Entries in Review (4)


Samuel L. Jackson Questions Critic Who Gave Negative 'Avengers' Review

ABC/Eric McCandless(NEW YORK) -- Marvel's The Avengers has been well-received by critics in general, but star Samuel L. Jackson is more focused on a negative review published by The New York Times.

The Times critic A.O. Scott wasn't overly impressed by the movie, writing, "[W]hile The Avengers is hardly worth raging about, its failures are significant and dispiriting. The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre."

Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, the man who assembles The Avengers,  tweeted his fury over the review on Thursday. He wrote, "#Avengers fans, NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let's help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!"

Scott isn't too bothered by Jackson's reaction, telling E! News, "I don't think Mr. Jackson is actually trying to get me fired....Rallying 'fans' against skeptical critics is a time-honored tactic, and I don't take it personally."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: ‘Safe House’

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There’s this incredible moment in Safe House when…THE CAMERA STOPS @#$%& SHAKING!

It is simply incredible how a perfectly good, gratuitously violent, well-acted action flick can be ruined by the decision to make this movie feel as if you’re watching it while doing 60 MPH in a Big Wheel on a dirt road littered with gravel. Seriously?

As for the plot, well, read the preceding paragraph -- that’s really all you need to know.

As for the rest of it, Denzel Washington’s performance as CIA operative-turned-traitor Tobin Frost is as fine a performance as Washington ever gives, which is just about as good as you can get. Ryan Reynolds, as a young agent in charge of the safe house to which Frost is initially brought after turning himself in, makes up for the horror show that was Green Lantern.  And though some of the action sequences and hand to hand combat scenes are brutal, they’ll please any fan of stunt choreography.

Even so, the only way to truly enjoy Safe House is to bob your head while looking at the screen to offset the overzealous camera shake. The technique makes it seem as if director Daniel Espinosa was attempting to overcompensate for a weakness in the story, which ironically would’ve felt significantly more realistic and organic without the constant camera manipulation. Having said that, it’s always a joy to watch Denzel act, whether it’s through a shaky camera or a telescope.

Rating: Three out of five stars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: ‘Tower Heist’

Bobby Bank/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Despite his misdeeds and all the misfortune he wrought for so many families and businesses, we can thank incarcerated financial fraudster Bernie Madoff for at least one thing. Without him, we wouldn’t have the gift of Tower Heist.

Ben Stiller is Josh Kovacs, the thoughtful, affable manager of one of New York City’s finest apartment buildings. Besides catering to the obscenely wealthy, the building is home to billionaire investor Arthur Shaw, a hometown boy from Queens who cultivated the ability to charm the hell out of his clients while robbing them blind without batting an eyelash.  More about him in a moment.

Josh oversees a large and eclectic staff of service professionals, including his dopey brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck); a Jamaican cleaning lady named Odessa, played by Precious star Gabourey Sidibe; a former Burger King employee-turned-elevator operator named Enrique (Michael Pena); and the doorman, Lester, played by Stephen Henderson.

Within the first 10 minutes of Tower Heist, we meet all of these characters and learn what a great guy Josh is…especially when he’s asked to essentially evict Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), a Yale grad and father of two who was downsized and has lost everything. Josh arranges for Mr. Fitzhugh to stay in the building for a few more days. Aww.

For all of his good intentions, Josh made one terrible mistake. Unbeknownst to his staff, he asked Mr. Shaw to invest his staff’s pensions -- a total of $20 million. This foolish decision comes back to bite him when Mr. Shaw is busted by the FBI for bilking his investors.  Josh slowly realizes the great guy who owns the penthouse is, in reality, a great big (insert your own expletive).

Shaw needs to get his staff’s pensions back.  But how?  Enter Eddie Murphy’s Slide, a career criminal Josh went to school with when he was six years old.  Josh assembles a team consisting of Slide, Charlie, Mr. Fitzhugh and Odessa -- who, as luck would have it, knows how to crack a safe.  Together, they concoct a caper to retrieve the stolen money.

If this entire setup sounds ridiculous to you, that’s because it is ridiculous.  It’s also incredibly entertaining. Murphy makes one of the better decisions of his recent career in doing a comedy where he doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Stiller, Affleck, Broderick and Pena are all hilarious, with an honorable mention for Gabourey Sidibe, who’s surprisingly funny after turning in one of the last decade’s most memorable dramatic performances in Precious.

However, the person who may deserve the most credit for Tower Heist is director Brett Ratner.  He shows a level of maturity with this film that he’s never before displayed, taking a ridiculous story and keeping it grounded in reality by masterfully playing to all of his actors’ strengths.

Rating: Four out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Blind Film Critic Takes Internet by Storm

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Tommy Edison reviews films and posts his critiques online, but with one major difference from other reviewers: he was born blind.

After posting his first review a few weeks ago, his videos have steadily grown online as people enjoy his humor and his reviews.

"I've always liked film," Edison, who is a traffic reporter for a Connecticut radio station, told ABC News. "It's always been something I've enjoyed."

Along with his friend Ben Churchill, who directs and produces the videos he posts, they have created a rating system starting with one eye for a bad movie to four eyes for a great movie.

Churchill shot and edited the video critique of their first movie review, Scream 4, and they posted it online. Since then, his reviews of films like Scream 4 and Water for Elephants have been viewed by several thousand Youtube users.

Edison, who lives in Milford, Conn., believes that, although he can't see the movie, he is able to pick up on other cues like dialogue, sound editing and music choice that other reviewers may miss.

"Content is king with film," he believes. "For example, in the Water for Elephants review that I did, I talk about the part where the elephants are doing all sorts of tricks and circus things and whatever…it's gratuitous. It added nothing to the story."

His favorite movie is Goodfellas. "It's so well written, and the narration is great in it...Just boom, boom, boom, it keeps on moving. It's just wonderful," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio