Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton| PG-13 |
In this reboot of Broadcast News by way of the Today show, McAdams stars as Becky, a smart, capable, neurotic klutz of a television producer-think Annie Hall with a BlackBerry. After getting canned from her job at a local station, Becky is charged with the unenviable task of reviving a last-place national morning show on the verge of cancellation. She takes a two-pronged approach, enlisting a legendary crank of an anchorman (Ford) and then assigning reporters to ratings-goosing stunts like extreme roller-coaster riding and sumo wrestling. It’s fun watching McAdams’ unsinkable spunk square off with Ford’s epic grump, but the film lacks the amorous fizz that powers the best romantic comedies. McAdams’ love interest, a hard-news producer played by Patrick Wilson, barely registers. Keaton is also shunted to the sidelines, her banter with Ford snappy but infrequent. In the end it’s McAdams’ movie, and she carries that responsibility with a grace and joyousness that keeps things bouncy even when the jokes fall flat.
Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson| PG-13 |
When it comes to raw destructive power, few movie monsters can compete with Triple 7, a driverless freight train brimming with chemicals and tearing through America’s rust belt. There’s probably a good metaphor for the state of the economy in the story of a runaway zombie behemoth from our industrial past, but Unstoppable is happy to be Speed on a train, and we’re all the better for it. Pine and Washington, as the railroad men charged with reeling in the beast, are a great pairing: Pine is pure smolder, while Washington’s flames flicker and dance. It’s cheesy at moments, and more than a little inevitable, but there’s a giddy rush watching A-list hardware make B-movie mayhem.