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March 2008
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
Stale Story Hurts Spectacle of 10,000 B.C.

10,000 B.C. works as sheer spectacle, but its story is forgettable. Its unknown actors make an impression because of their striking looks, but it’s hard to fathom what their future roles might be based on this special-effects driven extravaganza.

March 2008
The Other Boleyn Girl Soaps Up History

Starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, The Other Boleyn Girl is nothing more than a soap opera that accentuates immorality, embellishes facts and celebrates its deviations from the historical record.

Charming Actors Save Penelope by a Nose

What ultimately lifts Penelope from been-there-seen-that, “believing in yourself” status are the charming performances from leads Christina Ricci, James McAvoy—and even Penelope’s hideously superficial mother, played by Catherine O’Hara.

February 2008
Semi-Pro Only Semi-Funny

Maybe you’ve heard the adage: "If you’ve seen one Will Ferrell movie, you've seen 'em all." Well maybe no one’s said that yet, but they will. Especially if he keeps making vapid, vulgar comedies that are hardly even amusing.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • February 29, 2008 |
  • comments
Vantage Point Gives Action Film Genre a Fresh Look

What could have been a forgettable thriller, Vantage Point instead gives the audience something to puzzle over. Such a film certainly takes advantage of the current popularity of “tell the story out of order” television shows like “Lost.”

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • February 22, 2008 |
  • comments
Wacky Be Kind Rewind Has Lots of Laughs

Be Kind Rewind starts as a tale about the passing of the torch and serves as a wistful look at the fading days of video-rental shops. It evolves into a sci-fi slapstick comedy before settling into a series of cinematic recreations that play like gag reels. Yet somehow, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 22, 2008 |
  • comments
Charlie Bartlett an Excellent Case Study on Today’s Teens

Charlie Bartlett is a well-made, funny but sad, targeted look at the very real emotions that plague our children. It is an enlightening case study on the cynicism, meaninglessness, relativism, disillusionment with authority, and desperate search for authenticity that teens deal with daily.

Inert Jumper Could Use a Jump-Start

Jumper could have been the start of an entertaining franchise had it registered a pulse. Unable to clear even lowest of plot thresholds, however, it deserves to make a quick trip through theaters and materialize on video shelves imminently.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 15, 2008 |
  • comments
Definitely, Maybe Defies Predictable Rom-Com Experience

Unlike the mindless frivolity of Fool’s Gold or the by-the-numbers cuteness of 27 Dresses, Definitely, Maybe is a well-conceived love story that doesn’t insult your intelligence. Seriously.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 14, 2008 |
  • comments
Darkness Pervades a Thought-Provoking Spiderwick Chronicles

The typical magical, fantasy-type outlook pervades The Spiderwick Chronicles' dark worldview. Creatures, spells and potions, and flying and time travel abound. But there are also some interesting spiritual parallels that are worthy of discussion.

No Cinematic Treasure Found in Fool's Gold

In Fool’s Gold, one might expect more of the comedy and chemistry Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson first had in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But a hokey script has quickly washed away any hope of striking rom-com gold twice.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 08, 2008 |
  • comments
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