Mike Karz

Mike Karz

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Blended Review


OK

Even with its inane script and limp direction, this film is watchable simply because Drew Barrymore is present to humanise Adam Sandler. How she does this is a mystery, but the fact remains that he's annoyingly unlikeable without her. And history proves the point: Sandler's best-ever performances were in two films opposite Barrymore, 1998's The Wedding Singer and 2004's 50 First Dates. Although this movie isn't quite in that league.

They play Lauren and Jim, who meet on a disastrous blind date and vow never to see each other again. But they end up inadvertently sharing a safari holiday to South Africa when Lauren's best pal (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and Jim's boss cancel a holiday with their five kids. Which is handy since Lauren has two energetic sons (Braxton Beckham and Kyle Red Silverstein) while Jim has three needy daughters (Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann and Alyvia Alyn Lind). Of course, the children are happy to have same-sex role models along, even if Lauren and Jim can't bear to be around each other.

There isn't a split-second when we don't know exactly where this plot is heading, even though the script veers wildly between wacky slapstick mayhem and sappy lesson-learning sentimentality. Every scene is carefully concocted to elicit either laughter or tears, and the manipulative filmmaking occasionally works. Although the movie's funniest moments are offhanded gags that feel improvised between Barrymore and Sandler. The child actors are all decent, carefully cast so each each simplistic character can have his or her corny journey to some sort of personal discovery.

Continue reading: Blended Review

New Year's Eve Review


Terrible
The team that made the thin-but-enjoyable Valentine's Day in 2010 reunites for another massively overextended rom-com with a remarkable A-list ensemble. But this time the stories and filmmaking overdose on ill-conceived schmaltz.

As the countdown to 2012 begins, an executive (Swank) is frazzled about a technical glitch in the iconic Time's Square ball-drop. Meanwhile, a courier (Efron) is trying to help a frumpy secretary (Pfeiffer) achieve her dreams. A chef (Heigl) is catering a glittering event while trying to avoid her rock star ex (Bon Jovi), whose back-up singer (Michele) is stuck in a lift with a lovelorn slacker (Kutcher). A mother (Parker) is worried about her teen daughter (Breslin). And a tuxedoed millionaire (Duhamel) is trying to get to an important event in the city.

Continue reading: New Year's Eve Review

Valentine's Day Review


Good
With an enormous ensemble cast and more intertwined plots than you can count, this fluffy concoction is shamelessly sentimental and silly, and yet it's also an undemanding crowd-pleaser.

Valentine's Day in Los Angeles brings a series of romantic crises. A flower seller (Kutcher) has proposed to his less-than-keen girlfriend (Alba), then discovers his best friend's (Garner) boyfriend (Dempsey) is married. A phone-sex operator (Hathaway) is afraid to tell her boyfriend (Grace) what she does for a living. An romance-hating publicist (Biel) is helping her client (Dane) manage a media storm. A group of teens (Swift, Lautner, Roberts and Jenkins) are grappling with chastity. And two strangers (Roberts and Cooper) strike up a conversation on a trans-Atlantic flight.

Continue reading: Valentine's Day Review

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Mike Karz Movies

Blended Movie Review

Blended Movie Review

Even with its inane script and limp direction, this film is watchable simply because Drew...

New Year's Eve Movie Review

New Year's Eve Movie Review

The team that made the thin-but-enjoyable Valentine's Day in 2010 reunites for another massively overextended...

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