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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Mini Reviews: January 8
by John P. McCarthy

Below are Mini Reviews from Cineman Syndicate for three films opening on January 8, 2010.

LEAP YEAR. Erin Go Aagh! Forget moviegoers, stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode deserve better than this sludgy rom-com about a prissy Boston lass who travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on February 29th but falls for a handsome publican instead. The post-holiday bowl of porridge has no taste or nutrition. Attempts to add flavor and viscosity using music fail, and the wannabe screwball trip the nitwits take from Dingle to Dublin is hard to watch. Seems all Adams and Goode have in common is nice skin. The Irish legend concerning leap-year proposals gets summarily tossed onto a peat fire, which is where the movie itself belongs. (PG-13) POOR ROMANTIC-COMEDY. Director - Anand Tucker;  Lead - Amy Adams; Running Time - 96 minutes. (Capsule review by John P. McCarthy)

YOUTH IN REVOLT. Considering Michael Cera's lovable nerd persona in Juno, Superbad and other pieces, you might assume novelist C.D. Payne modeled his protagonist Nick Twisp on the actor. Cera simply is the timid, Fellini and Sinatra-worshiping teen who tries to complete his coming-of-age by inventing a suavely rebellious alter ego named Francois. The tone is sweetly raucous, the acting accomplished, and the directing occasionally inventive, but there are few surprises in what amounts to yet another story about how difficult it is to lose your virginity in America when you're smart and non-athletic. Problem is, that's closer to the retrospective vision of adults than to what adolescents actually experience. (R) FAIR COMEDY; Director -Miguel Arteta; Lead - Michael Cera; Running Time - 90 minutes.  (Capsule review by John P. McCarthy)

DAYBREAKERS. In this derivative action-horror tale, the planet's dominant population is vampires who hunt the last vestiges of humanity for blood. With mankind on the brink of extinction, a blood shortage looms, much to the chagrin of a vamp pharmaceutical corporation, as well as Ethan Hawke's hematologist, who joins forces with a human rebel alliance that may have the cure to the world's bloodsucking affliction. From the gray-blue "Underworld" aesthetic to the raft of "Matrix"-isms, there's nothing new here. And, although the film's alternate universe is moderately well realized thanks to some nice details, the combat and character work never manages to get one's pulse racing. (R) FAIR HORROR. Directors - Michael & Peter Spierig; Lead - Ethan Hawke; Running Time - 98 minutes. (Capsule review by Nick Schager)


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