One Minute Reviews by Kenneth Shinozuka

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The Dictator: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on June 20, 2012 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (1)


The Dictator

Released: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen (as General Aladeen), Ben Kingsley (as Tamir), Anna Faris (as Zoey), Jason Mantzoukas (as Nadal), Bobby Lee (as Mr. Lao)

Director: Larry Charles

Runtime: 83 minutes (remarkably short)

Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity (explicit), language and some violent images


     out of 100

          Oh, God-affi

     Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The cry for democracy has been a movement eternal and recent, as dictators such as Hosni Mumbarak and Moammar Gaddafi have fallen to rebellions demanding a government for the people, of the people, and by the people. The tragic deaths that resulted from these tragic rebellions should be mourned, yet certainly not disdained in any satire like "The Dictator." Yet however deplorable in its multitudinous racial slurs and sexual double entendres, this comedy-cum-disgrace provokes uninterrupted laughter and entertainment. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen, the same comedian that brought the vulgar and riotous "Borat" and "Bruno" to audiences, will offend every race and ethnicity imaginable to elicit uncomfortably hilarious humor. One of the few consistent points in a film with a wildly inconsistent tone, the uproariousness of the satire carries "The Dictator" when its virtually nonexistent plot, a haphazard heap of gags slovenly threaded together, cannot. Even if director Larry Charles crosses the line throughout the film, this otherwise farrago of unconvincing acting, slipshod editing, and vapid dialogue would catastrophically plummet beneath any line without the broad, obscene steps he takes innumerable times. Though "The Dictator" belabors its theme championing the fall of dictatorship, audiences will likely hear the cry for democracy far less than the cries of laughter that will ring out in theaters across the globe, oppressed or free. 60/100

The Avengers: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on May 22, 2012 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (5)

The Avengers

Released: Friday, May 4, 2012 (Available in digital 3D, Real-3D, and IMAX 3D)

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr. (as Iron Man), Chris Evans (as Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (as Thor), Scarlett Johansson (as Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (as Hawkeye), Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury), Tom Hiddleston (as Loki), Clark Gregg (as Phil Coulson)

Director: Joss Whedon

Screenwriter: Joss Whedon

Runtime: 143 minutes

Rated: PG-13


          out of 100

Avenge "The Avengers"

Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012

From the days when superheroes were first conceived, audiences have anticipated a cinematic experience in which the superheroes of the world combined their powers to battle the evils of the universe. Yet the global excitement generated after years of advertising does not parallel the utter monotony of "The Avengers," a staggeringly mediocre film offering little beyond bullets, explosions, and interplanetary combat. Each actor of the seven featured superheroes exhibits a limited spectrum of emotion and conviction in soporific characters whose power in strength far surpasses their power in performance. The highly formulaic and predictable screenplay punctuates external conflicts through battle scenes, especially the admittedly exhilarating finale in New York City, yet ignores the internal conflicts within its superheroes, once complex yet now hackneyed. While cleverly humorous at times, the platitudinous dialogue is among the multiple banalities in a film bereft of visual or storytelling originality. More concerned about reaping profits than entertaining audiences, the film rarely attempts to illustrate any significance behind the nugatory and ceaseless action that nearly induces headaches upon its viewers. A three-dimensional film with one-dimensional content, the most anticipated film of the year crushes the most fearsome of villains but certainly none of its high expectations, a superhero film that is anything but super. 38/100

30 Minutes or Less: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on August 19, 2011 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

30 Minutes or Less

Release Date: Friday, August 12, 2011 (Wide Release)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg (as Nick), Aziz Asnari (as Chet), Danny McBride (as Dwayne), Nick Swardson (as Travis), Michael Pena (as Chongo), Dilshad Vadsaria (as Katie), Bianca Kajilch (as Juicy)

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Screenwriters: Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan

Rated: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity, and some violence.

Runtime: 83 minutes.

