Catherine Kellner

Catherine Kellner

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Pearl Harbor Review


OK
There's a point in Pearl Harbor when Cuba Gooding Jr. leaps into a battleship's gun turret and starts shooting down Japanese planes while hell rages around him. It's a dramatic moment... until you realize that it's that "Show me the money!" guy from Jerry Maguire, shooting CGI bullets at a CGI plane... and you are reminded once again just how phony everything you've seen in Pearl Harbor has been.

Ironically, this incident, where ship's cook Dorie Miller took charge and shot back during America's worst hour on December 7, 1941, is just about the only true event to be found in the entire, oppressive three-hour film. (And our producers are quick to remind us of just how ripped-from-history this little vignette is. Never mind that Gooding has a pitiful excuse for a role with maybe five minutes of screen time.)

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Restaurant Review


Very Good
They might as well have called this movie J. T. McClure's, which is the name of the "restaurant" where all the film's characters work. That would have at least helped to add a little mystery and some flare to such a pitiable title. Thankfully, the film itself is a whole lot better than the name might indicate. Restaurant, directed by Eric Bross, spins the story of a group of young twenty-somethings struggling to reach their dreams of fame, while working at an upscale bar and grill in Hoboken, New Jersey. It's got that sort of Swingers humor and mentality, mixed with a diverse cast and much more serious themes.

Our protagonist is the restaurant's bartender, Chris Calloway (Adrien Brody - Summer of Sam, Six Ways to Sunday), a struggling playwright weaving his real life problems into his first play -- a work in progress that he can't seem to finish. When he meets the newest waitress Jeanine (Elise Neal - Mission to Mars) and they hit it off, he's faced with his second interracial relationship (the first being Lauryn Hill, who we see mostly as a picture on the refrigerator). Chris can't figure out why he likes black women so much, especially after his Italian father raised him to be a bigot. This dilemma is portrayed in his unfinished play, which is the story of a white man that can't deal with the external pressures of having a black girlfriend, even though he's madly in love. As he tries to make sense of his feelings, he gets caught up in the past when his ex (Hill) shows up at a friend's wedding. Because his relationship with her ended on such a bizarre note, he can't put it behind him, which prevents him from devoting his heart to Jeanine, and finally, thwarts him from finishing the play. Whew!

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Pearl Harbor Review


Weak

The handful of battle scenes that make up a good hour of "Pearl Harbor" are adrenaline-pumping and hyper-realistic on a massive scale.

You feel the impact of every single 7.7mm round from dive-bombing Japanese Zeros as they rip through pavement, planes and people in the infamous attack around which the film in centered. Director Michael Bay's camera goes inside cockpits, rides along on bombs from release to explosion, captures the terror of a torpedo in the water from the deck of a ship and includes some of the best special effects ever put on film.

The money shot is a hull-buckling blast that rips through the USS Arizona. It makes being on a luxury liner hit by an iceberg look like a 25-cent carnival ride.

Continue reading: Pearl Harbor Review

Catherine Kellner

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Catherine Kellner Movies

Pearl Harbor Movie Review

Pearl Harbor Movie Review

There's a point in Pearl Harbor when Cuba Gooding Jr. leaps into a battleship's gun...

Restaurant Movie Review

Restaurant Movie Review

They might as well have called this movie J. T. McClure's, which is the name...

Pearl Harbor Movie Review

Pearl Harbor Movie Review

The handful of battle scenes that make up a good hour of "Pearl Harbor" are...

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