Matthew Lickona 4 p.m., Dec. 2
Here Comes the Boom
Thought experiment, possibly entertaining: view this film as if it were titled The Passion of the Kevin James. It's as much a Christ parable as Raging Bull, only "director" Frank Coraci doesn't know it. In order to raise the funds needed to save his school's music program, the nutty redeemer becomes a glorified kickboxer, and before it's over, his students are in Vegas watching their favorite teacher get stomped into a bloody pulp. He wins in the end (SPOILER ALERT), but there is something to be said for getting to watch a group of muscled individuals take turns beating up on Kevin James. Besides, art and salvation through violence is a PG message we can all abide by. The third act pathos proceeds exactly as planned, and an unexpected cutaway to the teary-eyed father of an Asian kid brought tears to my eyes. I'll have to check the list, but I don't think I've had more fun laughing at a movie all year. Hideous on the eyes, too. With a blue filter strapped on the camera throughout the entire production, Phil Meheux's cinematography makes it look like a Smurfs sequel directed by Michael Mann. If you have a taste for the terrible, this one comes highly recommended. With Salma Hayek and Joe Rogan as "Himself." 2012.