movie film review | chris tookey

Mick LaSalle


San Francisco Chronicle, USA


Quote Whore Quotient : 52

 Quote Whore Status : 16th
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
In his last two films, Johnny Mnemonic and Speed, Keanu Reeves looked alert and competent, but there were still traces of the old fuzziness behind the eyes. But in A Walk in the Clouds he doesn't look dumb at all. The fuzziness is suddenly and definitely gone, and Reeves emerges as a mature, charismatic movie star.
 A phenomenally atrocious movie — so bad, in fact, that you might actually manage to squeeze a few laughs out of it... The most fun to be had with the film is in watching Reeves struggle through his dialogue.
  (Hal Hinson, Washington Post)
 Pure yucky mush. And Keanu can't act.
  (Audrey Rock-Richardson, Toole Transcript-Bulletin )
 Then there's Keanu. Well... he tries. He's just too stiff to be taken seriously.
  (Michael J. Legeros, Movie Hell)
 The kind of stupendously, awesomely tasteless movie you remember, and chuckle over, long after the good ones have faded from memory.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Men in Black 2 (2002)
In every way an improvement over the original Men in Black.
 What was fresh and original in the first film feels tired, stale, and unfunny here.
  (Michael Elliott, Movie Parables)
 They're going through the motions, but the zip is gone.
  (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post)
 Everything that worked in the first movie basically falls flat here.
  (James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk)
 Lower your expectations. A lot. No, more than that.
  (Edward Johnson-Ott, Nuvo Newsweekly)
 A painfully disappointing sequel to a funny and ingenious movie.
 (Philip French, Observer)
The Medallion (2003)
The best of Jackie Chan's American movies, a pleasant little action comedy that makes one wonder how other filmmakers could ever get it wrong.
 There are five writers credited with the script for The Medallion, and between them they don't come up with a single original or amusing or clever idea.
  (Charles Taylor,
 A cesspool of ludicrous plotting, incomprehensible storytelling, and characters about as sturdy as wet cement.
  (Dustin Putman, TheMovieBoy)
 Clunky, tired, and totally illogical, the screenplay can’t hold up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. Even if the plot made a lick of sense – which it doesn’t – director Gordon Chan’s cutesy approach would sink this ship before it leaves port.
  (Sean O'Connell,
 Chan needs to hang up the action shoes and move on, so we remember him as the gravity-defying hero of the '80s rather than as a broken-down, earthbound caricature of his former self.
  (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 By far Chan’s worst film.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
A movie to enjoy! It comments on the anxieties facing the world today… with cleverness and a sense of fun.
 Incomprehensible action, idiotic dialogue, inexplicable motivations, causes without effects, effects without causes, and general lunacy. What a mess... The movie plays like a big wind came along and blew away the script and they ran down the street after it and grabbed a few pages and shot those.
  (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
 Where’s the excitement, the thrills, the tension, the style?
  (Derek Adams, Time Out)
 An epic of silliness and ineptitude.
  (Anthony Quinn, Independent )
 A big, stupid mess.
  (Peter Whittle, Sunday Times)
 This dumbed-down disaster is one of the biggest wastes of a blockbuster budget since Wild Wild West.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Norbit (2006)
If Eddie Murphy gets an Oscar for Dreamgirls later this month, the deciding factor with voters may be his performance in Norbit. It's much more impressive than anything he does in Dreamgirls.
 It's hard to know who is the intended audience for this misguided mess.
 (Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News)
 Mean-spirited and depressing, this horror movie in comedy disguise delights in the twin spectacles of morbid obesity and domestic abuse, of which children are often the target.
 (Ken Fox, TV Guide)
 A strange, toneless collection of fat jokes, fart jokes and foul sex gags.
 (Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
 Eddie Murphy has famously made some diabolical movies. But nothing – not even Harlem Nights (“a witless display of self-indulgence” - Halliwell’s Film Guide) or Best Defense (“about as funny as getting hijacked by a group of kamikaze terrorists” - Guardian) – comes close to the laugh-free Norbit for sheer loathsomeness.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Bobby (2006)
Why such a structurally scattered movie should hang together at all is a mystery. That it does more than that, that it works brilliantly, is a miracle, or at the very least the product of unquantifiable causes.
 Tests your patience to the breaking point - maybe beyond.
  (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)
 Bobby can be seen clearly for what it is - an Airport movie with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as the central calamity and an all-star cast deployed like multiple George Kennedys.
  (Jim Ridley, Village Voice)
 Estevez means well. But having your heart in the right place is no excuse for insipid ineptitude.
  (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
 Emilio Estevez’s fawning tribute to Robert Kennedy is lousy in two ways. It’s a sprawling, ramshackle collection of soap opera clichés, that wastes a starry cast on tenth-rate material. And it’s pretentious drivel.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Click (2006)
One of the best American films of the year so far.
 Rarely have I wanted to fast-forward through a movie as much as Click, a treacly and not-funny-enough Adam Sandler comedy.
 (Lou Lumenick, New York Post)
 It's an unimaginative, mean-spirited affair… so devoid of anything close to wit, subtlety or sophistication that it stands as damning evidence that Hollywood has surrendered wholesale to stupidity and crassness.
