Arts + Life

Movie Reviews
10:53 am
Thu September 22, 2005

The Greatest Game Ever Played

A dynamic duo.

A Shakespeare play . . .

If not the greatest game ever played, certainly the 1913 US Open, where 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) defeated reigning champion Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane), would have to rank in the top five. Rare it is for any amateur to win a professional tournament; for an American to take it from the defending Brit champion and another top Brit was unthinkable at the turn of the last century.

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Movie Reviews
2:11 pm
Wed September 21, 2005

Flightplan

"Oh, Captain, my Captain, this sky marshal is bothersome."

Foster trades a panic room for a panic plane.

"Flight is intolerable contradiction." Muriel Rukeyser

The age of kick-butt women in film is alive and maturing, as Jody Foster in Flightplan extricates herself from an apparent kidnapping of her daughter aboard a flight to the states from Berlin. Red Eye with Rachel McAdams has a similar situation with a female exec freeing herself from a fellow passenger who demands her involvement in an assassination long before the flight.

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Movie Reviews
2:26 pm
Mon September 19, 2005

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Two brides could be burning it at both ends.

Visual Poe

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It's Movie Time
3:51 pm
Fri September 16, 2005

"It's Movie Time" September 16, 2005

Films reviewed: Proof and Lord of War


"It's Movie Time" has won 8 national awards including Silver Microphone and Communicator national honors.


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Movie Reviews
1:38 pm
Thu September 15, 2005

Yes

Yes!

Plato in the Park

The most imaginative narrative film in the last two years? Better middle-aged romance than Something's Gotta Give and Must Love Dogs? YES!

In Yes, Sally Potter, having established herself as not one of the usual directing boys with her wildly creative Orlando, has her characters speak in iambic pentameter, which, if I remember my English literature classes well enough, was the style used by Shakespeare because it approximates ordinary speech.

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Movie Reviews
11:25 am
Wed September 14, 2005

Just Like Heaven

Napoleon is dynamite as a ghostbuster.

Light fare for a waning summer

Just when I thought the western world had forgotten about Plato, along comes a romcom devoted to the purity of love divorced from the sensual. Just Like Heaven casts Reese Witherspoon as Elizabeth, a medical doctor put into coma by an accident. But her spirit haunts Mark Ruffalo's David, who has rented her old San Francisco apartment.

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Movie Reviews
4:43 pm
Mon September 12, 2005

Proof

"Dad, I thought you were dead."

Proof that a play can become a film.

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Movie Reviews
12:31 pm
Mon September 12, 2005

Lord of War

A necessary evil.

"Evil prevails." Yuri Olav in "Lord of War"

Nicholas Cage's Yuri Orlav is the embodiment of the situationally ethical arms dealer who justifies his profession with such specious arguments as supplying arms to countries for their "defense" or because someone will take his place if he leaves--unsatisfactory justifications for families of slaughtered African refugees and bloody poor excuses for the US government.

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It's Movie Time
10:31 am
Fri September 9, 2005

"It's Movie Time" September 9, 2005

Films reviewed: Exorcism of Emily Rose, Unfinished Life, Constant Gardener


"It's Movie Time" has won 8 national awards including Silver Microphone and Communicator national honors.


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Movie Reviews
3:23 pm
Wed September 7, 2005

An Unfinished Life

Old actors never die; they just recycle themselves as cowboys.

A bear runs through it.

Even when he's not an environmental activist or independent film guru, Robert Redford infuses every project and role with a gravitas part hope and part dignity. But not all the films are successful such as All the President's Men or Butch Cassidy. Director Lasse Hallstrom's An Unfinished Life is a modern melodramatic oater whose plot once started can navigate on its own.

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Movie Reviews
12:33 pm
Mon September 5, 2005

The Constant Gardener

Love is not enough.

A travelogue of the mind.

Kenya is a problematic place for a romantic government official or a devoted gardener for that matter. Both of those are in the character of Ralph Fiennes' Justin (a just man), who marries Rachel Weisz's Tessa, an activist inviting the wrath of global businesses determined to profit from vulnerable natives. No surprise Hardy's Tess had the same doomed outrage and singleness of purpose.

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Movie Reviews
9:29 am
Sun September 4, 2005

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The truth is out there . . .

Agnostic Heaven

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It's Movie Time
4:36 pm
Fri September 2, 2005

"It's Movie Time" September 2, 2005

Red Eye

Films reviewed: Red Eye, Transporter 2


"It's Movie Time" has won 8 national awards including Silver Microphone and Communicator national honors.


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Movie Reviews
2:53 pm
Thu September 1, 2005

A Sound of Thunder

It can't be heard either.

A whimper.

Until I read about the catastrophes associated with "A Sound of Thunder," I was going to call it the cheesiest movie in recent memory. The adapted Ray Bradbury science fiction story about time travel suffered the great floods of 2002 in Prague and lack of money that delayed its release for 2 years. That Renny Harlin (Cutthroat Island) was originally scheduled to direct should have tipped me off to a lowbrow enterprise.

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Movie Reviews
2:45 pm
Thu September 1, 2005

Transporter 2

Pistol-Packing Mama!

Enjoy!

I'm usually pushing the arty films or the thematically rich indies, so let me digress and recommend Transporter 2 for mindless fun without a speck of artistic heft. Jason Statham plays Frank Martin, a super operative who would discretely carry your mother-in-law to Hades for a price, and drive her there in a shiny black Audi.

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It's Movie Time
9:45 am
Fri August 26, 2005

"It's Movie Time" August 26, 2005

40 Year-Old Virgin

Films reviewed: 40 year-old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Aristocrats, Big Lebowski


"It's Movie Time" has won 8 national awards including Silver Microphone and Communicator national honors.


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Movie Reviews
3:53 pm
Fri August 19, 2005

The 40 Year-Old Virgin

"Here's looking at you, Kid."

Beyond just middle-aged dating.

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It's Movie Time
3:48 pm
Fri August 19, 2005

"It's Movie Time" August 19, 2005

Broken Flowers

Films reviewed: Broken Flowers, Grizzly Man


"It's Movie Time" has won 8 national awards including Silver Microphone and Communicator national honors.


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Movie Reviews
10:43 am
Wed August 17, 2005

Red-Eye

The biggest scream of them all.

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Movie Reviews
2:12 pm
Tue August 16, 2005

Broken Flowers

Flowers for my lady.

A low-key picaresque

Barely dramatic, thematic but enigmatic, that's Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers. His Stranger than Paradise was exactly that, a Cleveland road trip to existential uncertainty. In Flowers, Bill Murray as Don Johnston is also on a trip, but more certain of his goal than anyone in Stranger, for he seeks out his alleged son by visiting former lovers, one of whom anonymously wrote that she had borne him a child 19 years ago.

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