Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New 11/12/10

Unstoppable (PG-13)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee
Director: Tony Scott
Not content with stopping a subway train (“Pelham 123”) Denzel moves up to being engineer of a transcontinental freightliner loaded with toxic chemicals. He’s days away from retirement, hates his company’s suits, and is saddled with a trainee fresh out of train conductor school. When they hear that an unmanned train is picking up speed as it heads for big city and potential big loss of lives and property. What should they do? If you think jumping on the speeding train and trying to get to the engine’s controls via the tops of the 99 cars, you’ve got the movie in a nutshell. Popcorn anyone?
3 pieces of metaphor filled toast

Morning Glory (PG-13)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson
Director: Roger Michell
To those of us old enough to remember Ed Asner as Mary Tyler Moore’s boss in a fictional TV studio, all of this will seem overly familiar. But for younger audiences (and I don’t mean those in elementary school), this film tries so hard to be funny they may like it. Harrison Ford is the old curmudgeon newscaster and Rachel McAdams the bubbly young producer stuck in a story about a dying industry where nobody onscreen seems to know that sobering fact.
2 pieces of seen it before and better toast

Skyline (R )
Starring: Scottie Thompson, Eric Balfour, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed
Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
After seeing the previews, I wanted this to be a guilty pleasure to share with others, but the overall cacophony of bad CG effects, badder dialogue and baddest acting combine to make this sci-fi bomb (despite it’s original take on the apocalyptic rapture), a “Must Skip It.” film
1/2 piece of Must Skip toast

Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Public Enemy #1 (R)
Starring: Vincwnt Cassel, Gerard Depardieu, Ludivine Sagnier
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
A cocky,  publicity seeking, street smart French gangster is at the core of based-on-true-life pair of films. “Killer Instinct” was made in 2007 and stars a face familiar to those who saw “Oceans 12 & 13.” The press love the Robin Hood aspect of the guy, but those of us watching the film know that he is a sadistic, psychopath sure to reign ruin on all he touches. In the second film, “Public Enemy #1” Mesrine makes nbso online casino reviews the mistake of believing what he reads about himself in magazines and newspapers—that he is smarter than the cops, invincible, and utterly charming.  Like Mesrine, the second film sticks around too long and wears out its welcome.
2 and 1/2 pieces of don’t believe everything you read toast

“Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg”  (NR)
Director: Aviva Kempner
Gertude Berg was a force of nature in the formative years of radio and television. She wrote, produced and starred in the long-running sitcom “The Goldbergs.” She became the first million dollar star on the small screen by inviting audiences into her mythical apartment with its picture of George Washington hanging on the wall. In this documentary, we see how she encapsulated the immigrant experience and became almost as popular (and tough) as Eleanor Roosevelt.
3 pieces of History of  Television style toast

Stone (R)
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich,
Director: John J. Curran
A devout Christian parole officer nearing retirement is worn down by the decades of lies he has heard from convicts, until an arsonist named Stone comes into his office and the prisoner’s sexy wife makes an appearance. The result is an acting tour-de-force played with the aid of both God and the Devil.
3 pieces of passionate acting toast

NEW ON DVD

Grown Ups (PG-13)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider
Director: Dennis Dugan
In what is so far my top choice for “WORST MOVIE OF 2010,” a profoundly unfunny Adam Sandler and  Rob Scneider drag everyone else involved to the level of poo-poo jokes as a group of  buddies take a family vacation together because their basketball coach died, and they want to act like ten-year-olds again. Trough it all, assorted wives and children shake their heads in embarrassed dismay.
1/2 piece don’t waste your hard earned money toast

Charlie St. Cloud (PG-13)
Starring: Zac Efron, Kim Basinger, Amanda Crew, Donal Logue
Director: Burr Steers
Zach Efron picked an odd vehicle for his dramatic debut as he plays a man so grief-stricken by his brother’s death, he becomes the caretaker at the cemetery where his body is interred. A decade later, he still plays baseball with is brother every sunset. Yep, you got it. “Sixth Sense” meets “Field of Dreams.”  Ugh.
1 piece of melodramatic claptrap toast

Ramona and Beezus (G)
Starring: John Corbett, Sandra Oh, Bridget Moynahan, Ginnifer Goodwin, Selena Gomez and Joey King
Director: Elizabeth Allen (II) The Ramona of Beverly Cleary’s books had a rambunctious nature and gap-toothed grin but the issues she and her family addressed were serious ( father-loses job, teacher is disappointed etc.). In this updated version, everyone is Nice with a capital “N.” Presented as a series of short set pieces, the result is disingenuous. It needs a little more bite like the “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” depression-era movie had.
1 and 1/2 pieces of whatever toast