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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #524 (Vol. 11, No. 15). This edition is for the week of April 5--11, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Date Night"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Date Night"  by Mike Smith
Saturday Morning Fever: CBS 1968  by ED Tucker
What Rhymes With "National Poetry Month"?  by Lisa Scherer
Gamera Revamped  by Jason Fetters
Passing On .... Movie Notes .... Hypocrite Part 2 .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

20th Century Fox     
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Mark Wahlberg
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 28 mins

They star in two of the more popular comedies on television, coincidentally on the same network. Finally, after years of success, someone had the brilliant plan of teaming them together. And, as Hannibal Smith used to say on “The A-team,” ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’

Phil (Carell) and Claire (Fey) Foster are a typical American couple. Both work. They have (2) cute kids. And once a week a day is put aside for them to spend time together. They call it “date night,” and so far it has always been the usual evening – same dinner, same restaurant…pretty boring. When they discover that a couple they always considered “happy” are divorcing (the husband tells Phil that he and his wife have become “great roommates”) Phil insists on changing their date night plans, taking he and Claire into New York City. When they can’t get seated at the trendy restaurant Phil picks they stew for a few moments, then seize on the opportunity of taking another parties’ reservation (think of Ferris Bueller when he claimed to be Abe Froman – “the sausage king of Chicago”). From the moment they sit down date night will never be the same.

A pretty steady comedy, “Date Night” steams along under the power of Carell and Fey, with added assistance from a great supporting cast. James Franco and Mila Kunis share a great 10 minute scene as the couple the Fosters are mistaken for while William Fichtner, who is usually the most serious guy on screen (“Armageddon,” the television series “Prison Break”) reveals a nice comic touch as a crime fighting district attorney who’s not exactly snow white. Taraji P. Henson and Bill Burr do well as a pair of police detectives (and I have to say that Burr looks eerily like a very young Michael Moriarty) while Common and Jimmi Simpson (who David Letterman fans may remember as Jimmy the Intern) do a good job of being bad guys. But the hidden gem here is Wahlberg, who is introduced as a one time real estate client of Claires who has a penchant for not wearing shirts. Ray Liotta shows up in a few scenes as a mob boss but it was hard concentrating on his performance because I kept staring at the over abundance of eye liner he was wearing. If they ever make a live action version of Disney’s “Pocahontas” he could play the part of Meko the raccoon. And make sure you sit through the closing credits to see the improvisational genius of Carell and Fey featured in a series of outtakes.

On a scale of zero to four I give “Date Night"


This week's movie review of "Date Night" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.