movie film review | chris tookey

Jeffrey Lyons




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What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)
You'll be rolling in the aisles. The worst that could happen is missing this film.
 In answer to the question posed by the title, I can't in all honesty say, “This movie.” But that's only because there are far too many Freddy Got Fingereds and Say It Isn't Sos out there. The fact that What's the Worst That Could Happen? is better than these movies should in no way be misconstrued as even a backhanded compliment. It's like comparing stale, moldy, rancid bread with soggy, stale, moldy, rancid bread. Both are equally probable to turn one's stomach, and, if ingested, likely to require some time spent kneeling in front of a toilet bowl.
  (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 An inane hodgepodge of heist comedy and sluggish romance, with only a few flashes of anything resembling funny.
 (Tor Thorsen,
 Torpid snoozer.
  (Vera H-C Chan, Contra Costa Times)
 So clumsily constructed and crudely performed that it's numbingly unfunny.
  (Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion)
 I'd rather watch a forgotten houseplant dehydrate and die.
  (Michael Atkinson, Village Voice)
Dragonfly (2002)
Dragonfly is intriguing! Stunning!
 A journey of unimaginable tedium.
  (Christopher Null,
 As the movie dragged on, I thought I heard a mysterious voice, and felt myself powerfully drawn toward the light - the light of the exit sign. I have returned from the beyond to warn you: this movie is 90 minutes long, and life is too short.
  (A.O. Scott, New York Times)
 A numbingly pretentious project.
  (Rex Reed, New York Observer)
 Sappy, mechanical tripe.
  (Jonathan Foreman, New York Post)
 The dragonfly is a sleek, graceful insect that doesn't deserve to have its reputation sullied by being associated with this pile of offal.
  (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 Nauseating, new age tosh, too silly to be spiritual and too dumb to be scary. Bring out the insect repellant.
  (Catherine Shoard, Sunday Telegraph)
 Sanctimonious, cheesy and an insult to the intelligence, not to mention the recently bereaved.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
The Majestic (2002)
The best movie of the year!
 By comparison, Patch Adams looks like a tough-minded documentary about medical school.
  (Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer)
 Hopelessly derivative, contrived, manipulative and, finally, insulting.
  (Susan Stark, Detroit News)
 Even Capra would blanch, if he could stay awake, at Darabont's attempt to force-feed such hollow, phony and insincere sentimentality as infuses Majestic.
  (Steven Rosen, Denver Post)
 An interminable, smothering tableau of Norman Rockwell pieties.
  (Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Daily News)
 A derivative, self-satisfied fable that couldn't be more treacly and simple-minded if it tried.
  (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
The Wild (2006)
The Wild is flat-out amazing.
 It isn't often a rip-off gets as blatant as The Wild, a flat-out regurgitation of Madagascar.
  (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)
 Notable mostly because it doesn't appear to contain a single original idea.
  (Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle)
 Uninspired character animation and obnoxious banter aside, The Wild is ultimately done in by the persistent stench of been-there-seen-that.
 (Justin Chang, Variety)
 About as pedestrian as you can get.
 (Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle)
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
A superbly crafted thriller.
 A stodgy, grim thing.
 (Todd McCarthy, Variety)
 Po-faced hokum.
 (Catherine Shoard, Sunday Telegraph)
 So ponderous and so full of religious mumbo-jumbo that, at one point, I wondered when the Monty Python troupe would stroll on screen and give us a song from The Life of Brian.
 (Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail)
 Snortingly preposterous.
 (Paul Arendt, BBCi)
 The greatest turkey ever sold… big, bad and extravagantly boring.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Fred Claus (2007)
Sure to be a holiday classic.
 The movie has a terrible premise compounded by a lame script and the miscasting of its surfeit of talented stars.
 (Jack Mathews, New York Daily News)
 Dispiriting... insipid.
 (Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor)
 Belligerently unfunny.
 (Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat)
 Fred Claus is sadly just an early lump of coal under the tree.
 (Toddy Burton, Austin Chronicle)
 Not like a lump of coal in your stocking. Coal is useful; you can burn it. This movie is more like a lump of something Blitzen left behind after eating a lot of Mexican food.
 (Kyle Smith, New York Post)
The Number 23 (2007)
A genuine, intelligent, scary thriller.
 It's humorless save when it's laughable.
 (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)
 Gosh, where to end the counting? How about with the fact, helpfully provided in the press notes, that this feature is Joel Schumacher's "23rd film or television directorial assignment." To suggest that's exactly 23 too many might be a tad unkind, but does have the happy benefit of adding to the mystique.
