The Cove: 8 out of 10.
Now don't get me wrong, The Cove is a great documentary about some bad shit going down in Taijii, Japan. I really liked it. But The Cove won the Oscar for Best Documentary, and it's not that good.
But you should see it, cuz it's good. Unless you really, really like dolphins, in which case this is a bit of a snuff film.
Angels & Demons: 7 out of 10.
I should just copy and paste over my review of The Da Vinci Code. I didn't read that book and I didn't read Angels & Demons. In both instances, I heard negative press, and watched the movie cold.
I'm almost ashamed to admit I didn't mind Angels & Demons. It was kind of interesting, and very nice to look at. It's a little long, but if it's on demand and you've already paid for the TMN subscription, give it a whirl.
Doubt: 7 out of 10.
Roger Ebert used to write about his Harry Dean Stanton rule. If he knew Harry Dean Stanton was in a movie, he knew it would be worth his time. I have a similar rule, only I call my rule the Philip Seymour Hoffman rule.
As always, Philip Seymour Hoffman is good in this movie, and it's worth seeing. It's particularly interesting in light of recent evidence Pope Benny helped shield pedophiles before becoming pope.
It's one of those movies you'll think about afterwards, and that's always a good thing. What's the point of a film you can't take with you?
Tyson: 7 out of 10.
In 1993, I recorded a Tyson documentary entitled "Fallen Champ". I can't tell you how many times I watched that doc. Before the Buster Douglas fight, I thought Tyson was invincible. That was his 38th fight.
We all know what happened next. Buster Douglas, a rape conviction, jail time, the Holyfield fights and this sour conclusion. Through all the drama and mayhem, Tyson always came across as a rather sympathetic figure. This documentary would be exhibit A, and it's mainly just Mike Tyson speaking to the camera.
It's good, but it's not as good as I remember "Fallen Champ" being. I actually think I still have the old VHS cassette that's hosting "Fallen Champ". I'm going to go see if I can dig it up.
The Young People's Theatre, or Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (LKTYP) as it's now known, hosted the North American premiere tonight of The Monster Under the Bed. I was lucky enough to catch it from the first row with my kids, who wore their pyjamas to this giant PJ party.
Performances at the LKTYP are consistently great, and it's always a big bang for the buck. The way I judge these plays is I watch my kids' faces. Tonight they were wide eyed and thoroughly entertained by The Monster Under the Bed, and that makes this another winner.
If you've got kids between the ages of 5 and 12 and you're looking for something to do this March break, you might want to click here and order tix to this thing. It features a giant bed and tonnes of fun.
Run Fatboy Run: 6.5 out of 10.
We actually sat down to watch Crank: High Voltage. I liked Crank enough to give it 6.5 out of 10, so I figured the sequel might be worth a shot. I was wrong.
We couldn't get through 20 minutes of Crank: High Voltage before switching things up and giving Run Fatboy Run a shot. Run Fatboy Run loses steam about half way through, but it's decent enough. It was precisely the 6.5 out of 10 I was looking for!
Crazy Heart: 8.5 out of 10.
Crazy Heart reminded me a great deal of The Wrestler. Both films are about a down and out former great who meets a good woman and attempts to resolve issues with their offspring. The Wrestler, which I very much liked, had an open ending. Crazy Heart, which was an even better film, does not.
Jeff Bridges is a shoe-in for best actor at the Academy Awards, but I'm surprised there's no buzz around Crazy Heart getting a best picture nomination. They're nominating ten films this year, and Crazy Heart deserves to be one of them. It's not just a great story about Bad Blake that's brilliantly acted, it's also got fantastic tunes to carry the weight. If the songs had sucked, the movie would have been far harder to buy.
Crazy Heart is great stuff. Do yourself a favour and see it.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: 4 out of 10.
I'm not going to lie, I don't like seeing old friends like David Cross, Jason Lee and Wendie Malick like this, but this movie wasn't made for me. It was made for the kids.
My wife and I took 17 kids to this movie yesterday. Most were 7 years old, but a few were a little younger and a few were a little older. All of them loved this movie. They didn't just like it, they loved it.
And let's be honest, no adult couple is going to go to this movie without taking along their kids, nieces or nephews. If they do, they deserve to sit through 88 minutes of crap. You go because the kids will have a blast. And they did.
Up in the Air: 8 out of 10.
I've heard from a few trustworthy souls that this is a perfect movie. It's not that good. Don't get me wrong, I'm giving it 8 out of 10 because... well, because it's lovely, but it's far from perfect.
Then again, it does have a Young MC cameo.
What I really liked about Up in the Air is the way it makes you think. What's in your backpack? I've got some crackers, an Ubuntu install disk and a copy of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in mine.
Star Trek: 8 out of 10.
If I had written this review a year ago, it would actually be relevant. As it stands, the vast majority of people who will ever see Star Trek have already done so. As a result, I'm strictly writing this for the non-Trekkie hold-outs.
Last May, I wrote that I felt I was missing out as a non-Trekker. As a youngster, I saw Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan at the Runnymede Theatre and it damaged me, turning me off everything Star Trek for almost 30 years. Yes, the slug in the ear did it to me.
Last night, I decided to give J.J. Abrams' Star Trek a whirl. It was fantastic. Honestly, even if you don't like Star Trek or are completely unfamiliar with Star Trek, you'll enjoy this movie. Speaking as a non-Trekkie, it was great. By far the best Star Trek anything I have ever seen.
And yes, those mind control slugs showed up again, but when I caught wind of what was about to happen, I covered my son's eyes. Lightning wasn't about to strike twice.
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