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Semi-Pro Only Semi-Funny

Maybe you’ve heard the adage: "If you’ve seen one Will Ferrell movie, you've seen 'em all." Well maybe no one’s said that yet, but they will. Especially if he keeps making vapid, vulgar comedies that are hardly even amusing.

Look Away from The Eye

The Eye, a remake of a film directed by Danny and Oxide Pang, makes the brothers 0 for 2 in American films they directed or that were remade from their original work. It’s deadly dull—worse than 2007’s tepid The Messengers—and should vanish quickly.

Grace Is Gone Focuses More on the Family

Grace Is Gone is one of the first films about the Iraq war to explore the death of a female soldier. Another unique element is its focus on the family—a worthy subject that hundreds of thousands of families of deployed members are sure to appreciate.

Good Acting Can’t Save The Air I Breathe

Unfortunately, the acting isn’t enough to save this film, which views like an off-kilter copycat of Crash with lesser production values. Not really worth the effort, even if you can stomach the violence.

Rambo a Bad Flashback to '80s Excess

The new film Rambo, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, presents an interesting case study on the idea of suffering and reacquaints us with John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam vet who has a hard time overcoming his killer instincts.

Woody’s Worth Increases with Cassandra’s Dream

London has been good to Woody Allen. Cassandra’s Dream, the third film in Allen’s London-based trilogy, rivals his earlier moral drama, Match Point, while exceeding that film’s technical craft and giving Colin Farrell the role of his career.

Exciting Book of Secrets Great for Family Moviegoing

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is an exciting, well-made film that families will want to support. According to friends in the industry, it is terribly difficult to make a family-friendly movie that’s not schmaltzy, that’s full of action, adventure, history, and romance.

Good Taste Is Endangered in Strange Wilderness

With bottom-of-the-barrel laughs aimed squarely at the same adolescent males who liked Superbad, Strange Wilderness is a stoner comedy with little substance, style or anything resembling good taste.

Misplaced Priorities and Greed Mark Mad Money

Unlike the nearly consequence-free environment of the Ocean’s film franchise, (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, after all), the moral implications of a life in crime are explored in Mad Money.

Untraceable Is Thrilling but Pointlessly Gruesome

Untraceable is one of the first technology thrillers to generate actual thrills. Too bad that the film is also representative of a terrible cultural trend, a mystery built around videotaped torture and suffering.

The Great Debaters Marred by Inaccuracies, Imbalance

Though The Great Debaters (produced by Oprah Winfrey) is filled with hope and inspiration, it is marred by historical inaccuracies and a marked imbalance in its racial portrayals.

For One More Day Not Insightful or Soul-Stirring

Author Mitch Albom’s stories are always corny, but they’re usually somewhat moving. This not to say that the small-screen adaptation of For One More Day isn’t nice. It just doesn’t communicate anything particularly insightful—nor will it stir your soul.

Multiple Dylans Confuse in I’m Not There

Director Todd Haynes seems to be mirroring the confusion about Bob Dylan’s life by making this film so confusing. There is no plot, no chronology, and no thesis—save perhaps that there is no way to ever truly understand this man.

Bella a Good Choice for Life-Affirming Entertainment

Bella is fabulous entertainment. You’ll watch, expecting a date movie. In the end, you’ll be smiling—and perhaps even crying—over its moving, life-affirming message of love, hope, reconciliation and redemption.

Unrealistic P.S. I Love You Is a D-U-D

From the opening scene of P.S. I Love You where Hilary Swank’s character gets in a fight with her hunky Irish husband (Gerard Butler), branching out to a different genre quickly turns sour for the actress—and fast.

Don’t Even Bother with Over Her Dead Body

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, women will be searching for chick-flicks on the marquis. But before you bother paying ten bucks for Over Her Dead Body, keep in mind its implausible premise and boatload of issues.

Take Precaution When Trying on 27 Dresses

While the chick-flick 27 Dresses does weave a cute romantic story with perils designed to surface “issues” needing healing, it is regrettably marred by the needless inclusion of rude language and sex.

The Golden Compass: Innocent Adventure or Atheist Gateway?

Is The Golden Compass a threat? Will it lead children away from a personal knowledge of God? Or, will it become a key opportunity to talk to children about the real adventure of knowing a living God who wants to know them in a personal way?

Stunning Cinematography Can’t Save a Shallow Romulus

Despite its stunning cinematography, Romulus, My Father plods along, moving from one scene to another, without reaching any real resolution. Director Richard Roxburgh doesn't seem to have any message, either, which makes the film feel shallow.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 28, 2008 |
  • comments
Thought-Provoking Savages Faces Truth, Mortality

Writer-director Tamara Jenkins has created a wise and thought-provoking film about facing the truth and taking care of our parents, even when they haven’t taken care of us. It’s also about what it’s really like to grow old and die—a subject we will all eventually come to know, if we haven’t already.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 25, 2008 |
  • comments
Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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