The trouble with authenticity in a punk rock film is that it comes off as amateurish, and while "Dolls" has a feverish energy -- and some good songs -- it suffers from crude performances and a trite rise-and-fall plot.
Screenwriter Tom Schulman, who won an Oscar for "Dead Poets Society," gives us a narrative reminiscent of a pup chasing its tail, as characters struggle to catch up with inexplicably chopping and changing motives.
The cheerfully inane comedy Connie and Carla all but suffocates beneath a high-stepping, show-stopping, ear-splitting deluge of musical theater staples, from "Cats" to "Oklahoma!," "Jesus Christ Superstar" to "Fiddler on the Roof."
Where Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" radiates freshness and vigor, Man on Fire feels vaguely like something left over from the 1980s, when action heroes were one-note tough guys methodically picking off baddies.