Film reviews

  • 2004-05-06
This week:
- Crimson Rivers 2
- Tais Toi!
- My Baby's Daddy

Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse
Director: Olivier Dahan

Either the makers of "Crimson Rivers 2" didn't care at all or they deliberately tried to make this a bad movie. It has such an overabundance of cheesy B-movie moments, tacky acting and dreadful dialogue that it comes close to self-parody. The movie revolves around religious fanaticism combined with supernatural elements, which resemble a more bloody, but just as daft episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The totally idiotic story is cliched and filled with plot-holes and bears the unmistakable mark of yet another hastily penned Luc Besson screenplay that never should have been made into a film. You are far more likely to tremble with laughter than you are with fear. (No English subtitles in Riga). *1/2
Julie Vinten

The French are well known for their savoir-faire, which includes rising above the quotidian. As confusing and silly as this suspense thriller may be, there are some exciting moments to be found here. First: picture a hooded monk running at superhuman speed. Second: there is a cop (Benoit Magimel), or as the locals say flic, chasing the fleeing figure. Third: le flic is hot on the monk's trail, running as fast as he possibly can, shooting a gun at the same time. Yes indeed, there is plenty of action in the second installment featuring Commissaire Niemans (Jean Reno). Christopher Lee adds a touch of class too. If you've seen all the other films playing in town, then this is worth watching at least once. **3/4
Laimons Juris G

Tais Toi!
Director: Francis Veber

The farcical comedy maestro, Frenchman Francis Veber has always been very fond of the odd-couple comedy, and "Tais Toi!" (Shut Up!) is no exception. Quentin (Gerard Depardieu) and Ruby (Jean Reno) meet in prison and then, partly by coincidence, escape together - and enough said about the story since it's not that important to this film. The primary focus of "Tais Toi!" is really the incredible chemistry between Reno and Depardieu. The two big-noses suit each other remarkably well, and the film works best when it's just the two of them fooling around on screen. Both clever and silly, this screwball comedy has no wish to be deep, but merely to inspire many a violent giggle. So what can we learn from it? Veber seems to believe that in a mad world, the idiot prevails. (No English subtitles in Riga). ***1/2
Julie Vinten

Someone must have paid an enormous bundle of money to get two of France's most famous actors to appear in this simply dreadful piece of celluloid. Are Gerard Depardieu and Jean Reno so hard up that they both willingly agreed to star in this dud? It is a complete waste of time, talent and energy. This reviewer must admit that he gave an entire extra point for each actor's desperate efforts to salvage this unfunny mess. Depardieu and Reno actually manage to instill a little bit of humanity into the cardboard characters they portray. Hey fellas, next time though, please read the script before you commit or are you really just after the cold hard cash? A slimmed down Depardieu looks younger and healthier, which is a definite plus. **
Laimons Juris G

My Baby's Daddy
Director: Cheryl Dunye

This is a relentlessly, inconceivably bad movie. Three best friends, 20-somethings with going-nowhere lives, become fathers at the same time, which wholly catches them off guard. Cue witless jokes about green baby poop, babies peeing in their daddies' faces and hysterical women screaming for drugs during labor. Then add imbecilic racial stereotypes and some sexist humor, plus some less than unsubtle family-value moralizing, and you have the essence of this stinker of a movie. Though this reviewer wants to believe that this immature and dim-witted movie is harmless fun, it's very hard to. First of all, it sends 99 minutes of your precious life right down the drain. Secondly, when people are as unintelligent as the characters in this film, it's somehow not funny anymore, but downright disturbing. *
Julie Vinten

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six... If you lived to be a million years old, you'd never be able to guess that this is supposed to be a comedy. This is an extremely dumb movie, which is totally lacking anything original or funny to laugh at. It's mostly moans and groans from start to finish. If you are a fan of fart jokes, toilet humor and stereotypical situations, then this is perfect for you. Even the delightful Paula Jai Parker and Marsha Thomason can't save "My Baby's Daddy" from topping this reviewer's worst movie of the year list. As this cliche-ridden catastrophe slogs slowly along, you will only be able to wonder out loud why in the world this atrocity was even made and for whom. Five, four, three, two, one...
Laimons Juris G

***** Excellent. Don't miss it!
**** Very good. See it!
*** Good. It's up to you.
** Average. Nothing special.
* Waste of time. Forget it.