience can pretty much predict everything that’s going to happen. This subtracts the elements of surprise and humor from the equation.
In the eight years I’ve taken on the regular duty of reviewing movies, 2012 just might have been the best. It wasn’t easy compiling a top 30 list for a 12-month period of so many diverse, outstanding films. I found myself having to make some absolutely painful snubs, including “Flight,” “The Sessions,” “The Hobbit: An Expected Journey,” and a little cinematic masterpiece by the name of “21 Jump Street.” In the end though, I managed to narrow the list down to the 20 titles that best encompass 2012 in all its glory. If you’re still behind on the movies of yesteryear, consider this your ultimate movie guide to 2012.
Just turned 50, Tom Cruise is eligible for membership in the American Association of Retired Persons. Just split from third wife Katie Holmes, Cruise is the object of told-you-so cynics who simply knew that romance wouldn’t last. Just finished with his stab at something really different as a heavy-metal rock god in “Rock of Ages,” Cruise is coming off one of the lowest-grossing movies in his career.
"Les Misérables” has had a long, arduous journey to the silver screen. It’s been in the works for so long that at one point the film was going to be directed by the now retired Alan Parker, who made the original “Fame” and 1996 adaptation of “Evita.” After decades of rotting in development limbo, the cherished musical finally sees the light of day via the artistic eye of director Tom Hooper of “The King’s Speech. Hooper’s interpretation of “Les Misérables” is a majestic experience composed of enormous sets, elegant costumes, and pitch perfect performances from the entire ensemble. This may very well be the most triumphant movie musical since the genre made a comeback a decade ago with “Moulin Rouge!” and “Chicago.”
While “Knocked Up” established Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigl as major movie stars, it was Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd who stole the entire show. Rogan and Heigl’s characters are nowhere to be found in the sort-of sequel to “Knocked Up.”
Roger Michell’s “Hyde Park on Hudson” often feels like two separate movies. One film is about Franklin Roosevelt’s love affair with his sixth cousin. The other is about King George VI and his first visit to the United States. The problem is that “Hyde Park on Hudson” can never decide which of these stories is supposed to be the A plot and which is the B plot. The narrative as a whole thus suffers with neither storyline meeting their full potential. The fact that the film centers on several fascinating real-life individuals only makes the results more disappointing.
Folkloric legends truly are the guardians of childhood. From the perspective of a child, the world can be an enchanting place full of infinite wonder and possibilities. The belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and others fuels such innocence. Once their existence is questioned though, kids begin to slide down an unstoppable downhill slope that will inevitably result in adulthood. Most grown-ups likely envy children for their ability to believe in such mythical beings. How we all long to replace our adult cynicism and practicality with the magic and mystery of youth.
Some characters are so despicable and manipulative that the audience should desire to see them receive the most dreadful comeuppance. Despite all of their shameful wrongdoings though, we can’t help but hope that these characters will triumph over the alleged good guys. Who isn’t gunning to see Walter White come out on top in the final season of “Breaking Bad?” Like White and various other antiheroes, the flawed protagonist in “Arbitrage” is a difficult character not to root for. This is primarily thanks to the smart screenplay by writer/director Nicholas Jarecki and a charismatic leading performance from Richard Gere.
A couple years ago, Meryl Streep played an aging woman rekindling the bond with her estranged husband in “It’s Complicated.” “Hope Springs” shares a similar premise in addition to casting Streep as a veteran woman seeking romance once again. While this is familiar territory, “Hope Springs” actually manages to improve upon “It’s Complicated” in almost every department. Where that romantic comedy from Nancy Meyers was basically an extended episode of a sitcom, this film has much more believable characters and situations. It moreover offers a frank look into the lives of a couple in their twilight years.
Colin Farrell replaces Arnold Schwarzenegger in the new version of “Total Recall,” and the smug sense of campy meanness that made the original 1990 film feel so muscular and grotesque gives way to a vibe that’s slick, shiny and deadly serious.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) marks a milestone anniversary of 160 years helping customers succeed financially and communities thrive with a series of donations and volunteer activities across the nation.
When making a film about where you live, inspiration can be as close as your own backyard. That is what director Tommy Stovall found out in creating “Sedona,” which opens at theaters across Arizona this weekend.
If you ask Assistant Executive Director Adrian Bendick what her favorite movie at the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival is, she probably wouldn't be able to give you a straight answer.
I watched Kevin Costner's message at the Whitney Houston ceremony on Saturday. I have rarely heard or seen such an eloquent and touching discourse, that was also obviously painful for him to do. He spoke to the common church experiences they had as youngsters, he interjected humor and he told a back-story of postponing "The Bodyguard" for a year to fit that movie around her touring schedule because she was the right person for the role. I have just elevated him to an even higher level in my "respect for certain people" category. Had he delivered such a dialogue in a movie, as an actor, he would have easily received an Academy Award. In this case, it was simply from the heart. Wow, what an impressive human being!
It's believed that the ancient Babylonians were the first to make, and presumably break, New Year's resolutions because their customary eleven-day celebrations left them with a few regrets and a pile of resolving to do. (You know what they say: "What happens in Mesopotamia, stays in Mesopotamia!"TM)
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