‘Kick-Ass 2’ retains original’s mix of wit and violence

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Moretz are back for more in 'Kick Ass 2'
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Moretz are back for more in ‘Kick Ass 2’

[rating=3]Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo, Morris Chestnut
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Wadlow

The first film based off a work by Mark Millar was Wanted, which was a horrible butchering that turned a unique comic into a generic action movie. But Kick-Ass got it right, with a proceeding that was anything but generic. Luckily Kick-Ass 2, despite a change in directors and studios, keeps up the same manic blend of humor and violence.

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There is little real magic in ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’

Steve Carell in 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'
Steve Carell in ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’

[rating=2]Starring:  Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr and Brad Garrett
Writer(s):  Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (screenplay and story); Chad Kultgen and Tyler Mitchell (story)
Director(s):  Don Scardino

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a story of friendship, magic and the power of both to astound.  It could have been a really good film.  However, like an illusion involving levitation where the wires can clearly be seen, it was ultimately less than satisfying.

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Top 10 Actors Who Started Their Careers as Stand-Up Comedians

Actors all want to be musicians, musicians all want to be actors, and comedians are usually content to be miserable neurotics. The advantage of working out neurosis on stage is that it can be a great training ground for channeling emotion in front of an audience who aren’t shy about giving you instant feedback. In his autobiography, “Born Standing Up,” Steve Martin expounds on the idea of how his stand-up days helped mold him into the actor, writer, and musician he is today. That got me thinking about other stand-ups who’ve turned out brilliant acting performances, and can claim to be Actors with a capital A.

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‘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.

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Clever ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ gets treated well with collector’s edition DVD

[rating=3]Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson
Director(s): Michel Gondry
Writer(s): Story by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Busmuth; Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’

This was one of those films that came to me highly recommended by several people. For some reason, however, I dragged my feet in reviewing this DVD. The funny thing was my sister-in-law had recently loaned us her copy of the movie, which was the original single-disc release. But when I got the collector’s edition for review, I still dragged my feet.

Why? I don’t have a clue.

Read moreClever ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ gets treated well with collector’s edition DVD