Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It's beyond an eclipse. It's a black out of intergalactic proportions.

No one really expected this movie about Edward (Robert Pattinson) the vampire and Jacob(Taylor Lautner) the werewolf fighting over Bella (Kristen Stewart) the reluctant Swan to be great art. But I didn't expect it to put me into a coma. I listened to the books on tape and they definitely have the whole teen yearning romantic angst thing down--they are great outlets for all that ill-defined, unexpressed sexual energy--and the movie has NONE OF THAT.

This is without a doubt one of the most half-hearted, half-assed, cold-blooded imitations of a film I have ever seen. It's moviemaking by numbers. It's as though the filmmakers were all multitasking-- doing their laundry, filing their nails, returning phone calls-- and oh by the way making this movie, knowing they had a built in audience who'd come anyway. Just give them some young good-looking flesh, have them recite their lines, maybe twitch an occasional eyebrow, and teenage girls and their moms (you know who you are) would swoon.

It's cynical and lazy. There's nothing real here--no romance, tension, excitement,terror, beauty, sadness, humor,suspense,or coherence. Every scene is stripped of its dramatic potential and limply put forth in chronological order. Seeing Jacob phase into a werewolf is about as exciting as seeing him brush his teeth. There is ONE scene that sort of works--the one where Edward proposes--it's surprisingly tender and effective. But if you haven't read the books, you are lost in a heap of bad makeup, mumbled dialogue, and phony-looking, awkwardly staged action sequences. None of the characters have any real juice. It's like they all drank the Kool aid, and now it's being served up to us.

Well I'm out for blood. Guess I'll look elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


KNIGHT AND DAY is such a kick--from the first accidentally on purpose meeting of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz: he never looked better; she was never more charming. They have instant chemistry and apparently extremely supple limbs given the amount of tumbling around they're about to do. He's not who he says he is, she's just a normal five foot ten inch blond with a killer bod and no apparent life. No matter--this is a sexy, glamorous, summer fantasy -- a cinematic roller coaster ride for grown ups.

The charismatic pair ricochet from Boston(you'll recognize every corner) to Brooklyn to a desert island to Salzburg, flipping on and off trains and planes, in and out of cars and hotel rooms, parachuting, motorcycling, fleeing the bad guys (the good guys?)during insanely choreographed chase sequences, while doing many of their own wildly entertaining and often hilarious stunts-especially Cruise who never looked better--did I already say that? My 16 year old daughter agrees. The script makes enough sense to keep you interested, and the non-stop action gives their buoyant charm even more lift.
Sit back, relax, and take the ride.

Monday, June 28, 2010



GROWN UPS has me down. How could five such funny men make such an embarrassingly unfunny and pointless movie? Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Kevin James, David Spade, and Chris Rock have made a film that only 10 year old boys could love. And not in a good way. We're talking the "pee-pee ka-ka doo-doo" school of filmmaking.

The plot involves five friends who re-unite at the funeral of their beloved boyhood coach. They spend a weekend in the woods together with their extended families and then the fun begins. David Spade falls face down in dog poo. Twice. Grandma farts. Mario Bello squirts breast milk at Maya Rudolph. Kevin James pees off the side of a boat and then on David Spade. Salma Hayek skips a stone into her son's crotch. Finally several of them pee in a public pool. An emotional catharsis ensues and they all realize that family, friends, and the simple pleasures are what life is all about.

Not only are the jokes primitive, but the thing has no structure, no dramatic shape or interest, no real characters or feeling, no forward momentum save the need it might arouse in an audience to flee the theater as quickly as possible. I saw it with Adam Sandler's mother in the audience. I wonder what she was thinking?

GROWN UPS--It just opened "number 2" at the box office-- I think that says it all.

Monday, June 21, 2010



Just northeast of Broadway--about 205 miles--is a Waltham MA theatre called The Reagle Music Theatre where you can often see Broadway performers and sometimes Broadway quality productions. This is the case with Reagle's first musical of the summer Sondheim's dark and twisted fairytale INTO THE WOODS!

It stars Broadway's Rachel York (who has shared the boards with Julie Andrews, Tommy Tune, and Jonathan Pryce) as the evil-luscious witch. She co-stars with former WBZ Anchorman and heck of a vocalist Scott Wahle! They head up an impressive cast, who manage Sondheim's fractured fairy tale of a plot and diabolically difficult score with aplomb. And they can sing too. The whole thing blew me away--the sets, costumes, staging, LIVE ORCHESTRA ladies and gentlemen,LIVE ORCHESTRA-- made for a first rate summer's eve entertainment with ice cream served at intermission and a "meet & greet" with the cast in the foyer on opening night!!!

And guess what--you don't have to mortgage the house to pay for tickets--prices range from $35-$57.00 with FREE PARKING!!! I must be hallucinating you say. Not true. I have witnesses and we're all still humming the score. REAGLE'S "INTO THE WOODS" will leave you deeply satisfied and happy ever after...!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I missed you all and have only time for some important headlines Today (family emergency!!!)
--but didn't want to leave you one more day!

***GREAT TONY AWARDS LAST NIGHT! Sean Hayes, fabulous host, and all those people in the theatre community can all actually walk, talk, act, sing, dance AND deliver their lines with verve and style in a live telecast. Hollywood--take a lesson. Irony--Hollywood cleaned up last night: Denzel, Scarlett, and Catherine Zeta-Jones all walked away with Tony's. (What was Zeta Jones on anyway???? "Out there" performance from A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, and even "farther" out there acceptance speech.

***At THE MOVIES: See "BABIES." I don't care what's number one at the box office: IT'S BEST THING PLAYING RIGHT NOW PERIOD THE END.

***AT THE THEATRE: RUSH TO SEE JOHNNY BASEBALL at the A.R.T. in Cambridge. The New York Times is WRONG!!!!. The show features a top notch cast in a hilarious, touching old fashioned entertainment with a catchy score and some truly memorable numbers. It's not perfect--but it sure is swell.

***I will show you my tango videos later in the week!!!