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Reviews

Elsa and Fred (DistriMax, PG-13)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Thursday, 17 July 2008 09:41

film_elsa_sm.jpgIt's too bad Elsa and Fred is not a better movie, because the lead actors (Manuel Alexandre as Fred and Chila Zorrilla as Elsa) are great.

 

 

Space Chimps (20th Century Fox, G)

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Written by Matthew F. Newlin Thursday, 17 July 2008 09:39

film_space-chimps_sm.jpgVanguard Animation is a new studio that has attempted, with Space Chimps, to match the success of Finding Nemo and Ratatouille but has failed on multiple levels.

 

   

Encounters at the End of the World (ThinkFilm/Discovery Films/Image Entertainment, G)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 17 July 2008 09:37

film_encounters_sm.jpgImagine something like Errol Morris' Vernon, Florida, but much in a much colder climate, and you're along the right lines.

 

 

The Dark Knight (Warner Bros., PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 17 July 2008 09:35

film_dark-knight_sm.jpgLet's speak frankly here, and I assure you that I say this as honestly as I can without my judgment being clouded by Ledger's death: Ledger's Joker is probably the best and best-drawn villain in what is essentially a summer action movie, ever.

 

   

Mother of Tears (Myriad/The Weinstein Company, UR)

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Written by Joe Bowman Thursday, 10 July 2008 17:00

film_mother_sm.jpgMother of Tears is funnier than the past six Will Ferrell movies combined.

 

 

Journey to the Center of the Earth (New Line Cinema, PG)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Thursday, 10 July 2008 17:00

film_journey_sm.jpgTrust me when I say that Journey to the Center of the Earth does its best work in the center of the Earth.

 

   

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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Written by Amy Burger Thursday, 10 July 2008 17:00

film_hunter-sm.jpgI always wanted to be a writer, but Thompson, in part, made me want to be a journalist.

 

 

The Animation Show 4 (The Animation Show, NR)

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Thursday, 03 July 2008 11:06

animation2.jpgGranted, some of these shorts are funny, like the first Psychotown short, “Oranges,” (Psychotown is a series of shorts of which there are a few in this year’s Show), but they quickly become tiresome.
   

Hancock (Columbia Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Thursday, 03 July 2008 06:48

film_hancock_sm.jpgThe fun in this film is watching Hancock be his own worst enemy and then trying to become better at the whole superhero thing.

 

 

Refusenik (Foundation for Documentary Projects, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Thursday, 26 June 2008 03:27

film_refus_sm.jpgEvery documentary has to define its scope, and Refusenik is reasonably successful within its own parameters.

 

   

Wall-E (Walt Disney Studios, G)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 26 June 2008 03:25

film_wall-e_sm.jpgPixar movies are always innovating and perfecting the art of computer animation, yet never losing sight of characterization or telling a good story.

 

 

Wanted (Universal Pictures, R)

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Written by Matthew F. Newlin Thursday, 26 June 2008 03:22

film_wanted_sm.jpgWanted is ridiculous, over the top and one of the best times I've had at the movies in a long time.

 

   

The Love Guru (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Friday, 20 June 2008 02:30

film_love-guru_sm.jpgI will admit right now that others in the theater laughed, but I think they must have all been idiots.

 

 

The Children of Huang Shi (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 20 June 2008 02:27

film_huang_sm.jpgDespite the entirely conventional nature of the script, Spottiswoode seems not to trust the audience to get it.

 

   

The Foot Fist Way (Paramount Vantage, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 20 June 2008 02:21

film_foot-fist_sm.jpgAs can be expected, McBride is very funny in The Foot Fist Way, which he co-wrote and made with his buddies a few years back.

 

 

Get Smart (Warner Bros., PG-13)

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Written by Kevin Renick Friday, 20 June 2008 02:18

film_get-smart_sm.jpgSince I was a fan of the TV series, I'm happy to report that Segal gets it almost right in this new film.

 

   

Jellyfish (Zeitgeist Films, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 20 June 2008 02:15

film_jellyfish_sm.jpgThis type of film makes great award bait, allowing critics and audiences alike to congratulate themselves for spotting the connections the filmmakers have so cleverly planted throughout.

 

 

Irina Palm (Strand Releasing, NR)

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Written by Jason Green Friday, 13 June 2008 05:35

irinapalm_01.jpgSounds like the recipe for a ribald farce akin to Calendar Girls or The Full Monty, doesn't it? Unfortunately, 99% of the time, Irina Palm is as serious as a heart attack.

 

   

Bigger, Stronger, Faster (Magnolia Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 13 June 2008 02:08

film_bigger_sm.jpgSport has always been about superlatives: you get the gold medal for crossing the finish line first or throwing the discus further than the other guys.

