Weekend Movies: “Exodus” panned, “Inherent Vice” endorsed, “Top Five” embraced

Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic had critics — what, exactly? Missing “The Ten Commandments” (I could see that), mocking the idea that the voice Moses hears at the Burning Bush is actually a testy little British boy, disliking being reminding of Moses’ martial bent?

Reviews are weak for “Exodus: Gods and Kings” — across the board. I liked it more than most.  It’s entertaining, action packed and just secular enough to play to guys like me. God having a temper? Very Old Testament. God as vengeful tween? Cool.

I think you can make cases for and against this special effects extravaganza.

“Inherent Vice” is earning some of the weakest reviews of Paul Thomas Anderson’s career. Dopey, WAY too long (“Exodus” long), drifting on past its climax, it’s still fun to see Joaquin Phoenix playing Thomas Pynchon’s pothead private eye Doc Sportello, and Josh Brolin as the brutish, delusional Bigfoot, a cop who considers himself a “Renaissance Detective.” Sure. I liked it no more or less than anybody else.

I wasn’t a HUGE fan of Chris Rock’s amusing “Top Five.” Others seem impressed or dazzled by recycled riffs about “Planet of the Apes,” but the banter with Rosario Dawson, a deeply flawed but pretty and flirty reporter following the comic Rock plays around for the day, is sharp. The cameos, from Kevin Hart to Cedric Entertaining for Once to Jerry Seinfeld and even Adam Sandler, are a hoot.

It’s Rock’s best film, by far, which isn’t saying a lot. Very “Annie Hall” meets Jerry Seinfeld by way of Kevin Hart — raw, raunchy, rude and fun.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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1 Response to Weekend Movies: “Exodus” panned, “Inherent Vice” endorsed, “Top Five” embraced

  1. keith7198 says:

    “Rock’s best film, by far, which isn’t saying much”. I so agree. Rock is an actor who annoys me a lot more than entertains me.

    I think PTA has an automatic pass when it comes to some critics. Nice to hear a little criticism of his work. This comment will make me a leper in the movie-fan community, but I find PTA a hit-or-miss filmmaker.

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