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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Promising comic premise -- a swinging single San Diego newsman in the Seventies, and his personal attraction but professional resistance to a female colleague -- subjected to a strategy of anything-for-a-laugh: wild exaggeration, improbability, impossibility, fantasy, absurdity, ribaldry, animal abuse, cartoon interlude, musical numbers, celebrity cameos (Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Be Kind Rewind (2008)

Twisted, tangled, snarled zaniness around a behind-the-times video store, facing foreclosure, in Passaic, N.J. An habitué of the place (Jack Black, at his most demonically possessed) unwittingly erases the entire stock after he becomes “magnetized” while attempting to sabotage the next-door power plant: “I didn’t sabotage the power plant; the ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bernie (2012)

Jack Black is the life-based but rather cartoonish Bernie, a sweet, dapper, fussy (read: gay) undertaker in Carthage, Texas. He is an angel disguised as an oddball, loved by all, even (for a time) the mean widow Marjorie (Shirley MacLaine). Director Richard Linklater provides a cozy jacket of style, is ... (PG-13)

3.0 starsDavid Elliott

The Big Year (2011)

Nature tourism lamely disguised as comedy. Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black play fanatical birders competing to see as many feathery critters as possible in one year. They run around the country, making cute faces between bird views, and classy old actors (Anjelica Huston, Brian Dennehy, Dianne Wiest) are ... (PG)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

The D Train (2015)

Yes, it means what you think it means — but also more! Jack Black commits, wholeheartedly and straightfacedly, to the part of Dan Landsman, a Midwestern guy with an admiring boss, a great wife, and a good kid who is nevertheless obsessed with having some bros. Guy friends, like the ... (R)

0.0 starsMatthew Lickona

Envy (2004)

Sizes up the strain on a friendship after the "dreamer" of the two invents an aerosol spray to make dogshit disappear. The invention itself -- Vapoorize -- gives a fair indication of the level of inventiveness in the movie (license plates: "CACA KING" and "POO CZAR"), and further proof that ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Goosebumps (2015)

Call it the Alien/Aliens effect. One alien on a single spaceship is a horror story, but a thousand aliens in a colony is almost necessarily an action pic. So while any single monster from R. L. Stine's series of young adult horror novels may have been enough to ... (PG)

0.0 starsMatthew Lickona

Gulliver's Travels (2010)

You can, with CGI effects and scale models, make Jack Black far bigger than everyone else and even have him pee on Blenheim Palace. But he remains a bloated teddy bear, a hip doof from School of Rock doing silly stuff at the expense of Jonathan Swift’s classic social satire. ... (PG)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

High Fidelity (2000)

Cool-cat comedy centered around the owner of a used-records store called Championship Vinyl, his love life past and present, and his two nerdy clerks. The arcane shoptalk will perhaps be of interest to those who can decipher it, but it makes no noticeable effort to engage the outsider. The musical ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Holiday (2006)

Writer and director Nancy Meyers arranges an Internet home exchange, for two weeks at Christmastime, between two wounded women desperate to get away: a London newspaper columnist (Kate Winslet) with a cozy cottage in Surrey, and a Hollywood trailer-cutter (Cameron Diaz) with a modernist mansion in Beverly Hills. The agreed-upon ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The House With A Clock In Its Walls (2018)

An orphaned boy named Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is placed in the custody of a Warlock uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who quickly proceeds to groom the lad in the art of sorcery. With the premise precariously set in place, director Eli Roth relinquishes control to the production designer and special ... (PG)

0.0 starsScott Marks

The House With A Clock In Its Walls: The IMAX 2D Experience (2018)

An orphaned boy named Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is placed in the custody of a Warlock uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who quickly proceeds to groom the lad in the art of sorcery. With the premise precariously set in place, director Eli Roth relinquishes control to the production designer and special ... (PG)

0.0 starsScott Marks

The House With a Clock In Its Walls (w/ Michael Jackson's Thriller): IMAX (2018)

An orphaned boy named Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is placed in the custody of a Warlock uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who quickly proceeds to groom the lad in the art of sorcery. With the premise precariously set in place, director Eli Roth relinquishes control to the production designer and special ... (PG)

0.0 starsScott Marks

Jesus' Son (2000)

Spiritual and geographical journey of a junkie nicknamed Fuckhead, in the early 1970s (more progress geographically, perhaps, than spiritually). The incidents, lifted from a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories by Denis Johnson, have something of the talkative drug addict's boring desire to astonish and proneness to embellish. But the one ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

King Kong (2005)

Fresh from The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson could presumably have done anything he wanted. What he apparently wanted was to do a remake. Check that, a second remake. A 21st-century Kong. A CGI Kong. A kung-fu Kong. (Three T. rexes at a time, one hand tied up with ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd