Now Playing: May 5, 2008

By |2018-01-16T02:04:56-05:00May 1st, 2008|Entertainment|
NEW THIS WEEK:

Baby Mama
Kate (Tina Fey) is a successful organic grocery executive who learns she can’t conceive a baby. Obsessed with being a mother, she turns to an expensive surrogacy service and is placed with Angie (Amy Poehler), a none-too-bright woman who agrees to carry Kate’s fertilized egg. Battling at first, the two eventually come to understand and like one another, even when wild plot twists threaten to come between them. In fact, those script ups and downs – the weakest link in this winning comedy – serve only to highlight how talented Fey and Poehler are at keeping even sometimes-middling material afloat. These women are a comedy force to be reckoned with – a pairing that, given an edgier, less conventional script, would rival the greats of film comedy. They make this sometimes ugly baby a keeper. B
Kinsey Scale: 1 (The women are mistaken for a lesbian couple in a child-birthing class.)

Deception
In possession of the cell phone of his new lawyer friend Wyatt (Hugh Jackman), shy accountant Jonathan (Ewan McGregor) is delighted to take over his pal’s membership in a sex club, anonymously hooking up with hot women. When one of them (Michelle Williams) disappears mid-date, Jonathan gets his first hint of the danger lurking beneath Wyatt’s charm and his seductive world. This slick but mediocre thriller wastes a stellar cast that includes the magnificent Charlotte Rampling as one of Jonathan’s new playmates. The characters are thin, the dialogue is often laughable, and the storytelling is lazy. A tale that should be tightly constructed is instead riddled with gaps in logic. The only mystery here is what actors of the caliber of Jackman and McGregor are doing in this mess. C-

Kinsey Scale: 1.5 (Jackman won a Tony for playing queer singer Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz.” McGregor was a bisexual in “The Pillow Book” and a gay pop star in “Velvet Goldmine.” Williams starred in “Brokeback Mountain” and also had roles in “Imaginary Heroes” and “But I’m a Cheerleader.” Rampling appeared in “The Damned,” “Swimming Pool,” and “Basic Instinct 2.” Co-stars with queer credits include Lisa Gay Hamilton, Margaret Colin, Lynn Cohen, and Bruce Altman.)

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Mistaken for terrorists and interned at Guantanamo Bay, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) escape. With Homeland Security nut-job Ron Fox (Rob Corddry) hot on their trail, they head for Texas, certain that Harold’s well-connected pal Colton (Eric Winter) can clear their names. This “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” sequel benefits from Cho and Penn’s amiable personas and excellent chemistry. A few scenes are hilarious, but what ought to be a sharp, politically motivated satire ultimately lacks bite, thanks to the film’s refusal to take sides. Neil Patrick Harris provides the best reason to see the movie, as he hysterically reprises his role as himself from some alternative – and possibly satanic – universe: perpetually high on ‘shrooms, womanizing, and criminally insane. B

Kinsey Scale: 2 (There is some homophobic humor. Harris is gay and appeared in “The Next Best Thing” and on “Will & Grace.” Cho has a recurring role on “Ugly Betty” and took part in Margaret Cho’s “Bam Bam and Celeste.” Corddry was in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.” Co-star Roger Bart counts “The Producers” and “The Stepford Wives” among his queer roles.)

ALSO IN THEATERS:

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who
Witty enough to amuse adults as well as tots, the tale also benefits from a strong cast. Jim Carrey and Steve Carell are terrific, but Carol Burnett as Horton’s stern kangaroo nemesis is pure genius. A-

Drillbit Taylor
Because the gags aren’t grounded in any sort of recognizably real human situations, this high-school-themed movie never rises above a junior high school mentality. Everyone involved deserves detention. C-

88 Minutes
Women, in particular, get the shaft, portrayed as dupes, victims, or psychopaths in the tasteless, predictable plot. The inane dialogue is laughable. And what ought to be a nail-biter is instead entirely suspense free. D

The Forbidden Kingdom
As for older fans who understand that they’re watching two screen legends sometimes simply go through the motions, the pleasure of seeing them doing anything together at all will be enough for now. B-

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
“How I Met Your Mother” star Jason Segel makes for a refreshingly unconventional leading man, and the script (which he also wrote) allows its characters to be uncool sometimes. For that alone, it’s the opposite of forgettable. B+

Leatherheads
Even his fine sense of detail works against him – instead of bringing the period to life by faithfully recreating the Roaring ’20s, the whole enterprise feels like an embalmed museum piece set to a grating Randy Newman jazz score. C

Nim’s Island
Jodie Foster, taking a break from the female vigilante movies, seems to be having a great time returning to her Disney-esque roots. If you have kids, this is the island to visit with them. B+

Smart People
The film doesn’t know it’s supposed to be funny either, mistaking lethal sarcasm for wit. Worst of all? It’s not that smart, either. C

Street Kings
Profane, deeply amoral, and somewhat derivative, the drama is also hugely entertaining, thanks to near nonstop action, byzantine plotting, a fabulous supporting cast, and Reeves, who delivers of his finest performances to date. B

10,000 B.C.
Steven Strait and Camilla Belle are beautiful but blank, a pair of Stone Age mannequins who are not nearly as lively as the mammoths, saber-toothed tiger, giant, emu-like birds, and other computer-generated creatures they encounter. B-

21
Every machination of the plot is completely predictable. Even worse, every line of dialogue and virtually every shot is a complete cliche. C

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.