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The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener

A preachy but gripping socio-political thriller, "TheConstant Gardener" captures the parched beauty of African desert nations,personifies the horrors of their poverty in dusty, sunburned detail, andpulls no punches in its view of greedy drug companies...

Movie Review posted on 2nd September 2005

Herbie: Fully Loaded

Herbie: Fully Loaded

Every time Lindsay Lohan and Disney join forces to updatea kiddie movie from the studio's slap-dash period of the 1960s and '70s,they've come away with a winner. 1998's remake of "The Parent Trap" showed a...

Movie Review posted on 4th August 2005

The Dukes of Hazzard

The Dukes of Hazzard

Once the largely inept and uncouth cast shuts the heckup (i.e. stops trying to act) and starts burnin' rubber and wreckin' cars,there's some good ol' fun to be had in the slipshod big-screen rehash of"The...

Movie Review posted on 4th August 2005

November

November

Something akin to a dialed-down Darren Aronofsky thriller-- with a lot of David Lynch thrown in -- "November" dives headlonginto the unraveling, despondent psyche of a woman whose boyfriend has beenkilled in a convenience store...

Movie Review posted on 2nd August 2005

Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

While watching "Must Love Dogs," a romanticcomedy about moving on from divorc=E9e depression, I was sure this wouldbe a three-star review. The leads -- Diane Lane and John Cusack -- areirresistibly charismatic but accessible, the...

Movie Review posted on 2nd August 2005

Sky High

Sky High

Sky High" must have felt like something of a homecomingfor Kurt Russell. Just like the cheap, low-standards kiddie flicks he starredin as a teenager ("The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," "NowYou See Him, Now You Don't"),...

Movie Review posted on 29th July 2005

Stealth

Stealth

"Stealth" may be little more than a popcorn-chomping"Top Gun" rehash in which a pilot-less futuristic fighter jethas gone rogue, a la HAL 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey" --but it's that little bit more that...

Movie Review posted on 29th July 2005

Bad News Bears

Bad News Bears

When the executives at Paramount Pictures saw Billy BobThornton play a bitter, abusive, drunkard shopping-mall Kris Kringle in2003's raunchy, bitingly funny "BadSanta," they must have said to themselves,"If we water this down to a PG-13,...

Movie Review posted on 26th July 2005

The Island

The Island

Director Michael Bay ("The Rock," "Armageddon,""PearlHarbor") has become the poster boy foreverything that's wrong with blockbuster summer movies. As long as hisout-sized action fare has expensive explosions, quick-cut chase sceneswith spectacular crashes, a few commercial-quotable...

Movie Review posted on 26th July 2005

Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers

About 20 minutes before the credits roll in "WeddingCrashers," something goes very wrong. It feels as if a drunken scriptdoctor stumbled into the party, demanded to know where all the clicheshad gone and insisted they...

Movie Review posted on 21st July 2005

Happy Endings

Happy Endings

A comedy-of-life roundelay about several sexually mixed-updenizens of L.A., "Happy Endings" returns writer-director DonRoos to the sardonic psychological territory he trod in his stinging black-humordebut "The Opposite of Sex." After opening with a hysterical woman...

Movie Review posted on 18th July 2005

Dark Water

Dark Water

I've just walked out in the middle of "Dark Water"after a noxious hour of prosaically PG-13, hackneyed horror-flick cliches.Torpid, trite and not the least bit scary -- just unrelen=tinglyunpleasant -- the first 45 minutes of...

Movie Review posted on 11th July 2005

Undead

Undead

How can you not love a zombie movie with a bad-ass ruralbeauty queen heroine, a plot twist involving aliens, and an armed-to-the-teethmilitant hillbilly wearing baggy overalls and spurs on his work boots?Welcome to "Undead," a...

Movie Review posted on 11th July 2005

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four

Who are these half-wit Hollywood clowns that keep hiringcleavage-candy actresses with no measurable talent to play laughably bespectacledscientists in action movies? A few years ago it was Denise Richards as history's leastcredible nuclear physicist in...

Movie Review posted on 11th July 2005

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

Steven Spielberg's huge-budget update of "The Warof the Worlds," H.G. Wells' seminal alien-invasion novel from 1898,is a problematic blockbuster with one essential saving grace: It's profoundlyfrightening in a way that few directors have the talent...

Movie Review posted on 30th June 2005

Rebound

Rebound

Martin Lawrence plays his usual immature, loud-mouthedclown in "Rebound," an underdog sports comedy for kids so predictablethat director Steve Carr doesn't even bother with scenes of its basketballteam of 13-year-old misfits discovering their skills and...

