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September 2008
Burn After Reading Boasts Big Laughs and Moral Truths

A blatant attempt at parody, Burn After Reading is a send-up of modern Oscar-bait conspiracy thrillers like Michael Clayton and Syriana. And interestingly enough, also stars George Clooney (star of both those films).

  • Jeffrey Huston |
  • September 12, 2008 |
  • comments
Boredom Is the Ever-Present Danger in Bangkok

There’s nothing new in Bangkok Dangerous, which caps its dreary running time with a downbeat ending that might have been more credible if the movie preceding it sustained any semblance of a pulse.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 08, 2008 |
  • comments
Relationships Are Celebrated in Then She Found Me

Celebrates the arbitrary nature of relationships and delves into the bond of motherhood through adoption.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • September 04, 2008 |
  • comments
Diverting Babylon A.D. Eventually Falls Apart

Babylon A.D. probably won’t do much for Vin Diesel’s action-movie career. But its failure may be for the best if it pushes the actor into roles that require him to do more than mumble one-liners and shoot bad guys.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 02, 2008 |
  • comments
August 2008
“Traitor” Explores Religion, Terrorism to Little Effect

A story about Islamic terrorists infiltrated by a Muslim explosives expert with ties to the West, Traitor manages to be unsatisfying as a thriller, dreary as a thought piece, and somewhat offensive in the amount of screen time it spends as a terrorist apologia.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 28, 2008 |
  • comments
Feel-Good “Longshots” Is Winning Family Fare

If someone would’ve told me that rapper Ice Cube and Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst would one day team up for an inspirational, family-friendly movie such as The Longshots, I wouldn’t have believed them.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for Finding True Love

As a romance, the main message is that finding love is what matters most in life. It’s a “chick flick,” to be sure, but one that will be appreciated by that audience—especially those of a certain age.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 21, 2008 |
  • comments
Fly Me to the Moon Isn't One Giant Step Forward

As the third space-themed, family-friendly film of summer 2008, Fly Me to the Moon falls somewhere in between the far superior Wall·E and the lackluster Space Chimps in terms of sheer quality.

Tropic Thunder Skewers Hollywood Cliches

Tropic Thunder, a new comedy from director and star Ben Stiller, is profane, crude and politically incorrect. It's also uproariously funny—the year's best comedy—and has a winning performance from Robert Downey Jr.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 13, 2008 |
  • comments
No Clear Answers Found in The Counterfeiters

Based on Adolf Burger’s wartime memoir, The Devil’s Workshop, The Counterfeiters wisely keeps its focus on the far more nuanced character of Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch—an unlikely protagonist who insists that to survive, you must adapt.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 07, 2008 |
  • comments
August 2008
Three Years Later, the Traveling Pants Still Fit

Proving that popular books can be beautifully adapted for the big screen, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 has all the verve and spunk of the original as the four friends are now wrestling with being college-age girls.

Funny, Entertaining Pineapple Express Is Also Super-Bad

Pineapple Express serves as a stark contrast to (and improvement over) the recent Will Ferrell misfire, Step Brothers. While both push the limits of R-rated humor, Step Brothers is wholly reliant on its crudity in a way that Pineapple Express is not.

Aimless Mummy 3 Never Comes to Life

For the Mummy series, the third time offers no charm. Neither darkly compelling nor thoughtfully entertaining, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is an also-ran.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 01, 2008 |
  • comments
Politics Gets Some Comic Relief in Swing Vote

Weary of the 24/7 coverage of the upcoming presidential election and wondering if your vote really makes a difference anyway? Swing Vote is timely and just cynical enough to garner a few much-needed laughs as the race lingers on.

July 2008
X-Files May Work for Fans, but not Newcomers

The sight of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson assuming well worn roles will be enough for true fans of the series. But those who are new to the franchise may find themselves wondering whatever drew people to The X-Files to begin with.

More of the Same for Ferrell and Reilly in Step Brothers

If you are a Will Ferrell fan who can overlook the film’s flaws and ignore the non-stop coarseness, there may be some laughs in Step Brothers for you. If not, the trashiness greatly overshadows the funny.

A Lot to Learn from American Teen

Even if your little Tommy or Sally is more virtuous than the teenagers seen here, at the very least it's fair to say that while levels of conduct vary, American Teen honestly portrays how every teenager feels—and does so in compelling fashion.

Powerful Dark Knight a Solid Superhero Film

Driven by Heath Ledger's solid performance, The Dark Knight strengthens the franchise’s reputation under director Chris Nolan, who lays a stable foundation for future films in the series.

Mamma Mia! Makes Lively ABBA Tunes Seem Dull

Before watching the screen version of Mamma Mia!, I couldn’t imagine any way to make the music from ABBA seem boring. Yet suffering through Meryl Streep’s and Pierce Brosnan’s failed attempts to deliver these upbeat standards has changed my mind.

Space Chimps Isn't Out of This World

In Space Chimps, not only is the low-grade CG on par with most Saturday morning cartoons, but the lack of vitality and movement in the characters themselves stands in the way of any sort of human connection.

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