movie film review | chris tookey

Paul Fischer


Dark Horizons, USA


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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
Explosive, exciting and just out-and-out hilarious.
 This is not merely one of the worst films in recent memory but it could well go down as one of the worst things ever conceived by human hands - that is, if it gave any evidence that was actually made by human beings instead of by robots hell-bent on destroying humanity by turning human minds to mush.
  (Peter Sobczynski, Critic Doctor)
 The worst movie of the year.
  (Chuck Schwartz, Cranky Critic)
 An action movie so loud, stupid and unbelievable that it will alienate proud fans of loud, stupid and unbelievable action movies.
  (Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star)
 Watching Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is like being trapped inside a pinball machine operated by a 6-year-old having a sugar rush.
  (Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter)
 Grim going unless you’re an exceptionally witless 13 year-old.
  (Catherine Shoard, Sunday Telegraph)
 This is basically one long, loathsome commercial for the ladette culture, which dictates that young women become as coarse, sexually exploitative and violent as the worst kind of men… This is a dumb movie that's so smug and self-satisfied in its own dumbness, everyone involved looks in need of a good slap.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Paycheck (2003)
An exhilarating roller-coaster ride of a thriller in the rare tradition of Hitchcock. Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman light up the screen in one of the best and most inventive thrillers of the year.
 A snore, and worse, it’s so generic in tone, execution, and payoff that it might as well have been directed by any journeyman straight-to-video helmer out there. This is nothing like the Hong Kong master of mind-blowing action who directed the excruciatingly entertaining Hard-Boiled, and coupled with lackluster performances from Thurman and Eckhart, it’s one of the biggest letdowns of the year, a sterile piece of artlessness that lacks even Woo’s trademark ballistic ballets while treading perilously close to Steven Spielberg’s far superior Minority Report.
  (Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle)
 Some day, when it's available on video, Paycheck will be great for drinking games. Every time any character does something stupid, take a shot. The participants in the game will all be drunk before the film is half over... This is a bad film, complete with lackluster acting, brainless writing, and uninspired direction.
  (James Berardinelli , Reelviews)
 The search for Ben Affleck’s career was abandoned last night due to poor weather and visibility, but will be resumed with air-sea rescue helicopters at daybreak... He’s clearly been taking his handsomeness lessons pretty frequently, and may even have a handsome coach on-set. He has got self-deprecating charm. Is there no one who can find this man a script?
  (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
 Uninvolving and devoid of inspiration. The acting ranges from mediocre to atrocious. Yet again Affleck makes such a thoroughly boring hero that you wonder why he keeps getting employed. He trundles through the proceedings with a good-humoured smirk when trying to look cool, or a baffled air, like a mastiff given two contradictory orders at once, when he's being chased or shot at. Called upon to register existential panic, he goes blank… Director John Woo looks washed up… Woo's one original idea is to make Affleck look like Cary Grant in North by Northwest - not a good scheme, since it invites profoundly unflattering comparisons.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
King Arthur (2004)
Spellbinding! One of the year's best. Unforgettable.
 Bleak, remarkably turgid, tediously violent, devoid of drama, deprived of magic, stripped of romance... a befuddled and befuddling excuse for entertainment.
  (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)
 Profoundly stupid and inept, but it's an endless source of giggles.
  (David Edelstein, Slate)
 The term “unintentional comedy” was coined for a movie such as this. Yet King Arthur is too long and too full of itself to offer more than a few fleeting moments of entertainment. It doesn't take long for tediousness to triumph.
 (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 The latest and worst slice of would-be war porn from the producer of Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down.
  (Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph)
 Turgid and tiresome. These events would never have given rise to the rich, universally appealing myths of Arthurian legend. The only moment in the film that really lifts the spirits is the rolling of the end credits.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Alexander (2005)
Magnificent. Powerful. Colin Farrell is majestic. An Oscar-caliber performance.
 We gaze at Colin Farrell, in the leading role, and wonder if Alexander was impelled to reach the limits of the known world purely in order to forget the tragedy of his wig.
 (Anthony Lane, New Yorker)
 An ambitious disaster, Alexander is the rare historical portrait that leaves you feeling as though you know less about its subject than you did upon entering the theater.
  (Peter Debruge, Premiere)
 This movie is an act of hubris so huge that, in Alexander's time, it would draw lightning bolts from contemptuous gods. Today it will get sniggers from stunned critics and a collective yawn from a public unlikely to share Stone's egomania.
  (Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer)
 This film will go down as the Showgirls of sword-and-sandal films.
  (Cosmo Landesman, Sunday Times)
 An outright disaster: lumpen, pedantic, agonisingly long and awash with camp histrionics even when it isn’t trying to be.
  (Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph)
  A terrible monument to one man’s megolamania – and it isn’t Alexander the Great’s... The acting is some of the worst I’ve seen, even in a Hollywood epic... Colin Farrell roaring his head off strikes as ludicrous a figure as Kylie Minogue essaying the role of Margaret Thatcher.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
XXX: State of the Union (2005)
The best action film of the year.
 So infantile it might as well be based on the doodles of 8-year-old schoolboys. Of course, anyone older might remember how lousy the first xXx was, so maybe that's an appropriate target audience... A self-parody of a bloated, crass Hollywood action picture.
