The Last Song (2010)[PG] I don't know much about ol' Nick Sparks but judging on what I've seen from trailers of his other movies and the back of the dust jacket on the handful of his books my wife has lying around the house, Mr. Sparks was certainly on auto-pilot when he slapped together this light teen drama. I'm pretty sure he cranked out this story in a couple of afternoons, one of those afternoons being spent on the toilet. The first hour of this Miley Cyrus vehicle is pretty bad. There are alot of generic situations being set-up and there is a few too many "falling in love" montages for anyone movie to handle. But right around the one hour mark something clicks and the story does take an interesting turn. Although it still meanders it's way around another 40 minutes of cliches, the characters are all sweet enough to pull you to the finish line. Greg Kinnear is especially charming as Miley's dad and for those of you who can't stand the sound of Hannah Montana's voice - the only vocal performance she gives in the movie is over the end credits. Rated PG for one bad word (uttered by Miley which I guess makes it all the more shocking,) the romance between Miley and her boyfriend is kept only to kissing (with no mention of S-E-X) and the end deals with some emotional themes that might be too heavy for little ones, but I'm sure parents of most of Hannah Montana's core audience should find nothing objectionable with the content of this silly but ultimately sweet film.
Death at a Funeral (2010)[R] This is a half descent ensemble comedy with Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Martin Lawrence providing most of the humor. The rest of the cast features Danny Glover, Kevin Hart, Luke Wilson and Zoe Saldana. It's one of those everything that can go wrong does go wrong kind of stories. Some pretty humorous events take place, most of the laughs are supplied via one-liners. This might sound like a strange criticism, but the film would be alot funnier if it didn't have such a "wacky" soundtrack. The score tries to emphasize the comedy, it almost plays like a musical laughtrack telling you this is supposed to be funny. It would have worked better if it were toned down a notch or two. Rated R for a truckload of F-bombs, drug use, some sexual banter and one instance of very literal potty humor.
The 41 Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshal and Felt Superbad About It (2010)[NR] This latest "parody" film is NOT from the guys that have made Epic Movie, Date Movie and the recent Vampires Suck...so I was hoping that maybe it would prove that parody is not dead. Unfortunately, this alleged send-up of Judd Apatow films is worse than a crap-lovin' film goer like myself could possibly imagine. There's a couple of clever bits here and there but for the most part, satire and parody are traded for vulgarity and scenes involving people being covered in every bodily secretion you can imagine. Bad, Bad, Bad movie! I cracked a smile only twice, once during the opening credits (I'm a sucker for faux credits) and once during the ending credits which lampoons the closing of Slumdog Millionare. Not that I need to tell anybody this, but don't waste the effort of focusing your eyeballs on this horrid film. The DVD is unrated and loaded with profane language, nudity and the accompanying sexual situations not to mention wall-to-wall attempts at gross-out humor.