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February 2007
Music and Lyrics Hits Most of the Right Notes

Ultimately, much like those heart-shaped boxes of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, Music and Lyrics is a momentary pleasure - probably not good enough for your DVD collection, but an entertaining-enough escape for an hour and a half.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 14, 2007 |
  • comments
 
"Grudge 2" a Rehash of the First

The real problem with "The Grudge 2" is the script, which is a redundant rehash of the first. It wasn’t great to begin with and now it’s worse. And again, that’s assuming you like watching people being murdered and terrified to begin with. And that, my friends, is the crux.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • February 12, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Hannibal Rising Sinks Like a Stone

If Hannibal Rising isn’t bad enough to kill off this film franchise, nothing will do the trick. Ghastly and often disgusting, it somehow manages also to be dull, all the while providing a strange but not entirely convincing impetus for Hannibal Lecter’s taste for human flesh.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 09, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Last Sin Eater Mediocre Despite Strong Message

I applaud director Michael Landon Jr.'s goals, and I have no doubt that he put his very heart into this movie. I also sympathize with the film’s strong gospel message. As a film critic, however, I’m obliged to hold him to the same standard as other filmmakers.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • February 09, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Crass Outweighs Cute in Norbit

For those who saw Daddy Daycare and Doctor Doolittle, and were hoping for some more “Eddie-Murphy’s-now-a-dad-so-he’s-making-cute-family-films” movies, don’t hold your breath. His latest comedy, Norbit, has way more crassness going for it than cuteness.

 
No Real Romance or Comedy in Because I Said So

In Because I Said So, unfortunately the writers decided that character development and actual romance or comedy should be sacrificed for constant chatter about sex and humor of the lowest possible caliber.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 02, 2007 |
  • comments
 
The Messengers Delivers a Lifeless Tale of the Undead

A sense of irony can add a lively dimension to films in the weary horror genre, but The Messengers barely nods in that direction. In taking itself so seriously, it bogs down. Neither scary nor interesting, The Messengers adds nothing to the genre but a pale imitation of what’s come before.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 02, 2007 |
  • comments
January 2007
Smokin' Aces Has Style, but Story Goes Up in Flames

Though it's derivative, Smokin' Aces also is surprisingly stylish and, for much of its running time, entertaining. But it's not noble, pure or lovely. It's an empty exercise in cinematic excess.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 26, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Unrealistic Catch and Release Isn't a Keeper

It's the clichés that take this movie's compelling premise and flush it down the drain in a hurry. In what could’ve been an insightful commentary on the grieving process, the writers wasted an opportunity by creating unbelievable characters in a by-the-numbers comedy that’s devoid of any substance.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 26, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Football More Than a Game in Gridiron Gang

For some, football is just a game. For others – like teenage inmates who have no reason to live, and nothing left but hope – football really is life. So get ready to flick away a few tears, gentlemen. This one will hit you like a defensive linebacker – right in the gut.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 25, 2007 |
  • comments
January 2007
Jesus Camp an Interesting Look Into Growing Subculture

Jesus Camp will likely drive home not only the polarization between believers and non-believers, but also how truly splintered we are as Christians today.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 22, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Labyrinth an Adult Fairy Tale Not to Be Missed

Pan’s Labyrinth is a reminder that not all fairy tales are for children, and that imagination is something that can be kindled in adults, given the right material. This is one movie you won’t want to miss.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 19, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Word and Image Leave Lasting Mark in "Iwo Jima"

Honor and duty are noble callings, but what are we to make of them when they’re put to ends with which we disagree? Clint Eastwood’s “Letters From Iwo Jima” forces us to consider the humanity and dignity of people who fight against America.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 19, 2007 |
  • comments
 
 
Slow-Moving Night Listener a Mediocre Effort

I wasn't engaged by the story or its “mystery,” which seemed fairly humdrum, “Law and Order” style. Once you’re over the disturbing sexual content and, of course, the phallic humor so ubiquitous in homosexual-themed films, it’s still a very mediocre effort.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 15, 2007 |
  • comments
 
It's All Bark and No Bite for Alpha Dog

Surprisingly enough, it’s not musician-turned-actor Justin Timberlake’s acting that makes Alpha Dog such a dud. Instead, it’s the faulty re-telling of a cautionary tale that’s really not worth all the effort in the first place.

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 12, 2007 |
  • comments
 
God Grew Tired of Us Chronicles Lost Boys' New Life

Writer/director Christopher Quinn chose to focus on just three “lost boys” in his award-winning documentary, God Grew Tired of Us. After arriving in America, John Bul Dau, Panther Bior and Daniel Abul Pach soon discover how lonely life can be in this country, and how very hard people work, just to stay alive

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • January 12, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Swank Shows Right Stuff in Inspirational Freedom Writers

Although it doesn't reach the peaks of last year's Akeelah and the Bee in its acting, and goes a bit too far in its sermonizing, Freedom Writers is a fine, uplifting tale of an idealistic woman and the hope she instills in her students.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • January 05, 2007 |
  • comments
 
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."

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Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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