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Post Info TOPIC: Movie Critics R Us


The Omnipotent One

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RE: Movie Critics R Us


Catwoman

Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) is a timid art designer for a cosmetics company set to launch a new product. A cop named Tom Lone (Benjamin Bratt) mistakes Patience for a jumper when she climbs out on a ledge to try to rescue a cat, and he ends up asking her out. But when patience accidentally stumble into a conversation she shouldnít hear between her companyís head, George Hedare (Lambert Wilson), sheís disposed of, but rescued by the same cat she tried to save. The cat bestows powers upon her that make her catlike in her mannerisms. The new cosmetics are harmful unless continually taken, and now Catwoman wants revenge again George and his wife, Laurel (Sharon Stone), but sheís also got the attention of Lone and the police department after a jewellery store heist. Ok, the plot here was odious. Even if she has newfound cat qualities, how is it that she can suddenly handle a motorcycle, a whip, or dribble a basketball? Why doesnít it seem to bother her that she died and now behaves like a cat? She fears getting wet, reacts to catnip, gobbles up fishÖso will she also poop in a litter box and put out for a tomcat? How many big city cops double in robbery and homicide? Berryís acting is awful here and the action scenes are sloppy. Boo, hiss!...with an emphasis on the hiss.




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Rick's Psycho Ward


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Manhood

Jack (Nestor Carbonell) was a philandering fashion photographer whoís given up the big time (and philandering) to get full custody of his teenage son, Sam (Andrew J. Ferchland). When his sister, Jill (Janeane Garofalo) leaves her cheating husband, Eli (John Ritter), she asks Jack to look after her son, Charlie (Nick Roth), while she tries to get her life in order. A devastated Eli also approaches Jack, looking for help, and he also ends up moving in. The two new additions are hardly the best influences on the impressionable Sam, and Eli seems to be a ticking time bomb. Jack must struggle to keep his dysfunctional family together. There are humorous moments within, but itís best labelled as a drama, or a dark, dark comedy. This is probably the best performance of Ritterís Iíve seen. He manages to be likeable and despicable at the same time, if thatís possible, but very deceptive. If thereís a reason to watch. Apparently this was a sequel, but I didnít see the film that spawned this.



Mean Creek

Sam (Rory Culkin) is tired of being bullied by a classmate named George (Josh Peck). To help teach George a lesson, Samís brother, Rocky (Trevor Morgan) and his friend Marty (Scott Mechlowicz) devise a planÖinvite George on a river expedition under the guise that itís to celebrate Samís birthday. Their friend, Clyde (Ryan Kelley), and Samís girl friend, Millie (Carly Schroeder) are also invited. The plan is to strip George and leave him to find his own way homeÖbut thatís not exactly how things play out. Such a simple story, but this is a very well executed one. These characters are well drawn up, coming across as real. Even George, whoís not entirely the monster he appears to be. But then, sometimes his mouth just canít resist. He wants to fit in, but heís socially inadequate. After these kids get themselves in a dilemma, the film changes tone and we get to truly learn what theyíre made of. This independent film puts Hollywood crap to shame.




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Stage Beauty

During the reign of Charles II (Rupert Everett), women werenít allowed to act and chief among the men playing womenís roles was Ned Kynaston (Billy Crudup), best known for playing Desdemona in Othello. Heís sexually confused offstage, often masquerading about town as a woman. His dresser is Maria (Claire Danes), who secretly loves Ned and also can perfectly mimic his actions and mouth his lines as he performs. When word leaks to Charles that Maria actually performed in a small theatre, heís intrigued, and his mistress, Nell Gwynn (Zoe Tapper), persuades him to allow women to perform. That quickly does Ned find himself out of work and careening downhill. Maria is the new star and perhaps the only one who could help Ned. This is a bawdy affair that never quite manages to soar, nor is it entirely convincing. It also kind of lags in the middle acts. But Crudup is sensational even if heís not quite convincing as a woman. And Danes also gives one of her better performances. Too bad the material is not up to par with the acting though.