  (Paul Sherman, Boston Herald)
 So primitive, it must have been written in lizard blood on animal skin.
  (Stephen Hunter, Washington Post)
 Quite possibly the most horrendously ill-conceived sequel in the history of the moving image.
  (Matt Anderson, Movie Habit)
 A movie so preposterous, cliché-packed and over the top that it makes the original xXx seem as good as the original State of the Union.
  (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune)
 This is Seven Days in May for muscle-flexing boneheads.
  (Philip French, Observer)
 Hollywood at its most cynical. It has the ethics of a pimp, the savagery of a mugger and the politics of Michael Moore.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Rent (2005)
Sheer A show-stopping, breathtaking and truly wonderful film.
 Tiresomely undramatic, even saccharine. Not to mention monotonous.
 (David Edelstein, Slate)
 Heart-breakingly awful - slow, lugubrious, and misconceived to the point of baffling amateurism.
 (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)
 Painfully dated and achingly false.
 (Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times)
 Rent plays as a very long joke with no punch line, an exercise in mawkish sentimentality that's embarrassing to watch.
 (Melissa Levine, Dallas Observer)
 To paraphrase the play’s most famous song: how do you measure the lien against your soul when you’re forced to sit through something as forcibly maudlin as Rent? I dunno, but 525,600 minutes is about how long this movie felt at times.
 (Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat)
 We could maybe let the characters off their self-absorption if the songs were any good... Rent would bring out the unsympathetic landlord in just about anyone.
 (Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph)
 A 90s cultural icon collapses… It’s banal, monotonous, mawkish, smug, and a tiresome parade of self-pity masquerading as honesty. The cast, most of whom take on their original stage roles, are mostly too old, and don’t look as if they have missed too many meals or hair appointments. And Chris Columbus doesn’t so much direct the show as embalm its corpse in its own, kitsch casket… They’re the Kids From Fame, but with diseases instead of ambition, and self-pity instead of talent.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
The perfect summer comedy.
 Gone is the magic that made the Herbie films great family movies, in its place is the lame trappings of a modern, dumbed-down kids movie.
 (Joshua Tyler, Cinema Blend)
 Blandly noisy and inoffensively average.
 (Ty Burr, Boston Globe)
 The movie is pretty cornball. Little kids would probably enjoy it, but their older brothers and sisters will be rolling their eyes, and their parents will be using their iPods.
 (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
The House Bunny (2008)
A deliciously funny film. A completely adorable and satisfying gem of a comedy.
 The movie is a commercial for Hugh Hefner that makes his magazine seem like Seventeen.
 (Wesley Morris, Boston Globe)
 (Steve Davis, Austin Chronicle)
 One wonders if there's a special place in hell reserved for filmmakers who foist this kind of tripe on the public.
 (James Berardinelli, ReelViews)
 A sophomoric piece of schlock.
 (Kerry Bennett,
 More sexist rubbish.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Pink Panther 2 (2009)
A comic gem.
 Not content with having trashed the memory of Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards once with the awful 2006 “remake” of The Pink Panther, Steve Martin takes up the task again, with results that are equally bad.
 (Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion)
 Pink Panther 2 is so brainlessly uninventive that it actually seems determined to sully the legacy of Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers's original series.
 (Nick Shager, Slant)
 One of the most dreadfully unnecessary movies in recent memory. And that's a recent memory that includes Bride Wars and My Bloody Valentine.
 (Mary Elizabeth Williams,
 It doesn’t get laughs so much as defeated groans.
 (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
 Hollywood comedies don’t come more calculating and cynically commercial than The Pink Panther 2… I didn’t laugh once. I groaned, though. A lot.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
X Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Wolverine is action-packed adrenaline-charged entertainment. Hugh Jackman is electrifying, delivering a star-turning performance. The first great summer movie of the season.
 With some dire blue-screen effects, dizzying tonal instability and a total absence of suspense or originality, Wolverine is something of a disaster.
 (Tom Huddleston, Time Out)
 Sound and fury signifying virtually nothing.
 (Derek Malcolm, Evening Standard)
 It’s dull, bone-crushing, special-effects stuff, of interest only to hardcore fans.
 (Philip French, Observer)
 A deadly dull, formulaic flick.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
The Book of Eli (2010)
Stunning. The first must-see movie of 2010.
 The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence.
 (David Denby, New Yorker)
 An absurd, incoherent narrative defined by contradictions: religious and violent, arty and exploitational, serious and trashy, stylized and gritty.
 (Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com)
 A post-apocalyptic western cursed by laborious pacing and a sense of self-importance which its nutty story does not warrant. Ponderous in the extreme and laced with portentous religious overtones.
 (Mike Goodridge, Screen International)
 As with All About Steve, it’s hard to convey exactly how mad this film is. Imagine The Road, remade by Christian fundamentalists with a sadistic interest in mutilation in general, and amputation in particular. It’s that weirdly deranged.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
A totally laugh-out-loud comic gem…It’s a blast!
Confidence (2003)
Fast, engaging and visually intoxicating! Confidence is a real classic. Edward Burns is terrific. Dustin Hoffman delivers a brazen performance. A masterful and ingenious surprise!
National Treasure (2004)
The year's most entertaining film. The Indiana Jones of the new millennium!
Walking Tall (2004)
An exciting, intelligent and deeply human action film.
The Jacket (2005)
A razor-sharp, mind-blowing thriller!
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Pure escapist fun.
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
The perfect holiday movie. A must-see this holiday season.
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