This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. While that film was a bittersweet comedy about old age, this one has a lot less on its mind. Instead, it goes for more populist joys like slapstick and smiley banter, all based on the A-list casting of present-day icons Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. At least they give it some oomph.
It all starts when Joe (Caine) is notified by his bank that his mortgage is overdue, but this is only because they tripled the interest rate. And the situation becomes even more desperate when the company where he worked for 40 years is sold to a multinational, which liquidates the pension fund, leaving Joe and his pals Willie and Albert (Freeman and Arkin) in serious trouble. So Joe hatches a crazy scam to steal the money back from the bank, and Willie and Albert go along with it. They get advice from low-level criminal Jesus (John Ortiz) to work out the details. Meanwhile, Willie is undergoing treatment for kidney failure, and his age has left him far down the donor list. And Albert finally gives in to the flirtatious advances of amorous shop-clerk Annie (Ann-Margret).
Christopher Lloyd also stars in Going In Style
Continue reading: Going In Style Review
Spirited and very funny, this movie should actually be rather disturbing since it's a true story about torture and murder. But director Michael Bay is so slick with the action and comedy elements that he lulls audiences to sleep, entertaining us with events that really should send chills down our spines. So the movie feels rather tasteless when you begin to think about it.
Wahlberg stars as Daniel, an obsessive bodybuilder in 1990s Miami who works as a personal trainer at a local gym. But he's becoming increasingly annoyed by the fact that his clients are much wealthier than he is. So he convinces his steroid-addicted colleague Adrian (Mackie) to help him kidnap a customer (Shalhoub) and steal his fortune. Realising that they need some help, they enlist born-again ex-con Paul (Johnson) in their plan. But none of them is very smart, and the kidnapping goes badly wrong from the start. Still, they manage to steal quite a lot before a tenacious private detective (Harris) notices something isn't right.
For a story that deals with such intensely serious themes, this is an oddly broad comedy. Bay never even tries to find dark irony here; he just focusses on how stupid these criminals are, convinced that they are as cool as the characters from their favourite movies and eerily unbothered by the fact that they are inflicting pain and even death on people for their own greedy ends. The actors inhabit the roles with a disarming naivete, so we can't help but laugh at their idiotic actions. Wahlberg plays Daniel as a muscle-head so focussed on getting what he wants that he doesn't notice the carnage in his wake; Mackie at least gives Adrian a sense of self-doubt, plus some comical romance (with scene-stealer Wilson); and Johnson has a tricky role as a religious guy with a weakness for drugs and women.
Continue reading: Pain & Gain Review
By never taking their ludicrous plot seriously, they've made a true guilty pleasure.
Fed up with dead-end Iowa, Ali (Aguilera) heads for Hollywood. Despite having no experience or training, she's sure she can make it as a singer-dancer. After a series of rejections, she stumbles upon the Burlesque Lounge on Sunset, run by jaded diva Tess (Cher) with the help of her long-suffering buddy Sean (Tucci). Ali charms sexy barman Jack (Gigandet) into a barmaid job, while keeping her sights on the stage. And she's also wooed by Marcus (Dane), a developer who's trying to buy the financially strapped club.
Continue reading: Burlesque Review
An obvious John Travolta vehicle, it features the healthy-looking, tanned, hit-or-miss star as Frank Morrison, a loving but divorced father who is earthy enough to build wooden boats for a living, and honest enough to not charge a profitable fee. He's nice. He loves his young son Danny (a natural Matthew O'Leary), and is dealing with his ex-wife's (Meet the Parents' Teri Polo) marriage to rich investor Rick Barnes (a stale Vince Vaughn, playing a whole other kind of psycho).
Continue reading: Domestic Disturbance Review
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