See the Trailer:



    out of 100

Ticking Away, Only to Explode in Mediocrity (Please See Trailer to Understand Title Reference)


Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011

Appallingly explicit and excessively gratuitous, 30 Minutes or Less middles as a mediocre comedy whose humor fails to compensate for a dearth of emotional sincerity and kinetic energy. The crude characters converse with distastefully disturbing dialogue that is delivered with innumerable profanities and unrelenting raunchiness, though this filthy humor can stir laughter as uproarious banter. Hilarious jokes, however, amount to merely half a successful comedy - they alone cannot secure audience entertainment. Meandering with no sense of direction, "3MOL" augments in plot lethargy as it depicts outrageously ludicrous situations, thus detracting from this comedy's supposedly suspenseful conflict. While staggering in shameless stupidity and manic vulgarity, director Ruben Fleischer wastes the talents of his star-studded cast, who cannot imbue any intelligence or humanism to already lackadaisical characters. Like its flat performances, the calculated plot consistently falters for the contrivances of popcorn-movie cliché’s, compromising a wickedly dark panache for undeveloped romance and routine car chases. The film replaces unabashed foulness and monotony where its acerbic sharpness and liveliness should have dominated, inciting disappointed, sophisticated viewers to leave their theater in 30 minutes or less. 39/100

Crazy, Stupid, Love. - Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on August 8, 2011 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Release Date: Friday, July 29, 2011 (wide release).

Starring: Steve Carell (as Cal Weaver), Ryan Gosling (as Jacob Palmer), Julianne Moore (as Emily Weaver), Emma Stone (as Hannah), Analeigh Tipton (as Jessica Riley), Jonah Bobo (as Jacob Weaver), Marisa Tomei (as Kate), Kevin Bacon (as David Lindhagen)

Director: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Screenwriter: Dan Fogelman

Rated: PG-13 (for coarse humor, sexual content, and language).

Runtime: 118 Minutes

See the Trailer

Formulaic, Farcical, Forgettable

Posted Sunday, August 7, 2011 

Entangled with preposterous coincidences and constrained situations, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a hampered romantic comedy that only occasionally grasps the humor and challenges of relationships. Striving for complexity and achieving nothing but convolution, it impedes a brisk pacing with excessive subplots that lose sophistication in their ridiculousness. Many of these are merely constructed into a contrived culmination, miring the originally lighthearted spirit of the film in leaden monotony. Offering little originality beneath its seemingly slick surface, 'C, S, L.' diminishes in its superficial and prolonged discussions of "fighting for soul-mates," opting to detail the cliche maturity of adults through the banal discovery of true love. The star-studded cast is not to be inculpated for this calculated sentimentalism - their beautifully suave Gosling and overall comedic skillfulness endow the film with sharp satire. However, such wit and precision is rarely matched in a muddled romance that sheds little authenticity and realism on the vast expanse of love. 2 out of 4 stars

Captain America: The First Avenger - Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on July 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM Comments comments (0)

Captain America: The First Avenger

Released: Friday, July 22, 2011 (wide release). The film is available in 3D.

Starring: Chris Evans (as Steve Rogers/Captain America), Hayley Atwell (as Peggy Carter), Hugo Weaving (as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull), Tommy Lee Jones (as Col. Chester Phillips), Dominic Cooper (as Howard Stark), Sebastian Stan (as Bucky Barnes), Stanley Tucci (as Dr. Abraham Erskine)

Director: Joe Johnston

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 124 Minutes

See the Trailer:

