Two tear-drippers and two money-wasters

Wed, 01/21/2009 - 9:59am
By: Kevin Thomas

Greetings, Citizen Readers. You will have noticed I have not done any movie reviews lately.

Well, over the past few weeks, I have seen four movies that I am now going to tell you about: “Seven Pounds,” “Marley and Me,” “Hotel for Dogs,” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.”

“Seven Pounds” - ***

In “Seven Pounds,” Will Smith portrays a completely unreal character: a sympathetic IRS agent.

He apparently can drastically change the lives of seven people who are in debt to the government. One of these seven people is Emily, played by Rosario Dawson. Emily has congenital heart problems, which caused her to miss her IRS payments. I can’t say anything more about the plot or it will spoil the movie for you. This is one of Will Smith’s more dramatic movies and I felt it was aimed at older viewers who are into dramatic mysteries. My parents loved it. Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality.

“Marley and Me” - ****

My second review, and the only one I am recommending everyone see, is a cute dramedy about two newlyweds and a very mischievous lab named Marley. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as John and Jenny, a newly married couple who have nice house, good jobs as newspaper reporters, and the love of each other. When Jenny begins to want a child, John gets her a puppy that turns out to be more then John bargained for. But John uses the dog to write a column that gets him promoted.

This is more than a little funny kiddies movie, and parts of it are quite sad so bring your tissues. Rated PG for thematic material, some suggestive content and language. I didn’t expect all the kissing scenes.

“Hotel for Dogs” - **1/2

Film number three is “Hotel for Dogs,” a cute comedy about five children who run a hotel for dogs. The two stars of the film are Andi, played be Emma Roberts, and Bruce, played by Jake T. Austin, who is the Bill Nye of 11-year-olds when it comes to inventions. These two are foster kids who have managed to smuggle and hide their dog, Friday everywhere they go.

The film has some good moments and inventions like the treadmill and the simulator, but besides all the cool toys, there is pretty much nothing to see here. Little kids will like it though. Rated PG for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” - **

My fourth and final review is about “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” a movie about an over-the-top mall cop who must defend the mall when it’s taken over by high-tech villains. Blart is a man with low blood pressure problems who is raising his daughter with the help of his mother. When not at home, Blart is so dedicated to protecting the mall; he makes himself look like an idiot. But when the mall is taken over by technological gurus, Blart uses everything he knows in the mall to stop the bad guys and get the job done.

This was cute enough, I guess, but so predictable that I recommend waiting until it comes to the dollar theatre or even renting it. Rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language.

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