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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | February 8, 2008
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins imagines slapstick farce as feel-good dramedy, which is to say, it's an unhappy (and largely unfunny) marriage of two movie types that don't really go together. Imagine a Three Stooges short with a feel-good ending, and you get the idea. As slapstick farce, it has a few moments, most of them thanks to either Mike Epps or Baltimore's own Mo'Nique, who ought to take out a patent on her sassy big-girl shtick. Epps, who has made a career out of playing the fast-talking, shiftless best bud, always getting into trouble and barely getting out, frequently suffers from overexposure in his film roles.
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Mike Preston | August 19, 2010
The knock on Ravens outside linebacker Antwan Barnes is that he lacks consistency. On some days, he can look like Dwight Freeney. And on other days, he is a no-show. Which Antwan Barnes will show up for the 2010 season? "This is my year. It's got to be," said Barnes, a Ravens fourth-round pick out of Florida International in 2007. "I've been on the sidelines for too long. It's got to be my year. " The expectations for Barnes have never been higher. We've seen flashes of excellence where he exhibits the nonstop motor and relentless desire.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 21, 2001
At least Black Knight comes with its own built-in movie review. About 25 minutes into this interminable film, as Martin Lawrence tries to prove he's a renowned court jester, one medieval noble says to another, "It's no longer funny, but he refuses to give up on the joke." No truer words have been spoken on screen this year. The only thing perhaps more appropriate would have been a shot of Lawrence beating a dead horse. In Black Knight, Lawrence plays Jamal Walker, a worker at a decaying medieval-themed amusement park who falls into a moat and magically is sent back to the 14th century.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | February 8, 2008
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins imagines slapstick farce as feel-good dramedy, which is to say, it's an unhappy (and largely unfunny) marriage of two movie types that don't really go together. Imagine a Three Stooges short with a feel-good ending, and you get the idea. As slapstick farce, it has a few moments, most of them thanks to either Mike Epps or Baltimore's own Mo'Nique, who ought to take out a patent on her sassy big-girl shtick. Epps, who has made a career out of playing the fast-talking, shiftless best bud, always getting into trouble and barely getting out, frequently suffers from overexposure in his film roles.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 16, 1999
Eddie Murphy is up to speed -- literally -- in "Life," a comedy with dead-serious underpinnings. Rattling off verbal riffs and loop-de-loops at 100 rpm, Murphy presents an engaging, appealing trickster, made of the same cunning, slightly corrupt charm that animates the best cartoon heroes.If Eddie Murphy hadn't been born, surely Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc would have invented him.Martin Lawrence co-stars in "Life," but it is Murphy who is given full room to stretch in a movie that takes an unlikely subject -- two black men serving life sentences on a Mississippi prison farm after being framed for a murder -- and infuses it with generous amounts of comedy and even a little pathos.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 2, 2007
Wild Hogs puts the "ick" into City Slickers. Watching it from the front row of a stadium-style multiplex theater, I felt as if I were asphyxiating in an avalanche of sagging flesh. Wild Hogs (Touchstone Pictures) Starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy. Directed by Walt Becker. Rated PG-13. Time 93 minutes.
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By Kevin Thomas and Kevin Thomas,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 2, 2002
SUN SCORE THREE-STARS Martin Lawrence is a no-holds-barred stand-up comedian who gets away with the most graphic language because he is so funny and because he makes himself the object of so much of his humor. Runteldat comes from his demand: "Stop the gossip. I'm still here - run tell that!" Lawrence was involved in some well-publicized incidents several years ago that have left him with considerable resentment toward the media and a desire to tell his side. But Lawrence is too shrewd a showman to lead with them, so he opens with his views on a wide range of topics.
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By Knight Ridder/Tribune | June 2, 2000
Would it surprise you to learn that "Big Momma's House" is nothing more than an excuse to get Martin Lawrence in a funny costume? In this film, he plays a federal agent trying to catch a bank robber whose girlfriend (Nia Long) is holed up at Big Momma's pad. So when the real Big Momma takes off, Lawrence straps on a gut, a wig and enough sandbags to shore up a flood-threatened town and takes her place. Fortunately, seeing Lawrence in Momma's one-size-fits-Shamu muumuus is automatically funny.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | February 19, 1994
Nine hours of "major" Olympics coverage -- five hours today, four more tonight -- are on the CBS schedule tonight. If previous coverage is any indication, this should work out to about three hours of commercials, three hours of features, an hour devoted solely to Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, and 45 minutes about what's "coming up next," with the rest of the time reserved to cover actual athletes participating in actual sports. When watching these Olympics, patience isn't merely a virtue.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 17, 2003
The one daring joke in the action comedy National Security comes near the beginning. A black man, Martin Lawrence, gets a white cop, Steve Zahn, tossed into prison when a videocam captures the officer clubbing him without mercy. But the audience knows that the tape lies: Zahn was trying to beat away a bumblebee because Lawrence is allergic to the insect. This gleefully unfair reversal gets viewers hoping for the freewheeling racial vaudeville of an Undercover Brother. What ensues, unfortunately, is yet another odd-couple car-chase movie in which the cocky, gabby African-American and the righteous, taciturn Caucasian trade punches and bond before they bag the bad guys.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 2, 2007
Wild Hogs puts the "ick" into City Slickers. Watching it from the front row of a stadium-style multiplex theater, I felt as if I were asphyxiating in an avalanche of sagging flesh. Wild Hogs (Touchstone Pictures) Starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy. Directed by Walt Becker. Rated PG-13. Time 93 minutes.