Movie Review posted on 30th June 2005

Caterina In The City (In Subtitled Italian)

Caterina In The City (In Subtitled Italian)

On its surface, the lightweight Italian coming-of-agedrama "Caterina in the City" falls somewhere between the nothingnessof a tweenybopper popcorn movie and the darker peer-pressure sensibilitiesof 2003's hard-biting "Thirteen." Underneath, it's also a political satire in...

Movie Review posted on 30th June 2005

Heights

Heights

A deft ensemble drama with a hard emotional veracity ref=lectingthe complexity that sexual histories impose on modern relationships, "=Heights"takes place over 24 hours that prove unexpectedly pivotal to each of itsof cross-pollinating Manhattan lives. At...

Movie Review posted on 24th June 2005

5x2 (In Subtitled French)

5x2 (In Subtitled French)

Opening with an extended scene of such dry divorce-relat=edlegalese that after a while it becomes almost funny (property division,child support, life insurance, taxes), "5x2" is another entirelyunique cinematic experience from writer-director Fran=E7ois Ozon. The young...

Movie Review posted on 24th June 2005

Bewitched

Bewitched

Campy-revamp remakes and Nicole Kidman just don't mix.But the problem is not the actress's performances. Sheadded bite and ironic melodiousness to last year's slapdash, self-destructing"TheStepford Wives," and she keeps the newself-aware, big-screen version of "Bewitched"...

Movie Review posted on 24th June 2005

Land of the Dead

Land of the Dead

More empty and lifeless than the zombies that overrunits banal B-movie post-apocalypse, "Land of the Dead" may bethe return of George A. Romero to the genre he created, but there's littleto distinguish this film from...

Movie Review posted on 24th June 2005

My Summer of Love

My Summer of Love

Akin to 1994's "Heavenly Creatures" withoutthe murder and fantasy sequences -- and with a twist of distrust hangingin the air -- "My Summer of Love" is a squirmy parable abouttwo 17-year-old girls from opposite ends...

Movie Review posted on 17th June 2005

The Perfect Man

The Perfect Man

"The Perfect Man" is a cutesy-poo, happy-go-luckylittle movie about horrible, irresponsible, selfish people. A blindly disconcerting fantasy aimed at girls in theirearly teens -- no one else could stomach it -- the movie stars Hilary...

Movie Review posted on 16th June 2005

Batman Begins

Batman Begins

Taking a cue from Sam Raimi's wildly successful "Spider-Man"movies, writer David S. Goyer ("Blade"and its sequels) and co-writer/director ("Memento,""Insomnia")delve deeply into Bruce Wayne's psyche in "Batman Begins," afresh reboot for the fallen superhero franchise.Returning to...

Movie Review posted on 16th June 2005

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Palpable sexual electricity between Brad Pitt and AngelinaJolie provides "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" with all the power it needsto overcome a very silly plot about suburbanites whose waning marriageis revitalized by discovering the hard way...

Movie Review posted on 10th June 2005

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners

In the 1950s, "The Honeymooners" helped establishthe most rancid cliche in American comedy -- the irresponsible husbandwith the long-suffering, much smarter wife who always forgives him forbeing a selfish jackass. Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows...

Movie Review posted on 10th June 2005

Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man

Capturing the same rousing, Depression-era, hero-of-the-underclasses spirit that "Seabiscuit" did in 2003, "Cinderella Man" may be, in many ways, just another boxing movie (training montage here, point-of-view punches there, Big Fight finale), but it's one...

Movie Review posted on 3rd June 2005

Lords of Dogtown

Lords of Dogtown

"Lords of Dogtown" is a fictionalized accountof the birth of modern skateboarding that doesn't have half the spontaneityand maverick spirit of the vivid, kinetic, crowd-pleasing documentary thatinspired it.2002's "Dogtownand Z-Boys" (now available in an excellentDVD)...

Movie Review posted on 3rd June 2005

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Rising admirably above the bubble-gum genre norm, "TheSisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is a smart, charming, superblyacted summer-adventure matinee about four 17-year-old best friends separatedfor the first time but symbolically linked together by a pair...

Movie Review posted on 1st June 2005

Madagascar

Madagascar

Somehow, somewhere I lost the notes I took during thepress screening of "Madagascar," and I didn't realize it untilI sat down to write this review some two weeks later. But having spentthe last hour jotting...

Movie Review posted on 27th May 2005

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