Comedy: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

You'll see an attempt to provide a story with genuine heart and humor in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone but the effort meets mixed results.

Action: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim's story is the sort that won't let conventional genres confine it, so maybe it's time to propose a new one?

Drama: The Descendants

The Descendants is a great movie, but it's less than half the comedy the promotional materials make it out to be.

Action
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

As a one-time voracious reader who read everything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote about Sherlock Holmes and enjoyed most of it, I feel like I am expected to hate nearly any attempt to bring the property to life in movies and television. That’s an uncomfortable expectation to live up to, because it turns out I quite like the “Elementary” television series (in my defense, I didn’t expect to), and I was also quite taken with Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as the famous sleuth in “Sherlock Holmes,” the 2009 film from Guy Ritchie.

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Comedy
Mr. & Mrs. Smith

John Smith was a spy, and good at his job. One day in Columbia, circumstances threw him together with a mysterious woman named Jane. When danger passed, the two found one another still in each other’s arms, rapidly falling in a love so deep that it could only conclude one way: with a hasty marriage.

“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” is mostly a movie about the life John Smith led after his marriage to a woman he barely knew. It’s a film partly about the couple working through the tedium that can occasionally crop up in marriage, and it’s about keeping secrets from one another, even as the regrettable void grows between two people who thought they loved each other. Yet the story is a comedy (with a lot of action scenes), and that dynamic works for one reason: John isn’t the only spy in the marriage.

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Action
Red

With “Red 2” scheduled to arrive in theaters next month, I figured it was time to actually watch the first movie. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years now, taunting me from its pretty blue case, so I finally watched it last night and now I wish I’d gotten around to doing so a little sooner.

“Red” tells the story of Bruce Willis, only in this particular film he’s an ex-CIA operative named Frank Moses who fills the dull hours in his retired life with phone calls to Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), a lady at a call center who makes sure that pension checks keep coming after Moses swears they aren’t arriving as scheduled. He’s lying, of course, and even absent-mindedly tears one in half as he talks to Sarah about the latest romance novels she is reading.

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Action
Sucker Punch

Perhaps it’s best to describe “Sucker Punch,” the latest movie from “300” and “Watchmen” director Zack Snyder, as one of the prettiest video games you’ve ever watched. It’s a movie, of course, not tied to any existing game in the slightest, but it’s full of sequences that feel like they were ripped from a game.

Emily Browning plays Baby Doll, the sort of female protagonist that will have boys dreaming of her for years to come if the movie finds its audience. She oozes sex appeal in nearly every frame of the film that features her. Since the movie lasts around two hours, that’s a lot of oozing.

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Name: Jason Venter
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