March 23, 2007, - 2:10 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
With several new movies opening today, I could not make it to screenings of “Pride,” the film about a Black swim team in Philadelphia, thus no review of it. I did, however, see the other three big openings, and the best is–no surprise–a kids’ film:
* “Shooter“–Read my full review. It is an unbelievable, anti-American mishmosh full of cliches and attacks on America’s presence in Iraq. A lot of lies. And it’s a rip-off of “Enemy of the State” and “Rambo II.” Skilled shooter gets hired by rogue American government operatives to think up assassination plot of Prez, in order to stop that plot. Shooter gets framed. Spends whole movie trying to get back at them. A pointless mishmosh. Skip it. And, again, read my complete review.
* “Reign Over Me“–Yet another movie about the after-effects of 9/11, which doesn’t dare mention who perpetrated the attacks: Muslim Arabs. The closest we come is a mention of “those monsters from the Third world.”
Adam Sandler plays a New York City dentist whose whole life is ruined by the murder of his wife and children (and dog) on one of the planes that hit the Towers on 9/11. Don Cheadle plays a New York City dentist who was Sandler’s roommate in college. Sandler’s character is emotionally a child and plays video games all day. He doesn’t want to face what happened to his family on 9/11 and deal with it. He needs help. Cheadle has a chance encounter with him and tries to get him that help.
Cheadle has a family and is married to a demanding wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) and has a beautiful patient who is trying to perform oral sex on him and threatening lawsuits. Bored, Cheadle lives his wannabe single life vicariously through Sandler. Liv Tyler is very weak and too sweet in her role as a psychiatrist.
The movie is too long, the jokes rarely work, and Mike Binder (who wrote and directed) tries unsuccessfully to superimpose his typical genre of the married male bored with his life and wanting to be single on the topics of 9/11 and depression. It simply doesn’t work. Nor is it easy to take Sandler seriously when his childlike activities and comments and manic behavior remind you of his comedic films. Overall a depressing, pointless waste of time.
Those who lost close relatives in 9/11 deserved better than this. Just plain silly.
* “The Last Mimzy“–A lot of critics are panning this science fiction thriller for kids as too close to “E.T.” and missing magic. But I disagree. Yes, it is formulaic. But still, it’s a great kids’ movie that I found entertaining and charming.
Humans from a future generation reach out to two upper middle class kids in Seattle. They find strange toys in the water at their beachfront home, which have weird and special powers. The kids develop special magical abilities, discovered by their hippie teacher and his girlfriend.
At one point the toys even zap all the power in Seattle, and unlike in real life, Homeland Security actually finds the source of the problem, the very next day and arrests the whole family (it’s the Patriot act, post 9/11 thing). Ultimately, they discover that humans from the past are hurt and could become extinct if the sister, a specially gifted and chosen girl, does not do the necessary repair to her stuffed toy, Mimzy.
Could have done without the brief environmental lines delivered by the hippie teacher, but in general, the movie makes fun of him and his girlfriend. I found it funny, entertaining, and a movie you will find more than bearable–likely, enjoyable–even though it is aimed at your kids.
Flash from the past: Actor Timothy Hutton plays the father in this one.
Tags: actor, Adam, Adam Sandler, America, America-Hating Shooter, American government, Debbie Schlussel, dentist, Don Cheadle, Dumb, hippie teacher, Iraq, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Mike Binder, Mishmosh, New York City, Philadelphia, Pride, psychiatrist, Reign Over Me, Seattle, Skilled shooter, The Last Mimzy, Timothy Hutton