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items tagged with The Perfect Holiday

Death Wishes: "The Bucket List," "The Kite Runner," and "First Sunday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-16 08:18:31

Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket ListTHE BUCKET LIST

I can't begin to describe how much I was looking forward to making fun of The Bucket List. A Rob Reiner-directed dramedy about two squabbling terminal-cancer patients -Jack Nicholson, cackling and flexing his eyebrows, and Morgan Freeman, providing soothing, pithy bromides and the inevitable voice-over narration - who gradually become friends and live out their final days skydiving and race-car driving and scaling the pyramids ... . Was there any way this wouldn't be a syrupy disaster of epic proportions?


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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