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April 2008
Chan and Li Unite in an Action-Packed “Forbidden Kingdom”

The Forbidden Kingdom brings together for the first time ever, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Despite a storyline that’s about 20 percent plot and 80 percent fighting, kung fu movies have proven to be hits in America, and this one should be no exception.

88 Minutes Stops Short of Satisfaction

88 Minutes doesn’t offer much to recommend. Like the Diane Lane thriller Untraceable from earlier this year, it’s a mediocre, at times distasteful thriller that isn’t its lead actor’s finest hour. But like that film, the presence of the star makes the film better than it might have been otherwise.

Faith Plays a Part in The Life Before Her Eyes

The Life Before Her Eyes suggests potent themes, but settles for a surface resolution that feels like a gimmick. In the end, it is reduced to a third-rate M. Night Shyamalan twist rather than rising to the largely unexplored Bergman-esque spiritual drama at its core.

Formulaic Prom Night Provides More Laughs Than Terror

If you’re squeamish about blood, there’s little to worry about there in Prom Night, a remake of the campy 1980 horror flick by the same name. For anyone who has actually seen the original, there’s surprisingly little resemblance.

You Wouldn’t Think Smart People Could Be So Dumb

With the success of quirky, independent comedies like Little Miss Sunshine and Juno, expect to see more movies like Smart People. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold a candle to either of these recent screen gems.

"Street Kings" Is a Royal Waste of Time

Based on a screenplay co-written by James Ellroy, Street Kings is a punishing film that wastes its talent on extensive and excessive shootouts and acts of sadism. And they have, sadly, become so common on screen that they’ve lost their power to shock.

Zellweger, Clooney Make an Affable Team in Leatherheads

Taking its cues from fast-talking screwball comedies of years past, Leatherheads is a sports-themed battle of the sexes that largely succeeds because of the chemistry of its leads—George Clooney and Renée Zellweger.

It's a Waste of Time to Meet Bill

Meet Bill appears to be somewhat aimed at kids, but its content makes it only appropriate for adults. For those and many other reasons, it should have simply been left in pre-production purgatory. In other words, don’t meet Bill.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 04, 2008 |
  • comments
A Hero Lies within on Nim’s Island

Likely targeting kids five through twelve, the latest Walden Media film is a family-friendly, take-me-away adventure with a good message about finding heroism from within.

March 2008
Effective 21 a Cautionary Tale of Greed, Gambling

Winning big isn’t that easy, unless you happen to be a math whiz with a knack for counting cards. Based on the true story of MIT students who actually managed to beat the Vegas system, 21 is a slickly crafted cautionary tale of greed and gambling.

March 2008
Flawless Delivers Usual Heist Message

Directed by Michael Radford and based on a script by newcomer Edward Anderson, Flawless sends the usual heist message. That is, as long as you’ve got good intentions—and are desperate enough—crime does indeed pay.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 28, 2008 |
  • comments
Disappointing Stop-Loss the Latest Iraq War Drama

Stop-Loss, the latest in a growing line of disappointing dramas about the Iraq war, centers around the flight of an AWOL soldier. On the day he thinks he’s returning full-time to civilian life, he’s told instead to head back to Iraq.

Roll Out the Welcome Mat for Meet the Browns

Generous in its spirit and sweet-natured in its ribbing, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns offers a strong endorsement of Christian faith and perseverance while delivering plenty of laughs.

Clichéd Drillbit Hardly Apatow's Sharpest Work

Producer/screenwriter Judd Apatow has quickly made a name for himself as the bankable funny guy in Hollywood. But without the right material, (see Drillbit Taylor) it may not be easy to maintain this Midas touch.

Somber Snow Angels Struggles with Tone

While director David Gordon Green’s Snow Angels raises interesting questions about the nature of Christian faith and belief, the film is ultimately too grim, not to mention too explicit in its violence and implied teen sexuality.

Abuse, Poverty Portrayed in Slow-moving Sleepwalking

With the basic elements of most Lifetime made-for-TV movies, a slow-moving Sleepwalking keeps getting worse as the minutes tick by. Not only is the writing formulaic, but the situations are so unbelievably horrible that even when redemption seems in sight it never materializes.

Children's Favorite Adapted in Horton Hears a Who

Based on the charming Dr. Seuss book from 1954, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! is a fun movie for all ages. The animation feels just like the book, and the screenwriting (with all of those in-between lines and side stories) is clever.

Secret Things a Perfect Discussion, Evangelism Tool

The Secret Things of God is an inspired approach to evangelism, and it works extremely well. This DVD could serve as a great focal point for church outreach events. It is also the perfect discussion tool for friends who’ve become entranced by The Secret.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 11, 2008 |
  • comments
College Road Trip Well Worth the Ride

It is a rare and beautiful thing when a movie can truly capture the imagination of audiences ages three to seventy-three, but Disney’s new College Road Trip manages to do just that.

Another Heist Movie, Another Bank Job

Loosely based on the 1971 bank robbery at Lloyd's Bank in Marylebone, London, The Bank Job is directed by Australian Roger Donaldson. It's a heist movie, pure and simple, with some throwbacks to the '70s.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • March 07, 2008 |
  • comments
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