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February 2007
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
 
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
January 2007
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."

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
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