 

 

The Happening (20th Century Fox, R)

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Written by Joe Hodes Friday, 13 June 2008 02:06

film_happening_sm.jpgWhile some of the scenes of "the happening" are terrifying, others are just ridiculous.

 

   

The Incredible Hulk (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Matthew F. Newlin Friday, 13 June 2008 02:02

film_hulk_sm.jpgThe Incredible Hulk is not a sequel to the 2003 Ang Lee disaster, Hulk, so much as a different telling of a new chapter in the Hulk mythology.

 

 

Mister Lonely (IFC Films, NR)

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Written by Joe Bowman Friday, 13 June 2008 01:57

film_lonely_sm.jpgThough the actual idea of Mister Lonely sounds a lot easier to swallow, I can't help but express some disappointment in the straightforwardness and earnestness Korine takes with his film, a sedated comedy that's both alluring and stupid in alternating sequences.

 

   

The Promotion (The Weinstein Company, R)

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Written by Matthew F. Newlin Friday, 13 June 2008 01:53

film_promotion_sm2.jpgJohn C. Reilly is, once again, so subtle in his performance that it is hard to tell he is acting at all.

 

 

You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (Columbia Pictures, PG-13)

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Saturday, 07 June 2008 05:40

zohan.jpgHere’s the plot: The Zohan (Sandler) is the greatest Israeli fighter of all time, but all he wants to do is cut hair. This would be a funny premise for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch or a half-hour show, but Sandler draws it out for over 90 minutes.
   

Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks, PG)

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Saturday, 07 June 2008 05:26

kungfu2.jpgPo (Black) is a panda living in the Valley of Peace who emulates and dreams of being part of the Furious Five, the local kung fu masters and heroes that are worshipped like the New Kids on the Block at the height of their fame.
 

The Strangers (Rogue Pictures, R)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 02 June 2008 14:02

film_strangers_sm.jpgBertino builds the suspense with a steely sense of purpose, although he can't help falling for numerous genre clichés.

 

   

Standard Operating Procedure (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 22 May 2008 17:00

standard_operating_procedure.jpgThe focus of Standard Operating Procedure is of the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs, what they mean, why they were taken, who took them, and how they have and should be interpreted.

 

 

Before the Rains (Roadside Attractions, PG-13)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Thursday, 22 May 2008 17:00

beforetherains.jpgThe opportunity to develop the characters and explore human relationships distorted by colonialism is discarded in favor of a story which is highly predictable and not particularly involving.

 

   

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 21 May 2008 17:00

indianajones.jpgFord himself is as good as ever, taking on a Clint Eastwood-like ruggedness in his age.

  

 

Son of Rambow (Paramount Vantage, PG-13)

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Written by Joe Bowman Friday, 16 May 2008 07:00

film_rambow_sm.jpgJennings, a former music video director for Blur, Pulp, Beck and R.E.M., evokes the same playfulness of home video homage/parody as Michel Gondry, another famed video director, did with Be Kind Rewind in ways surprisingly more effective.

 

   

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (PG, Walt Disney Studios)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Friday, 16 May 2008 06:54

film_narnia_sm.jpgA lot of films aimed at children (even older ones) can leave adults adrift. Prince Caspian, however, is not one of those.

 

 

Redbelt (Sony, R)

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Friday, 09 May 2008 02:10

redbelt.jpgMamet’s characteristic style is on full display here. His characters use language as a weapon and means of deception, speaking in stylized, clipped patterns carefully crafted for effect, which is similar but not quite like the way anyone really talks.
   

Live and Become (Menemsha Entertainment, NR)

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Friday, 09 May 2008 02:03

liveandbecome2.jpgThe strain of the deception weighs heavily on young Schlomo, who retreats into a silent ball of misery, punctuated by outbursts of violence. His life improves after adoption by a leftist French-Jewish couple, and gradually Schlomo comes out of his shell and starts to take part in life.
 

Then She Found Me (ThinkFilm, R)

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Friday, 09 May 2008 01:49

thenshefound5.jpg

Hunt does a great job in her dual role. Her portrayal of a woman redefining her life is excellent. April is harried and downtrodden, but never inaccessible. April is definitely the victim, of bad luck, poor timing, and other’s self-centeredness, but she is not perfect. She has faults and makes bad decisions. She is a real person.

   

Speed Racer (Warner Bros., PG)

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Written by Jason Green Thursday, 08 May 2008 17:00

speed_racer_header.jpgThe film accomplishes exactly what The Matrix did in 1999 in that it looks like absolutely no other movie that preceded it.

 

 

Made of Honor (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

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Friday, 02 May 2008 10:15

moh.jpegIn fact, the filmmakers didn’t take anything good very far. They make a big deal of Tom and his basketball buddies deciding that he’s going to “steal the bride” by being the best maid of honor ever. Can you guess what Tom does then?
   

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