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January 2007
Happily N'Ever After Can't Come Close to Shrek

The makers of Shrek now bring us another feature-length animation, Happily N'Ever After, a twist on the old Cinderella story. With similar animation to Shrek, though not with as hilariously funny a script, Happily N’Ever After” is generally acceptable, mindless entertainment.

 
"Thr3e" More Psychological Thriller Than Faith Film

The new Fox Faith Film "Thr3e" is a cleverly-written psychological thriller with a fun twist at the end and a truly "Wow, I didn’t see that coming" turn, but it’s not overtly a "faith film."

December 2006
Children of Men a Different Kind of Nativity Story

Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men tells a story of a woman with child, societal prejudice, and hope for a better tomorrow. But unlike the Bible’s nativity story, this account is set in the future, where the concern is physical, rather than spiritual.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 25, 2006 |
  • comments
 
We Are Marshall - Winning Is Everything. Or Is It?

We Are Marshall isn’t terrible, but it fails to measure up to the more effective sports movies of recent years. Considering the powerful true story that inspired the film, the movie’s lack of distinction is a little disappointing.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 25, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"Night at the Museum" Makes for Mostly Frivolous Fun

While there’s certainly a few questionable moments with the movie’s worldview and a lengthy run time, "Night at the Museum" is largely a flick that both kids and adults will enjoy.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Wicker Man Thriller Not So Thrilling

This film’s poster shows a little girl with demonic eyes superimposed on a decomposing headshot of Nicolas Cage, made to look as if his face is being eaten by honey. This, like the trailer, tells us we’re going to watch a horror movie. Instead, it’s more of a thriller. But oh, how I wish I could say that I was thrilled.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • December 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"Charlotte's Web" Is Some Movie

With a mix of live animals and CG-assisted animatronics and a well-chosen cast of voices, especially Julia Roberts as Charlotte, Steve Buscemi, the perfect choice for Templeton the rat and 10-year-old Dominic Scott Kay in the key role of Wilbur, "Charlotte's Web" is just as entertaining as inspiring.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Dreamgirls Not So Dreamy

The musical movie genre has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, but last year’s Rent and The Producers didn't really translate that well, and unfortunately the horribly over-hyped Dreamgirls follows suit.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • December 21, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Smith and Son Shine in "Happyness"

There are many reasons to love a good father/son movie. Fathers so often get the shaft in pop culture and on the big screen. “The Pursuit of Happyness” not only gives us a strong portrayal of a loving father, but an uplifting lesson in perseverance and being happy even when life is rough.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • December 15, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Christian Themes Extolled in Entertaining "Eragon"

Remember the stories of when valiant men rode fierce dragons to conquer evil and keep the empire safe? “Eragon” now brings such a tale to the big screen in living color with “Star Wars” meets “The Lord of the Rings” science fiction that’s terrific family entertainment for the holidays.

December 2006
"The Holiday" Has Suprising Depth for a Chick Flick

For the currently unattached or those who’ve been there before, “The Holiday” is heartwarming, relatable and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny - even if the premise itself requires a little suspension of disbelief and includes a strong worldly view of sexuality.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 12, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Mel Gibson's Apocalypto - It's No Bloody Good

With Apocalypto, there is no central theological debate as there was with The Passion of the Christ. No ties to European ancestry and national pride, as in Braveheart. No, this film is a savage, repellant work that raises serious questions about director Mel Gibson’s interest in the worst kinds of human suffering.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 08, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"Nativity Story" Brings Real Meaning of Christmas to Life

Thankfully, a winsome, compelling, well-crafted movie that brings the real story of Christmas to life for the whole family is releasing this week in theaters. “The Nativity Story” is a sure bet to edge out the shallow, same old “pretend-Christmas” offerings.

 
Nonsensical Logic, Multiple Endings Ruin Revolver

After the first few scenes, Revolver’s plot descends into nonsensical logic. Different endings for scenes are shown, and it rewinds much like a pick-your-own-ending storybook. Perhaps that is why it’s named Revolver, which means “to return” in Spanish.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • December 07, 2006 |
  • comments
November 2006
Uneven "Bobby" Revisits 1960s Idealism

"Bobby” is less concerned with its title character than it is with teaching 1960s history - presumably to those too young to have considered it previously. What we get is a “highlight reel” of late '60s turbulence set to the most obvious period songs imaginable.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 28, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"Happy Feet" Is Wacky, Toe-Tapping Fun for Everyone

Much like the more vintage Disney fare (think “Bambi”, “Cinderella” or "The Little Mermaid" ), “Happy Feet” succeeds by creating memorable characters that viewers can’t help but care about.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 24, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Even Fruitcake More Enjoyable Than Deck the Halls

The hare-brained premise in Deck the Halls is neither heartwarming, particularly original, or funny - three essential components for a holiday comedy. To provide further insight into just how horrible it is, let’s just say it almost makes Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story seem Oscar-worthy in comparison.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 23, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Deja Vu Wades into Unfamiliar Waters

It's not a profound work, but Déjà Vu may be the first film from either director Tony Scott or producer Jerry Bruckheimer to demand a second viewing — not only because of the complicated plot, but because of the existential issues it raises about God, man and foreordination.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Realness Trumps Campiness in Casino Royale

Bond is back. In Casino Royale, the killings are overt, and Bond endures torture on the outside while showing an uncharacteristic vulnerability on the inside (when it comes to women). It's a new, gritty and real Bond – but is that what we really want?

 
Will Ferrell's Got a Flair for Drama in "Fiction"

Like Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show” and Adam Sandler in “Punch-Drunk Love,” funnyman Will Ferrell sets out to prove that he can be serious if the script calls for it, too, (take that Ron Burgundy!) in the whimsical tale “Stranger Than Fiction.”

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 17, 2006 |
  • comments
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