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Raise Your Voice

Terri Fletcher (Hilary Duff) is a gifted music student who applies for summer enrolment at a prestigious music school in L.A. Her brother, Paul (Jason Ritter), is her biggest support along with her mother, Francis (Rita Wilson), and Aunt Nina (Rebecca De Mornay). But her father, Simon (David Keith) is dead set against her going to the big city. A plan is devised in which Terri will attend under the guise that sheís visiting Aunt Nina at her residence. Terri struggles against personal loss and trying to fit in among her talented rivals for a scholarship, including her roommate, Denise (Dana Davis), a bitch named Lauren (Robin Childers) and her boyfriend, Jay (Oliver James). Call this Fame for a new generation, all this falls miles short of that classic. Everything here is so clichť and predictable. And although Duff is oh so cute and smiles a lot, sheís not a good actress and her talent as a singer is simply not good enough for us to believe sheís in the elite league. I think her fifteen minutes is almost up.




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Keys To Tulsa

Richter Boudreau (Eric Stoltz) is the son of socialite Cynthia Boudreau (Mary Tyler Moore), but finds himself drifting, on the verge of losing his job at a Tulsa newspaper, and in debt to a bad ass named Ronnie Stover (James Spader). Stover is shacked up with Vicky Michaels (Deborah Kara Unger), the girl who broke Richterís heart but still has a thing for him. Her brother, Keith (Michael Rooker), is a loose cannon and friend of Richterís. Ronnie pressures Richter into a blackmail scheme involving Cherry (Joanna Going), a stripper whoís witnessed a murder. Thereís a lot of meandering as the characters are introduced before setting up the basic plot which plays itself out unconvincing and with uninspired dialogue. Stoltz kind of sleepwalks throughout. Spader isnít bad. I didnít even recognize him. Cameron Diaz has a small role and James Coburn has a good cameo appearance. A good cast but a lacklustre movie.



Behind The Red Door

Natalie (Kyra Sedgwick) is a photographer who begrudgingly accepts an assignment in Boston after some coaxing from her agent, Julia (Stockard Channing). Sheís ready to walk out when she finds out sheíll be working with her estranged brother, Roy (Kiefer Sutherland). The two havenít spoken since the murder of their mother ten years ago, most likely at the hands of their domineering father who conjures up only bad memories. But now Roy is dying and he wants reconciliation with his sister. Roy is a perfectionist and sarcastic by nature. Natalie is headstrong and haunted by childhood memories. Convincing her to stay is no small feat, but itís something they both need. Slow paced and character driven, this showcases strong performances from two underrated actors. Gradually their tough exteriors are softened up and they become people worth caring about. Perhaps it drags on a tad too long. It never preaches about AIDS as some films tend to do. It focuses on human drama and that it does pretty well.




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Sahara



Starring: Matthew McConaughey  Steve Zahn  Penťlope Cruz Delroy Lindo
Directed By: Breck Eisner
Released By: Paramount
Theatrical Release Date: 04/08/2005
DVD Release Date: 08/30/2005
Run Time: 120 min.
Genre: Action and Adventure
Rating: PG-13  


This was an Action Packed Comedy With Dramatic Situations, I really liked this movie, it was beautiful in the scenery it managed to show Africa in both the tragic harsh light and at the same time showed you how beautiful it also was. if you like to see old culture meld with the modern and then twist it with a couple of Funny Adventure stricken Men who tend to land on their feet in the worst of situations. This is the movie for you, not quite crazy enough to be Un-believable I liked it and think you would to!


-- Edited by bawdy at 13:27, 2005-09-11

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The Omnipotent One

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Yeah, that one looks entertaining, but silly.

The Pawnbroker

Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger) is a big city pawnbroker whoís still haunted by memories of time spent and loved ones lost in a concentration camp. As a result, heís bitter, and heads off any attempts of strangers to display kindness towards him-being as rude as he must to make the message clear that he wants to be left alone. His shop is a front for a mobster named Rodriguez (Brock Peters) to launder money, and heís not opposed to taking dirty money. Jesus Ortiz (Jaime Sanchez) works in the shop and is anxious to learn tricks of the trade from Sol, but he canít crack his cold exterior either. This is a portrait of a fascinating character and a testament to how affecting the atrocities committed in concentration camps were on Holocaust survivors. Sol isnít a stereotype by any stretch of the imagination. His is just one story and Steiger gives an Oscar worthy performance.



