Friday, July 04, 2008

Movies opening this week

Hancock (Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, dir. Peter Berg)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
This movie went through several different directors in its preproduction stage, suffered from last-minute reshoots and ended up with a truncated running time to achieve a PG-13 rating. So it's not really surprising that it's choppy, inconsistent and disjointed. It is a shame, though, because I like the idea of a superhero movie not based on an existing comic or TV show - really, a blockbuster movie of any kind not based on recycled source material is welcome. But the filmmakers clearly don't know what kind of movie they want to make, and throw all their ideas into one big heap. If they had dropped the lame mythology and played up the sarcastic, dark comedic take on superheroes, this movie might have turned out to be worthwhile. Wide release

When Did You Last See Your Father? (Jim Broadbent, Colin Firth, Matthew Beard, Juliet Stevenson, dir. Anand Tucker)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
Maybe Firth has just been typecast so much as the good-hearted but dull guy that all he can play is mopey and awkward, but he really sort of drags this movie down. Not that it's spectacular anyway, but given how much verve Broadbent puts into his performance, a better turn from the ostensible lead might have elevated this beyond mediocre and forgettable, which is where it ended up. Opened limited June 6; in Las Vegas this week

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