Tag Archives: Tony Shalhoub

How Do You Know

Professional softball player Lisa Jorgenson (Reese Witherspoon) is not sure where to go next, and suddenly finds herself choosing between two very different men… One of director James L. Brooks’s worst films is another romantic comedy without any laughs, even though it tries to compensate with glitzy milieus. Who will Witherspoon pick, the famous and eccentric baseball player (Owen Wilson) or the executive (Paul Rudd) who finds his life unraveling fast? Who cares? Witherspoon is fine, but Brooks wastes every conflict in this dull affair.

2010-U.S. 116 min. Color. Written and directed by James L. Brooks. Cast: Reese Witherspoon (Lisa Jorgenson), Owen Wilson (Matty Reynolds), Paul Rudd (George Madison), Jack Nicholson, Kathryn Hahn, Mark-Linn Baker… Tony Shalhoub.

Trivia: Bill Murray was allegedly considered for a role.

 

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Cars 3

FROM THIS MOMENT, EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE. 

When Lightning McQueen crashes during a race with a cocky, younger talent, he starts fearing retirement but tries to find his way back at a new racing center, and with a new, annoyingly enthusiastic trainer. The third film reconnects with the original in several ways. Beautifully designed in 3D, with harrowingly convincing racing scenes, earthy tones and an emotional story. Clearly, the hijinks of the second movie are a thing of the past… on the other hand, most ingredients here are much too familiar. Still, Cruz Ramirez is an engaging new character.

2017-U.S. Animated. 102 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Brian Fee. Voices of Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen), Cristela Alonzo (Cruz Ramirez), Chris Cooper (Smokey), Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer… Tony Shalhoub, Bonnie Hunt, Kerry Washington, Bob Costas, John Ratzenberger, Lewis Hamilton, Cheech Marin.

Trivia: Previously unused recordings of Paul Newman from the first movie are used in some flashback scenes.

 

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Movie 43

COMEDY. EXPOSED. 

movie43It’s unbelievable that so many talents would be willing to work on and off on this collection of raunchy sketches for ten years and come up with so little. The title has nothing to do with the movie itself and there doesn’t seem to be much of a theme, even though Peter Farrelly’s influence might be the most discernible. A few vaguely amusing ideas are buried in some of the sketches, but the sight you’re likely not to forget is that of Hugh Jackman with a pair of testicles hanging off his chin.

2013-U.S. 94 min. Color. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Brett Ratner, Jonathan Van Tulleken. Cast: Elizabeth Banks (Amy), Kristen Bell (Supergirl), Halle Berry (Emily), Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler… Bobby Cannavale, Common, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Seth MacFarlane, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Dennis Quaid, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet.

Trivia: George Clooney was allegedly considered for an appearance.

Razzies: Worst Picture, Director, Screenplay.

8.gif kopia

 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

RAISE SOME SHELL. 

teenagemutantoutoftheshadowsAfter escaping from a prison convoy, Shredder teams up with a supervillain from another dimension, Kraang; at the same time, the Turtles face an internal conflict… This 3D sequel to the 2014 film may be too cluttered and silly for non-fans, but why would they be in the audience? This is OK entertainment for kids who might appreciate the lame jokes and characters, including the ridiculous Kraang who was introduced in the animated TV show, but adults may also get a kick out of a few intense, well-choreographed action scenes.

2016-U.S. 112 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Dave Green. Cast: Megan Fox (April O’Neil), Stephen Amell (Casey Jones), Will Arnett (Vern Fenwick), Laura Linney, Tyler Perry, Alan Ritchson. Voices of Brad Garrett, Tony Shalhoub.

Trivia: Judith Hoag, who played April in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), has a small part.

6 kopia

 

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Pain & Gain

THEIR AMERICAN DREAM IS BIGGER THAN YOURS.

paingainIn 1995, ex-con and personal trainer Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) talks two other bodybuilders (Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie) into helping him kidnap and extort a wealthy gym member. Michael Bay’s stab at a “simpler” film between his Transformers epics was based on a series of newspaper articles by Pete Collins detailing a real-life criminal operation in Miami. Bay was obviously inspired by Martin Scorsese, although the Florida color scheme looks as artificial as in his Bad Boys movies. The cast is fun, but the bloody shenanigans turn a bit exhausting after an hour.

2013-U.S. 129 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Michael Bay. Cast: Mark Wahlberg (Daniel Lugo), Dwayne Johnson (Paul Doyle), Anthony Mackie (Adrian Doorbal), Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry… Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Peter Stormare.

