Kalamazoo Gazette

Kalamazoo Gazette is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): James Sanford
Rating Title/Year Author
2/4 Sydney White (2007) James Sanford Neither as funny as it thinks it is nor as tough to sit through as many other movies of this sort, 'Sydney' is custom-made for viewers who haven't taken their ACTs yet. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2007
3.5/4 Once (2006) James Sanford It would be interesting to know how much of their conversation was actually in Carney's screenplay and how much was ad-libbed as the camera rolled; there's a wonderful spontaneity in both the dialogue and the musical performances. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2007
2/4 In the Valley of Elah (2007) James Sanford The movie wears each of (its) hot-button issues as casually as a runway model might sport the latest Hermes scarf. The topics are brought up, shown off and then, in most cases, replaced with something else. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2007
3.5/4 Eastern Promises (2007) James Sanford extremely violent and richly atmospheric... culminates in an electrifying scene that's destined to be discussed by movie fans for years. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2007
2.5/4 The Brave One (2007) James Sanford not unlike its heroine: conflicted and unsure of which way to go. ...(Foster) emphasizes Erica's anguish and the shock that comes from realizing that you're capable of doing things you once would have found abhorrent. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2007
3.5/4 3:10 to Yuma (2007) James Sanford Wade's voice sounds like far-off thunder wrapped in velvet; Evans' every word is marked by exhaustion and edginess. ...These men have real complexity, and so do the actors assigned to play them. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2007
1.5/4 Balls of Fury (2007) James Sanford There were more good laughs in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation speech than there are in 'Balls of Fury'... a smorgasbord of ethnic stereotypes, a few slaps at prissy gays and an excess of weak gags... EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2007
1.5/4 Illegal Tender (2007) James Sanford De Jesus' outbursts are the only excitement in 'Illegal,' since the performances of most of the rest of the cast are barely amateurish and Reyes' story is not so much old-school as it is old-hat. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2.5/5 The Nanny Diaries (2007) James Sanford the movie has softened up a story that wasn't exactly hard-hitting to begin with. Polished, pleasant and generally pedestrian... EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2007
3/5 Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) James Sanford little more than a string of sketches stitched together to form something close to a feature film. But that shouldn't bother those who like solid slapstick, which 'Holiday' provides in abundance. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2/4 Arctic Tale (2007) James Sanford (like) those cunningly engineered Disney 'True-Life Adventures'... in which scorpions appeared to dance... and supposedly lovelorn squirrels awaited what the narrator called their 'moment of fulfillment.' EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2.5/4 The Invasion (2007) James Sanford neither as awful as the advance buzz suggested nor as gripping as it could have been... at least it has a few authentic shocks and some bright ideas rattling around in the chaos. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2007
3.5/4 Superbad (2007) James Sanford Rogen and co-screenwriter Evan Goldberg are attempting to create a teen-angst comedy along the lines of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' and 'Risky Business'... In the best sections of 'Superbad,' Rogen and Goldberg hit their targets. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2007
3.5/4 Stardust (2007) James Sanford a delightful, thrilling and entertainingly offbeat yarn... Pfeiffer is positively spellbinding... Vaughn has given this seductive fairy tale the same dark comedy and out-of-left-field wackiness that made his first effort memorable. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2007
3/4 Becoming Jane (2007) James Sanford Utilizing a lovely British accent and a graceful way with words, Hathaway communicates Austen's predicament beautifully. When she was creating her immortal heroines... the real Jane Austen must have pictured someone like Hathaway. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2007
3/4 Paris, je t'aime (2006) James Sanford Generally, the comic pieces are sturdier than the abbreviated dramas. ...As might be expected, a couple of the chapters are misfires... Happily, 'Paris' saves some of its prime material for the last half-hour. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2007
3.5/4 Three Kings (1999) James Sanford (The) screenplay abruptly changes tone after the first half-hour, eventually incorporating some genuinely harrowing sequences... The final picture becomes something noticeably deeper and smarter than its first reels suggest. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2007
1.5/4 Wild Wild West (1999) James Sanford ...has style to spare, a few laughs and some imaginative touches. Also like 'Avengers' it has stars who look like they'd rather be somewhere else, a lack of verve and a script that takes the long road to nowhere. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2007
3.5/4 William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) James Sanford Bathed in sunshine, stardust and star power, this 'Dream' should be required viewing for anyone who insists Shakespeare is stuffy and dull. ...this is Shakespeare for the masses. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2007
1.5/4 El cantante (2006) James Sanford takes the unusual -- and awkward -- approach of letting Puchi tell Hector's story via flashbacks... That's somewhat akin to letting Kevin Federline narrate the Britney Spears saga. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2007
2.5/4 Hot Rod (2007) James Sanford a fitfully funny comedy that's neither a must-see nor a must to avoid. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2007
3.5/4 The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) James Sanford There's something unusual about Matt Damon's spy thrillers built around the exploits of the amnesia-addled Jason Bourne: Each film in the series has actually been better than its predecessor... EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2007
4/4 The Lives of Others (2006) James Sanford a mesmerizing, heartbreaking thriller EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2007
4/4 Jaws (1975) James Sanford Like all the best suspense films, "Jaws" manages to somehow remain amazingly tense, even if you've seen the film before. No wonder so many moviegoers went back for repeat viewings. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2007
