State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL) is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Nick Rogers, Paul Povse
Rating Title/Year Author
1.5/4 Pineapple Express (2008) Nick Rogers Forget the puff-puff. Pass on this protracted, problematic comedy with Hot Fuzz aspirations in which neither Seth Rogen nor the grim, leaden violence is much fun at all. James Franco, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson at least salvage the film. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2008
1/4 The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008) Nick Rogers With half-formed discussions of pedophile priests, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, media manipulation, American health care and George W. Bush, one could call it Michael Moore's "The X-Files." But "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko" were considerably mor EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2008
2/4 Hancock (2008) Nick Rogers Fate, mythology and even racism in America are tossed in to a climax so grim it's like watching "Men in Black" morph into "Requiem for a Dream." The movie doesn't earn that drama, feeling cobbled together from earlier, less-commercial drafts. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2008
3/4 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) Nick Rogers Affectionately aimed at both the AARP crowd and those who grew up with Indy. Temper comparisons to the trilogy and take it on its own terms as a fun ride with a rejuvenated Harrison Ford and enough great action to trump a blah finale. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2008
1.5/4 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) Nick Rogers It's like the Little Golden Book version of "Gladiator," a mostly bloodless but mostly barbaric PG film with R-rated aspirations. Worse yet, it's even more wearisome than its predecessor - drained of magic or emotion by a plodding pace. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2008
3/4 Baby Mama (2008) Nick Rogers Michael McCullers is a pedestrian director, but a potent screenwriter, wittily playing to the strengths of his stars and who's-who supporting players. This comedy isn't without complications, but it's affable, breezy and buoyant. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2008
2/4 Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) Nick Rogers If only Jason Segel's screenwriting matched his comic presence. This is an occasionally riotous, but shapeless, romantic comedy, whose only relatable angst is that it's just marginally better than last year's "The Heartbreak Kid" remake. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2008
3/4 Leatherheads (2008) Nick Rogers Self-assured even when it's self-aware, this is a fizzy concoction with three fingers of Billy Wilder and one of Frank Capra. It's shaken with the Coens and topped off with a splash of Ron Shelton and a cinematographical cream-soda sheen. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2008
2.5/4 21 (2008) Nick Rogers Part of "21's" problem as it ups its stakes is that it's about as dangerous and sexy as a $1-minimum keno game. But it's still a mildly tantalizing timewaster about wish fulfillment told with casual confidence before a dragging finale. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2008
1.5/4 Semi-Pro (2008) Nick Rogers With all the vertical leap of a pygmy in a pick-up game, "Semi-Pro" is like a movie in the mind of a 10-year-old who's discovered profanity, pornography and a shoebox of blank Mad-Libs - funny only to the person coming up with it. EDIT
Posted Feb 29, 2008
2/4 The Savages (2007) Nick Rogers There are resonant moments of elderly vulnerability and strong acting from Hoffman and Bosco, but Linney's overly familiar exasperated-woman performance and Jenkins' been-there, done-that-better story sink "The Savages. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2008
2.5/4 National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) Nick Rogers Just like the original, it's too caught up in its mythological zeal and furious pacing to do much for our "Indiana" jones. A capably filmed diversion that's breathlessly wired for whiplash but instantly forgettable. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2008
3/4 The Orphanage (2007) Nick Rogers The historical details and enthralling magic of Guillermo del Toro's own productions are missing, and it's more reliant on boo scares than its somber story can support. Yet an intriguing subtext, fierce lead performance and a perfect ending make it work. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2008
2.5/4 The Bucket List (2007) Nick Rogers Calling it Rob Reiner's best film in 12 years doesn't mean much. Remember "Alex & Emma"? Still, this is a modestly entertaining Hollywood fairytale of facing death head-on. Its occasionally leaden story gets light, familiar notes from two legends. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2008
1.5/4 The Golden Compass (2007) Nick Rogers Catholic pundits are half-right in proclaiming that watching The Golden Compass could be hazardous to children. It shows that even the most lyrical and challenging literary story can become a stupid, sloppy film. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2007
2.5/4 Beowulf (2007) Nick Rogers The dots of Beowulf's epic exploits are connected in a way that could have, and should have, matched a tone of grand lust on display in John Boorman's "Excalibur." Instead, the movie's schoolboy snickers about sexuality torpedo the script's inventiveness. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2007
