Larry H's Movie Reviews for 2007 (53)
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Dates are United States release dates
I had to see my boy Steve "The Office" Carell in his new Noah movie. Carell plays Evan Baxter, a freshman congressman from Buffalo, who is told (repeatedly) by God (Morgan Freeman) that he needs to build an ark. Evan rebels so God has to give him some "signs" to convince him that building the ark is the right thing to do even if Evan's prayer life is a little weak.
The plot is simple and sweet...and boring. But the ending is exciting and worth the trip, but dang it was painful getting to the climax. Not even Carell can carry a poorly written script. I would give it a lower grade, but I fear the Wrath of God. Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 85. Larry H.
My movie got bumped Friday afternoon so I had to resort to going to the picture show on a very rainy Sunday afternoon. I couldn't go Saturday as I was involved in a 3-gun competitive match which I handily won and was carried off the range triumphantly on the shoulders of the losers; that's a big fat lie but its sounds cool.
Bruce Willis has resurrected his action character in Detective John McClane who can shoot almost as well as I can. Ok, I admit that I might not be able to kill five bad guys with fully automatic rifles with only my semi-auto pistol. But I'd like to take a shot at it. And isn't that why we go to these action shoot-'em-up movies? This John McClane is as tough as Cool Hand Luke and as deadly as Dirty Harry with the suave of a James Bond (you choose your favorite Bond.) Detective McClane has aged a little and is now in his early 50's...not that there's anything wrong with that. And he listens to Credence Clearwater Revival so at least he has good taste in music.
In this story, the bad guys are computer terrorist that can shut down the country with their tech savvy and baffle the Cyber Security Division of the FBI. Meanwhile, there is only one person that can save the day: that's right...Super Hero John McClane who is forced to take out a helicopter with a car because as he explains "...I was out of bullets." I love that guy. And then the bad guys mess with his daughter; bad idea.
This is a fast nonstop action flick that is well edited with powerful special effects. I laughed and sat on the edge of my seat the whole movie. This movie is just fun. Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 90. Larry H.
I'm working at half speed during the holidays which means I'm going to the movies about half the time. I didn't know much about "Transformers"; never saw them on TV. I remember that Eric H. had a Transformer toy that was a really cool Advanced Robot monster-machine that "transformed" into other stuff like cars and such. The first Transformer we see in this movie is an old yellow Camaro with black racing stripes.
Here's the back ground: some bad alien Transformers attack a US Military base in present day Qatar and kill everyone except a few survivors. Meanwhile, back in the states, the US Government led by Secretary of Defense played by Jon Voight try to figure out what's going on. But they don't have a clue, until our 16 year old hero Sam connects with the Camaro that is really a good Transformer and before you know it there is a war between Good and Evil giant explosive robots and the US is in the middle and there is a Cube that is the key that is over 10,000 years old ....and on and on.
And this flick is big-time funny and entertaining. I laughed so much I was looking around me to see if I was causing a scene. Director Michael Bay, who also was an Executive Producer with Steven Spielberg, has got a winner and there will be many sequels. The CG is spectacular. This movie is Spider-Man meets Star Wars with just a hint of John Hughes' "Sixteen Candles." Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 89. Larry H.
I went to see this movie because of Robin Williams and John "Jim of The Office" Krasinski. This was a big break for the loveable Krasinski and I wanted to support him. His portrayal of the newly engaged Ben Murphy was one of the bright spots of this movie, but that's about it. I deserve bonus points for not walking out.
The screenplay is a classic example of what can go wrong from the time the writers pitch a script to the studio and actually showing it to a audience in Gulf Coast America and charging us for the privilege of seeing this wannabe movie about love and marriage. It was not funny; it was not charming; it was not interesting; it was a dud with a capital "D." Robin Williams should be whipped with a wet noodle for misleading us to believe that he would participate in such folly. Williams' portrayal of Reverend Frank stank. The popcorn was good! Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 69. Larry H.
I saw this movie Friday night with Monique H. but I'm typing these comments Saturday afternoon after my nap and I'm still groggy and testy. But I can still remember that this movie was boring and I didn't like any of the characters and actually hated a few. I know that a nice boy is not suppose to "hate" but I'm wound a little tight right now and my blood sugar is low; I need some Milk Duds.
Here's the story: old lady dying in bed tells two daughters about her tawdry, shallow life with her silly, rich friends in the 1950's. Flashbacks and forwards about 30 times revealed this simple, sad tale. And I didn't give a rat's foot. But the acting was shockingly good. Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 72. Larry H.
And it was Wednesday late morning when I started edging toward the outer office door and while looking over my left shoulder, I mumbled "...uh, I've got something I need to do and I've got to eat lunch...see you around two." You didn't think I was going to miss opening day of the Boy Wizard's return, did ya? I've read all of the Harry Potter books and Eric H. is devoted; he's one of those freaks that studies books about HP and has re-read at least once the more than four thousand pages by the glorious J.K. Rowling.
This movie is the big screen version of Book #5. Harry and Professor Dumbledore are telling the wizard world that Lord Voldermort, The Dark Lord, has returned. The Ministry of Magic (bureaucrats) does not want to believe that He Who Must Not Be Named has re-appeared so they set out to discredit Harry and Albus by sending Dolores Umbridge to spy on Hogwarts. The cruel and unfair Umbridge ultimately is appointed to takeover the post of Headmaster from Professor Dumbledore and then all hell breaks loose.