Expecting Mercy

Kurt (James Wagner) and Madalyn (Heather Prete) are a young couple on the run. Their car runs into some trouble so they check into the Eden Inn, which is run by Jackie (Carrie Hitchcock) and Edward Slayter (Brian Mani). Edward is into voyeurism and filming unsuspecting guests in their rooms, and his attraction to Madalyn can only lead to no good. This starts off bad and only gets worse before it finally veers to ridiculous. And Mani has to be one of the worst actors Iíve ever seen. Look away, nothing to see here.




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I, Robot

Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) investigates the apparent suicide of his friend, Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), a scientist who designs robots for U.S. Robotics, which is headed by Lawrence Robertson (Bruce Greenwood). He assigns robot psychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan), to escort Spooner throughout corporate headquarters. With the release of a new product imminent, Spoonerís boss, Lt. John Bergin (Chi McBride) tries to keep a leash on his robot hating rogue cop. This is one of those action vehicles without the words bad or boys in the title that Smith excels in. Heís personable, witty, and can display attitude when need be. The robots are remarkable and the action and suspense top notch. The plot may be stretched a bit thin, but the basic concept is intriguing. This is one summer blockbuster that delivers the goods.




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The Locals

Paul (Dwayne Cameron) and Grant (John Barker) head off on a road trip in New Zealand. They get a little off course and are approached by Lisa (Aidee Walker) and Kelly (Kate Elliott), who invite them to a party. En route, the boys get stuck, and while seeking help they discover the locals are a little ďoffĒ, and soon find themselves in a night of terror. Cameron and Barker play off each other well and itís easy to believe theyíre good mates. But as a horror film, this fails to deliver. Itís short on violence, gore and even honest suspense. The twists are predictable and the plot isnít well enough developed.



Primer

Aaron (Shane Caruth) and his friend, Abe (David Sullivan), are engineers, who while tinkering with an invention of theirs, find theyíve created something far more powerful than they imagined, and are soon building a bigger model so they themselves can experiment in time travel. But at what cost? Who knows? Donít even think going into this film that youíll comprehend what Aaron and Abe discuss. Itíll be over your head from your start. Hell, they themselves donít fully understand what theyíre dealing with. But you can get the just of it, and itís intriguing. This is imaginative, smart film-making. Itís low budget, and these guys are more geek than actors. But for me it was thought provoking. This is one of those you either love it or hate it deals. I was impressed.




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A Fond Kiss

Casim Khan (Atta Yaqub) is a young Pakistani in Scotland whose parents expect him to follow tradition and enter an arranged marriage with a first cousin from Pakistan. But after meeting Roisin Hanlon (Eva Birthistle), a music teacher at his sisterís high school, they begin dating and fall in love. The relationship will shame Casimís family and even pose unexpected obstacles for Roisin, so if they are going to be serious, a great many lives will be negatively affected. The director does a great job in evenly presenting everyoneís perspective. The two lead actors are perfectly cast and they display great chemistry together. This is a smart film that doesnít pretend to have answers to cultural clashes.



Funny Face

Photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) notices a young intellectual named Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) and thinks she may be the fresh face fashion magazine head Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) is looking for. Although itís against her principles, they must sell a trip to Paris as an ends to a means. This 50s musical is entertaining enough, although I wasnít much impressed with the Gershwin musical numbers. Astaire is Astaire doing his dancing thing, but he was a bit long in the tooth to be a romantic interest of Hepburnís. Not known for her singing or dancing, Hepburn does remarkably well on both counts. If you want to see a real movie star, watch her here. The camera adores her.




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Wicker Park

Matthew (Josh Hartnett) is engaged to a beautiful woman (played by Jessica Pare), and is set to tackle an assignment in China, but after a near in counter in a restaurant with who he believes to be his ex-girlfriend, Lisa (Diane Kruger), he throws caution to the wind and sets off in search of her. He seeks help from his friend Luke (Matthew Lillard), who has girl problems of his own with Alex (Rose Byrne), who just happens to be harbouring Lisa, who is evading an abusive boyfriend. Pretty boy Hartnett just may be the most wooden actor Iíve ever seen. How does he keep getting work? Perhaps because no one else would touch this script, which laughably relies on too many improbable coincidences. His character is a jerk anyway who is borderline creepy as he approaches stalkerdom. I hated this movie.



Mr. 3000

Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) was a self-centered, arrogant star of the Milwaukee Brewers who walked away from the game in the midst of recording of his 3000th hit and baseball immortality. Nine years later heís not in the Hall of Fame because too many voters remember him as a jerk, but he runs various successful business in Milwaukee banking on his 3000 hits as a common theme in their name. Heís dealt a blow when a statistical error reveals he really only had 2997 hits. The way for a comeback is paved with the team dwelling in the cellar and management sees this as a gimmick to sell tickets even if time has passed Ross by. ESPN sends reporter Mo Simmons (Angela Bassett) to cover the story. Of course, sheís an old flame of Stanís with some acrimony against him. But this ended up being a decent sports movie. Bernie Mac is perfectly suited for this role even his baseball swing isnít entirely convincing. Nor is the script which provides a few eye rolling moments and other predictable ones. Full co-operation is provided by ESPN and various other media personalities to add authenticity, as well as the co-operation of MLB. Despite its flaws, Mac belts this one out of the park as a jerk who may finally be maturing a bit.




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Thir13en Ghosts


Crazy Uncle Cyrus collects ghosts.  When the crazy uncle dies he leaves his house to his nephew (Tony Shalhoub) and his kids.  They go to move in and all the fun starts.  I can't tell you too much cause it would give away the surprises which there are many of.  I watched this movie last weekend...scared the crap out of me!  The visual aspects are incredible.  Very suspenseful.




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Oh, you're much kinder than I am to that one than I was. I'd give it four thumbs.

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The Final Cut

Alan Hakman (Robin Williams) is a Cutter, a man who takes images recorded from Zoe implants and edits them for Rememory ceremonies held after the death of implant recipients. The chips record everything a person experiences, so a Cutter is supposed to ignore the bad, gleaning only the good. Hakman is considered the best, and heíll take the jobs others wonít. Theyíre bound by a code not to reveal the ugly aspects or secrets a person had. Fletcher (James Caviezel) is a former Cutter who now heads a group opposed to the implants, and he wants Hakman to hand over a case to expose the sins of a man. Thelma (Mimi Kuzyk) is a colleague of Hakmanís and Delila (Mira Sorvino) is a friend with occasional benefits who canít crack Alanís outer shell. Williams plays his part with a morticianís demeanor, possibly due to the occupational similarities, but also because heís haunted by an incident from his childhood. It doesnít require much acting. The premise here is rather thin-would there really be a great demand for such a chip. Besides it would violate privacy laws. They do try to turn it into a suspense movie, but not very successfully. Even the subplot involving Alanís childhood trauma leaves us unfulfilled. The ending came as a bit of a surprise though.



The Grudge

A house whose prior occupants had fallen victim to a murder-suicide is haunted by those inhabitants and all who enter the house risk unleashing their fury. Just ask Peter Kirk (Bill Pullman), who predictably bites it in the opening sequence. Or Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar), an American in Tokyo who fills in for the absent caretaker of Emma Williams (Grace Zabriskie), the near catatonic mother of Susan (KaDee Strickland) and Matthew (William Mapother), whoís married to Jennifer (Clea DuVall), so along with Karenís boyfriend Doug (Jason Behr) and police detective Nakagawa (Ryo Ishibashi), thereís no shortage of potential victims. And we need victims to make up for the lack of plot. Or structure. Flashbacks arenít interwoven well and the spirits appear to have no boundaries. This is more creepy than scary, and itís dismally boring between fright sequences. And how many people really chase things that go bump in the night as they do here rather than run like hell from them? This isnít a very coherent film. The boy that screams like a cat might creep out some, but not me, and another spectre seems stolen from The Ring.




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High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

This is the story of Stu ďThe KidĒ Ungar (Michael Imperioli) who was a child prodigy card player who was taken under the wing of a mobster named Vincent (Michael Nouri). His penchant for gambling often landed him in debt. Vincent would cover for him until it got out of hand, so he was sent to Vegas to win the World Series Of Poker, staked by Vegas kingpin, Mr. Leo (Pat Morita), but it soured his relationship with his girlfriend, Angela (Renee Faia). Even his good friend, DJ (Joe La Due), couldnít curb Stuís self-destructive behaviour. Stu may be a legend, but his tale is a cautionary one. Ungarís prowess as a card shark is pretty much glossed over. If you know nothing about cards, you wonít learn anything, and there arenít any tense, riveting scenes building up to his tournament victories. And the seriousness of his addictions isnít stressed enough. The story is fairly sugar-coated. But Imperioli gives a winning performance capturing the confidence and brashness of a man who knew he was the best at what he did.



Going The Distance

Nick (Christopher Jacot) finds out his girlfriend, Trish (Katheryn Winnick), is moving to Toronto for the summer to intern with music big shot Lenny Swackhammer (Jason Priestley). He decides to head there himself when he finds out about Lennyís reputation with interns. His friends, Tyler (Shawn Roberts) and Dime (Ryan Belleville), decide to turn it into a road trip. They pick up hitchhikers Sasha (Joanne Kelly) and Jill (Mayko Nguyen) en route. Nickís parents donít like Trish, so they hire a private investigator named Emile (August Schellenberg) to hinder theyíre progress. First off, these guys are too old to be playing recent high school grads. Secondly, it reaches way too far to set up supposedly funny, highly implausible situations. Thirdly, itís not all that funny and itís predictable. They did manage to get the co-operation of Much Music and the bands Swollen Members, Gob, and Avril Lavigne, none of them will count this among their career highlights.




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Little Black Book

Stacy (Brittany Murphy) lands a job on the Kippi Kann Show, hoping to use it as a stepping stone to work with her idol, Diane Sawyer. Kippi (Kathy Bates) is a Jerry Springer wannabe and wants to boost her lacklustre ratings with a live show during sweeps week. Stacy finds herself under the tutelage of Barb (Holly Hunter). A staffer named Ira (Kevin Sussman) pitches an idea for the show about Palm Pilots-the new little black book, and the secrets they contain. So when Stacyís boyfriend, Derek (Ron Livingston) leaves his behind when he goes on a business trip Stacy canít resist temptation and starts prying. She abuses her connection to the show to interview Derekís past girlfriends, Joyce (Julianne Nicholson), Rachel (Rashida Jones), and Lulu (Josie Maran), in an effort to learn more about Derek. This canít be considered a romantic comedy because it lacks romance and for the most part, comedy. The relationship between Stacy and Derek lacks trust and communication, and who really wants someone so insecure that theyíd snoop into their affairs? But Murphy is somehow likeable even in this role. The film is at its best when itís satirizing the Springer type shows. Both Bates and Hunter help greatly in pulling this off. Still, it remains a middling effort. Nicholson is an actress to look out for, and Murphy could soar if only sheíd get better projects.



Shall We Dance?

John (Richard Gere) and Beverly Clark (Susan Sarandon) are married with children and have settled into a routine life. A spark is missing, so when John is traveling home from his law office on the L train in Chicago one night and glimpses a dancer named Paulina (Jennifer Lopez) gazing forlornly out the window of a dance studio, he finds himself signing up for lessons later that week with hopes of an affair. His instructor is Miss Mitzi (Anita Gilette) and his fellow students are Chic (Bobby Cannavale), Vern (Omar Miller), Link (Stanley Tucci) and Bobbie (Lisa Ann Walter). Beverly becomes suspicious of her husbandís affairs and hires a private detective named Devine (Richard Jenkins) who has an assistant named Scott (Nick Cannon). Youíll have to watch to see if John gets busted. Anyway, this actually wasnít as bad as I thought. Of course it wonít help convince anyone that Gere isnít gay, but this type of role is tailor made for him. I wasnít much impressed with Lopez other than in one scene that she knocks out of the park. Mind you, outside of the dancing, her part didnít require much acting. The other students offered a lot of levity, especially Tucci, whose disguised look is a laugh riot. You get an ending Iím sure women will love to boot. Thank God for the comedy, otherwise it might have been dreadful.




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The Intended

In 1924, Hamish Winslow (J.J. Field) and his fiancťe Sarah Morris (Janet McTeer) travel to a remote trading station along the Menkuang river run by Mrs. Jones (Brenda Fricker). Hamish is a surveyor hired to build a road to make the station more accessible. Jones relies on her nephew Norton (Philip Jackson) and son William (Tony Maudsley) to help run the place. William is a huge disappointment to his mother and heís distraught when she changes her mind about him returning to London. The only sympathy he gets is from his old nanny, Erina (Olympia Dukakis), who wants him to be happy. Tension exists between the colonists and the natives, so this is not the safest place. And one event will monumentally change the balance of power and business at the station. This definitely has a top notch cast, led by McTeerís impressive performance. Itís not a bad story, but the pacing just makes this dull for the most part. The most interesting character is William-heíll make your stomach turn. I wouldnít pay to rent this and canít quite recommend investing 110 minutes of your life watching it.




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First Daughter

Samantha Mackenzie (Katie Holmes) is traveling across country to attend college and just wants a normal college experience. The trouble isÖher father John (Michael Keaton) and mother Melanie (Margaret Colin) are the president and first lady. Itís an election year and security is tight, something her roommate, Mia Thompson (Amerie) isnít keen on. Samantha meets James Lansome (Mark Blucas), who she connects with and he helps her in eluding the circus. But any kind of normal college experience is the most elusive thing of all. Ok, I saw this movie before. It was called Chasing Liberty and starred Mandy Moore. And even though that one wasnít very good, it was better than this. I wouldnít even recommend it to the teen audience. Itís instantly forgettable.




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Roman Holiday

Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is royalty from some unspecified European nation, and sheís weary of her goodwill duties and hectic schedule. So after being given something to help her sleep, she instead ventures into the heart of her current stop, Rome. Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) is a short on cash reporter turned good Samaritan who takes her back to his place after he discovers her passed out on a bench and canít coax an address out of her. When he finds out who she is, he smells an exclusive, and with the help of his photographer buddy, Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert), he hopes to cash in. This is Hepburnís marvellous Oscar winning debut. The film was also nominated, as was Albert Peck was also very good in the lead role. Itís a wonderful romance story with a touch of comedy, shot impressively on location in Rome. A class movie.



The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

I want my eighty minutes back.




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She Gets What She Wants

Starla Grady (Jane McGregor) is the most popular girl in high school in Splendora, Texas, and sheíll resort to just about anything to earn a journalism scholarship to Wellesley. And she does just that by announcing her family will be taking in a foreign exchange student from France in an effort to win over beauty pageant judges. And that student turns out to be Genevieve Le Plouff (Piper Perabo), who appears to be shy and unassuming as Starla takes her under her wing. But appearances can be deceivingÖ This is a mostly flat comedy with mostly cheap and obvious laughs. Thereís nothing here that hasnít been done before, and it doesnít present any characters to root for.



Paparazzi

Bo Laramie (Cole Hauser) is a hot new action star who has a run in with photographer Rex Harper (Tom Sizemore) after he doesnít respect Boís request to stop taking pictures of his son. So Rex sets out to make life hard for Bo and his wife, Abby (Robin Tunney), but goes too far and Abby and their son end up hurt. Bo seeks revenge against Rex and his cronies even as a detective named Burton (Dennis Farina) investigates. This is a vigilante movie that doesnít quite measure up to the Charles Bronson standard. Itís ok as popcorn fair if you donít take it seriously. What better villain than the pariahs of the ilk responsible for Princess Diís death?




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Around The Bend

Henry Lair (Michael Lair) wants to bring four generations of his family together as he senses death approachingÖhimself, his son Turner (Christopher Walken), grandson Jason (Josh Lucas), and grandson Zach (Jonah Bobo). And his will sends them on a road trip in which they are to honour his requests and spread his ashes. Jason hasnít seen his father since childhood, and thereís definitely distance between them. No one other than Zach is keen on the trip, and Henryís wish for binding doesnít appear likely. If in fact that was his intent. The saving grace of this film is another fine Walken performance. Itís just hard to buy into the story and this family. I was pretty uninvolved anyway watching it and didnít find there to be much of a payoff in the end.



Ladder 49

Ladder 49 begins with Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) beginning as a rookie firefighter at a firehouse captained by Mike Kennedy (John Travolta), and serving alongside men like Tommy Drake (Morris Chestnut) and Lenny Richter (Robert Patrick) in Baltimore. Jack falls in love and marries Linda (Jacinda Barrett), starts a family, and requests a transfer to the search and rescue team. We follow his career, witness the camaraderie as well as the danger as these men daily put their lives at risk to serve others. And sure enough itís a well deserved tribute, but I found it lacking. There were plenty of clichťs and predictable moments. It plays the sympathy card, but drew me nowhere close to the verge of tears. I wasnít blown away by the action scenes either. Sure they were competent and looked realistic, but nothing that knocks your socks off. Maybe I was expecting more, I donít know. Itís not a bad movie, but itís nothing to write home about.