Trivia: John Turturro was allegedly first cast in Shalhoub’s role.

6 kopia

 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

THE LEADERS. THE BRAINS. THE ATTITUDE. AND MIKEY.

teenagemutantninjaturtles14The Foot Clan has New York City in a grip of violence, but TV reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) discovers that mysterious vigilantes are fighting the terror group… A 3D reboot of the film franchise that was originally based on a 30-year-old comic book and has since spawned movies and TV shows. Fans are likely to be pleased because this reintroduction of the pizza-loving Turtles has charm and some good action, especially an insane chase down a snowy mountainside. The mo-cap effects expertly bring the Turtles to life… but non-fans are likely to shrug their shoulders.

2014-U.S. 101 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Michael Bay, Ian Bryce, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Scott Mednick, Galen Walker. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Comic Book: Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman. Cast: Megan Fox (April O’Neil), Will Arnett (Vern Fenwick), William Fichtner (Eric Sachs), Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher… Whoopi Goldberg. Voices of Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub. 

Trivia: Followed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

Razzie: Worst Supporting Actress (Fox).

6 kopia

 

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Cars 2

cars2Lightning McQueen returns to Radiator Springs to see his friends, but is soon drawn into another race… and Mater is hired by British spies who think that he’s also a spy. The first film is not one of Pixar’s strongest assets creatively, but turned into an extraordinary hit among kids. Unfortunately, the sequel became the studio’s first to draw bad reviews. As handsomely designed (in 3D this time) as expected, but unnecessarily drawn out and overplotted, with not enough humor, charm or suspense to sustain it.

2011-U.S. Animated. 113 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by John Lasseter. Voices of Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen), Larry the Cable Guy (Mater), Michael Caine (Finn McMissile), Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro… Joe Mantegna, Bonnie Hunt, Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Tony Shalhoub, Jason Isaacs, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger.

Trivia: Followed by Cars 3 (2017).

6 kopia

 

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Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

LITTLE SPIES. BIG ATTITUDES.

spykids2Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara), now fully trained agents, face competition from two other spy kids as well as their father who is secretly plotting to steal the Transmooker, a powerful device. Families flocked to the first one, and they liked the sequel too. Robert Rodriguez has a huge sense of imagination, but the movie is jammed with visual effects to the point where it’s starting to look a bit plastic; a boring story doesn’t help. Still, the kids are clearly having fun and they’re ably assisted by Holland Taylor and Ricardo Montalban as fully committed grandparents.

2002-U.S. 99 min. Color. Photographed, edited, written, directed and production designed by Robert Rodriguez. Cast: Antonio Banderas (Gregorio Cortez), Carla Gugino (Ingrid Cortez), Alexa Vega (Carmen Cortiz), Daryl Sabara (Juni Cortez), Emily Osment, Matt O’Leary… Ricardo Montalban, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming, Bill Paxton, Tony Shalhoub. Cameo: Ray Harryhausen.

Trivia: Followed by Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003).

6 kopia

 

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Spy Kids

REAL SPIES… ONLY SMALLER.

spykidsTwo retired spies (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino), who are now married and raising two kids (Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara), are suddenly called back to action – and the children end up in danger. A surprisingly family-friendly adventure from Robert Rodriguez who gets a lot of help in the charm department by Banderas and Gugino as the loving ex-spies, and young Vega and Sabara as the next generation of secret agents. The story and the villains lack zest, and the tone is a little frantic, but it doesn’t go overboard or turn excessively violent. A lot of imagination has gone into the visual effects.

2001-U.S. 86 min. Color. Written, directed and edited by Robert Rodriguez. Cast: Antonio Banderas (Gregorio Cortez), Carla Gugino (Ingrid Cortez), Alexa Vega (Carmen Cortiz), Daryl Sabara (Juni Cortez), Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub… Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Robert Patrick, George Clooney.

Trivia: Followed by three sequels, starting with Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002).

5 kopia

 

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Hemingway & Gellhorn

WE WERE GOOD IN WAR. AND WHEN THERE WAS NO WAR, WE MADE OUR OWN. 

In 1936, war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman) meets Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) in Key West; their subsequent relationship is marked by wars and a fiery romance. Another prestige project from HBO, directed by a famous filmmaker, with movie stars in the leads. Kidman and Owen are excellent as two very independent and stubborn writing talents, although it shouldn’t have to take two and a half hours to reach simple insights about the nature of their relationship. Still, the story moves quickly between its historic events and the film cleverly fuses newly-shot material with contemporary newsreels.