3/4 Bee Movie (2007) Nick Rogers Not a flawless animated adaptation of Seinfeld's sometimes-cynical, always-obsessive takes on the trivial. Even at 91 minutes, it's long, and some of its voices too shrill, but the energetic brio of its social satire stings without turning inappropriate. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2007
1.5/4 The Heartbreak Kid (2007) Nick Rogers The real heartbreak is how comedienne Malin Akerman's considerable assets are tossed aside. She's good enough to be on the rebound soon. The rest of the film is a desperate, forgettable overlong movie that makes "Along Came Polly" look like a masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2007
3/4 The Kingdom (2007) Nick Rogers Even in clearly diluted form, the film wrestles - or at least grapples and slaps - with questions and interpretations of the Middle East. It's passable buddy-cop formula with a better director's cut waiting for DVD. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2007
1.5/4 The Brave One (2007) Nick Rogers OK, Jodie, if you're making comparisons to "Taxi Driver": One's a masterpiece about the penchant for emotionally apocalyptic violence. The other is manipulative junk tapping into its star's success at kicking butt. Guess which of those is "The Brave One." EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2007
2/4 The Nanny Diaries (2007) Nick Rogers Those with deep pockets sometimes have shallow hearts. The post-college lurch can be a panic zone. And the only shocker in "The Nanny Diaries" is that there's not one sprig of chest hair to be seen on a shirtless Paul Giamatti. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2007
1.5/4 The Invasion (2007) Nick Rogers There are no pods to be found here, other than the one off-screen into which the better judgments of most involved here must have been stuffed. If Nicole Kidman doesn't watch out, she'll awake to find her career replaced by Meg Ryan's. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2007
2.5/4 The Simpsons Movie (2007) Nick Rogers Oversold as a story suitable only for the big screen and lacking a raised-stakes mindset, it's still a moderately funny magnification of what's made the show tick and tickle for 18 years. Plus, it proves Illinois is home to the one true Springfield. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2007
2/4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) Nick Rogers A severely streamlined, stiff series low. Aside from Imelda Staunton's spirited performance and Daniel Radcliffe's typically impressive stoicism, this adaptation reduces J.K. Rowling's zesty prose to lumpy, gray porridge. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2007
3/4 Transformers (2007) Nick Rogers Given the combined involvements of Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg, call it a Ka-Blamblin production, filled with many jaw-dropping marvels. Eventually, this vehicle runs on fumes, but only because it revs the gas so hard and so well for so long. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2007
2/4 Mr. Brooks (2007) Nick Rogers There's an unsettling exhilaration in the way "Mr. Brooks" plows through dark waters and damns every torpedo ... except for the one that sinks it. (Its name is Demi Moore. There's the germ of a great movie, but the disease of many stupid ones. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2007
3/4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) Nick Rogers Sprawling and as in need of Venn diagrams for every sextuple cross as it is, "At World's End" has subtleties amid its cattywampus craziness. It's also 2007's first blockbuster worth the constantly turned crank of big-budget moviemaking. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2007
2/4 Shrek the Third (2007) Nick Rogers It jumps the Shrek. No wonder Donkey and Puss in Boots get pushed aside. They have to make way for big bull in this disengenous, lifeless sequel that preaches individual destiny but behaves just like the cashcow it's been groomed to be. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2007
2/4 28 Weeks Later (2007) Nick Rogers This sequel has more-fluid action and harder, meaner punches but never works our nerves like a speed bag in the way of its predecessor. Plus, it's too dumb to make its topical allegories any more than cursory coincidence. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2007
1.5/4 Spider-Man 3 (2007) Nick Rogers A browbeating domino effect of more, more, more with special effects that make things easier to see but harder to care about. With great filmmaking power has come great filmmaking laziness that turned a good franchise into candy-colored crud. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2007
1.5/4 Fracture (2007) Nick Rogers Anthony Hopkins again confuses villainy for vaudeville and Ryan Gosling's so-so work isn't worth riding in the rumble seat with him over a career pothole. "Fracture" makes "My Cousin Vinny" look like a masterpiece of legal suspense. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2007
3/4 Disturbia (2007) Nick Rogers If not perfection, "Disturbia" achieves something more than most modern thrillers - the right to describe itself in that genre and a few others. This hodgepodge homage becomes stupid and shrill in its final reel, but it's a nifty good time. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2007