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Garden State

Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) returns to his New Jersey roots for the first time in seven years to attend his motherís funeral. He reacquaints himself with his old buddy, Mark (Peter Sarsgaard) and meets a girl named Sam (Natalie Portman), who is almost his polar opposite. He realizes heís tired of the prescription medications heís relied on due to his father Gideonís (Ian Holm) diagnosis, so he avoids the inevitable confrontation. Through Sam he begins to discover alternatives to coping with past demons. If youíre looking for the perfect date movie, this is it. Itís smart, funny and has a lot of heart. Written and directed by Braff, this guy is someone to keep an eye on. Not a great actor by any stretch of the imagination, his understated delivery is however perfect in this role. And Portman is just so damn charming. There are many subtle comic moments that should make you smile.




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Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is as nerdy as they come and heís frequently bullied at school. He lives with his grandmother and 32 year old brother Kip (Aaron Ruell), who spends his days in chat rooms. When their granny gets hurt in a dune buggy mishap, she sends their Uncle Rico (John Gries) to look after them. He hasnít moved beyond his high school glory days and peddles breast enhancement cream. Napoleon befriends two fellow misfits, Pedro (Efren Ramirez), who decides to run for school president, and Deb (Tina Majorino). The reason these characters exist is to laugh at them. Napoleon isnít likeable and doesnít really care. To say this is a quirky comedy would be an understatement. The younger generation seems to love it. I was pretty much indifferent. Some things are amusing, but not in a laugh out loud sense. I think itís over-rated. The MTV generation can have it.



Being Julia

In London in 1938, Julia Lambert (Annette Bening) has no peer on the stage, but sheís tired and tells her husband Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons) that she needs a rest. Thatís before she meets a young American admirer named Tom Fennel (Shaun Evans). Their affair revitalizes her and she nixes plans for a vacation. But Tom also has eyes for Avice Crichton (Lucy Punch), and Julia isnít one to get upstaged by anyone. Bening is magnificent and the only reason she was denied an Oscar was Charlize Theronís tour de force performance in Monster. Itís hard to know when Julia is acting and when she isnít, and Bening steals every scene. The other characters arenít as well written and thereís not much depth to the plot, but itís serviceable.




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Suspect Zero

FBI agent Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) is reassigned from Dallas to New Mexico to take part in a murder investigation. Heís sent faxes from Benjamin OíRyan (Ben Kingsley), who appears to be a former FBI agent turned serial killer. He knows Mackelwayís history and offers clues, wanting the agent to see what he sees. Agent Fran Kulok (Carrie-Anne Moss) is sent in from Dallas to assist. She has a romantic history with Mackelway, but the relationship has soured. What they discover is they may be after suspect zero, a serial killer who kills randomly across the country, with no discernable pattern or method. This thriller is stylishly shot, but itís certainly not a by the numbers mystery where you can follow the clues and logic to understand whatís happening. The viewer is left intentionally in the dark, and we barely get to know the Kingsley character, by far the most interesting character here. And although the backstory involving both Mackelway and OíRyan is interesting, the director never really explains how what they were trained to do works, so we must take a leap of faith and trust that itís possible.




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Shark Tale

Oscar (voiced by Will Smith) works alongside his fellow fish friend, Angie (voiced by Renee Zellweger), at a whale wash run by Sykes (voiced by Martin Scorcese). Angie has a crush on Oscar. Oscar owes money to Sykes. Sykes pays protection money to mob boss, Don Lino (voiced by Robert DeNiro), who is a great white shark whose son Lenny (voiced by Jack Black) is a vegetarian-which is a major disappointment to the don. So Line sends his other son, Frankie (voiced by Michael Imperioli), to turn Lenny into a killer. Oscar, who has dreams of being a somebody, is the intended victim, so heís on the scene when Frankie is killed in an accident and takes credit, earning fame and fortune as a shark killerÖas well as the wrath of Don Lino. His good fortune also draws the attention of a gold-digger named Lola (voiced by Angelina Jolie). The question is, how long can Oscar pull off this charade? An animated feature from Dreamworks that looks impressive enough and has plenty of star power, but it doesnít achieve the status of a Finding Nemo, Shrek or Monsters Inc. Not by a long shot. The jokes arenít as clever and the story isnít as entertaining. And the product placements are annoying. Some of the characters are drawn to resemble the actors that voice them, and there are a few jokes that will go over kidsí heads. The story doesnít necessarily promote the best values either. It is entertaining enough though for audiences of all ages.




