May 22, 2008

Oh, to Be Prince Caspian

Two new movie reviews today: I look at the new Narnia film in the Trend, while I review the misbegotten James Gandolfini musical "Romance & Cigarettes" at North Star. If you thought "The Sopranos" would have been better with a few more suburban song-and-dance numbers, I recommend the latter.

As for "Crystal Skull," I generally liked it. Not nearly as good as any of the three originals, but not the disappointment that any of the "Star Wars" prequels were. Also, a couple of very strong action sequences, including a dynamite chase scene through Peru.

Then there's "Bigger Stronger Faster," which I found a fascinating but ultimately infuriating documentary. It's hard to argue with any film that begins with footage of Hulk Hogan defeating the Iron Sheik in 1984. The film is funny and engaging throughout, although about 30 minutes in the movie abruptly takes the questionable position that steroids aren't all that bad for you or for anyone, before ultimately concluding that cheating by taking them isn't so bad because everyone in America cheats at everything.

Still though, the director, Chris Bell, has a real talent for getting people to admit things on camera that they shouldn't, up to and including members of his own family. But no one comes off looking worse than Henry Waxman, the erstwhile grand inquisitor of the steroid Congressional hearing, who shows in a brief interview that he knows not even the basic facts of the subject, and he has to ask an aide whether or not steroids are legal.

Look for full reviews of both in the coming weeks.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 22, 2008 05:03 PM

"As for "Crystal Skull," I generally liked it. Not nearly as good as any of the three originals..."

I'd rank it above Temple of Doom, except for the brilliant opening of Temple in the Shanghai nightclub (which was sort of like the tail-end of another movie we never saw, i.e., "Indiana Jones and the Sons of the Dragon," or something like that).

Posted by: Dave J at May 24, 2008 04:41 PM

Great headline! Was the song in the movie?

Posted by: LiLB at May 27, 2008 05:48 PM
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