Monday, December 25, 2006
Movie Reviews: ROCKY BALBOA & THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Sylvester Stallone returns for a sixth time as Rocky Balboa, the tough-as-nails Philadelphia boxing champ. Only now Rocky is old, really old. In this installment of the sports saga, the 54-year-old Balboa is lured out of retirement for one final fight when a computer simulation claims he could beat the current champ, Mason "the Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver).
Cast Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Tarver, Burt Young, Milo Ventimiglia (more)
Director(s) Sylvester Stallone
Writer(s) Sylvester Stallone
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date Dec. 20, 2006
MPAA Rating PG - For boxing violence and some language
Rocky Balboa is a retread of the original Rocky film. Added here are themes of age and life which add weight to this film with varying degrees of effectiveness. Rocky here is a broken man who can't seem to move on from his wife's passing. This aspect gives the Rocky character a much need in for the audience to latch on to. During the first portion of the film we watch an older Stallone effectively convey the pain and loss that his character is suffering through. This movie works on a certain level but on another it feels like a modern replay of the original film and sometimes some oh so familiar scenes are replayed for us again. The movie moves along on its predictable path and there are very few surprises on the way. By the end of the film you are partially invested in the character again but it just doesn't carry as much weight as the first film did which I suppose is a nearly impossible feat. Still, this film does tie a nice little bow on the end of the franchise.
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Small-town girl Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) gets a job working in New York City for Runway fashion magazine, where she has to cope with a high-powered, dictatorial editor, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).
Cast Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier, Tracie Thoms, Simon Baker, Stanley Tucci (more)
Director(s) David Frankel
Writer(s) Aline Brosh McKenna
Status On DVD
Release Date June 30, 2006
DVD Release Date Dec. 12, 2006
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for some sensuality.
The Devil wears Prada is one of surprising enjoyable films that looks sort of familiar, plot-wise, but is able to pull itself up from mediocrity with excellent performances by the great cast and sharp dialogue. Without a doubt this is Meryl Streep's stage to shine and she nails the "dragon lady" boss perfectly and is just a joy to watch when she's on screen. Anne Hathaway does well as the naïve assistance but I just wonder why she's given these "ugly duckling" roles when it's a bit of stretch, a point that exasperated by a running fat joke. In addition to Streep's great performance, Stanley Tucci also shines here in a supporting role. As the movie heads towards it's finale it does try a bit too hard to force a moral into the film which seems forced. Even with these flaws this movie too much fun to watch to ruin this smart comedy.