Arnold Rifkin

Arnold Rifkin

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Deception (2008) Review


Weak
According to web reports, this Hugh Jackman/Ewan McGregor thriller was originally titled The Tourist and The List before the filmmakers and/or studio finally settled on Deception. The alternates are not exactly the most eye-catching or original titles, but both would be just as appropriate for this particular film. I can't imagine what the impetus was to find something even more generic -- or if it's even possible to come up with a more bland thriller title. Betrayal, perhaps? Dark Secrets?

This is a film that starts off with some agreeable, professional trashiness before settling into routine. This is not to say that the opening, with meek, lonely accountant Jonathan (McGregor) striking up a friendship with the slick Wyatt (Jackman), is entirely smooth going. Almost immediately, the movie suffers from casting the sly, handsome McGregor as a fumbling nebbish. The guy has both acting chops and charisma; naturally, several of his Hollywood roles ask him to trade both for an American accent. Hopefully he meets up with Colin Farrell and James McAvoy to commiserate -- or maybe he swapped stories on-set with Jackman, another good-looking overseas bloke who has alternated terrific performances with bouts of blandness.

Continue reading: Deception (2008) Review

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Review


Good
Steve Irwin brings his popular Animal Planet antics to the big screen in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. Irwin plays a hardly fictionalized version of himself in which he tackles the wildest of outback prey. The film's poorly constructed plot centers on a crocodile that has gobbled a key piece from a U.S. spy satellite that has blown up and fallen into the Australian bush. The CIA wants it back so they send some bumbling agents down under to find it. Bad news for them, because Steve Irwin and his wife Terri think they're poachers who want the crocodile dead in order to make handbags and belts.

The plot doesn't matter (and even Crocodile Dundee took care of that). Irwin is the real show here - everything else just distracts from him. The movie is just another episode of his popular television series. While in the Outback, he gets up close and personal with spiders, lizards, crocodiles, and snakes. Speaking directly to the camera, he gives us a fairly useful education about these different animals while Terri provides additional commentary (think commercial spokesperson). It's all very interesting stuff and Irwin's humor and quick wit is enough to keep the lessons entertaining and the action scenes believable.

Continue reading: The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Review

Arnold Rifkin

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Arnold Rifkin Movies

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Movie Review

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Movie Review

Steve Irwin brings his popular Animal Planet antics to the big screen in The Crocodile...

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