Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From the archives: May 2009

Stand-out supporting performances ruled, as the cinema summer season got off to its usual early start this month.

Sam Worthington proved much more interesting than star Christian Bale, in the noisy, bombastic Terminator Salvation. Bale phoned in his performance  quite unusual for this actor  while Worthington demonstrated the presence that soon would serve him well, as an action star.

Amy Adams continued her career climb with a sparkling interpretation of Amelia Earhart, an unexpected Gal Friday to Ben Stiller's hapless hero in the sequel to Night at the Museum. This second entry certainly would have been entertaining anyway, but Adams made it even better.

And watch for young Emma Stone, in a small but hilariously memorable performance as the second of the life-changing phantasms visited by Matthew McConaughey, in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. She's a sparkling part of a truly clever riff on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and you'll see the obvious talent that she'd soon use for her starring performance in the career-changing Easy A. (Just in passing, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a far better spin on Dickens than Jim Carrey's clumsy CGI vanity take on A Christmas Carol, released six months later.)

Veteran sci-fi fans, however, will forever remember May 2009 as the month that Star Trek roared back into big-screen life with a vengeance, thanks to director J.J. Abrams' muscular and grandly exciting franchise reboot. "The final frontier" appears limitless once again, and James T. Kirk and his boon companions obviously will live long and prosper.

On the flip side of the coin, director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks fumbled badly with the inevitable sequel to The Da Vinci Code: a truly dreadful attempt at so-called suspense that does nothing but prompt endless skeptical stares heavenward. (I would have thought Howard couldn't do worse ... but I hadn't yet seen 2011's The Dilemma.)

Step into the Wayback Machine, and check 'em out:

Angels & Demons

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Sin Nombre

Star Trek

Terminator Salvation


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