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Heavy-Handed Water Horse Still Has a Few Charms

If you overlook the obvious comparisons to E.T. and a predictable plot, The Water Horse isn’t a bad flick. Instead of the usual scatological humor that drags down so many movies aimed at the younger set, there’s actually a good story here about letting go of the things we love.

A Few too Many Bumps along Reservation Road

Reservation Road take on issues of loss, grief and the ways in which we cope with the sudden death of a loved one. While not without merit, it has a few too many bumps. Steer clear for now, but this one may be worth catching on home video.

Lions for Lambs Preaches Leftist Politics

Though it has a star-studded cast, Lions for Lambs is a heavy-handed, low budget, political lecture that, mercifully, only lasts about ninety minutes. When movies like this come out around election time, we should realize that such timing is quite intentional.

Alvin Offers Something for the Whole Family

Alvin and the Chipmunks is adorable, and it’s even fun for adults to watch the combination of live action and stellar animation. With a sweet story that has tons of humor, romance, and even a memorable moral, it’s a delightful holiday movie for the whole family.

Redeeming Champ a Knockout Cinematic Choice

Resurrecting the Champ has plenty of redeeming values and will likely be a great choice for families this summer. Josh Hartnett does a fine job as the husband, father and reporter-on-the-ropes, while Samuel L. Jackson is fabulous as the resurrected champ.

Copious Blood May Make Sweeney Todd Viewers See Red

Unfortunately, the torrents of blood make Sweeney Todd disgusting in several spots, so much so that the film cannot be recommended, despite outstanding production design by Dante Ferretti, striking cinematography by Darius Wolski, and Tim Burton’s deft direction.

The Kite Runner Can’t Overcome Contrivances

An outstanding adaptation of a well-regarded book is currently playing at theaters. Unfortunately for fans of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, that movie is Atonement—not the big-screen version of Hosseini’s widely read book-club favorite.

Nonsensical Logic, Multiple Endings Ruin Revolver

After the first few scenes, Revolver’s plot descends into nonsensical logic. Different endings for scenes are shown, and it rewinds much like a pick-your-own-ending storybook. Perhaps that is why it’s named Revolver, which means “to return” in Spanish.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 21, 2008 |
  • comments
Love in the Time of Cholera Disappoints On-Screen

Love in the Time of Cholera spans 50 years, so adapting this novel to the screen was a formidable undertaking. But in the hands of experienced screenwriter Ronald Harwood and talented director Mike Newell, one would have expected something better.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 20, 2008 |
  • comments
Spiritual Allegories Abound in The Seeker

Based on the novel by Susan Cooper, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising is the first film adaptation of the author's five-book series. Apparently the filmmakers have softened the overtly magical elements of the books and instead emphasize bravery, faith, discernment and unity.

Enchanted a Healthy Mix of Reality and Fairy Tale

Enchanted is a completely adorable, delightful movie whose packed screening audience of little girls ages four to fourteen gave it a rousing applause at the end. The story wraps up in a compelling way, hinting that the good life just might be a healthy mix of both seasoned reality and fairy tale dreams.

Atonement Has Plenty of Style But Little Substance

Directed by Joe Wright, Atonement is both sumptuous and satisfying. With the exception of the gorgeous English scenery and attractive lead actors, however, there’s little else about the flick that’s truly memorable.

Intriguing Premise Turns Hokey in I Am Legend

In storytelling, it’s constantly been said that it’s far better to show than tell. But in movies, especially ones like I Am Legend that are meant to send shivers of fear up your spine, too much showing inevitably ruins the impact.

New Twists Given to Sleuth Remake

This remake of the 1972 classic of the same name has been given some distinctly new twists. Based on the successful stage production by Anthony Shaffer, it featured Lawrence Olivier as Wyke and Michael Caine as Tindle, in Jude Law’s current role.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 13, 2008 |
  • comments
Secret Things a Perfect Discussion, Evangelism Tool

The Secret Things of God is an inspired approach to evangelism, and it works extremely well. This DVD could serve as a great focal point for church outreach events. It is also the perfect discussion tool for friends who’ve become entranced by The Secret.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 11, 2008 |
  • comments
Movie Magic Makes August Rush Truly Unforgettable

August Rush is pure Hollywood magic. But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, sit back, and enjoy, then the rewards are many. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably even tear up, so you may want to bring some Kleenex along for the ride.

Feel-Good Dan in Real Life a Nice Option

Overall, Dan in Real Life is a must-see, a total feel-good movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve observed an audience laughing and cheering so unabashedly. So it’s good to have a nice moviegoing option again.

Witty Dialogue Makes Bee Movie Buzzworthy

I admit that I didn’t really want to like Bee Movie. Like so many films that are overly hyped, I assumed that any redeeming value was probably sacrificed for the bottom line. But that’s the funny thing about jumping to conclusions—sometimes you’re wrong. And I was definitely way off with this one.

Evil Thrives Where God Is Absent in No Country

No Country for Old Men’s greatest asset—or liability, depending on how you interpret it—is the struggle for answers to profound questions: How can well-meaning people confront unstoppable evil? Is there any hope to do so apart from God?

Brains Triumph Over Beauty in Nancy Drew

In light of recent, more self-centered ‘tween/teenage fare like Disturbia, the decidedly countercultural message of Nancy Drew--with a main character who genuinely cares about helping people--is most refreshing.

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