Bolt (Rated G)
Gavin Grade: B+
I got to see this movie at the Natomas movie theater, which is one of three theaters showing it in 3D. In all honesty though it wasn't worth it. I would imagine that this movie is just as enjoyable without wearing the humiliating glasses. If "Bolt" was made for two kinds of people, 1: animal lovers; and 2: Hollywood insiders. There are so many industry jokes in this movie, I can't imagine how kids will respond to them. That's because it's about a dog that is the star of a primetime action TV show that gets doesn't know he's just an actor. But when he gets lost on the other side of the country, his discovery soon reveals he doesn't have the superpowers he thought he had. The idea of "self discovery" sounds a little heavy, but there's enough funny talking animals in it that kids will love it just the same. This isn't a Pixar movie, but it is from Disney. That means that you won't see any of the "adult" type humor in it that you might be used too, but the action sequences are amazing to watch and keep you on the moment while forgetting it's a little dog voiced by John Travolta. "Bolt" is fun for the whole family (except maybe a moody teenager) and will make you want to rush home right after the movie and hug and kiss your very own pet.
Twilight (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: D+
Ironic this movie is about vampires because it really sucked. The one saving grace about this movie based off of the best-selling Stephenie Meyer book series, is that it's based off of the best-selling Stephenie Meyer book series. By that I mean the only thing this movie has going for it is the story. I must confess that I haven't read the books, but I think I might want too. I want to see where this story goes, but I'm not sure I can sit through another movie. Everything about it felt like a high-budgeted Made for TV movie. The special effects were piss poor, the acting was stale and the directing was miserable. Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella in the movie, performs as if she has some sort of twitch. Robert Pattinson, who you may remember as Cedric Digory in the Harry Potter series, does a decent job despite having a crap script to work with and staying upright with such a massive head. I would say that if you've never read the book, avoid this movie and read it; but if you have read the book, still avoid this movie and read the book again.
Role ModelsÂ (Rated R)
Gavin Grade:Â B
I had a lot of hope for this comedy staring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott.Â That's because creators David Wain and Ken Marino are two of the masterminds behind the cult sketch comedy MTV show from the '90s, "The State."Â It's a classic buddy comedy where two guys find themselves put in a position of court-ordered Community Service at a group for kids.Â The two they're paired up with is a foul mouth kid, who's played by newcomer Bobb'e Thompson and a Renaissance Fair nerd played by Christopher Mintz-Plaase, who you'll recognize instantly as McLovin from "Superbad."Â Don't get me wrong, the movie is funny; but I expected more.Â Wain and Marino created two other movies called "Wet Hot American Summer" and "The Ten."Â Both are in my Top 30 favorite comedies of all time.Â The trap I fell into was expecting that again.Â Those movies are quirky, weird and not for everyone.Â "Role Models" is more mainstream.Â So that means that just because I didn't like it that much, you probably will.
Rachel Getting MarriedÂ (Rated R)
Gavin Grade:Â C+
Oscar Alert!Â If I were a betting man, I'd say this movie will appear as an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.Â Anne Hathaway is the only recognizable name in this movie about a 20-something sister named Kim, coming home from a drug rehab to attend her sister's wedding.Â Oh yeah, her sister's name is Rachel.Â It's directed by Jonathan Demme, who gave us such amazing movies as "Philadelphia" and "Silence of the Lambs."Â I saw this movie expecting it to be a powerhouse performance piece based on the recommendation of my best friend, Joe.Â What I got instead was a movie split in two.Â The first half sets up a promising story and intriguing characters as they prepare for this wedding.Â We can see drama building as devastating family secrets are piled on top of each other.Â But then the second half just becomes a mess.Â Details are forgotten and never resolved and we get so bogged down in aspects of the wedding that it becomes almost laughable.Â However Demme does an utterly amazing job at making you feel like you're part of this wedding.Â It's all shot with hand-held cameras, which makes you feel like you're watching a home movie or even sitting with the guests at the wedding.Â Hathaway shows a very vulnerable side and stuns in some scenes as a tragic, pain-in-the-ass, headcase of a woman.