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Cheadle Keeps it Real and Raw in Talk to Me

In Talk to Me, Don Cheadle’s character’s slogan is “keep it real.” And while many critics are crying for “realness” in movies, I’m hoping the pendulum is allowed to swing back to the middle with realness that doesn’t barrage with clutter (sex, violence, language, nudity) that’s hard to erase.

Life After War Explored in Home of the Brave

Home of the Brave is not a film about whether we should be in Iraq or not. It’s about what is happening to those who were. And despite its many shortcomings, that’s always worth seeing—especially for those of us back home, who have no clue.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • October 26, 2007 |
  • comments
Robinsons Inspires Creativity, Encourages Individuality

Meet the Robinsons not only inspires Walt Disney-type creativity and encourages individuality, but it also addresses the issue of rejection - head on - in a most sensitive and compelling way.

Costner Dances with Outrageousness in Mr. Brooks

The creepy new Kevin Costner flick, Mr. Brooks, is played out in a way that dances on the line between terrifying believability and over-the-top, almost comic-book-like-splatter film outrageousness. Consider yourself warned.

Invisible Looks More Like a TV Drama

Together with screenwriters Mick Davis and Christine Roum, director David S. Goyer has, however unwittingly, created more of a CW television drama than the ghostly thriller The Invisible has been promoted as.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • October 19, 2007 |
  • comments
Transformers Goes for Style over Substance

Transformers proves yet again that a movie needs just a little bit more that mind-numbing special effects to be any good. Lack of substance, however, will not prevent this movie from making the studio a big pile of cash this summer.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • October 16, 2007 |
  • comments
Outlandish Reaping an Unholy Mess

An outlandish thriller that uses the 10 plagues of “Exodus” as a modern-day gimmick to serve its own wacky ideas about God, the devil and the fate of humanity, he Reaping struggles to build any sense of suspense before delivering up a whopper of an ending that will generate more chuckles than chills.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 16, 2007 |
  • comments
A Mighty Heart Has Very Little

A Mighty Heart tells the story of the events leading up to journalist Daniel Pearl’s vicious murder in 2002. And while it is presented with technical precision, Heart largely fails to induce the emotions that such a compelling story should.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • October 16, 2007 |
  • comments
Only Liars and Billionaires Win in The Hoax

Though the plot is mildly interesting and the filmmakers do a good job of creating tension, The Hoax leaves audiences with a slimy feeling and a cynical assurance that gifted liars and powerful billionaires do win out in the end.

Charlie Richards and the Road to Life at the Pond

When Charlie Richards, creator of the Christian animated series, Life at the Pond, first moved to Hollywood, he thought he’d spend the rest of his life writing television for grown-ups—not making videos for children.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • October 15, 2007 |
  • comments
Silly Evan Almighty Stays Afloat

Evan Almighty deliver laughs. Not the side-clutching, gut-busting guffaws of the best comedies, but a gentle amusement, with several chuckles along the way. It’s a summer blockbuster for the under-10 set, as well as teens and adults.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
Penguins Charm, Yet Again, in Surf’s Up

Unlike Happy Feet’s heavy-handed commentary on the environment and animal rights, the messages in Surf's Up are far less controversial: a lifelong dream often involves risk, winning isn’t everything and respect for elders (and mentors) is essential for success.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
Hungry Hearts Seek Solace in Reign Over Me

The characters in Reign Over Me do not look heavenward for help, but the movie’s joy is in its story of old friends reunited—in what that friendship means for one man’s ability to face reality, and for the other’s realization of the blessings he’s already been given.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
28 Weeks Later: Return of the Moral Horror Movie?

Director Danny Boyle’s terrifying vision of societal decay and survival of the fittest reinvigorated the horror genre in 2003 with 28 Days Later. Now, its sequel, 28 Weeks Later, introduces a stronger family dynamic than its predecessor.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
Storytelling Found Lacking in Jindabyne

The cinematography in Jindabyne is stunning—one of the highlights. But its portent undertones simply do not work. They detract from the storytelling. As a result, you can’t help feeling depressed after watching this film.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • October 04, 2007 |
  • comments
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer Falls Flat

With its amazing special effects, this sequel to the 2005 summer blockbuster looks like it should be a hit. Sadly, problems involving lack of chemistry, a poor story structure and a faulty worldview cause Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer to only fall flat.

1408 Checks in to Horror and Hopelessness

Should moviegoers check in to 1408? Only if you’re a little low on your claustrophobia, schizophrenia, acrophobia, and especially “blood-o-phobia.” Based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, the horror flick stars John Cusack as a skeptical author of two books on paranormal phenomena.

  • Lisa & Eric Rice |
  • October 02, 2007 |
  • comments
More Mediocre Viewing Found in The TV Set

The TV Set’s message is about the way that networks ruin good television. It also shows us how vapid that world truly is. As a result, the film isn’t bad—just mediocre. Kind of like what we see on television, actually.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • September 27, 2007 |
  • comments
Vulgarity Eclipses Humor in Knocked Up

Knocked Up has some great comic appeal. It has many endearing emotional moments. It even has an uplifting pro-life message. Unfortunately, you will have to stomach a mountain of obscenity to get to the good stuff.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • September 25, 2007 |
  • comments
Suspension of Disbelief Needed for Next

If you like Nicolas Cage, and if you’re into movies like Minority Report, The Lake House, and Memento - and you don’t mind engaging in a lot of “willing suspension of disbelief” - you’ll love Paramount’s new thriller, Next.

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