 (Rick Groen, Globe and Mail)
 The story could have been concocted by a marginally talented chimpanzee.
 (William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
 There's a mess of things wrong with this suspense thriller. Start with the fact that it's neither suspenseful nor thrilling.
 (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
 Bleak and brackish. It makes you want to cover your eyes and clutch your ears. How's that for a quote line?
 (Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor)
 How bad is The Number 23? It gives Batman & Robin a run for its money as the worst of the director's long career.
 (Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times)
Sleuth (2007)
A tense, intelligent, superbly performed tour-de-force.
 The results will be received with a large, loud yawn by all but the most loyal fans of Pinter and hard-working co-stars Michael Caine and Jude Law.
 (Robert Koehler, Variety)
 Dreadful. All style and empty, over-the-top emoting.
  (Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer)
 Sleuth has to be the worst prestige movie of the year.
 (Richard Corliss, Time)
 What were they thinking?
 (Trevor Johnson, Time Out)
 Maladroitly directed from a dismal Harold Pinter script.
 (Philip French, Observer)
 This is a Dead Film Walking, a zombie of a film, a shuffling Frankenstein’s monster of a film, leaking electricity from its badly-fitted neck bolts, tragically whimpering at the pointless agony of its own brief existence. Whose idea was it to zap this raddled corpse with electrodes and make it jolt and reel and stagger around for 88 impossibly painful minutes?... A perfect storm of rubbishness... unendurably boring, stagey, boring, arthritic, misconceived - and did I mention boring.
 (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
 Strewth. Perhaps the most charitable view is to suspect that the whole film is some kind of sadistic mind-game, in which Branagh and Pinter are hell-bent on humiliating their actors. If that’s the case, they’ve succeeded magnificently.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
It’s better than the first one!
 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. That The Pink Panther 2 is silly is a given; that it’s pretty terrible is the result of the missteps — the creative ones, not those of the slapstick variety — made by writer-star Martin and his inept director Harald Zwart
 (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)
 Decades ago, Steve Martin was considered a true comedy original. The Pink Panther 2 proves he's now nothing more than a paycheck-cashing hack.
 (Bill Gibron,
 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… The few promising funny ideas are comprehensively botched. I didn’t laugh once. I groaned, though. A lot.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
12 Rounds (2009)
Move over Jackie Chan!
 12 Rounds is the unholy stepchild of Die Hard with a Vengeance and Speed, starring a man whose lack of range makes Steven Seagal seem nuanced by comparison. John Cena is so wooden that one worries about his being in scenes with fire for fear that he'll catch a spark and burst into flame.
 (James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
 Cena is a wrestler not an actor and it shows, but if he’s disappointingly leaden, some of those around him - perhaps deliberately - are significantly worse.
 (Matthew Bond, Mail on Sunday)
 Cena is a no-hoper. A wrestling star on American television - imagine Matt Damon with gigantism - but when it comes to charisma, he barely deserves to be playing a background thug, let alone the main man.
 (Edward Porter, Sunday Times)
 Mr Cena is a bulked-up, charisma-free ex-wrestler whose only previous film was The Marine (2006), in which he had to rescue his kidnapped wife. Here, he has to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. If ever he’s allowed to make a third movie, he’ll probably have to rescue his kidnapped gerbil. It is all too evident that he finds acting a strain. His attempts to look anguished when his vapid girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) is threatened with death make Steven Seagal look like Daniel Day Lewis.
 (Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Last Holiday (2006)
Go and enjoy Last Holiday – It’s a delight. A superb performance by Queen Latifah!
Scoop (2006)
It’s funny, it’s witty… This is headed to the best picture of the year list! Scarlett Johansson is one of the great actresses of her generation. Scoop is Woody Allen’s finest film in years.
Hoodwinked (2006)
A wonderfully funny surprise… Witty, inventive, original.
Lions for Lambs (2007)
Superb! Provocative... with unforgettable images and a screenplay which resonates with issues in today’s headlines.
Cassandra’s Dream (2008)
Intense, an intelligently-written and directed crime drama with Woody Allen and the cast turning in top drawer work.
My Sister's Keeper (2009)
Enormously touching and genuinely poignant.
Sahara (2005)
This is one terrific movie! Sahara is the most enjoyable, thrilling and entertaining action-adventure since the heyday of Indiana Jones.
Shooter (2007)
An excellent thriller, with charismatic young stars, thrilling action sequences and intelligent direction.
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