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Alien Vs. Predator

Charles Weyland (Lance Henriksen) spares no expense to piece together a top notch team to embark on an Antarctic archaeological dig after his companyís satellites discover an ancient pyramid beneath the ice. Time is of the essence because he knows other satellites will detect it soon. The chief member of the team is Lex Woods (Sanaa Lathan). Unfortunately for all involved they get caught up in a battle between two monsters in this combining of movie franchises. And itís basically a cash grab. The plot is beyond stupid and the dialogue is terrible. Most of the action occurs in dark settings and quick cut editing is annoying. Sure, the creatures are impressive and some fight scenes are ok, but the cast is forgettable and I sure didnít mind if they were plucked off one by one. These two franchises deserved better treatment.



Lightning In A Bottle

This is supposedly a documentary of the blues, but mostly itís performance footage culled from a 2003 Radio City Music Hall concert featuring a whoís who of blues legends. There are a few interspersed backstage interviews and a few clips of deceased legends, but mostly we get performances from stars such as B.B. King, Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke, Odetta, Natalie Cole, John Fogerty, Bonnie Raitt, Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry, the Neville Brothers, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Macy Gray, Dr. John, Greg Allman, Mavis Staples, Larry Johnson and more. Even if youíre not a big blues fan, youíll likely be entertained by many of these stellar artists plying their trade. Itís too bad theyíre mostly limited to one song each.




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DysFunktional Family

This is yet another documentary that consists mostly of concert footage of an Eddie Griffin stand-up comedy performance in Chicago. We also get some actual footage of the family members he makes fun of during his routine. I just donít find this guy to be very funny. And heís far too vulgar. He finishes every sentence with the word nigger. Every sentence. And they showed clips of audience members busting a gut laughing at things that just werenít that amusing. Some of the material seemed to be lifted from other comics. I donít think itís simply a cultural difference. Richard Prior and Eddie Murphy could be vulgar too. The difference isÖthey had more talent.




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She Hate Me

Jack Armstrong (Anthony Mackie) blows the whistle on violations within the company at which heís an executive after his colleague, Margo Chadwick (Ellen Barkin), and boss, Leland Powell (Woody Harrelson), ignore him when he raises his concerns. He finds himself blackballed within the business sector, and reluctantly accepts his lesbian ex-fiancee, Fatima Goodrichís (Kerry Washington) offer to impregnate lesbians looking for a surrogate father who has impressive genes. This lucrative but dubious method of earning money may be beneficial to Powell, who is looking to set Jack up for security fraud. This is a Spike Lee movie that seems to be trying to say too many things over too long a period of time in what can best be described as a sprawling mess of a film. It may have been better if he focussed mainly on the white collar crime aspect. Instead he tries to give voice on many different social issues and injustices. And the whole thing about trying to impregnate five women per night? Yeah, right.




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The Incredibles

Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and Mrs. Incredible (voiced by Holly Hunter) are forced into retirement along with all other superheroes and now live in anonymity among the general public. That is until someone from Mr. Incredibleís past with an ax to grind, Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee), resurfaces and eventually forces the whole family, along with Frozone (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), to work together as a team to stop him. Pixar continues to churn out instant classic animated features with this one, which to me is the most satisfying one for adults to date. The animation is terrific and the writing is sharp. A joy to watch.




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bawdy wrote:



The Incredibles Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and Mrs. Incredible (voiced by Holly Hunter) are forced into retirement along with all other superheroes and now live in anonymity among the general public. That is until someone from Mr. Incredibleís past with an ax to grind, Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee), resurfaces and eventually forces the whole family, along with Frozone (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), to work together as a team to stop him. Pixar continues to churn out instant classic animated features with this one, which to me is the most satisfying one for adults to date. The animation is terrific and the writing is sharp. A joy to watch.



 


You know the part when the babysitter cracks up after watching the baby?  You have to watch the DVD version with the extras and see what he does to her and how she loses it!  It's funnier than the rest of the movie. 


Bawdy, have you reviewed Fever Pitch yet?  Finally rented that a couple weeks ago.  I really liked it, but hate to admit it cause #1 I'm not a Sox fan and #2 it got such bad reviews!  What about you?



-- Edited by Melissa at 09:40, 2005-10-19

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