‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ tries to update 1977 comedy, but fails

Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni are a husband and wife on a crime spree in 'Fun with Dick and Jane'
Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni are a husband and wife on a crime spree in ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’

Fun with Dick and Jane screenwriter Judd Apatow, fresh off of his big screen debut with The 40 Year Old Virgin runs into the sophomore jinx in this outing, and the efforts of noted director Dean Parisot (Home FriesGalaxy Quest) can’t help the film overcome a horribly weak script. That’s the simple explanation, but there is more. This is a remake of a wonderful film from 1977 that starred Jane Fonda (imagine, choosing Jane to play Jane, how original) and the underrated George Segal and the remake suffers by comparison.

Read more‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ tries to update 1977 comedy, but fails

Tail Slate’s Top Ten Films of 2005

Tail Slate's Top Ten of 2005These lists are never easy to compile. In fact, they’re largely a pain in the ass. In the end you consider that you will ultimately be leaving some films that deserved attention off. These movies are not included for various reasons, sometimes they were simply bumped off in favor of another film, or you just didn’t see it and can’t effectively include it in the list. As a result, these kinds of lists are flawed to some degree.

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‘Shaun of the Dead’ turns the dead-serious zombie genre on its head

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in 'Shaun of the Dead'
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in ‘Shaun of the Dead’

[rating=3]Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Dylan Moran, Lucy Davis
Director(s): Edgar Wright
Writer(s): Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

This will probably be some kind of warped record. First, this film was reviewed months ago when it was released in England (read that review here). Then, our own Horror Guru took a look at it (read that review here), when it was released in theaters here in the States.

Now, it’s my turn. With the release of Shaun of the Dead on DVD, I’m offering my take on the film.

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‘Munich’ is worth a visit

“Deuteronomy 19:21 – Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” In Steven Spielberg’s brilliant film Munich, one cannot help but  wonder if Israel’s Prime Minister Golda … Read more

Tail Slate’s Top Ten Christmas Films

Tail Slate's Top Ten Christmas MoviesAfter careful research, and a polling of our great contributors here at Tail Slate, I have put together an official top ten list of Christmas movies. One of the things that I really wanted with this list was to try and include films that may not always be seen as a Christmas movie, but actually are since the story either includes or takes place during Christmas. The other requirement, of course, is that the movie is actually good.

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‘A Door in the Floor’ fails to make you care about amoral fools

Kim Basinger stars in 'Door in the Floor'
Kim Basinger stars in ‘Door in the Floor’

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster, Mimi Rogers, Elle Fanning, Bijou Phillips
Director(s): Tod Williams
Writer(s): Screenplay by Tod Williams, based upon the novel, “A Widow for One Year” by John Irving

I don’t like writing bad reviews. I really don’t. For the most part, if there’s a film that I’ve seen that I really don’t like I prefer not to write about it at all. But in some cases, I feel that I put myself in a position to offer an opinion on a film, and it wouldn’t be right of me to withhold that opinion, even if it means I have to give a bad review.

That’s the dilemma I found myself in with A Door in the Floor.

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‘Four Brothers’ is a smart, fun film from director John Singleton

From left to right: Garrett Hedlund, Tyrese Gibson, Mark Wahlberg and André Benjamin in ‘Four Brothers’

There is something to be said about straight up action flicks that don’t pretend to be something else. I respect films like that, because they are unapologetic in their tone and treatment of violence. But sometimes in the process they become something more. Something with heart and intelligence. A well-crafted action flick can truly be a great film.

That’s what I found with Four Brothers.

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‘King Kong’

Ever since I was a kid, Kong was my favorite monster movie. I grew up with the 1976 remake, where instead of ascending the Empire State Building the gentle giant climbed the Twin Towers. I soon saw the original 1933 … Read more

2005’s ‘Bad News Bears’ is actually just as good as original

[rating=3]Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Writer(s): Screenplay by Bill Lancaster, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa; Based upon the film written by Bill Lancaster

Sammi Kane Kraft (left), Billy Bob Thornton (center) and Timmy Deters star in 'Bad News Bears'
Sammi Kane Kraft (left), Billy Bob Thornton (center) and Timmy Deters star in ‘Bad News Bears’

Remakes. I want to bang my head against my desk every time I get word that another one is coming to theaters. Yet it is even more frustrating when they’re good. Ugh, that drives me nuts.

That’s what happened with 2005’s Bad News Bears. Dammit, it’s good. In fact, it’s quite good. Funny and charming, with a great performance by Billy Bob Thornton. Director Richard Linklater successfully captured the spirit and fun of the original, crafting what is not just a good remake, but quite simply a good film.

Damn him. Damn them all.

Read more2005’s ‘Bad News Bears’ is actually just as good as original