Saturday, May 15, 2010

Movie Review: "Robin Hood"

5. Robin Hood is like Batman in that every generation takes a whack at telling the legend, and like late-night infomercials about magic weight loss pills, results vary from terrific to horrific.

4. Fortunately, Ridley Scott's and Russell Crowe's entry into the Robin Hood canon more in common with Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" than Joel Schumacher's "Batman and Robin."

3. The 2010 "Robin Hood" delves into the origin of the classic English folk hero rather than plunge into the traditional stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

2. Scott and Crowe again form a dynamic duo, as with "Gladiator," to provide a worthy entry into "Robin Hood" film lore.

1. Packed with both action and emotion, Crowe is particularly strong as the humble hero and Cate Blanchette plays a strong Lady Marion and Scott provides enough flaming arrows and dead French soldiers to make an enjoyable epic.

"Robin Hood"

- 2hr 20min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Drama‎ -

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy

Finney's Flicks Grade: B+

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movie Review: "Iron Man 2"

5. The real mettle of "Iron Man 2," like it's predecessor, is the cast.

4. Robert Downey Jr. is again magnificent as Tony Stark/Iron Man while Don Cheadle shines as the sidekick, Gwyneth Paltrow glitters as the love interest and even bit players Garry Shandling and Samuel L. Jackson chew up scenery for the betterment of the film.

3. The plot is nicely layered: Tony Stark is dying and acting like a jerk, secret agents, the government, rival industrialists and terrorists want a chunk of Tony's iron hide and there are lots of metal robots for Iron Man and Cheadle's War Machine to blow up in a brilliant bluster worthy of summer movie opulence.

2. The sequel improves on the original in one respect: Mickey Rourke is a delightfully creepy and powerhouse villain and Sam Rockwell's turn as Justin Hammer, the anti-Tony Stark, adds another dimension of peril and skulduggery to the already belabored man in the iron suit.

1. Unlike "Spider-Man 2" and "The Dark Knight," the second "Iron Man" doesn't surpass the original nor does it move the superhero genre forward as those flicks did, but neither does it loose what made the first film so enjoyable: director Jon Favreau squeezing every ounce out of Downey's irrepressible charm in the title role.

"Iron Man 2"

- 2hr 5min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure‎ -

Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Rockwell

Finney's Flicks Grade: B

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

5 sentence review of "The Losers"

5. A couple buddies and I made a bet Sunday afternoon: Which of us could see the worst movie currently playing at the multiplexes; they picked "A Nightmare on Elm Street" remake/reboot/whatever and I chose "The Losers," based on a DC Comic book series.

4. I opted against "Nightmare," because even in junior high -- the obvious target audience for Freddy Kreuger -- I wasn't interested in this melted-face weirdo with a bad sweater and a wanna-be Wolverine glove.

3. "The Losers" made me a winner insofar as I left my theater entertained -- or at least mildly amused while my friends were bored, annoyed and insulted by the wretchedness of "Nightmare."

2. There isn't much worth noting about "The Losers" other than in my theater, there were a pair of obnoxious, Skittles-throwing preteen boys that made me think, "If I were their age, "This Losers" flick would be some "A+" stuff."

1. Alas, I'm old enough to have seen enough poorly-shaven tough guys walking in slow-motion while stuff blows up behind them to see "The Losers" as a mostly a collection of action cliches best suited to those on the verge of growing their first chest hair rather than those of us trying to keep hair on our scalps and out of our ears.

"The Losers"

1hr 38min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Suspense/Thriller/Drama‎

Director: Sylvain Whit

Cast: Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Óscar Jaenada

Finney's Flicks Rating: C

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