Boom, Bang, Bland

Bereft of emotional resonance and convincing performances, Captain America: The First Avenger is a typical superhero film that excels in production design and technical brilliance, but never offers sweeping spectacle or multi-dimensional characterization. In an unexpectedly stale rendition, Chris Evans rarely depicts his triumphant hero with vivacity, painting him with the vapidity of an Everyman, rather than a character troubled by the inner turmoil of his life-saving duties. With a human touch that has vanished amidst the industrial machinery, the film is stiffened with dullness that extends to several ponderous action sequences, all of which provide little liveliness or electrifying touch. Constantly decelerating for predictability rather than development, the remarkably soporific story ignores its historical implications for corporate urgency, exchanging emotional blandness and consistently unnecessary dialogue for screen time in the 2012 Marvel film: "The Avengers." Lost amidst lavish set decorations and sleepy nostalgia, 'CA:TFA' soars most when it captures an untransformed and scrawny Captain America, before he metamorphoses to war against battle and brawl, but not the weariness that permeates throughout this film.

1.5 out of 4 stars

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on July 19, 2011 at 10:47 PM Comments comments (3)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Released: July 15, 2011 (wide release) The film is available in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe (as Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (as Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (as Hermione Granger), Ralph Fiennes (as Lord Voldemort), Alan Rickman (as Severus Snape), Helena Bonham Carter (as Bellatrix Lestrange), Maggie Smith (as Professor Minerva McGonagall), Warwick Davis (as Filius Flitwick and Griphook), Michael Gambon (as Albus Dumbledore), John Hurt (as Ollivander)

Director: David Yates

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 130 Minutes

See the trailer:

The End Is Here

Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thrillingly capping one of the most phenomenal cinematic narratives in history, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a wicked film that reaches an emotional and action-packed climax, capturing magic at its finest. Boldly presenting several majestic battles with state-of-the-art visual effects, the film is unrivaled in its epic grandeur and graphic mastery, melding heroism with the somberness of war in showcases of apocalyptic destruction. The industrial touches never blur the narrative coherence or emotional power of DH2's intimately observed characters, who are portrayed by a cadre of Britain's finest actors. Translating an innocent children's tale into a story of human struggle, the film's heartwarming resonance and emotional realism bridges the break between art and craft, endowing even its inhuman creatures with anthropomorphic effect. By the euphoric yet heartbreaking end of this final movement, a magical book will be closed with Wagnerian rumble, tears of bittersweet joy, and memories of the day when Harry & Company left 9 3/4 to begin a truly unforgettable adventure. My, how they've grown.  

Thank you, Harry Potter, and good-bye. You will always be remembered as the Boy Who Lived, from the days of the disrespecting Dursleys to the triumphant moments when you emerged as a hero to the Wizarding World and, above all, our own vast world of Muggles.    4 out of 4 stars

Note: Please watch this outstanding video, which culminates all the years of Harry Potter films into a touching and poignant viewing:

Horrible Bosses: Review

Posted by Kenneth Shinozuka on July 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (1)

Horrible Bosses

Released Friday, July 8, 2011 (wide release)

Starring: Jason Bateman (as NIck Hendricks), Charlie Day (as Dale Arbus), Jason Sudeikis (as Kurt Buckman), Jennifer Aniston (as Dr. Julia Harris), Colin Ferrell (as Bobby Pellit), Kevin Spacey (as Dave Harken), Jamie Foxx (as Dean "Motherf***er" Jones)

Director: Seth Gordon

Rated R

98 Minutes

See the trailer:

Not Too Horrible

Posted Sunday, July 17, 2011

In spite of its excessive sexual references, Horrible Bosses is a hilarious black comedy that melds superb performances with laugh-out-loud humor to create an interesting film. Through wonderful banter, the film's naturally hysterical stars connect together with blooming chemistry, and sustain their likability and convincingness throughout their cleverly structured and uproarious adventures. The equally fantastic supporting cast provides memorable roles as sadistic bosses who radiate wit in their exaggerated antagonism. It is this intelligently assembled cast that buoys the film when its narrative coherence drowns in increasingly outrageous comic situations. The film's overbalance of raunchiness over realism is quickly overshadowed by the comic talent and charm of these protagonists: the true superheroes of our tough economic times. 2.5 out of 4 stars