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Offensive "Borat" Addresses Stereotypes, Reveals Prejudices

"Borat" intends to offend, in order to reveal our deepest prejudices. The film also has a strong message about stereotypes and the subtle racism that still exists in our country. But to get there, we have to wade through a lot of nudity, foul language, scatology and crude humor.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 08, 2007 |
  • comments
Will Ferrell's Got a Flair for Drama in "Fiction"

Like Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show” and Adam Sandler in “Punch-Drunk Love,” funnyman Will Ferrell sets out to prove that he can be serious if the script calls for it, too, (take that Ron Burgundy!) in the whimsical tale “Stranger Than Fiction.”

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 27, 2007 |
  • comments
"A Good Year" More Humanistic Than Inspirational

With a very humanistic tone, "A Good Year" seems to imply that trading the fast life for a more leisurely pace is the big answer. And yet we know that that kind of existence - if it’s only about women and wine as it is in this film's scenario - is also empty in the end.

It's No Illusion: "The Prestige" Is Pure Magic

While recent film, “The Illusionist,” was rather slow-moving, maudlin and didn’t offer much payoff after all the tricks were done, “The Prestige” is a deliciously deceptive tale of revenge that keeps you mesmerized for more than two hours.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Laughs Aplenty, But Not Much Charm in "Flushed Away"

Many say kid flicks have gone straight into the toilet. “Flushed Away,” however, is not filled with “potty humor.” While the humor is dry at times, befitting its British origins, the movie also has a crass quality that feels all too American.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 20, 2007 |
  • comments
No Votes Here for Robin Williams in "Man of the Year"

What if someone like Jon Stewart beat the odds and was elected president? "Man of the Year" provides that premise, but in order to work, the script would actually have to be funny, and trust me, this story is really short on laughs – even with Robin Williams in the starring role.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Nothing Worth Learning in “School for Scoundrels”

“School for Scoundrels” is based on a novel by Stephen Potter and a 1960 screenplay by Hal Chester and Patricia Moyers. Unfortunately, however, the adaptation doesn’t work. What should have been either dark or funny simply comes across as horrendously cruel.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • February 16, 2007 |
  • comments
Scorcese Displays His Heart of Darkness in "The Departed"

With “The Departed,” director Martin Scorcese's passion returns in spades. But the film is, like so many other Scorcese-directed works, overly long, terribly profane, brutally violent and extremely dark.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 13, 2007 |
  • comments
"Grudge 2" a Rehash of the First

The real problem with "The Grudge 2" is the script, which is a redundant rehash of the first. It wasn’t great to begin with and now it’s worse. And again, that’s assuming you like watching people being murdered and terrified to begin with. And that, my friends, is the crux.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • February 12, 2007 |
  • comments
Stars, Stripes and Cynicism on Display in “Flags”

A meditation on Pilate’s question, “What is truth?”, "Flags of Our Fathers" attempts to demythologize the moments we hold dear as a country - in this case, the image of five Marines and a Navy corpsman during World War II (1945) raising the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 06, 2007 |
  • comments
Hollywoodland Tells a Fallen Superhero's Hopeless Tale

Superman Returns revived the superhero's franchise, but Hollywoodland gives us a much more serious side to the Superman story. Unfortunately, this tale of the rise and fall of actor George Reeves delivers the same mixed results as Bryan Singer's over-hyped vision of the superhero.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 06, 2007 |
  • comments
Facing the Giants Scores a Touchdown for Faith-Based Films

While Facing the Giants isn't exactly breaking new ground in the sports drama sense, the faith element leaves you feeling inspired. And for a movie with a low budget and no recognizable Hollywood actors to speak of, that's a miracle in and of itself.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 30, 2007 |
  • comments
"Open Season" Gets Back to Nature With Amazing Animation

What fun my eleven-year-old son and I had at a recent screening for “Open Season.” We got to see the 3-D IMAX version of the movie with animation and effects that are simply breathtaking and amazing.

"Flyboys" Barely Gets off the Ground

In its desire to reach a broad audience, "Flyboys" intersperses action with romance, settling for clichés in both instances. The bland performances from a mostly undistinguished cast don’t help matters either.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 30, 2007 |
  • comments
Jesus Camp an Interesting Look Into Growing Subculture

Jesus Camp will likely drive home not only the polarization between believers and non-believers, but also how truly splintered we are as Christians today.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 23, 2007 |
  • comments
Football More Than a Game in Gridiron Gang

For some, football is just a game. For others – like teenage inmates who have no reason to live, and nothing left but hope – football really is life. So get ready to flick away a few tears, gentlemen. This one will hit you like a defensive linebacker – right in the gut.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 23, 2007 |
  • comments
Latest Esther Movie Inspires in "One Night With the King"

Since 1913, Hollywood has produced at least nine movies about the biblical Esther. But perhaps the most intriguing is the latest, "One Night With the King", which does a laudable job telling the timeless, inspiring story of a young girl’s bravery amidst treachery, scandal, and genocide.

Kevin Costner Helps "The Guardian" Stay Above Water

Underneath all his steely gazes and rapid-fire commands, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Ben Randall is ultimately likeable and even noble in his intentions. Kevin Costner does a great job of displaying those nuances in "The Guardian."

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 23, 2007 |
  • comments
Slow-Moving Night Listener a Mediocre Effort

I wasn't engaged by the story or its “mystery,” which seemed fairly humdrum, “Law and Order” style. Once you’re over the disturbing sexual content and, of course, the phallic humor so ubiquitous in homosexual-themed films, it’s still a very mediocre effort.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 15, 2007 |
  • comments
Tricky Illusionist Plays With Our Expectations

Not all it could be, but it has one big trick up its sleeve — and it’s a doozy. Is it magic, manipulation, or a little of both? If it’s judged to be the former, the film will prove rewarding; if the latter, the film will feel like a cheat.

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Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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