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February 2008
Look Away from The Eye

The Eye, a remake of a film directed by Danny and Oxide Pang, makes the brothers 0 for 2 in American films they directed or that were remade from their original work. It’s deadly dull—worse than 2007’s tepid The Messengers—and should vanish quickly.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 04, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Don’t Even Bother with Over Her Dead Body

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, women will be searching for chick-flicks on the marquis. But before you bother paying ten bucks for Over Her Dead Body, keep in mind its implausible premise and boatload of issues.

January 2008
Blonde Ambition Achieves Little for Simpson Fans

The target audience for Blonde Ambition is a mystery. With such patently silly production values, it seems geared to young girls and fans of Jessica Simpson. But its language and sexuality make it only appropriate for older teens or adults.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 29, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Rambo a Bad Flashback to '80s Excess

The new film Rambo, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, presents an interesting case study on the idea of suffering and reacquaints us with John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam vet who has a hard time overcoming his killer instincts.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 28, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Good Acting Can’t Save The Air I Breathe

Unfortunately, the acting isn’t enough to save this film, which views like an off-kilter copycat of Crash with lesser production values. Not really worth the effort, even if you can stomach the violence.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 25, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Untraceable Is Thrilling but Pointlessly Gruesome

Untraceable is one of the first technology thrillers to generate actual thrills. Too bad that the film is also representative of a terrible cultural trend, a mystery built around videotaped torture and suffering.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 25, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Woody’s Worth Increases with Cassandra’s Dream

London has been good to Woody Allen. Cassandra’s Dream, the third film in Allen’s London-based trilogy, rivals his earlier moral drama, Match Point, while exceeding that film’s technical craft and giving Colin Farrell the role of his career.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 22, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Take Precaution When Trying on 27 Dresses

While the chick-flick 27 Dresses does weave a cute romantic story with perils designed to surface “issues” needing healing, it is regrettably marred by the needless inclusion of rude language and sex.

 
Cloverfield Is a Thrilling, Edge-of-Your-Seat Ride

For those disappointed in I Am Legend, the New York setting is about all that film and Cloverfield have in common. From the get-go, there’s an air of mystery about J.J. Abrams’ latest that causes one to wonder exactly how everything’s going to go down in this edge-of-your-seat thriller.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 18, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Misplaced Priorities and Greed Mark Mad Money

Unlike the nearly consequence-free environment of the Ocean’s film franchise, (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, after all), the moral implications of a life in crime are explored in Mad Money.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 18, 2008 |
  • comments
January 2008
Kids Can Learn a Lot from Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

What’s a compelling way to convey to kids that they are children of a soon-returning king and potential heroes despite their fear and weakness? Try taking them to see VeggieTales’ latest, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.

 
Cell-Phone Scrutiny Follows One Missed Call

One Missed Call takes the mortal consequences of cell-phone use to a new extreme, suggesting that the dead can use cell-phone technology to transmit messages and warnings to the living.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 07, 2008 |
  • comments
 
September Dawn Sheds Light on Mormon-Led Slaughter

On their way to California, the Baker-Fincher wagon train made camp in Mountain Meadows, Utah, where the group was brutally attacked by a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) militia disguised as Indians. September Dawn examines this horrific slaughter.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 04, 2008 |
  • comments
December 2007
Kick The Bucket List to the Curb

“Find the joy in your life.” That’s the bottom-line message of director Rob Reiner’s The Bucket List, delivered by one of two characters who are facing death and trying to find meaning in their existence. But the film reflects another saying as well: “Everything old is new again.”

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 31, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Symbolism Runs Deep in There Will Be Blood

A film for film lovers, There Will Be Blood is not for those seeking fast-food entertainment. An adaptation of the classic Oil!, it is replete with symbols and metaphors that are destined to become film student fodder for many years to come.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • December 26, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Heavy-Handed Water Horse Still Has a Few Charms

If you overlook the obvious comparisons to E.T. and a predictable plot, The Water Horse isn’t a bad flick. Instead of the usual scatological humor that drags down so many movies aimed at the younger set, there’s actually a good story here about letting go of the things we love.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 24, 2007 |
  • comments
 
The Great Debaters Marred by Inaccuracies, Imbalance

Though The Great Debaters (produced by Oprah Winfrey) is filled with hope and inspiration, it is marred by historical inaccuracies and a marked imbalance in its racial portrayals.

 
Exciting Book of Secrets Great for Family Moviegoing

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is an exciting, well-made film that families will want to support. According to friends in the industry, it is terribly difficult to make a family-friendly movie that’s not schmaltzy, that’s full of action, adventure, history, and romance.

 
Unrealistic P.S. I Love You Is a D-U-D

From the opening scene of P.S. I Love You where Hilary Swank’s character gets in a fight with her hunky Irish husband (Gerard Butler), branching out to a different genre quickly turns sour for the actress—and fast.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 21, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Sex, Patriotism, Skullduggery Part of Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson’s War is a fascinating story of insider politics and war, but unfortunately the movie has an R rating for nudity and violence. It could easily have been toned down to a PG-13 and had a much wider audience.

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