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August 2007
Redeeming Champ a Knockout Cinematic Choice

Resurrecting the Champ has plenty of redeeming values and will likely be a great choice for families this summer. Josh Hartnett does a fine job as the husband, father and reporter-on-the-ropes, while Samuel L. Jackson is fabulous as the resurrected champ.

 
Parenting, Priorities Get Comedic Due in The Nanny Diaries

Although lacking the whip-smart, satirical edge of the novel it’s adapted from, The Nanny Diaries is still a pleasant surprise. In fact, there’s even a few food-for-thought moments on priorities and parenting that aren’t even patronizing or particularly cloying. Imagine that.

 
No Need to Keep This Blasphemous Ten

Even if you can get past all the blasphemy and disturbing sexual themes that form the bedrock of the “commandments” in The Ten, there’s simply nothing here. It doesn’t convey any message—save that anyone who believes in the Ten Commandments is an idiot.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 17, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Alien Virus Returns in a Creepy Invasion

What would happen if a space shuttle crashed on earth, carrying an alien virus on the thousands of scattered parts? Answering this question, The Invasion borrows from the old Invasion of the Body Snatchers without totally copying the film. And it’s good and creepy!

 
Imaginative Stardust Casts a Silly Spell

Stardust is a lot of fun, if inconsequential. Its appeal is limited by some frightening moments and darker characters, but it concludes on a note of hope and love—a storybook ending to an enchanting summer’s tale.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 10, 2007 |
  • comments
 
High School, Debate Team … It's All Rocket Science

This film by writer/director Jeffrey Blitz pulls back the veil on high school debating, showing us the popular rapid-fire speech pattern called “spreading.” He also portrays what it’s like to be in high school, without all the clichés that plague other school films.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 10, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Rush Far Away from Rush Hour 3

If you’ve seen Rush Hour 1 or 2, then you’ve seen 3. While the first one was clever, edgy and funny, the second paled but managed to hold its own. Now, numero tres is like warmed over scrambled eggs: you can choke it down, but you really hate paying for it.

 
Good Messages, New Cast Can't Rescue This Bad Daddy

With some surprisingly good messages and some decent acting from a new cast, it’s a shame that Daddy Day Camp is such a bad sequel. The plot is predictable, and loaded with the two Hollywood “requirements” for kid films: body humor and bratty children.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 08, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Latest Bourne Offers an Uncomfortable Ultimatum

In The Bourne Ultimatum, the identity of Jason Bourne is, at last, resolved, while communicating an uncomfortable message about current events in the post-9/11 world: Those who “volunteer” to “kill the bad guys” are the victims of power-mad warmongers unconcerned about the humanity of their charges.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 03, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Kids Will Root for an Updated Underdog

Based on the TV cartoon series, Underdog has naturally been updated for the big screen. Diehard fans are bound to be disappointed, and parents won’t be mesmerized. The real joy, however, will come from watching this with the kids who will love it.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 03, 2007 |
  • comments
August 2007
Lacking History, Becoming Jane Still Charms

Unlike Miss Potter, the whimsical biopic that centered around the little-known love life that inspired Beatrix Potter’s work, Becoming Jane doesn’t have much in the way of actual history to back up its premise.

 
Natural Collides with Artificial in Arctic Tale

With so much inherent drama, it’s surprising how artificial Arctic Tale feels. Impressively filmed but driven at times by tension that appears to have been created more in the editing room than by events that actually unfolded on camera, this nature film is a mixed bag.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 03, 2007 |
  • comments
July 2007
Fans, Foes Will Find Plenty of Ammo in The Simpsons Movie

A feature-length movie based on the animated TV series, The Simpsons Movie includes all the antics, both positive and negative, that those familiar with the show expect. Such antics will prove too much for some Christian fans of the show, while others may see them, in context, as meaningful satire.

 
Thoughtful Sunshine Provides Cerebral Sci-Fi

Most contemporary science fiction films opt for mind-numbing special effects over finely crafted plot and characters. Not so with the poignant Sunshine which marries heart-stopping suspense with thought-provoking moral quandaries to create one of the most fascinating space movies in years.

 
Well-Acted No Reservations Is Pure Comfort Food

Those hoping for a simple boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-and-girl-get-back-together-and-live-happily-ever-after story will get far better comfort food with No Reservations—even if it’s more of a heart-wrenching drama than a by-the-numbers romantic comedy.

 
Hairspray Holds Up As a Solid Movie Musical

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a musical comedy make it to the big screen that was worth the trouble of heading out to the local cinema-plex. Yet easily the year’s most entertaining film thus far, the bright and cheerful Hairspray, gives us a reason to like musicals again.

 
Chuck and Larry Touts Gay Family Values

Under the guise of comedy, Universal Pictures and Director Dennis Dugan are now bringing audiences two hours and twenty minutes’ worth of gay party-line preaching in the form of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

 
Epicenter DVD Elaborates on End-Times Theology

Epicenter, a one-hour DVD which promotes author Joel Rosenberg’s non-fiction book by the same name, elaborates on his end-times theology, which is currently popular among Dispensationalists like Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsay.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • July 18, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Factory Girl Fails with a Superficial Script

Factory Girl fails because it rests upon such a superficial script. The story never delves beneath the surface to explore why Andy Warhol was the way he was. And, while Edie Sedgwick’s problems are alluded to, they are never dealt with other than in the most trite way.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • July 17, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Dysfunctional Family Overstays Its Welcome in The Dwights

Last year’s Little Miss Sunshine proved there was an audience for a quirky indie film about a dysfunctional family. And naturally, when a film like that meets with unexpected success, it’s not long before copycat efforts follow—like the largely unimpressive Introducing the Dwights.

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