“Paul Blart: Mall Cop”
Directed by Steve Carr
Starring Kevin James, Shirley Knight, Raini Rodriguez, Jayma Mays, Keir O'Donnell and Bobby Cannavale
With a title like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” I wasn’t expecting anything special from Kevin James’ latest comedy. In fact, after seeing the movie’s trailer, I was resigned to an hour and a half of silly gags and milquetoast pratfalls. Sure enough, the film’s first half-hour lived down to my expectations, but to my surprise, once the action part of the story kicked in, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” transformed into a rather enjoyable comic adventure.
Give the credit to funnyman Kevin James, who has based his entire career on making fat jokes at his own expense. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” starts off with James playing a New Jersey schlub who wants to join the State Police, but he can’t pass the physical examination because he’s too fat, and hypoglycemic to boot. Blart takes a lowly job as a mall security officer. He bemoans his wasted potential until the day he gets a chance to do some real police work when a group of Gen X bandits storm the mall, taking all of the shoppers hostage.
It’s up to Blart to save the day. Think “Die Hard” with ‘lots of fat jokes, and you’ll get the picture.
Or maybe you should think “Rambo,” where our hero fights the bad guys off in an actual Banana Republic. Either way, James makes an appealing, everyman hero, bumbling and stumbling his way to glory. He’s not very good at playing the hero, but he certainly means well, which means that the audience will forgive much of his errant behavior. I’m usually not fond of PG-rated comedies because the filmmakers have to soften their punchlines in order to get the family-friendly rating, but in this instance, the soft humor works in concert with the warm-and-fuzzy nature of the film, providing a nice family movie experience.
Depp’s Transcendent lethargy
Warner Brothers Films
Directed by Wally Pfister
Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Cole Hauser and Morgan Freeman
1 ½ Stars
Stepping forward: The real Colbert
Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.
VIDEO: CBS taps Colbert as Letterman’s Late Show successor
Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman reports that CBS has announced Stephen Colbert as its choice to replace the retiring David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on Bloomberg Television’s “Lunch Money.”
- CNN bringing back Anthony Bourdain’s hot series
Sex, movies and the desperate attempt to shock audiences
For the past year or two, it seems, movies have become obsessed with sex, continually upping the ante on tone, subject matter and explicitness - and "50 Shades of Grey" hasn't even come out yet.
A summer blockbuster in April
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Marvel Studios Films
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson
3 ½ Stars
- Kurt Cobain remembered, 20 years after his death
- 2 legendary stars play ’Game of Thrones’ in-laws
Legendary? Breaking down the HIMYM finale on social media
After nine years and more than 200 episodes, the landmark CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" wrapped up Monday night with several twists in the story that left its fans sharply divided. Here is a sampling of viewer reaction.
“Bad Words” full of sick and twisted laughs
Directed by Jason Bateman
Starring Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand and Allison Janney
- More Entertainment Headlines
- Depp’s Transcendent lethargy