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By CHRIS KALTENBACH | February 10, 2006
Is there a widening chasm between critics and the moviegoing public? The evidence would seem to suggest there is. For three weekends running, the box-office champ, the most watched film in America, debuted without being screened in advance for critics - meaning few, if any, reviews appeared on the day the film opened. Last weekend, it was When a Stranger Calls, which earned $21.6 million. Two weekends ago, Big Momma's House 2 topped the list, earning $27.7 million. Three weekends ago, the most popular film was Underworld: Evolution, earning $26.9 million.
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By John Horn and John Horn,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 21, 2003
HOLLYWOOD -- Fifteen-year-old Dennis Green had every reason to be terrified. Here he was on his first acting job, and rather than appearing in some small indie film, he was playing opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in one of the summer's biggest action movies, Bad Boys II. As if the pressure weren't high enough, Lawrence was showing a lot more bad-boy attitude than the part required. Before the cameras rolled, a sound man clipped a microphone onto the actor's shirt, sending Lawrence into a tirade, as he loudly complained that the technician had pricked him and had to be fired.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 17, 2003
The one daring joke in the action comedy National Security comes near the beginning. A black man, Martin Lawrence, gets a white cop, Steve Zahn, tossed into prison when a videocam captures the officer clubbing him without mercy. But the audience knows that the tape lies: Zahn was trying to beat away a bumblebee because Lawrence is allergic to the insect. This gleefully unfair reversal gets viewers hoping for the freewheeling racial vaudeville of an Undercover Brother. What ensues, unfortunately, is yet another odd-couple car-chase movie in which the cocky, gabby African-American and the righteous, taciturn Caucasian trade punches and bond before they bag the bad guys.
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By Sarah Kickler Kelber | August 6, 2002
The makers of The Real World Movie: The Lost Season apparently couldn't decide whether to make a reality show spoof or a thriller about kidnapping. The combination of the two really doesn't work. The movie follows the fictional Vancouver cast moving into the house and experiencing the quintessential Real World moments - running around the bizarrely decorated space, choosing bedrooms, getting to know one another. But then they're kidnapped by Roland, a Real World reject who is so desperate to be on the show that he's built a secluded house set, filled it with cameras, and threatened to blow them all up if they don't cooperate.
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By Kevin Thomas and Kevin Thomas,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 2, 2002
SUN SCORE THREE-STARS Martin Lawrence is a no-holds-barred stand-up comedian who gets away with the most graphic language because he is so funny and because he makes himself the object of so much of his humor. Runteldat comes from his demand: "Stop the gossip. I'm still here - run tell that!" Lawrence was involved in some well-publicized incidents several years ago that have left him with considerable resentment toward the media and a desire to tell his side. But Lawrence is too shrewd a showman to lead with them, so he opens with his views on a wide range of topics.
FEATURES
By John Horn and John Horn,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 21, 2003
HOLLYWOOD -- Fifteen-year-old Dennis Green had every reason to be terrified. Here he was on his first acting job, and rather than appearing in some small indie film, he was playing opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in one of the summer's biggest action movies, Bad Boys II. As if the pressure weren't high enough, Lawrence was showing a lot more bad-boy attitude than the part required. Before the cameras rolled, a sound man clipped a microphone onto the actor's shirt, sending Lawrence into a tirade, as he loudly complained that the technician had pricked him and had to be fired.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | August 16, 1991
"Talkin' Dirty After Dark" is as funny as it is filthy. It's a hip, urban comedy, set in a club called Dukie's in south-central L.A., that's a primer for the multiculturally illiterate. When it's over, you'll know at least 13 ways of inflecting a common 12-letter expletive that begins with M.You'll also have a terrific time -- if you're not offended by the language. The best part of writer-director Topper Carew's first feature may be the raucous, sexually charged stand-up routines of several brilliant young black comics, but "Talkin' Dirty" is supported by a plot that is often hilarious.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 21, 2001
At least Black Knight comes with its own built-in movie review. About 25 minutes into this interminable film, as Martin Lawrence tries to prove he's a renowned court jester, one medieval noble says to another, "It's no longer funny, but he refuses to give up on the joke." No truer words have been spoken on screen this year. The only thing perhaps more appropriate would have been a shot of Lawrence beating a dead horse. In Black Knight, Lawrence plays Jamal Walker, a worker at a decaying medieval-themed amusement park who falls into a moat and magically is sent back to the 14th century.
FEATURES
By Knight Ridder/Tribune | June 2, 2000
Would it surprise you to learn that "Big Momma's House" is nothing more than an excuse to get Martin Lawrence in a funny costume? In this film, he plays a federal agent trying to catch a bank robber whose girlfriend (Nia Long) is holed up at Big Momma's pad. So when the real Big Momma takes off, Lawrence straps on a gut, a wig and enough sandbags to shore up a flood-threatened town and takes her place. Fortunately, seeing Lawrence in Momma's one-size-fits-Shamu muumuus is automatically funny.
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