Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011) Let's face it, Jim Carrey is at his best when he's just being Jim Carrey. We like him goofy, silly and just off the wall bonkers - it's why he's a star. It's understandable that he wants to do more than than in movies, but throw us a bone every once in a while and just let loose and go crazy like ya did in your first handful of movies! Mr. Popper's Penguins is a perfect vehicle for Carrey to let loose and be a goofball and there are moments in the film where we see the ol' Ace Ventura Jim shine through. But too much of this movie is wasted on the sappy relationship between Mr. P and his kids and the played out storyline about his career that we never really get the full Jim Carrey experience that this family film should carry. Even the penguins aren't given that much to do, they have some funny scenes and Carrey is funny reacting to them but overall this picture should have been alot funnier than it was. If you're not looking for a Jim Carrey experience and just a nice family friendly flick to take the kids to - this should do you just fine. If you're looking for Jim Carrey in his element - you'd be better off rewatching Ace Ventura or The Mask.
I Am Number Four (2011) Imagine a cross between Star Trek and Dawson's Creek...except without any of the good parts. In this teen oriented sci fi caper, a young fella is on the run from alien bounty hunters while also trying to navigate the complex world of high school. He meets a girl, falls in love, stands up to the school bully, and also discovers that he can shoot light out of his palms. The aliens out to get him are some mean looking bargain basement Star Trek leftovers who wish to take over the Earth but must first destroy nine kids sent to the planet from space. (The kid in the story is the fourth of the nine, get it?!) I hate in movies when aliens are portrayed as basically humans with weird tattoos and bad teeth. In a world with Mike Tyson and the British - you need a little more effort than that nowadays to sell me an alien. That's why ALF continues to be the most realistic depiction of alien life. Well, ALF and that brain thing from the old Ninja Turtles cartoon. I Am Number Four does conclude with a pretty decent action sequence and sets the stage for a series of films, I guess they are hoping I Am Number Five is next? It's kind of lame to force a franchise on an audience. We all knew we were in for 18 Harry Potter movies, but unless you're a broom riding wizard you need box office receipts before you can start filming a number two...or five?!
C.C. and Company (1970) Oh Ann-Margret! You've steered me wrong this time! The still gorgeous Ann-Margret and goofy looking football legend Joe Namath star in this early 70's biker picture. After a cute opening scene where Namath makes a sandwich while shopping in a grocery store, we settle in for a fairly bland adventure. Apparently in the 1970's audiences couldn't get enough of motorbikes because this ain't the first film I've seen where a good percentage of screen time is dedicated to capturing the glory of little mopeds scurrying around a dirt track. There are at least two extended scenes of just people riding around on bikes. This film also features the hilarious comic misadventures of rape and teenage prostitution. I couldn't tell if this was supposed to be a comedy, drama or action flick. The movie's carousel calliope soundtrack didn't help matters either.
Scooby Doo: Camp Scare (2010) They've been making these direct-to-DVD Scooby Doo animated movies at the rate of one a year for the last 15 years. I've seen a couple of them and I rather enjoyed this one. Scoobs and the gang join Fred as he goes back to the summer camp of his youth to be a counselor. Of course there are some mysterious hi jinks afoot. This Mystery Inc. outing plays nice to older viewers with some sophisticated jokes and a funny subplot about Daphine's jealousy over a sexy, curvy counselor at the neighboring camp. I only wish these films were animated more in the style of the older cartoons, but they do retain alot of the fun of the original series.
Space Jam (1996) There are two types of people in this world: The people who think this Bugs Bunny/Michael Jordan basketball movie is a piece of crap and there are those who think it's a fantastic movie. I am from the camp of those who find it awesome! My kids enjoyed it too!