1/5 I Know Who Killed Me (2007) James Sanford Small wonder that distributor TriStar Pictures has gone to great pains to hide this fiasco from critics: It's certainly the worst movie Lohan has ever appeared in and it's a formidable contender for worst movie of the year, period. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3.5/4 Sunshine (2007) James Sanford Boyle has always been exceptionally good at creating suspense... and he succeeds again here, incorporating tight close-ups, sometimes distorted sound and a series of striking visuals into a wondrously warped picture. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3/4 The Simpsons Movie (2007) James Sanford A full-speed-ahead laugh riot for its first 45 minutes, although it loses some of its gusto in the second half. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3/4 Rescue Dawn (2006) James Sanford certainly effective in its own way, thanks to a number of excellent performances, a few jolting visuals and Herzog's evocation of the steamy, almost impenetrable jungles of Laos and Thailand... EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3.5/4 Hairspray (2007) James Sanford a vibrant musical comedy... (Shankman) knows how to stage and to shoot musical numbers, which sets 'Hairspray' high above other recent stage-to-screen adaptations like 'The Producers'... EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2007
4/5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) James Sanford boils down Rowling's brick-thick novel into a fat-free, fleet-footed adventure... although Rowling's readers may be disappointed to find that much of the story's color has been sacrificed in the name of economy... EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2007
2/4 Transformers (2007) James Sanford Admirers of great special effects... will find plenty to appreciate. ... (But) for every truly funny joke (and, admittedly, there are a few), there are a dozen duds. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2007
1.5/4 Live Free or Die Hard (2007) James Sanford a pretty crummy comeback... (the) ridiculous stunts might have been dreamed up by a group of hyperactive 12-year-olds in the midst of a Red Bull binge; they should not have been staged by filmmakers old enough to know better. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2007
3.5/4 Ratatouille (2007) James Sanford Bewitching... Bird's movies don't have the same rush-rush rhythms or the lowbrow humor that have become the hallmark of too many animated films. Instead, he puts the emphasis on characters and cleverness... EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2007
2/4 Evening (2007) James Sanford an 'if only I had...' nostalgic romance... even the appealing performances of Danes, Wilson and Gummer are not enough to make up for a ponderous story that assigns each of its characters a predictable fate... EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2007
Sicko (2007) James Sanford has the same level of outrage as most of his other films but a considerably less strident attitude. ... Whether you agree with Moore's points or dispute them, 'Sicko' should inspire plenty of lively conversations. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2007
3/4 Evan Almighty (2007) James Sanford Feeling nostalgic about those 'Oh, God' movies that George Burns made 30-odd years ago? Then 'Evan Almighty' might seem like manna from heaven. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2007
3/4 1408 (2007) James Sanford the majority of the movie is built entirely around Enslin's scary safari into his subconscious, and Cusack gives a high-powered performance that never fails to hold your attention. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2007
3/4 A Mighty Heart (2007) James Sanford Winterbottom wants to create a you-are-there, semi-documentary-style environment, which doesn't leave any room for self-indulgent star turns. Jolie doesn't give him one... EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2007
2/4 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) James Sanford Tykwer squeezes every possible drop of melodramatic beauty out of this material. ...But the gorgeous visuals aren't enough to keep the drama from occasionally degenerating into beautifully produced hokum. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2007
3/4 Nancy Drew (2007) James Sanford an enjoyable combination of a typically Nancy Drew-ish mystery -- which includes a murdered screen star and a haunted house -- and some 'Clueless'-style comedy. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2007
4/5 The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) James Sanford the intensity of Murphy and Delaney's performances is shattering... 'Wind' never loses sight of the fact that sometimes a victim's wounds may be invisible to the eye, but every bit as painful as a stabbing... EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2007
2/5 Surf's Up (2007) James Sanford easy to look at, yet the storyline and gags are half-baked. Whenever things quiet down... the filmmakers feel obligated to trot out burping, flatulence or jokes about substances that belong in the toilet. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2007
3.5/5 Ocean's Thirteen (2007) James Sanford Clooney, Pitt and Damon have now worked together long enough that they've found a delightful sense of synchronicity that makes even the throwaway lines worth catching. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2007
2.5/4 Mr. Brooks (2007) James Sanford Costner and Hurt's strong performances are surrounded by flimsy plotting, unbelievable sidenotes... and occasionally absurd 'surprises.' EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2007
3.5/4 Knocked Up (2007) James Sanford an (almost) across-the-board crowd-pleaser. There's a reasonable amount of risque humor to pacify those who love gross-out gags and enough of a love story to satisfy viewers looking for a good romance. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2007
3/4 Year of the Dog (2007) James Sanford frequently funny and sometimes touching, even though, like (Mike White's) earlier 'The Good Girl' and 'Chuck and Buck,' the comedy leaves a slightly sour aftertaste. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2007
3/4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) James Sanford the most brutal, the wackiest and certainly the trippiest of the 'Pirates' pictures... If it's overloaded and a bit overly complicated, that's not exactly unusual for these movies. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2007
2.5/4 Queer Duck: The Movie (2006) James Sanford Some of the songs manage to be both coarse and catchy... others are less inspired. The jokes have about the same hit-to-miss ratio, with dozens of groan-worthy moments mixed in among some smart satire. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2007
3.5/4 Black Book (2006) James Sanford features the jolting violence and frank sensuality Verhoeven is known for, as well as something he hasn't had in a quite a while: an intelligent, riveting screenplay. ...gripping from beginning to end. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2007
3/4 Shrek the Third (2007) James Sanford sometimes slightly heavy-handed messages... are balanced out by stunningly beautiful, meticulously detailed animation and a healthy dose of the insouciant humor 'Shrek' fans have come to expect. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2007