NEW YORK – "School of Rock" rocks, Denzel is "Out of Time" and Val Kilmer is lost in "Wonderland" in today's Foxlight.
One of the big surprises of the year stars a guy who usually plays the wacky sidekick, and a bunch of unknown kids. It looked ordinary at first glance, but critics -- real ones -- are boppin' head over tappin' heels in love with "School Of Rock." (search)
Time, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly and even the lowly Foxlight all think Jack Black (search) is the new "it" man-boy. I'll even call him the new John Belushi. The comedy is sly and hip, and if you think it's just "The Bad News Baritones," think again. Don't skip this school.
Next, Denzel Washington (search) is back on the beat that won him an Oscar. This time, the badge he's carrying isn't gonna help him when he's up for murder, arson and embezzlement and running "Out of Time." It's the old "the only person who can clear my name is me" routine. Lots of twists. But more style than substance, according to the New York Times, who calls it "empty." Others say Denzel saves his own behind and that Eva Mendes is the new J-Lo. We need another one?
Finally, in limited release, Val Kilmer (search) is John Holmes, the porn star, in "Wonderland." This amped up "Law & Order" episode has zero to do with Holmes' porn career and everything to do with the unhappily ever after. Was he involved in some grisly murders? Lisa Kudrow is fantastic in a very un-"friendly" kind of role. Otherwise, critics say the waste of talent ain't porn but it's still obscene.