21

21 is a caper flick with routine, style, and young talented stars. It’s the Ocean’s 11 for the young generation. Jim Sturgess is a young British star on the rise with performances in Across the Universe and The Other Boleyn Girl, and he’s very talented. But this cements his appeal, he gives the best performance in the film, even against Kevin Spacey.

Ben Campbell is a brilliant young MIT student who aspires to get into Harvard Medical School, but he simply doesn’t have the money. But when his professor teaches him card counting and adds him to the MIT blackjack team – they go to Vegas every weekend and make millions. Ben begins a romance with fellow card-counter Jill, and becomes consumed by the money he makes. But when he is betrayed and beaten, he loses everything and must make a huge comeback.

Can he?

Jim Sturgess is one of the best new actors out there, and with the exceptional cast everywhere else and the witty script it is the most entertaining movie so far this year. But it doesn’t come without flaws. The characters are made of cardboard generally, and many stereotypes are used. And with the giant double-cross at the end, it just never convinces at times.

Overall, great popcorn-flick with a good cast and script, just unrealistic. B+

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Drillbit Taylor

Owen Wilson is a homeless bodyguard in the teen comedy Drillbit Taylor. Three high-school losers are consistently and relentlessly picked on by local bullies, so they decide to hire a low-pay bodyguard. His name is Drillbit Taylor and he’s actually a homeless man posing as a marine, and there’s your plot. The thought of bullies is kind of outdated, and many moral choices made here are just really stupid. It’s really kind of a disappointment, and Owen Wilson doesn’t ever seem like he enjoys the material.

Some moments though, show what it could have been, such as the end fight scene and a face-off with a bully and his future prey that brought down the house…Unfortunately, the plot and pacing were just too amateur and inconsistent to really get into it… C

Jumper

Hayden Christensen has the ability to teleport on a whim in the sci-fi thriller Jumper. The concept is interesting, and it is used quite well. Unfortunately, not much else is coherent or interesting, and it all feels like it’s the first chapter of a book…

David Rice has an ability to teleport anywhere in the world, where ever he wants, whenever he wants. He is called a Jumper because of this, and hides this ability from everyone. At age 21, he lives a life of luxury, but soon he is tracked down and ambushed by a group determined to extinguish all Jumpers…David realizes he is not the only Jumper, and must fight to save himself – and his high-school-crush.

Many scenes in this global-spanning film were actually filmed in my home-town, Ann Arbor, so it felt rather nostalgic, seeing many familiar places on film. And in all actuality, the best part is the explosions and special effects. Not the acting, although Samuel L. Jackson breathes life into a cardboard character. But, all in all, its cheap, action-packed entertainment.

Good for a rental, but don’t see it. C-