Tag Archives: Kevin James

Movie Madness

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a bicycle messenger in “Premium Rush.”

Just because I haven’t written a movie review since August 20 doesn’t mean that our family hasn’t seen any films. The evidence? Our soon-to-be worn-out AMC Stubs card.

Between the end of August and yesterday, we’ve mostly enjoyed “Sparkle,” “Premium Rush,” “The Words,” “Trouble With the Curve,” “Looper,” “Won’t Back Down,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “Argo,” and “Flight.” Two flicks not included in that list? “Fun Size,” which we saw with the boys when we visited our older son in San Antonio (meh), and “The Expendables 2,” which just might be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Ever! Save yourself the agony and don’t even rent this dud.

Bruce Willis talks to his younger self (Gordon-Levitt) in “Looper.”

Here’s what we learned during those 11 weeks:

1) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Premium Rush” and “Looper”) is great in any movie as long as that awful Seth Rogen isn’t involved.

2) Bruce Willis (“Looper”) is wonderful as long as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone (“The Expendables 2”) aren’t involved.

3) Schwarzenegger and Stallone still can’t act.

4) “Won’t Back Down” deserved a better fate. It didn’t do well at the box office, even though it was a worthwhile movie with fine acting by Viola Davis (who will earn an Oscar one day) and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood (as her father) star in “Trouble With the Curve.”

5) We love baseball movies, so we thoroughly enjoyed “Trouble With the Curve.” Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood shone in this daughter-misunderstood father account. I even liked Justin Timberlake in it, but mostly because he’s so cute.

6) The Mister and I saw “Flight” yesterday. I was so glad I had him to hold on to during the realistic, scary plane crash. I hate to fly, so that didn’t help my mindset at all! Although a little too long as well as easily earning its R rating (nudity, drugs, drinking, and many f-bombs), “Flight” is excellent, mostly because of Denzel Washington, who plays the flawed pilot. It really makes you think.

7) Without a doubt, “Argo” was the best movie of the bunch. We were on the edge of our seats the entire time. We almost forgot that Ben Affleck really can’t act . . . almost.

Bradley Cooper. ’nough said!

8) Bradley Cooper’s eyes are so mesmerizing that anything he said or did took a back seat in “The Words.” And in every other movie he’s been in. With this latest flick, as a writer, I was able to relate to his character’s conflict (passing off a manuscript he didn’t write as his own).

In fact, Cooper wrote this blog post!

(Just kidding!)

Not Wild About “The Zookeeper”

Keep out!

As I was checking my Timex while watching the insipid “Zookeeper” yesterday, I had two thoughts: What could I have done with the six bucks I just wasted, and, more importantly, what could I have accomplished with the two hours I was throwing away.

Ken Jeong, Kevin James, and Rosario Dawson work at the zoo together.

This was such a terrible, stupid movie! There’s just no sugarcoating it. Look up “awful” in the dictionary, and you’ll not only see a photo of Kevin James but also one of Ken Jeong. Ken, get a new schtick! I’m tired of you and Julia Roberts ruining movies for me.

I guess I should’ve known that I probably would dislike “The Zookeeper” once I saw that Adam Sandler was involved as a producer and an animal voice (the monkey). He even torments me in movies he doesn’t star in!

Sidebar: Think I’m going to see Sandler’s new flick “Jack and Jill” where he plays both lead characters, fraternal twins? Think again. Sounds doubly horrible!

Zookeeper Griffin Keyes relates to Bernie the gorilla.

So what’s so bad about a movie with talking animals? When it comes to “The Zookeeper,” what isn’t?

Shallow and ditzy but beautiful Samantha (Leslie Bibb) rejects the marriage proposal of Griffin Keyes (James) because he’s a lowly zookeeper. Five years later he’s still happily watching out for the animals when he sees her again. The wild things decide to break their code of silence with humans and help win back someone that no guy in his right mind should ever be interested in . . . especially when the perfect mate in fellow zoo employee Kate (Rosario Dawson) works right beside him.

Kate and Griffin feel a connection as they swing at Griff's brother's wedding.

I’d say that “The Zookeeper” was written by a 12-year-old boy, but that would be an insult . . . to the preteen. The script is dreadful plus there’s no feeling of investment with any of the characters. You don’t care what happens to any of them. I like this quote from Peter Rainer of the “Christian Science Monitor”: “I think there should be a subdivision of the ASPCA — American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Audiences.”


So what did my family’s males think of the movie? Of course, my sons liked it. They laugh at anything stupid. As for the Mister, he’s a huge Kevin James fan. He was going to enjoy it just because of him.

But me? I wish I had spent my six bucks at Chipotle.

“The Dilemma”: Whether or Not to See the Movie

Winona Ryder, Kevin James, Vince Vaughn, and Jennifer Connelly star.

The biggest quandary that the movie “The Dilemma” faces is that it’s billed as a comedy instead of a schizophrenic flick that can’t make up its mind what it is. Sure, whenever you have Vince Vaughn and Kevin James as stars, you know there will be lots of laughs. But there’s too much drama going on to call this a funny film.

Ronny has a heart-to-heart talk with Geneva.

Here’s the sitch: Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick (James) are BFFs and business partners. Ronny sees Nick’s wife, Geneva (Winona Ryder), cheating on him and wonders if he should spill the beans to his friend. That’s the dilemma.

“The Dilemma” does try to delve into what makes love and marriage work, as Ronny tries to commit to his girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly). But none of it really rings true, and the film merely seems to be yet another vehicle for Vaughn to do his rambling will-he-ever-get-to-the-point speeches that are more embarrassing than enlightening.

Sidebar: I personally love movies made in Chicago, my hometown. But it bothers me when I see fallacies. Like Ronny is able to have an actual cellphone conversation on an El train. You can barely talk to the person next to you on a train. And how are they always able to get a parking spot in the city? I would drive for blocks looking for an opening.

Nick and Ronny bond over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The best part of the movie was Ronny and Nick’s relationship. They’re so much like brothers (even fighting) that you can’t help but root for them. The scene at the end when they’re at a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game was great . . . too bad you have to sit through the whole thing to get to that part.

So now here’s your dilemma: Do you really want to pay big bucks to see this comedy that isn’t? It’s definitely a rental.