Movie review

  • 2006-02-08
The Fog
Fun with Dick and Jane
Rumor Has It...

The Fog
In this remake of John Carpenter's 1980 horror/thriller, the dead come back to life on an island covered in a terrifying fog in order to seek retribution for a 100-year-old crime. The word "inept" characterizes "The Fog" quite well. Conveyor belt horror-flicks is the in-thing right now, and my, does this fit the trend. "The Fog" doesn't have a single scare or shock. It uses every horror movie trick in the book and doesn't get a single one right. So what do you do when 1) it isn't scary 2) it's predictable 3) it's boring 4) the directing is terrible 5) the acting is horrible 6) the dialogue is preposterous? You rent the 1980 version. At least the original was, well, original. I would choose chilling '80s cheese over this incompetent slapdash any day.
1/2( Julie Vinten )

"The Fog" is so unspeakably and indescribably bad that it deserves to spawn a new swear word. The said-word could be used in variety of ways, such as "Fog off" or "Fogging hell" or "What the fog is this?" This would prevent the millions of dollars that went into this shocking production from being a complete waste. As an avid film buff, I refuse to talk about the film itself. And as an avid fog lover, I also refuse to discuss the fog in question. Fog is one of my favorite meteorological phenomena and I resent seeing it represented as an evil, lurking, wind-defying entity that provides cover for a boatful of cruelly burned-alive lepers while they reap their revenge. What the fog were the people behind this thinking?  
( Tim Ochser)

Fun with Dick and Jane
Dick (Jim Carrey) is living the American Dream. He has a beautiful wife, a big house, a large salary and he just got promoted. However, when his company goes bankrupt, he and his wife (Tea Leoni) must turn to desperate measures to hold on to their high-maintenance lifestyle. Sadly, this remake of the 1977 George Segal/Jane Fonda feature neither has the sense of timing and pace to succeed as slapstick nor the bite and cunning to succeed as satire. Carrey and Leoni are excellent at physical comedy, but it isn't enough. With too much buildup and too little delivery, it feels like the movie is constantly stalling. The feature isn't a catastrophe and it does have a sense of humor, but it had the potential of being much more. 
1/2 ( Julie Vinten )

I find it amusing that a comedy which cost a reputed $100 million takes the dubious moral standpoint of attacking America's corrupt corporate culture. In fact, "Fun with Dick and Jane" is a pretty damning example of the anodyne corporate culture currently afflicting Hollywood. When Dick (Jim Carey) loses his job following the spectacular Enron-style collapse of his company, he and his wife Jane (Tea Leoni) are soon forced into poverty and crime. The film's humor is surprisingly dark and edgy for a while and there are some good comic moments. Leoni's highly-strung housewife turned insouciant renegade is the highlight, while Carey merely goes through the paces to collect another CEO-style paycheck. All in all, it ends up as just another unsatisfying and toothless comedy.
1/2 ( Tim Ochser )

Rumor Has It...
Director Rob Reiner had a great streak in the 1980s ("When Harry Met Sally..." and "This Is Spinal Tap" just to mention two minor classics), but he's hit a slump in the last few years, and "Rumor Has It…" suggests that it won't be ending anytime soon. The romantic comedy follows Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) who, upon discovering that the book (and movie) "The Graduate" is based on her family, starts to unravel a web of long hidden family secrets. "Rumor Has It…" has Reiner's trademark sweetness and the movie is more heartfelt than many romantic comedies. Nevertheless, the premise is really too silly, and the characters are terribly one-dimensional. It's a pleasant movie, but shallow.
( Julie Vinten )

Jennifer Aniston does a decent job of carrying this lightweight but enjoyable comedy about a young woman whose family was the alleged inspiration behind the legendary 1960s film "The Graduate." Mark Ruffalo is her nicer than nice fiance, while Kevin Costner plays the charming tycoon who has a complex history with her family's female members. "Rumor Has It" is far from original, but it has a warmth and charm which more than make up for its shortcomings. Any film that poses as the bizarre offspring of "The Graduate" can't really go wrong, even if it doesn't come close to the brilliance of that epoch-defining movie. One can't help wondering though when Mark Ruffalo will stop playing nicer than nice leading men in romantic comedies and do some serious acting.
( Tim Ochser )

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