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PCR # 378  (Vol. 8, No. 25)  This edition is for the week of June 18--24, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Evan Almighty"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Evan Almighty"  by Mike Smith
RaxiP 4000 Commands You to See Ratatouille  by Andy Lalino
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer....Comics News  by John Lewis
Amity Road....You're Fired....Blucher!....Directors' Notes....Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 22: Warren Beatty (Cont'd from last week)  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham and John Goodman
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Running Time: 1 hour 37 mins

It seems like only yesterday that Steve Carell was stealing every film he was in with small but brilliant roles. "Bruce Almighty." "Anchorman." Even Hammy in "Over the Hedge." He then starred in "40 Year Old Virgin" and had a more dramatic turn in "Little Miss Sunshine" and proved he could handle the bigger roles. Now, with the title role in "Evan Almighty," Carell officially joins the ranks as a major comedy star.

Evan Baxter (Carell) is a Buffalo newsman who has been elected to congress. His campaign slogan, "Change the World," is something Evan seriously wants to do. Moving to a large home outside Washington D.C. with his wife Joan (Graham) and sons, Evan asks God to help him fulfill his campaign promises. His first day at the office, he is given a large office and asked to co-sponsor a bill by the powerful Congressman Long (Goodman). Pleased at the way his career is going, Evan doesn't understand the significance when tools and wood begin showing up in his yard as well as two of every kind of animal. And what is it about 614?

A comedy that hits all the right notes, "Evan Almighty" is not only a great starring vehicle for Carell but a film chock full of funny people. As Evan's staff members, John Michael Higgins, Wanda Sykes and Jonah Hill form a trio to rival the Three Stooges in delivering laughs. Hill, who appeared earlier this year in "Knocked Up" and has a starring role in the upcoming "Superbad," is another comedy star in the making. Take it from me when I say keep an eye on this kid. The screenplay, by Steve Oedekerk (a funny guy himself), hits all the right notes comedy wise but also has some genuine emotion in the scenes between Evan and Joan. As God, Freeman brings his long time screen presence to the part, giving his words the gravity and dignity they deserve. When I think back and recall Freeman as Easy Reader on "The Electric Company" in the early 1970s it never fails to amaze me the career this man has carved for himself. The production values are outstanding, with special kudos going to the dozens of handlers who kept the animals away from each other on set. There honestly isn't a "bad" spot in the whole film.

A comedy with it's heart in the right place, "Evan Almighty" is up there with "Knocked Up" as one of the funniest films of the summer. On a scale of zero to four I give "Evan Almighty"  Three and a half stars.

This week's movie review of "Evan Almighty" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.