DVDS from the summer rental cabin that I somehow missed the first time around – the good, the bad, and the ugly. First Different Drummer has her say, then other critics – who may or may not agree.
2009 – An Education: Champagne Punch
An education… in the school of hard knocks, if you will forgive a somewhat salacious pun. Yes, for years older men have seduced teen-aged girls, but usually without the willing cooperation of their clueless parents.
“... attempts to impress audiences with its worldliness, but it comes off instead as an awkward, unformed teen fantasy run amok.” Jeremy Hellman
2008 - Flashbacks of a Fool: English Apple Traybake
Maybe the real fool is Daniel Craig, who cashes in his 2007 James Bond bona fides for this insipid vehicle produced by his best bud.
“An ambitious but disappointing, regret-filled psycho-drama.” Jeannette Catsoulis
2008 27 Dresses: Mexican Wedding Cakes
This sweet comedy makes you want to believe in love all over again. And 27 of the most bizarre wedding themes in all their over-the-top splendor provide the icing on the cake.
“27 Dresses is so flimsy it gives froth a bad name.” Peter Ravers Rolling Stone
2007 – P.S. I love You: Lamb Shanks Braised in Guinness Stout
Gifted veterans like Kathy Bates and Hillary Swank can’t bring this script back from the dead even with the assistance of Gerard Butler's ghost. The Irish clichés are as flat as day old Guinness.
“I hated every calculated second of it with a passion.” David Keyes.
2006 The Holiday: English Fairy Cakes
The ham-fisted Hollywood/British clichés fade with Jude Law’s textured sweetness, but it is 91-year-old Eli Wallach who steals the show.
“No amount of ironic gift wrapping can conceal the triteness within in this double-plotted festive chick flick that is too long by half, and too cloyingly sweet to be healthy.” Anton Bitel
2006 The Devil Wears Prada: New York Appetizers
Merly Streep as the chic dominatrix of the fashion police relishes every stinging slap of her leather-barbed insults.
“An agreeably shallow comedy.” C.R. Jones
“The whole thing is humbug, a giant ad for the industry it affects to critique.” Ben Walters
1987 - 84 Charing Cross Road: Apple Brown Betty
As a love story it’s a near miss, but with legends like Anne Bancroft and Antony Hopkins as well as a nearly unrecognizable Judi Dench lending her hand, how can you resist?
“…such unrelieved genteelness that it makes one long to head for Schrafft'sfor a double-gin martini, straight up, and a stack of cinnamon toast from which the crusts have been removed.” Vincent Canby