3/4 Grindhouse (2007) Nick Rogers A timed challenge for five directors to remove, impale, explode or gorily drip to the floor every body part possible. Even if Tarantino eviscerates too much momentum at the midway point, it's still a giddy, ghastly blast. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2007
2/4 Blades of Glory (2007) Nick Rogers It isn't terrible, just terribly lazy. How many comedians would play two different sex-addicted lunkheads named Chazz in two different movies? Some funny bits here and there, but Will Ferrell's sports shtick is badly glazed over. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2007
3/4 Shooter (2007) Nick Rogers It has one triple-super sudden-death revenge overtime too many. But inhale this meaty, juicy thriller like you would a Thickburger - before the dripping grease congeals on your fingers and you start thinking about what you're eating. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2007
1.5/4 Premonition (2007) Nick Rogers "Seven Days to Live" is an OK country song, packed with faith, family and fighting for what's important. Oh, wait, that's what "Premonition" should have been, instead of a preposterous thriller that wastes Sandra Bullock's time, and ours. EDIT
Posted Mar 16, 2007
2/4 300 (2006) Nick Rogers To hell with historical accuracy. What's required, but lacking, is the invocation of a butt-kicking right to continuously top itself. Artful decapitations, but a too-serious head on its shoulders. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2007
2.5/4 Notes on a Scandal (2006) Nick Rogers A mental slasher movie with strong lead performances, but too many literary pretenses to mask that it's little more than an 80-minute buildup to a throwdown to a throwdown between Oscar-winning actresses with no real sense of the story's leverage and lust EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2007
2.5/4 Freedom Writers (2007) Nick Rogers On its face, it looks like "Dangerous Minds 2" without a Coolio song. It's not so good that it can't wait until it shows up on CBS, but it scribbles sensibly in the margins of the well-worn inspirational-teacher drama notebook. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2007
2.5/4 Alpha Dog (2006) Nick Rogers Week-old weed smoke practically wafts from the screen in a film that's most engaging once it's handed over to Justin Timberlake's excellent performance. But where it thinks it's delivering gut-punches, it's too often feigning with caricatures. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2007
1.5/4 Night at the Museum (2006) Nick Rogers Rarely entertaining, the movie is at least instructive. The statute of limitations on loud, dumb movies with Robin Williams and computer-generated animals is 11 years. It bypasses brand-name coattails right to the level of a straight-to-DVD sequel. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2006
2.5/4 Catch a Fire (2006) Nick Rogers Noyce surprisingly prefers slick surface treatment to cutting into the bones-deep legacy of South Africa's racial division. Nuanced performances and gripping laments are wasted on a sleek, empty action climax. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2006
1.5/4 All the King's Men (2006) Nick Rogers The actors don't spar, but jab and feint into the stale air that comes with such stuffy, fossilized movies as this. Put together again more for new Oscars than new audiences, it's a handsomely shot disaster. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2006
3/4 Gridiron Gang (2006) Nick Rogers The movie constantly teeters on becoming a filmed version of a Successories calendar. But The Rock's charismatic performance and Phil Joanou's sturdy direction yank hard against heart-tugging dialogue to pull the movie back with gravity and grit. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2006
2.5/4 The Protector (2005) Nick Rogers No one can do that cool running knee drop like Tony Jaa, but he'd better start flexing his smiling muscles more if he wants to be the next Jackie Chan. All the bone crunching makes Steven Seagal look like a restrained kitty. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2006
1.5/4 Beerfest (2006) Nick Rogers Friends don't let friends drive a great comedy premise into the ground by making it too long, humorless and flat. The drinking stories you tell your friends are funnier. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2006
2.5/4 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) Nick Rogers Will Ferrell's subversive middle finger at NASCAR is tall and occasionally hilarious, but only intermittently smarter than what that gesture implies. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2006
3/4 Click (2006) Nick Rogers It's no bummer or mind-bender, but it might as well be the "Requiem for a Dream" of Adam Sandler's rowdy resume. George Bailey never would have farted in Mr. Potter's face, so it's clearly not a wonderful life. But it's decent enough. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2006
1.5/4 Nacho Libre (2006) Nick Rogers Jared Hess already made the one good movie he had in him. Jack Black needs a director who can save him from character-breaking shtick. The stretchy pants of "Nacho Libre" only go so far before stretchy patience sets in. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2006
2.5/4 Cars (2006) Nick Rogers The voices are great, a handful of puns are funny and the last half-hour is the Pixar movie we've expected to see. But that stalling sound in the opening race of "Cars" is Pixar's first-ever sputtering-out of imagination and immersion. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2006