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December 2007
Copious Blood May Make Sweeney Todd Viewers See Red

Unfortunately, the torrents of blood make Sweeney Todd disgusting in several spots, so much so that the film cannot be recommended, despite outstanding production design by Dante Ferretti, striking cinematography by Darius Wolski, and Tim Burton’s deft direction.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 21, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Intriguing Premise Turns Hokey in I Am Legend

In storytelling, it’s constantly been said that it’s far better to show than tell. But in movies, especially ones like I Am Legend that are meant to send shivers of fear up your spine, too much showing inevitably ruins the impact.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 14, 2007 |
  • comments
 
The Kite Runner Can’t Overcome Contrivances

An outstanding adaptation of a well-regarded book is currently playing at theaters. Unfortunately for fans of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, that movie is Atonement—not the big-screen version of Hosseini’s widely read book-club favorite.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 14, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Alvin Offers Something for the Whole Family

Alvin and the Chipmunks is adorable, and it’s even fun for adults to watch the combination of live action and stellar animation. With a sweet story that has tons of humor, romance, and even a memorable moral, it’s a delightful holiday movie for the whole family.

 
The Golden Compass: Innocent Adventure or Atheist Gateway?

Is The Golden Compass a threat? Will it lead children away from a personal knowledge of God? Or, will it become a key opportunity to talk to children about the real adventure of knowing a living God who wants to know them in a personal way?

 
Grace Is Gone Focuses More on the Family

Grace Is Gone is one of the first films about the Iraq war to explore the death of a female soldier. Another unique element is its focus on the family—a worthy subject that hundreds of thousands of families of deployed members are sure to appreciate.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • December 07, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Atonement Has Plenty of Style But Little Substance

Directed by Joe Wright, Atonement is both sumptuous and satisfying. With the exception of the gorgeous English scenery and attractive lead actors, however, there’s little else about the flick that’s truly memorable.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 07, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Juno Provides Quirky Commentary on Growing Up Fast

Although these films couldn’t be more diametrically opposed in terms of sheer crudeness, there’s been a decidedly pro-life theme running through several flicks this year: Knocked Up, Waitress and now, this month’s Juno.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 05, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Walk Hard Pokes Fun at Music Biopics

Walk Hard pokes fun of the oh-so-basic plot and all the clichés we’ve come to expect in music biopics. With a drinking and drugging main character, it swats hardest at Walk the Line, while Ray also gets a little prodding as well.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • December 01, 2007 |
  • comments
November 2007
Inexperience and Inconsistencies Run Wide in Awake

Awake is writer/director Joby Harold’s first effort, and unfortunately his inexperience bleeds through. The plot is rife with inconsistencies and makes so many mistakes that few will find it credible.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 30, 2007 |
  • comments
November 2007
Slow Narrative Flavors a Bland Blueberry Nights

In his first English-language driven project, award-winning Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai has created a movie that, despite its lush visuals, is only mildly interesting. The acting is good, but this isn’t enough to give depth to a film with such a slow narrative and clunky dialogue.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 28, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Enchanted a Healthy Mix of Reality and Fairy Tale

Enchanted is a completely adorable, delightful movie whose packed screening audience of little girls ages four to fourteen gave it a rousing applause at the end. The story wraps up in a compelling way, hinting that the good life just might be a healthy mix of both seasoned reality and fairy tale dreams.

 
Movie Magic Makes August Rush Truly Unforgettable

August Rush is pure Hollywood magic. But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, sit back, and enjoy, then the rewards are many. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably even tear up, so you may want to bring some Kleenex along for the ride.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 21, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Video Game-Inspired Hitman Proves Inferior

Hitman, based on a video game but employing a similar story and style as the Bourne films, is in every way inferior to those films, not to mention pretty much every other film currently playing in theaters.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 21, 2007 |
  • comments
 
No Joy Found in This Depressing Wedding

Everyone longs for hope beyond the pain of broken relationships in Margot at the Wedding. But watching such a dismal spectacle is like listening to the clamor of a discordant harmony. It’s uncomfortable, depressing, and you just want it to end.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 16, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Director Pushes Envelope and Agenda in Redacted

Redacted takes its plot from a recent incident in Iraq. Director Brian De Palma loves to push the cinematic envelope, and this project is no different. Here, he toys with the medium in order to make a statement about it. He’s also very, very angry about the war.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 16, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Delightful Wonder Emporium Sparks Imagination

This holiday season, Walden Media brings our kids Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium—a delightful movie that, though it contains some faulty worldview elements, will spark their imagination and teach them a few lessons about loving and living.

 
Love in the Time of Cholera Disappoints On-Screen

Love in the Time of Cholera spans 50 years, so adapting this novel to the screen was a formidable undertaking. But in the hands of experienced screenwriter Ronald Harwood and talented director Mike Newell, one would have expected something better.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 16, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Embellished, Sexed-Up Beowulf Falls Flat

In the hands of screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, this adaptation of Beowulf adds a large dose of sex, nudity and moral failing to the epic poem’s story of a hero from across the seas who fights monsters at his own peril.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 16, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Christmas Spirit Falls Flat in "Fred Claus"

When I first heard about Vince Vaughn trying to pull off a family-friendly scenario, my suspicions were on high alert. Especially when I heard that Fred Claus was directed by the same guy who did the raunchy, R-rated Wedding Crashers a couple of years ago.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 09, 2007 |
  • comments
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