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Sleuthing Is All in the Family in Zodiac

An R-rated film about an infamous serial killer is the first great “family film” of 2007. No, it’s not appropriate for anyone other than adults, but at its heart, Zodiac is about family values.

Epicenter DVD Elaborates on End-Times Theology

Epicenter, a one-hour DVD which promotes author Joel Rosenberg’s non-fiction book by the same name, elaborates on his end-times theology, which is currently popular among Dispensationalists like Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsay.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • July 18, 2007 |
  • comments
Be Warned: Premonition Goes Nowhere Slowly

In Premonition, the ambiguity and emotionless nature don't do actress Sandra Bullock any favors, as she seems to be walking through the film in the same perpetual daze as the audience is by watching it.

Family Bonds Extolled in The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer is a compelling case study on whether or not it’s really worth the risk to follow the big dreams. More than anything, it’s an interesting peek into the dynamics of something we don’t often see: a functional, loving, supportive family.

Last Mimzy Stuffed With Conflicting Spiritual Messages

The masterminds behind The Last Mimzy showcase a Hollywood brand of spirituality that’s not particularly subtle, as everything from Buddhism to astrology to new age philosophies get major screen time.

Director Takes Wrong Turn With Driving Lessons

Jeremy Brock’s Driving Lessons is largely autobiographical. This may be the reason that this talented writer/director was unable to remain objective about this project—much less give it what it needed to succeed.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • July 09, 2007 |
  • comments
A Morality Tale Is Told in Black Snake Moan

Depicting things in the Deep South as sordid and bizarre, Black Snake Moan, is definitely not for the masses—especially those who like their movies sanitized. But even if it doesn’t look particularly moral, this is actually a well-made morality tale.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • July 03, 2007 |
  • comments
Coach's Example Makes the Difference in Cheer

Before Hoop Dreams, before Glory Road, there was Something to Cheer About. What a shame we don’t have more mentors like Coach Crowe instilling values in today’s basketball players.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 29, 2007 |
  • comments
Bullets, Bodies and Betrayal Mark a Violent Shooter

Although fast-paced and high action, Shooter comes with plenty of warnings and its title should clue us in on what to expect: countless bullets, bodies that are beaten, bloodied, tortured, and killed, and entire villages subjected to genocide. And that's just for starters.

Poor Script Makes for Bad Blood and Chocolate

Blood and Chocolate’s biggest problem, aside from the fact that it contains hardly any blood or chocolate, rendering the title meaningless, is its script. The pacing lags, the characters have little depth and the story lacks credibility.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Characters, Not Effects, Steal the Show in Terabithia

There’s nothing that spectacular about the special effects in Bridge to Terabithia. But the film's characterization is extraordinary, just like the award-winning book on which it's based. And no amount of computer-generated effects can make up for that.

Bad Acting, Theology Propel a Doomed Ghost Rider

With a lot of parental guidance, parents might be able to use Ghost Rider to teach kids about some aspects of evil. However, there are far better sources for that—ones that involve good theology. And good acting.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 15, 2007 |
  • comments
Twisted Reasoning Makes for Scatterbrained Secrets

Even if you can somehow follow the twisted reasoning in Secrets of the Code, its presentation of information is so completely scatterbrained that most people will find it incredibly boring. So even if you are inclined to believe this bunk, you’ll still have to stay awake to hear it.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 12, 2007 |
  • comments
Well-Acted Breach Wears Religion on Its Sleeve

The true story of the fall of FBI spy Robert Hanssen, Breach shows how a man who tricked the U.S. government for decades was brought down by the very people he held in contempt, and how a young bureau employee who shared Hanssen’s Catholic faith led to the man’s undoing.

Big Debt Is Big Business in Maxed Out

Because we can’t resist the lure of credit, documentary Maxed Out insists, more than 10 million Americans declared bankruptcy between 1994 and 2004. This year, more of us will go bankrupt than will divorce, graduate form college or get cancer.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 08, 2007 |
  • comments
The Messengers Delivers a Lifeless Tale of the Undead

A sense of irony can add a lively dimension to films in the weary horror genre, but The Messengers barely nods in that direction. In taking itself so seriously, it bogs down. Neither scary nor interesting, The Messengers adds nothing to the genre but a pale imitation of what’s come before.

Crass Outweighs Cute in Norbit

For those who saw Daddy Daycare and Doctor Doolittle, and were hoping for some more “Eddie-Murphy’s-now-a-dad-so-he’s-making-cute-family-films” movies, don’t hold your breath. His latest comedy, Norbit, has way more crassness going for it than cuteness.

Hannibal Rising Sinks Like a Stone

If Hannibal Rising isn’t bad enough to kill off this film franchise, nothing will do the trick. Ghastly and often disgusting, it somehow manages also to be dull, all the while providing a strange but not entirely convincing impetus for Hannibal Lecter’s taste for human flesh.

Ambling Plot Mars Brooding Good German

Based on the best-selling novel by author Joseph Kanon, The Good German is the frame-by-frame recreation of a 1940s film noir. It’s dark, it’s brooding and it’s a mystery, although the plot ambles way too much.

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