In this chapter of Harry's life, he is more mature and even has a passionate kiss with the lovely Cho, but Voldermort has made strides by infiltrating Harry's mind causing Harry to doubt his own motives. This is an angry Harry that is ready to do battle with Voldermort with the help of Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Ginny, his godfather Sirius Black, and of course the magnificent Professor Dumbledore.
I think this is the best Harry Potter movie. Director David Yates and Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg have done a skillful job in wittling down over 850 pages of Rowling's masterpiece by hitting the highlights and keeping the action moving. Those of you that are hard-core Harry Potter fans will be a little disappointed with small changes and parts omitted, but Rowling's story is sanctified and preserved. The closing scenes are scary and a work of art. I plan to see this movie again when Monique H. is ready. Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 90. Larry H.
I like Matt Damon but I did not like his "Bourne" this time. It's the same old tired story even though they make you think he's up to something new. The CIA has made him a killing machine and now they want to hit the kill switch. Damon's Jason Bourne kills with ease: he's a combination of a Kung-Fu Fighter, Dirty Harry, and Spider-Man. For an actor, he had a pretty good grip on his various pistols though at times his hands were not properly placed to engage in proper mortal combat, but let's not be picky.
Here are some of my favorite lines: "...let me know when the asset's in the nest... shut down all the exits and take 'em both out...you have full authority to shoot to kill..." And my absolute favorite: "...let's bring down one of our assets from Casablanca..." It better not be Ricky Blaine!
For a two o'clock showing, it was a big crowd so I suspect that "Bourne Ultimatum" will be the Ultimate box-office hit and make a cajillion dollars but I think Damon has gone to the international-secret-agent well one too many times. Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 79. Larry H.
"Based on the true story of the King of Salsa, Hector Lavoe. Plot Outline: The life story of Hector Lavoe who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States." And I call it "El Perro goes to New York" because it's a dog! Note: please roll your r's when you say "perro."
I would have walked out sooner but Jennifer Lopez (Puchi) is so cute and does all that fancy dancin' and swishin'. Then there's her husband in the film and in real life Marc Anthony (Hector Lavoe) who can sing and was perfect for the part of drugged-out Hector, but I didn't care if he lived or died. As a matter of fact, I left Loew's theatre #13 immediately after Hector and Puchi got married because Puchi was pregnant. Oh sure, Puchi asked for a cigarette while at the alter of the marriage ceremoney but nobody's perfect. And I was getting the vibe that ole Hector was gonna die a tragic death and I wanted to leave during his wedding so I would have only fond memories of Hector. Long live Hector! Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 69W. Larry H.
Think "Ocean's Eleven" meets "Mission Impossible" with a Latino flavor and Spanish subtitles, and then throw in "Robin Hood" for good measure. This is a fun, feel-good movie about good thieves stealing from a very bad thief. The title means "Thieves Who Rob Thieves."
The bad thief is Moctesuma Valdez whose real name is Claudio but he changed it so he could more effectively hawk his fake wonder products on TV to unsuspecting Latino immigrants that were looking for a quick cure for anything from baldness to cancer. Mocte made millions so he deserved to be robbed by our hero thieves Alejandro and Emilio. Alejandro portrayed by pretty-boy Fernando Colunga was the George Clooney character that wooed the women and led the goofy untrained day laborers that signed up for the big heist of the cash-laden vault in the patron's mansion. Emilio had the cool ponytail and was a little mysterious and wound tight a la Brad Pitt.
I liked all the good guys and laughed often. There were only six of us in Theatre #15 at Loew's so my laughter cause some feeling of self consiousness but I soon got over it. Don't let the subtitles inhibit you; I think it adds a nice change to one's moviegoing experience. The acting, screenplay, and editing are very straightforward so you will not get lost even though at times I did not finish reading the entire subtitle, but that should not affect you fast readers. If you are willing to take a chance on a movie on a hot Labor Day weekend, then give this flick a shot. Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 89. Larry H.
I'm a sucker for a musical and I was mildly embarrassed that I had not seen John Boy Travolta and the cast of "Hairspray." But I had no idea how great this movie was. I absolutely loved this movie from start to finish.
Here's what I liked about it: writing, acting, music, lyrics, costumes, make-up, screenplay, themes, singing, dancing, directing, and the mere fact that Christopher Walken (Wilbur Turnblad) was married to the very heavily made up John Travolta's Edna Turnblad. Did you hear me? Walken married to Travolta and they do a song and dance routine that you will see the night of the Oscars because it will be a classic.
I liked all the charaters and even the antagonists were charming thanks to Michelle Pfeiffer and Brittany Snow. The only other actors that turned in winning performances were: Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, and the true star of the movie Nikki Blonsky as the "short and stocky" Tracy Trunblad.
This movie was originally written for the stage by John Waters in 1988, but it's theme of prejudice against people that are different set in the tough times of 1962 intergration was pure fun and a memorable ride through Baltimore, America.
I realize that many of you have already seen this movie since its debut on July 20th, but I was busy that day so I've been struggling to get back to "Hairspray" and this Labor Day Sunday afternoon seemed like an opportunity. When I walked in the theatre at Loew's, I was shocked at the size of the crowd of around 100 so the word is getting out about this jewel. So far, it gets my vote for Best Picture of 2007! Rock 'n Roll.
Grade 94. Larry H.