A Christmas movie . . . already?

John Cho (L) and Kal Penn, cast members in the motion picture comedy “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”, attend the premiere of the film at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on November 2, 2011. UPI/Jim Ruymen

I’m not complaining, as we see John Cho and Kal Penn attend the premiere of “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. But isn’t this a little early?

The movie should be fun as it has a good rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Jason Zingale agrees:

Following the disappointment of “Harold & Kumar Go to Guantanamo Bay,” not to mention co-star Kal Penn’s surprising decision to accept a job at the White House, the likelihood that fans would ever see another Harold & Kumar adventure again seemed pretty slim back in 2008. And yet here we are, three years later, discussing the newest film in the ongoing stoner buddy franchise. But while my expectations were relatively low going into “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” it’s actually a big improvement over the last sequel, hewing much closer to the spirit of the original film by refusing to take itself too seriously while still maintaining a certain level of tact that was sorely missing from the disastrous second installment.

I didn’t mind the second installment, but only because the characters are always fun. If the movie is better this time, this should be a crowd-pleaser.


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Mixed reviews for “Anonymous”

The reviews are pretty mixed for “Anonymous,” the new drama that tells a story of how Shakespeare wasn’t the guy writing all those plays you had to read in high school. The critics on Rotten Tomatoes only give it a 43% positive rating as of today, though the readers liked it more.

Bullz-Eye’s David Medsker liked it and gave it 3 stars out of 5:

On the surface, “Anonymous” appears to be a radical departure for director Roland Emmerich, who has made his bones destroying the world by way of natural disaster and alien invasion. Look closer, though, and you’ll see that “Anonymous” boasts many of the same qualities of his action-driven work. It’s bombastic, needlessly complex, and about as historically accurate as “2012” or “The Day After Tomorrow” are scientifically accurate (which is to say, not very). As a work of historical fiction, though, it’s quite entertaining, and Emmerich coaxes some remarkable performances from his cast. It’s all a bit ridiculous, yes, but one should never let facts get in the way of a good story.

It looks like something worth checking out.


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Wong Kar Wai isn’t the first filmmaker to go back and fix one of his earlier movies, but it is the first time that it’s happened on a film as insignificant as “Ashes of Time.” Though it makes sense to want to improve a movie that didn’t necessarily work during its initial release (as opposed to Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, who meddled with films that were already considered perfect), “Ashes of Time” remains a colossal disappointment for fans of the director. Constructed as a broken narrative of flashbacks, the film stars Leslie Cheung as Ouyang Feng, a lovesick hitman who wanders the desert hiring swordsmen to carry out contract killings. For as interesting as that may sound, however, “Ashes of Time” is the cinematic equivalent to watching paint dry. The performances are fine and Christopher Doyle’s cinematography is beautiful as usual, but the film is so boring, lackadaisical and drenched in philosophical narration that you might just find yourself dosing off. Many would argue that all of Wong Kar Wai’s movies operate the same way, and while that may be true, they usually always win you over with some combination of grace and charm. “Ashes of Time” does not, and though it’s been dubbed as a martial arts epic, it’s really just another love story dressed to look like one.

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