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Movie Reviews
1:32 pm
Thu April 7, 2005

The Downfall

Family Values!

Eminently worth seeing.

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Movie Reviews
11:22 am
Mon April 4, 2005

Off the Map

Off the wall family.

Eccentric and satisfying.

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Movie Reviews
11:01 am
Wed March 30, 2005

Melinda and Melinda

"You remind me of Mia Farrow!"

The best Woody in years.

Manhattan still drives Woody Allen crazy: Urbanites are prey to ambition and lust, pride and diffidence and even sound like Woody with their halting sentences, paranoid affectations, and occasionally witty lines tossed off like the dregs of their grande lattes. Melinda and Melinda is a petting zoo of needy moderns who most of all want to find love, which eludes them right up to the last cliffhanging moment.

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Movie Reviews
10:46 am
Wed March 30, 2005

Frank Miller's Sin City

Sin City, indeed.

Everything a comic book/film buff could want.

"By Jove! I've never seen anything so unreal in my life. And

earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or

truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic

invasion." Joseph Conrad's Marlow in Heart of Darkness

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Movie Reviews
2:41 pm
Tue March 29, 2005

Millions

Ah, Brother. Ah, Millions.

A tribute to a director who makes children interesting and wise and movies for everyone.

"Radix malorum cupiditas est."

("The root of evil is greed.") The Pardoner's Tale

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Movie Reviews
3:15 pm
Tue March 15, 2005

Bad Education

Bless me, Fathers, for you have sinned.

The director aims at the heart of sin, Catholic guilt, and changing mores.

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Movie Reviews
1:26 pm
Sun March 13, 2005

Steamboy

Not exactly a tractor pull.

Thrilling and serious about the future of mankind.

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Movie Reviews
1:50 pm
Tue March 8, 2005

Bride and Prejudice

Hollywood musicals are better.

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Movie Reviews
1:46 pm
Sun February 27, 2005

The Jacket

This jacket is a tight fit.

A wax museum knock off.

"It comes o'er my memory,

As doth the raven o'er the infected house,

Boding to all . . . ." Shakespeare's Othello

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Movie Reviews
4:42 pm
Wed February 23, 2005

Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Easy laughs and easier moralizing.

"Sweet is revenge--especially to women." Lord Byron

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Movie Reviews
4:42 pm
Wed February 16, 2005

Constantine

To hell and back.

A horror film with somewhere to go.

Jonah Goldberg, editor at large of National Review OnLine, recently wrote that "we couldn't appreciate that evil is real and it exists. In a society where everyone is a victim and it's not right to 'judge' others, there's not much room left for real monsters, while society itself becomes monstrous." And so Hannibal Lecter is a "charming rogue" rather than a monster.

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Movie Reviews
3:38 pm
Wed February 16, 2005

Inside Deep Throat

"The Devil in Miss Lovelace"

A light look at a dark world

Yes, there is fellatio depicted inside the documentary Inside Deep Throat. About 3 seconds. So go see the original groundbreaking porno flick of 1972, Deep Throat, if you want to be deeply titillated and experience a poorly made movie that grossed over $600 million and sparked a sexual revolution that resulted for exhibitors and actors in stiff penalties that carry through today in neocons' wet dreams.

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Movie Reviews
2:50 pm
Wed February 16, 2005

Her Majesty

Queen for a Daydream

It's the New Zealand I remember and the Maori spirit I felt.

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It's Movie Time
12:52 pm
Thu February 10, 2005

Vera Drake

"A family that stays together."

Abortion propels the plot, but family is the heart of the tale.

When I anticipated seeing "Cider House Rules," I expected an extended treatise on abortion only to see a film about the need of a child for a home with a sidebar about abortion. Mike Leigh's ("Secrets and Lies") "Vera Drake" puts me in the same situation: It is a film about an abortionist who is a caregiver for young women "in trouble," her neighborhood, and her family. Abortion propels the plot, but family is the heart of the tale.

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Movie Reviews
12:16 pm
Wed February 9, 2005

The Chorus

Teaching is a scary business.

Typical tale of good teacher and bad pupils

If there's a film out there in which a teacher transforms delinquents into doctors and symphony conductors, I love every clich?d, formulaic moment. Why? Because I am a teacher as well as a critic, and I believe education and arts can transform. And so it goes for France's entry into the Oscar race with "The Chorus," a typical tale of good teacher and bad pupils set in 1949 post-war France.

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Movie Reviews
11:13 am
Mon February 7, 2005

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

"Is it this moustache that makes me so digress?"

Penn's role is one of the best of 2004.

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Movie Reviews
3:07 pm
Fri February 4, 2005

The Sea Inside

Love-lucky Guy

A drama about euthanasia without prejudice

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Movie Reviews
3:10 pm
Wed January 26, 2005

Hide and Seek

A classic underachiever.

Maybe Robert De Niro's doctor in Godsend (2004) went to the same medical school of horrors as his Dr. David Callaway in Hide and Seek, this year's De Niro toss away film, from which he deposits his considerable paycheck along with cash from Meet the Fockers. Why he doesn't concentrate his fortune and connections (as Clint Eastwood does) to craft an artful small film that would allow his acting gifts is the only mystery for me from his prolific but arguably spotty career.

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Movie Reviews
1:00 pm
Sun January 16, 2005

The Woodsman

Truth is tough.

"The Woodsman" asks us to understand the heart of a flawed but reclaimable human being.

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Movie Reviews
9:06 am
Sun January 16, 2005

Million Dollar Baby

"I don't train girls."

A film about boxing is not really about it at all.

A film about boxing is not really about it at all. Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby is more about a father Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) dealing with an estranged daughter and about the same crusty trainer facing an aggressive young female boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank). The intersection of Frankie's personal and professional lives is deftly drawn in the parallel plots.

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