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Last Sin Eater Mediocre Despite Strong Message

I applaud director Michael Landon Jr.'s goals, and I have no doubt that he put his very heart into this movie. I also sympathize with the film’s strong gospel message. As a film critic, however, I’m obliged to hold him to the same standard as other filmmakers.

Labyrinth an Adult Fairy Tale Not to Be Missed

Pan’s Labyrinth is a reminder that not all fairy tales are for children, and that imagination is something that can be kindled in adults, given the right material. This is one movie you won’t want to miss.

Complexity of Relationships the Focus in Painted Veil

The Painted Veil is one of those visual and cinematic masterpieces that we rarely see today. It’s uncomfortable, but it conveys how complex relationships—and emotions—truly are.

Music and Lyrics Hits Most of the Right Notes

Ultimately, much like those heart-shaped boxes of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, Music and Lyrics is a momentary pleasure - probably not good enough for your DVD collection, but an entertaining-enough escape for an hour and a half.

Unrealistic Catch and Release Isn't a Keeper

It's the clichés that take this movie's compelling premise and flush it down the drain in a hurry. In what could’ve been an insightful commentary on the grieving process, the writers wasted an opportunity by creating unbelievable characters in a by-the-numbers comedy that’s devoid of any substance.

No Real Romance or Comedy in Because I Said So

In Because I Said So, unfortunately the writers decided that character development and actual romance or comedy should be sacrificed for constant chatter about sex and humor of the lowest possible caliber.

Dreamgirls Not So Dreamy

The musical movie genre has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, but last year’s Rent and The Producers didn't really translate that well, and unfortunately the horribly over-hyped Dreamgirls follows suit.

Happily N'Ever After Can't Come Close to Shrek

The makers of Shrek now bring us another feature-length animation, Happily N'Ever After, a twist on the old Cinderella story. With similar animation to Shrek, though not with as hilariously funny a script, Happily N’Ever After” is generally acceptable, mindless entertainment.

It's All Bark and No Bite for Alpha Dog

Surprisingly enough, it’s not musician-turned-actor Justin Timberlake’s acting that makes Alpha Dog such a dud. Instead, it’s the faulty re-telling of a cautionary tale that’s really not worth all the effort in the first place.

Royal Roles the Subject in Engaging Queen

The Queen provides the perfect opportunity to discuss the role of our leaders. Do they exist to lead or serve us? And how might that look, during our times of national crises? This well-made, amusing and thoroughly engaging film nudges us to wonder.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 27, 2007 |
  • comments
"Night at the Museum" Makes for Mostly Frivolous Fun

While there’s certainly a few questionable moments with the movie’s worldview and a lengthy run time, "Night at the Museum" is largely a flick that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Deja Vu Wades into Unfamiliar Waters

It's not a profound work, but Déjà Vu may be the first film from either director Tony Scott or producer Jerry Bruckheimer to demand a second viewing — not only because of the complicated plot, but because of the existential issues it raises about God, man and foreordination.

"Thr3e" More Psychological Thriller Than Faith Film

The new Fox Faith Film "Thr3e" is a cleverly-written psychological thriller with a fun twist at the end and a truly "Wow, I didn’t see that coming" turn, but it’s not overtly a "faith film."

Stage-to-Screen Leap Not Successful for “History Boys"

Some plays make the transition to the big screen with great triumph. Others, like "The History Boys," are not as successful. On-screen, the six-time Tony-award winning play feels like a filmed play without any cinematic adaptation.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 20, 2007 |
  • comments
“Last King" More About Arrogance, Less About Dictatorship

In "The Last King of Scotland," director Kevin MacDonald shows a bit too much torture and dismemberment, but his talent is evident and his message is important. It’s not so much about brutal dictators as it is about Western arrogance.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 20, 2007 |
  • comments
“Notes” a Reminder of Our Vulnerability to Sin

"Notes on a Scandal" reminds us how vulnerable we all are to sin – even the most egregious kind. We may think we’re impervious, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be so naïve.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 19, 2007 |
  • comments
Swank Shows Right Stuff in Inspirational Freedom Writers

Although it doesn't reach the peaks of last year's Akeelah and the Bee in its acting, and goes a bit too far in its sermonizing, Freedom Writers is a fine, uplifting tale of an idealistic woman and the hope she instills in her students.

Smokin' Aces Has Style, but Story Goes Up in Flames

Though it's derivative, Smokin' Aces also is surprisingly stylish and, for much of its running time, entertaining. But it's not noble, pure or lovely. It's an empty exercise in cinematic excess.

Uneven "Bobby" Revisits 1960s Idealism

"Bobby” is less concerned with its title character than it is with teaching 1960s history - presumably to those too young to have considered it previously. What we get is a “highlight reel” of late '60s turbulence set to the most obvious period songs imaginable.

Quirky “Volver” Delivers Ambiguous Moral Message

If you enjoy foreign films, you might like the latest by acclaimed Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar. It’s a bit quirky and melodramatic, like all of his films, with an ambiguous moral message. Overall, however, it’s good filmmaking.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 09, 2007 |
  • comments
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