Welcome to the movies at PS News.
Each week, PS News's film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Director: Walt Becker, Walt Disney Pictures, Rated PG, 88 mins
Following his success with Wild Hogs (2007),comedic director Walt Becker has returned with a hilarious comedy starring the Old Dogs themselves, John Travolta (who plays Charlie and also starred in Wild Hogs) and Robin Williams (who plays Dan).
Dan and Charlie are business partners and long-time best friends who are both unmarried and consider each other family.
Their relationship and their business are put in jeopardy when Dan's ex-wife, Vicki (Kelly Preston), whom he married in Vegas, contacts him out of the blue.
Vicki tells him she is going to jail for a few weeks and asks him help check in on her two kids, dropping the bombshell that he is their father.
The kids were going to stay with Vicki’s girlfriend for the duration of her jail term, however when Dan puts Vicki's girlfriend in hospital, he is forced to look after the kids with some unenthusiastic help from Charlie.
Despite a bemusing plot, the surprise element of this movie is that it is actually very funny.
And not withstanding the wonderful performances from Travolta and Williams are those performances of the supporting cast including Matt Dillon, Seth Green, and the late Bernie Mac.
This is not a perfect film and it may not appeal to everyone’s taste but it is funny and does feature Travolta and Williams, which make the film well worth watching.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
Release Date: 13 January
Director: Pete Docter, Walt Disney Pictures, Rated PG, 96 mins
From the creators of Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc comes Disney-Pixar’s inspiring adventure movie, Up.
Besides being Pixar’s 10th animated movie, Up isthe first to be presented in 3D and is by far the most enjoyable and the funniest to emerge from the Pixar studio.
The lead character is an elderly and somewhat cranky widower, Carl Fredricksen (voiced by legendary movie and television actor Edward Asner).
Instead of being forcibly removed from his home, he ties thousands of helium filled balloons to his house and flies away to fulfill his dream of living in Paradise Falls, a remote part of South America.
Carl soon discovers a he has a stowaway on board - Russell, a persistent eight-year-old boy scout (voiced by wonderful young newcomer Jordan Nagai).
Carl and Russell, together with their dog Dug, go through a number of fascinating situations but prove that they are a formidable odd couple.
The addition of the 3D technology increases the pleasure of watching the fantastic array of colours and scenery present throughout the DVD, which are complemented by plenty of laughs and tears as the story appeals to the young and old alike.
There is also an amazing selection of special features, including the hilarious and heart-warming Partly Cloudy theatrical short, exclusive Dug’s Special Mission Short, alternate scenes, director’s commentary and an Adventure is Out There feature documentary.
This is one DVD that certainly belongs in your home DVD collection.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 ½ Rubber Stamps
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Release date: January 2010
Director: Tony Scott, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 124 mins
Sony’s latest DVD release is a thriller by acknowledged action director Tony Scott, who has hits such as Déjà Vu and Enemy of the State under his belt.
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is actually a remake of the original movie which was filmed in 1974 and based on John Godey’s bestselling book.
The original starred Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw.
In Scott’s film, Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington plays Walter Garber, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority official under suspicion of taking a bribe.
While under investigation, Garber is reassigned to desk duty as a dispatcher in the subway command centre, unaware that armed men are preparing to hijack a New York City subway train and hold all of its passengers hostage for ransom.
The leader of the hijackers, Ryder (John Travolta) tells Garber he wants 10 million dollars within an hour or he will start executing one hostage every 60 seconds.
The cops (led by John Turturro) are called in but Garber remains the lead negotiator at Ryder's insistence.
Scott’s version certainly has plenty of action sequences built into his production but lacks some of the suspense evident in the original movie.
The interaction between the two lead actors (Washington and Travolta) is a major highlight.
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 works well due to the Tony Scott-Denzel Washington collaboration.
Adding Travolta to the cast was a good move as he is always interesting to watch as a villain.
This DVD is worth having in your collection thanks to Scott’s solid direction and the acting skills of Washington and Travolta.
There are also a good collection of added features including two commentary tracks and several featurettes.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
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