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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
Brutal “Good Shepherd” Explores C.I.A.'s Beginnings

"The Good Shepherd" revolves around the creation of the C.I.A. It’s the WASP version of a Mafia film, where characters kill one another without a thought, and like “The Godfather,” it’s brutal.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 06, 2007 |
  • comments
"Charlotte's Web" Is Some Movie

With a mix of live animals and CG-assisted animatronics and a well-chosen cast of voices, especially Julia Roberts as Charlotte, Steve Buscemi, the perfect choice for Templeton the rat and 10-year-old Dominic Scott Kay in the key role of Wilbur, "Charlotte's Web" is just as entertaining as inspiring.

Smith and Son Shine in "Happyness"

There are many reasons to love a good father/son movie. Fathers so often get the shaft in pop culture and on the big screen. “The Pursuit of Happyness” not only gives us a strong portrayal of a loving father, but an uplifting lesson in perseverance and being happy even when life is rough.

"Happy Feet" Is Wacky, Toe-Tapping Fun for Everyone

Much like the more vintage Disney fare (think “Bambi”, “Cinderella” or "The Little Mermaid" ), “Happy Feet” succeeds by creating memorable characters that viewers can’t help but care about.

Children of Men a Different Kind of Nativity Story

Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men tells a story of a woman with child, societal prejudice, and hope for a better tomorrow. But unlike the Bible’s nativity story, this account is set in the future, where the concern is physical, rather than spiritual.

Final “Rocky” a Pleasant Surprise and Fitting Sequel

Rocky’s back – although sweet Adrian is gone. And, although you’re probably bracing yourself for another bad sequel, as I was, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at this final episode in this series.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 23, 2007 |
  • comments
"Nativity Story" Brings Real Meaning of Christmas to Life

Thankfully, a winsome, compelling, well-crafted movie that brings the real story of Christmas to life for the whole family is releasing this week in theaters. “The Nativity Story” is a sure bet to edge out the shallow, same old “pretend-Christmas” offerings.

Christian Themes Extolled in Entertaining "Eragon"

Remember the stories of when valiant men rode fierce dragons to conquer evil and keep the empire safe? “Eragon” now brings such a tale to the big screen in living color with “Star Wars” meets “The Lord of the Rings” science fiction that’s terrific family entertainment for the holidays.

Children Will Be Inspired by Christopher Reeves' "Hero"

"Everyone's Hero" was the dream of the late Christopher and Dana Reeves. Throughout the film, it is clear they wanted to inspire children to value little life experiences along the road so that, if handled properly, they can all help when life calls us up to bat.

Dangerous Health Issues the Focus in "Fast Food Nation"

As with its cousin, “Super Size Me,” which focused on the dangerous health issues connected to fast food consumption, you don’t need to be a vegetarian to be horrified by “Fast Food Nation.” You may still become one, however, after seeing this.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 13, 2007 |
  • comments
"The Holiday" Has Suprising Depth for a Chick Flick

For the currently unattached or those who’ve been there before, “The Holiday” is heartwarming, relatable and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny - even if the premise itself requires a little suspension of disbelief and includes a strong worldly view of sexuality.

Realness Trumps Campiness in Casino Royale

Bond is back. In Casino Royale, the killings are overt, and Bond endures torture on the outside while showing an uncharacteristic vulnerability on the inside (when it comes to women). It's a new, gritty and real Bond – but is that what we really want?

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