Get Smart, The Love Guru aim for laughs

Plus other new and recent releases

Page 2 of 6

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (PG) Over 1300 years have passed since the events of 2005's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but the more things change the more they stay the same. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian finds the titular kingdom once again under the thumb of evil despots and again in need of saving by our noble, still younger-than-springtime heroes (who are this time whisked away from grimy London to magical mystery land not via wardrobe but by the conduit of a Potter-esque train station). The sequel's look and feel is a bit darker than the original, with a vaguely Medieval ambience and an endless clanking of swords and solemn line readings that become tedious well before the movie's 144 minutes have elapsed. Character development is even more cursory than in the first film, with the main draw being a tapestry of unintentionally dopey-looking centaurs, minotaurs and talking animals (including a rodent rip-off of Shrek's swashbuckling kitty) that, mystical pretensions aside, belong in a Sid and Marty Krofft production. Sergio Castellitto makes an interesting villain and Peter Dinklage manages to maintain his dignity under a false nose and gnomish make-up, but there's not much else to brighten up the plodding here. When Tilda Swinton's evil witch briefly materializes towards the end — and then just as quickly vanishes — the movie's lack of life becomes all too apparent. Also stars Ben Barnes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes and Warwick Davis. 2.5 stars

DRILLBIT TAYLOR (PG-13) Everybody's favorite suicidal actor (Owen Wilson) returns as a bargain-basement bodyguard protecting grade-school kids from bullies. Also stars Leslie Mann, Josh Peck, David Dorfman and Troy Gentile. (Not Reviewed)

THE FALL (R) The last time mono-monikered wunderkind Tarsem was heard from was at the dawn of the millennium with The Cell, a serial-killer flick that would be easy to forget were it not for an appearance by J-Lo as a brilliant psychologist and a sprinkling of visuals that can only be described as breathtaking. The Fall, Tarsem's first feature film in seven years, is basically The Cell with those stunning visual sequences allowed to run pretty much uninterrupted for nearly two hours. Unfortunately, the downside here is that Tarsem's new opus is so stuffed with flamboyant images that there doesn't seem to be much room left for a story, and anything resembling a coherent plot is essentially jettisoned. The narrative, such as it is, involves a recuperating stuntman (Lee Pace), broken in body and spirit, lying in a hospital bed telling stories to an adorable little girl (Catinca Untaru) who turns out to have a few problems of her own. It soon becomes clear that the stuntman's constantly morphing tale of larger-than-life Munchausen-esque heroes and villains is being filtered through the little girl's imagination, loosely positioning The Fall with films like Paperhouse and Pan's Labyrinth, in which fantasy and reality blur through a child's perspective. It's all quite beautiful to look at but enigmatic almost to a fault, with the tone wobbling between whimsical and glumly pretentious. Also stars Justine Waddell and Daniel Caltagirone. 3 stars

FLAWLESS (PG-13) It's hard to avoid calling Flawless a heist movie, but anyone who puts too much stock in that description is bound to come away disappointed. The movie has a couple of things going for it, but the big jewel theft at the center of the story is a wash-out. Demi Moore stars here as Laura Quinn, an ambitious female executive repeatedly passed over for promotion at the London Diamond Corporation, while a series of less-qualified males sail right past her. With her head bruised from banging against that glass ceiling, Laura finds herself listening closely when an aging night janitor (heist-movie icon Michael Caine) approaches her with a plan to rob the corporation blind. The planning and execution of the heist turn out to be fairly perfunctory and rather uneventful, with director Michael Radford (Il Postino) spending more time dwelling on the post-crime investigation and ramifications — neither of which proves terribly interesting. The film is pleasant enough to look at, however, with solid production values and meticulous attention paid to its 1960 time period — but most of the performances (beginning with Moore's) are modulated to the point of lifelessness, and the movie is way too methodical for its own good. It's all bookended by some laughable latex make-up on Demi at the outset, and some annoyingly simplistic moralizing at the end that leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Also stars Lambert Wilson and Joss Ackland. 2.5 stars

Scroll to read more Events & Film articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]