REVIEW: Just Wright

8 12 2010

Guys, don’t let the basketball fool you.  “Just Wright” is as much of a sports movie as “Forrest Gump” is.  If you take a gander at the poster, look at Common’s right hand (the one on top of Queen Latifah’s hand) for a better of indicator of what the movie is really like.  Substitute it for a microphone and Katherine Heigl/Gerard Butler and you’re right back in “The Ugly Truth.”

Now here comes the part of the review when I throw out words like cliched, formulaic, and predictable to warn you that if you’ve seen a romantic comedy in the past decade, you’ve seen “Just Wright.”  The only counter to all these negative adjectives is, of course, if the charms of the leading man and lady can overcome the familiarity.

While I could just heap on the insults on “Just Wright,” I just don’t have the heart to bash Queen Latifah.  She’s just seems so warm and friendly that it would feel like a low-blow to really go after her and tear her up.  We all know she can do better, and for the most part, she selects roles pretty well.  This is just a misstep.  As the physical therapist who can’t help but fall for the basketball player she’s rehabilitating, the story is just so uninspired that it can’t get you to care enough to be involved.

It’s not her fault that this movie wound up as bad as it did.  Common is a pretty pathetic actor, and Paula Patton just can’t do much with her confused character.  Queen Latifah is actually a nice presence in the movie, endowing it with some of her charisma and personality that’s hard to resist.  She’s like a juicy burger enveloped by a moldy bun, which wouldn’t taste quite as unpleasant if we hadn’t been fed nothing but burgers by the romantic comedy restaurant.  C-

Random Factoid #299

23 05 2010

All of a sudden, I’m obsessed with the music from “Chicago” again.

I admitted back in Random Factoid #240 that I became hooked on the music back in 2002 after hearing a few bars on TV.  But now it’s like 2002 all over again.  Every time a song comes up on shuffle, I stay on the track and listen.  Now, I have the movie on hold at the library and the music is coming close to “Top 25 Most Played” numbers on my computer and iPod.

Favorite song of the “First ‘Chicago’ Revival” is Queen Latifah’s “When You’re Good To Mama.”  Boy, she can sing that song.

REVIEW: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

9 08 2009

There is nothing particularly special about “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”  I can’t think of anything horrifyingly wrong about it, but there isn’t anything notably right about it either.  The third installment of the “Ice Age” series doesn’t offer up any antics that we haven’t seen in its two predecessors.  But overall, it is still fairly enjoyable to watch.

Parenthood is the theme of the movie as wooly mammoths Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are expecting some little ones.  The hardened sabertooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary) considers abandoning the pack because he feels unfit to be around kids.  And the crazy sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) feels the need to be a parent too, so he grabs three eggs and raises them as his own offspring.  Unfortunately, the eggs belong to a tyrannosaurus rex who drags her children along with Sid underground to where all the dinosaurs are.  The rest of the gang goes down to rescue Sid, enlisting the help of some sort of rodent (Simon Pegg) to help them navigate the perilous terrain.  Meanwhile, the squirrel, Scrat, continues to provide an enjoyable sideshow in his quest to gather acorns, this time finding a female counterpart.

There really isn’t much I can say about the movie.  There are no glaring errors other than its historical accuracy.  The animation is no Pixar, but it is still easy to watch.  All the “Ice Age” movies include a good family message, but I don’t think this one packs as good of a punch.  It provides decent entertainment for an hour and a half.  You can get a few good chuckles or giggles out of it, kid or adult.  B- / 2stars