  (William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
 An abomination.
 (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street)
 Be honest now: haven't we all had quite enough of Adam Sandler? The heart sinks when his name appears on a screen, a harbinger of tiresome fratboy humour, wilful ignorance and pointless outbursts of violence.
 (Paul Arendt, BBCi)
 Adam Sandler, at his least lovable… There are more farts and embarrassing sex jokes than laughs - far more.
  (Philip French, Observer)
Year One (2009)
Director Harold Ramis, who wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay, never lets Year One settle. He keeps the plot moving, introducing new elements and finding new opportunities for comedy. He mines each environment for laughs and moves onto another, and he doesn't worry about anachronisms... Ramis never lets his guard down, never gives the audience a chance to relax, even if it means hanging a lead character upside down and making him urinate on his own face. There's no vulgar or not vulgar here, just funny or not funny. Year One shows what has been true since the beginning of time: that it's anything for a laugh.
 It’s almost cruel to witness so many marvelous actors fail so miserably here.
 (Brian Orndorf,
 Year One is a dreary experience, and all the ending accomplishes is to bring it to a close. Even in the credit cookies, you don't sense the actors having much fun.
 (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
 An inexplicably unfunny comedy.
 (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 It puts comedy back 20,000 years… a disgrace to everyone involved. Please God, let there be no Year Two.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Hereafter (2010)
What's much more fascinating and enriching is Eastwood's Olympian vision, the sympathetic and all-encompassing understanding of the pain and grandeur of life on earth.
 I sincerely cannot help but worry, with no snarkiness intended whatsoever, whether Clint Eastwood has gone senile… There’s no story, there’s no philosophy, there’s just an endless void.
 (MaryAnn Johanson, The Flick Filosopher)
 When an 80-year-old director turns his attention to death, you hope for some insight, or gravitas, or even whimsy or anger. Hereafter has none of that.
 (Kyle Smith, New York Post)
 Hereafter occupies some muzzy twilight zone, too woo-woo sentimental to be real, too limp to make for even a halfway decent ghost story.
 (David Edelstein, New York Magazine)
 How did this inert piece of silliness see the light of day?
 (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
 A fate only slightly preferable to death. The whole thing’s presumably intended to be profound and spiritual. I’m afraid the reality is that it’s depressing, pretentious dopiness on an epic scale, as though 80 year-old Clint has suddenly become possessed by the befuddled spirit of M. Night Shyamalan.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Life or Something Like It (2002)
A worthy woman's film and Jolie's best showcase to date.
The Number 23 (2007)
The movie looks terrific, and though it always keeps moving, it never feels headlong or rushed. This is a very good movie that could have been better still: Alas, the denouement is just a little off.
He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
Brisk, engaging and pleasant throughout, and face it: If a movie this well made had Spanish or French subtitles, we'd all be talking about it as a searing examination of sexual politics.
Knight And Day (2010)
A high-functioning entertainment machine, guaranteed to please just about everyone who isn't determined to be grumpy. It places two charismatic stars in an engaging, action-filled story, set in a variety of glamorous locations, about a woman inexorably drawn into the sphere of a rogue government agent - an agent who looks great and can do absolutely anything, because he's played by Tom Cruise.
Burlesque (2010)
Burlesque is irresistible from its first minutes, and over time it creates a whole atmosphere, not only onscreen but within the audience. It's big, perfectly cast and entertaining in every way, but more than that it feels like a generous public event.
Yogi Bear (2010)
This is a cute movie, a kid's movie, and a rather good one.
Eddie (1997)
A fresh, funny, engaging picture that sets up an arresting situation and then follows through on it realistically... Goldberg, a fine actress, shows Eddie in all her stages, from awe to self-possession. She has an excellent scene on the team plane, where she walks down the aisle, diffidently but succinctly telling each player how he can improve. Later, as her confidence increases, Eddie stops smiling as much and starts dressing and acting like Whoopi Goldberg.
The Love Letter (1999)
A nice old-fashioned romance - how refreshing.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
It gets the job done.
Black Knight (2001)
This is Lawrence's show, his chance to demonstrate his comic nimbleness and appeal. He runs with it.
Rat Race (2001)
The funniest film to come along since South Park.
We Were Soldiers (2002)
One of the best war movies of the past 20 years.
Enough (2002)
It's the most tension-producing movie out there right now - in the best way, it's almost unbearable.
Down With Love (2003)
A very smart, very shrewd movie, and the smartest, shrewdest thing about it is the way it masquerades as just a fluffy comedy, a diversion, a trifle.
Hollywood Homicide (2003)
It's a movie an audience can settle comfortably into, and it pays off as it goes along.
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003)
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde takes the financially successful formula of Legally Blonde, the Reese Witherspoon hit from two years ago, and does something unexpected. It fiddles with it, changes it and actually fixes it.
Shark Tale (2004)
By avoiding the usual animation cliches, by keeping the story moving, the pictures pretty and the characters consistently amusing, director and co-writer Rob Letterman cobbles together an entertaining 90 minutes.
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