Since the wimps at Screen Gems decided not to offer Underworld: Evolution to critics, there are precious few reviews available. (And Screen Gems press people sit behind their desks - fingers tented, Mr. Burns-style - whispering "Eeeeexcellent.") So, though it's one of only two films opening wide, it doesn't get to play in today's Review Roundup. As a replacement for a vampire movie sequel, I've thrown in a dry political comedy - that's a reasonable exchange, right? Anyway, in brief: End of the Spear is boring, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World is, if nothing else, typical Albert Brooks. Details below.
of the Spear: Despite the fact that it's opening on over 1000 screens, this one seems to have been offered on a
very limited scale to critics and, as a result a lot of the usual suspects haven't seen it.
Those who have, however, are largelyunimpressed
(unless, that is, "a dutiful public
service announcement" is what the film aspired to be).
- Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World: Opinions on this one cover a pretty wide range, possibly because, as Roger Ebert points out, when seeing an Albert Brooks movie it helps to have trained by seeing all of his other films beforehand. A few people - among them the ever-reliable Mick LaSalle - think it's "sly" and "wonderfully uncomfortable." Others, however, are bored to tears, not to mentionvaguely annoyed.
Also opening on a few screens today is the documentary Why We Fight, which Karina found frustrating, but also even-handed and complex.