Burlesque can best be compared to a highway car accident – painful to listen to, but so visually captivating that you just can't look away. The costumes, the makeup, the flesh, the stage, the FLESH. For better or worse, the film certainly delivered on the American tradition of burlesque as a form of strip tease – with Christina Aguilera in all her "enhanced" glory as the main attraction. Not that we're actually shown her goodies (after all, it is a PG-13 film), but she spends the entire movie in "clothes" that are either skimpy or tight, or skimpy AND tight, or skimpy and loose, but so obviously sans bra that you get the picture – or both pictures – as the case may be.
Burlesque is the clichéd story of small town Iowa girl Ali (Christina Aguilera) who does what every aspiring performer dreams of; she quits her job as a diner waitress, leaves her trailer, and moves to Los Angeles. When she can't get work as a back-up vocalist, she wanders past a club named Burlesque and is intrigued enough to part with one of her precious 20 dollar bills to gain admission. Enthralled by the performance on stage, she approaches the bartender asking how she can get a job as a performer. The bartender, Jack (Cam Gigandet), sends her backstage to see Tess (Cher), the motherly performance director and part owner of the club. When Ali is unceremoniously shooed away, she has a run-in with Nikki (Kristen Bell), the nasty, mean girl-esque, alcoholic headliner.
But Ali is tenacious. Instead of meekly exiting the club, she picks up a tray and starts taking drink orders from the club patrons. She impresses Jack and he tells Tess he wants Ali to be their new waitress. After a short time on the job, Ali...Read More
At first glance, Faster is a movie that doesn't care much about characterization or plot. For example, the three male leads are known as Driver (Dwayne Johnson), Cop (Billy Bob Thornton), and Killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Director George Tillman Jr. seems to be completely at peace with this fact as well given how he introduces each of those three characters. I was completely ready...Read More
Still circulating in Europe and America but withdrawn from British distribution by Kubrick in 1973, within a year of its first release, A Clockwork Orange currently remains a paradoxical testament to the manipulative obsessions of its director. On the one hand, Kubrick has taken to extremes his habitual attention to every detail of the shaping and presentation of his work by, in this...Read More
Jaws initiated the era of the Hollywood blockbuster. This tale of shark terror, which earned more than $100 million in six months, easily surpassed The Godfather as the all-time Hollywood box-office champ. Although Star Wars, E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark set new records, Jaws created marketing precedents that became Hollywood standards: it proved that one film under careful guidance from its...Read More
There's a certain delight in the crossover movie; films like Alien vs. Predator (2004), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), and, of course, Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009) give us the answers to the late-night, who-would-win-in-a-fight arguments that we've had with our friends over the years.
The difficulty with combining mismatched genres is that it's easy to get caught up in the novelty of presenting absurdity, at the cost of making something funny and/or compelling. Inglorious Basterds succeeded as a darkly-comedic, historically-fictitious WWII action flick with the help of superb acting, Quentin Tarantino-grade gore, and most importantly – a good, original story.
I have fond memories of the Winnie the Pooh movies; although I haven't seen recent entries such as The Tigger Movie (2000), Piglet's Big Movie (2003), or Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005), I'd look forward to seeing this movie, mostly because the trailer's sweet music and somber dialog suggests a soothing poignancy that would not only be instructional for children, but comforting to adults....Read More
It was during the 1970s – the period of Vietnam and Watergate – that American society appeared in imminent danger of collapse, the crisis in ideological confidence being (quite logically) complemented by the growth of the major radical movements of contemporary culture: feminism, black militancy, gay activism. The confusions and hysteria of the social climate (the historical moment when the dominant ideology of...Read More
No surprises here; the wizard pulled money in faster than one could say "Expelliarmus," in the 7th (and mostly final) installment of his adventures. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 raked in $125.1 million this weekend, $61 million of which was made Friday night. This more than overshadowed Megamind, which fell to 2nd in its third week with $16.2 million and...Read More
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the seventh and second to last installment of the epic Harry Potter series based on the writings of J.K. Rowling, director David Yates spins a dark and thrilling web that will surely keep audiences stuck to their seats. Though the premise is the same as every Potter film (Harry must rely on the help...Read More