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The Great Magician is a tired act

20 Aug


The best trick this film pulls off is getting critically acclaimed actor, Tony Leung Chui Wai (Chang Hsien) to agree to do this turn of this turn of the century farce about love, magic, and China’s strained relationship with imperial Japan. I kept hoping several of the main characters would simply disappear because the acting was so atrocious that it made it difficult to get through the film in one viewing. Actor Lau Ching-wan (Bully Lei) is supposed to be Leung’s rival for Zhou Xun’s (Yin) affection, but I did not see the appeal for such a buffoon of a character. The rest of the cast is equally unsatisfying and really unnecessary for most of the film. Director Derek Yee is a veteran artist of Hong Kong cinema and has written and directed some very good films recently (Protege, Shinjuku Incident, and Triple Tap) but he had nothing up his sleeve this time. The Great Magician is a tired act.


Chuck’s Grade: F

Adam’s Grade: N/A

On the Doll is a punch below the belt

28 Apr


On the Doll is one of those films that has a couple of scenes that you have never witnessed before, but the shock value wears off quickly because the script and the majority of the cast is so bad that it is painful to watch. Not as painful as the guy paying a prostitute (Brittany Snow) to punch him repeatedly below the belt, but pretty close. Writer/Director Thomas Mignone pulls back the curtain to the Los Angeles sex industry to show the sickness and dysfunction coming from the back rooms of video stores, web cam assembly lines, and call girls encountering the darker side of human nature. Essentially, there are three main plot lines stumbling over each other to get to the film’s final scene which attempts to bring everything together in one shot, but it misfires and ricochets all over the place.


Chuck’s Grade: F

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Tooth Fairy short changes the kids

23 Apr


WWE superstar, The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson is used to putting on a pair tights and jumping around, but in the Tooth Fairy his purple outfit includes a pair of wings and a magic wand. This children’s film is about a minor league hockey player known for knocking out opposing players teeth out with crushing cross checks. He is punished by the fairy world for being mean to a young fan. Derek (Johnson) is like a bull in a china shop as he realizes he is the worst fairy all time, but his competitive nature and his conscience will not allow him to fail. The moment the puck was dropped I wanted to bench him for poor play. He never finds his footing and falls flat on the ice with jokes and sight gags. Ashley Judd and Julie Andrews also collect a paycheck, but in the end, the Tooth Fairy short changes the kids.


Chuck’s Grade: F

Adam’s Grade: N/A

In The Name Of The King robs the rich and steals from the poor

11 Dec


Uwe Boll is becoming very good at making bad movies with recognizable talent. In the Name of the King is no different than many of his other projects like the Bloodrayne series. It consist of a poor script with actors (Jason Statham, Burt Reynolds, Ray Liotta, and Ron Perlman) that should have known better, but could not say no to the paycheck. The special effects reminds viewers of a late 80s movie while the directing and cinematography is simply flat. I am assuming the only aspect of the film I found visually interesting was probably shot by the first AD. Honestly, it took me six attempts to finish this film on Netflix.

I was shocked to discover this film’s budget was sixty million dollars. My first thought was “What did they spend the money on?” And my second thought was “Someone just got robbed.” What didn’t shock me was the film was a box office bomb.


Chuck’s Grade: F

Adam’s Grade: F

The Mexican is more like Mexican’t

27 Nov

This Mexican is simply one of the worst movies I (Chuck) have ever seen in a theater. It makes my bottom ten list despite the fact Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, and Gene Hackman star in this feature that pretended to be a romantic comedy.  The relationship in this film is the farthest thing from romantic.  Roberts and Pitt have minimal screen time together, which makes it difficult for audiences to invest in their relationship.  The disconnect between the two characters is found throughout the film. Director Gore Verbinski should have recognized these obvious flaws in J. H. Wyman’s script and negotiated some re-writes that but it seems like everyone was interested in collecting an easy paycheck for a movie guaranteed to make money with its star power.  As for the film being billed a comedy, there is only one joke (El Camino line) that is remotely funny.  A better title would have been The Mexican’t


Chuck’s Grade: F

Adam’s Grade: D