Saturday, April 24, 2010

“Disney says it's creating sequel to 'Monsters Inc.' and working on new Muppets movie - Baltimore Sun” plus 3 more

“Disney says it's creating sequel to 'Monsters Inc.' and working on new Muppets movie - Baltimore Sun” plus 3 more


Disney says it's creating sequel to 'Monsters Inc.' and working on new Muppets movie - Baltimore Sun

Posted: 22 Apr 2010 10:44 PM PDT

Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278

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Movie review: 'The Losers' - Washington Post

Posted: 22 Apr 2010 11:41 PM PDT

What? You were expecting maybe Oscar bait?

Not from a movie with characters named Cougar and Pooch (a man whose military specialty is identified, on screen, as "transpo and special weps"). And not from a movie whose visual style was inspired by a comic-book illustrator who goes by the single name Jock. It's dumb, adrenalized fun, filled with flying knives, broken glass, fireballs, guns and some kind of next-generation bomb called a "sonic dematerializer," also known as a "snuke." In the film's one cheesy special effect, a small island is shown being broken up by sound waves, kind of like a giant kidney stone.

(Come to think of it, the whole cast should get a special Academy Award just for being able to say "snuke" while keeping a straight face.)

The plot centers on a group of commandos led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, looking like Robert Downey Jr.'s 1996 mug shot). Known as the Losers, Clay's team consists of his right-hand man Roque (Idris Elba); communications and tech wiz Jensen (Chris Evans); driver Pooch (Columbus Short) and sharpshooter Cougar (Oscar Jaenada). Betrayed and left for dead by their psychotic CIA handler, Max (Jason Patric), they set out to get their revenge before Max can detonate a snuke in Los Angeles as a ploy to justify a U.S. military crackdown on terrorism.

Aiding them in their mission -- or is she? -- is a mysterious femme fatale (Zoe Saldana).

Along the way, expect a couple of easily spotted plot twists, not to mention the Losers' Teflon-like ability to wade into a hailstorm of bullets without body armor and keep on fighting. Truth be told, a couple of them do get shot, but the occasional flesh wound hardly seems to slow them down -- or dampen their wisecracking sense of humor.

That humor, in the end, is what saves "The Losers" from itself. No one -- least of all director Sylvain White, and writers Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt, working from comic book creator Andy Diggle's source material -- takes any of this very seriously. From Pooch's automotive mascot, a bobblehead chihuahua named Mojito, to Jensen's rotating wardrobe of silly T-shirts, "The Losers" has a surprisingly light -- and winning -- touch.

** PG-13. At area theaters. Contains bone-crunching violence and explosions, obscenity and sensuality. 98 minutes.

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Woody Allen’s much-talked about movie set in Paris - The Gaea Times

Posted: 23 Apr 2010 02:29 PM PDT

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Movie review: Jennifer Lopez is the best part in the ... - Providence Journal

Posted: 22 Apr 2010 09:54 PM PDT

Two scenes stand out in "The Back-up Plan," Jennifer Lopez's long-overdue return to comedy after years of morose movie dramas, music videos and careful cultivation of her celebrityhood.

There's a birth scene, a screaming, heaving, New Agey single-mothers group gathering as one of their number graphically brings a newborn into a world of drums, chants and comic chaos.

And then there's Robert Klein, playing an ob-gyn trying to get the boyfriend-but-not-the-baby-daddy (Alex O'Loughlin) to grow up as he performs a pelvic exam on the artificially inseminated expectant mom (Lopez).

"Vagina," Klein snaps. "Vagina vagina vagina vagina!"

All around the periphery of this variation on a "Baby Mama" theme are funny best friends (Michaela Watkins, Anthony Anderson), cute dogs and zingers about the shock impending parenthood has on the woman who has planned it, and the boyfriend she was a little slow telling about it after they met.

There isn't much chemistry between the leads. Lopez plays Zoe, a 30-something pet store owner who has decided to go it alone when it comes to having a baby. O'Loughlin ("Whiteout," "Three Rivers") costars as Stan, the pushy-charming cheese merchant she keeps bumping into.

"I'll give you a taste of my cheese … Let me rephrase that."

Director Alan Poul, a TV vet ("Big Love," "Swingtown"), commendably makes the most of what he has to work with.

That would be Lopez — who is gorgeous, a little over-dressed for a Manhattan pet-store owner and properly comically nonplussed — and some of her supporting players plus the film's occasional can't-miss funny scene.

But for all the profanity (quite a bit) and sexual sass, this CBS Films product plays even more like a TV movie than its debut project, "Extraordinary Measures."

There's Linda Lavin (TV's "Alice") playing Zoe's granny, and a feeble-looking Tom Bosley ("Happy Days") as granny's suitor. And TV writer Kate Angelo's tired "Becker"/"Bernie Mac Show" jokes and rhythms don't help.

These problems aren't obvious when Lopez is interacting with critters or character actors. But O'Loughlin is the very definition of comic dead weight.

Imagine making Greg Kinnear carry half of "Baby Mama," or sending Tina Fey out with Matthew Fox on "Date Night," and you'll get the picture.

O'Loughlin has landed the lead in the "Hawaii Five-O" TV remake, so good for him. Then again, nobody fondly recalls the comic stylings of Jack Lord, do they?

*** The Back-Up Plan

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Linda Lavin

Rated: PG-13, sexual content including references, some crude material and language

Running time: 1:43

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