2012-U.S. Made for TV. 155 min. Color. Directed by Philip Kaufman. Teleplay: Jerry Stahl, Barbara Turner. Cast: Nicole Kidman (Martha Gellhorn), Clive Owen (Ernest Hemingway), David Strathairn (John Dos Passos), Molly Parker, Parker Posey, Rodrigo Santoro… Peter Coyote, Lars Ulrich, Robert Duvall, Tony Shalhoub, Jeffrey Jones, Joan Chen, Connie Nielsen.

Trivia: Co-executive-produced by James Gandolfini.

AVERAGE

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Too Big to Fail

MAIN STREET TOOK THE FALL. WALL STREET GOT THE CHECK. 

August 2008; when the Lehman Brothers CEO (James Woods) fails to come up with a deal to save the bank, it is up to the Treasury Secretary (William Hurt) to make the private sector swallow a bitter pill or two. Director Curtis Hanson’s first TV movie since 1986 is an initiated look at how the financial meltdown of 2008 torpedoed one of the largest investment banks in the U.S. and threatened to destroy the whole system. A challenging experience that may require some prior knowledge of the twists and turns of the crisis, but it is a fascinating, well-acted and sadly believable depiction of a brand of capitalism that has yet to truly reform.

2011-U.S. Made for TV. 99 min. Color. Produced by Ezra Swerdlow. Directed by Curtis Hanson. Teleplay: Peter Gould. Book: Andrew Ross Sorkin. Cast: William Hurt (Henry Paulson), Paul Giamatti (Ben Bernanke), Billy Crudup (Timothy Geithner), James Woods, Bill Pullman, Matthew Modine… Tony Shalhoub, Topher Grace, Cynthia Nixon, Edward Asner.

Last word: “We tried to remain neutral, but there is obviously a vantage point, since we’re looking at these people who brought the crisis on. Most all of my movies concern a character who’s trying to become a better version of himself. I thought that’s what Henry Paulson was doing. He was partly to blame for creating the circumstances that brought the crisis on, but he does his best to find a way out of it. Even if that way, government intervention, went against everything he had believed in his business life.” (Hanson, HBO)

ABOVE AVERAGE

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A Life Less Ordinary

A COMEDY FOR ANYONE WHO’S EVER BEEN IN DANGER… OF FALLING IN LOVE.

lifelessordinaryRobert Lewis (Ewan McGregor) loses his job as a janitor and kidnaps the boss’s daughter (Cameron Diaz); two fallen angels (Holly Hunter, Delroy Lindo) try to make them fall in love. Director Danny Boyle followed his superior Shallow Grave (1994) and Trainspotting (1996) with something entirely different, a romantic comedy/caper with fantastical elements. Entertaining, and the dialogue is fun enough; McGregor is excellent as the incompetent abductor and Diaz has her moments as well. The movie tries hard to be offbeat and charming, but is less successful in the latter department; it also needs better laughs.

1997-Britain. 103 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Danny Boyle. Cast: Ewan McGregor (Robert Lewis), Cameron Diaz (Celine Naville), Holly Hunter (O’Reilly), Delroy Lindo, Ian Holm, Ian McNeice… Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub.

5 kopia

 

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Cars

KEEP IT WHEEL.

carsIn a world where vehicles populate Earth, a beloved race car finds himself detoured in Radiator Springs, a small town along Route 66, where he learns a few life lessons. Director John Lasseter’s interest in cars resulted in one of Pixar’s least interesting films in the era of Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. It is simply too long, dependent on its predictable formula and a tad too ordinary. Still, there is much to admire, such as its colorful look, the loving nostalgia for the glory days of Route 66 and racing fan Paul Newman’s performance as a veteran car with an impressive record behind him.

2006-U.S. Animated. 116 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by John Lasseter. Music: Randy Newman. Song: “Our Town” (Randy Newman). Voices of Paul Newman (Doc Hudson), Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen), Bonnie Hunt (Sally Carrera), Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, George Carlin… Michael Keaton, Tony Shalhoub, John Ratzenberger, Bob Costas.

Trivia: Newman’s last film. Followed by two sequels, starting with Cars 2 (2011).

Golden Globe: Best Animated Film.

5 kopia

 

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