Monthly Archives: November 2007

Review: Enchanted

In what seems to be a growing trend, Enchanted is the latest entry into what should soon be called “The Great Fairy Tale Revolution of 07.” Like August Rush before it, Enchanted makes no bones about its pretensions. Unlike other tales, though, this one takes its heritage directly from the source, deconstructing the Disney classic paradigm so well that if Disney hadn’t put it out, they would have to sue. Continue reading

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Review: The Mist

mistMovies based on Stephen King stories are like rivers in the old west. You never know how deep they are or what’s waiting just below the surface. Often, they’re not very deep, choosing instead to try and slavishly adhere to the printed word. The results range from good (Kubrick’s The Shining) to bad (King’s version of The Shining). And then there are the Stephen King stories adapted by Frank Darabont. These are in a whole different class and they are very, very good. The Mist, the latest collaboration between these two, easily joins its siblings, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, as a film which out shines its source material. Continue reading

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Review: August Rush

august_rushAugust Rush couldn’t be more of a fairy tale if it started with “once upon a time” and ended with “happily ever after.” And it will leave you feeling just as good as all those fairy tales you remember from your youth.

The plot is simple: Eleven-year-old orphan Even (Freddie Highmore) knows his parents are out there somewhere because he can “hear” them. He is weird and bullied and determined. Meanwhile, we get the back story on his parents, a pair of star-crossed musicians, a classically trained concert cellist (Keri Russell) and the singer of an Irish bar band (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who meet under a full, New York moon and spend one wonderful evening together, falling hopelessly, irrevocably in love. Yes, this is the kind of world where people can fall instantly in love and it will last an eternity… even if that night is the only one they have. Continue reading

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Review: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Mr MagoriumMr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is a rare thing in this day and age. It’s a G-rated family film which doesn’t pander to its market. It’s the kind of film Disney should be making. As conceived by writer/director Zach Helm, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is a modern take on how to keep alive the wonder and magic available to each and every one of us. And while it may not be original, it is fun. Continue reading

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Review: Control

Once upon a time, in a horribly depressing place called Manchester, England, there was a boy named Ian Curtis. He had a few problems but decided to channel them into his music by singing in a band he dubbed Joy Division. That wasn’t enough to keep away his demons, though, and in the end, he hung himself. The end.

Yeah, that’s the plot of Control, the new biopic of Joy Division front man Ian Curtis. And yes, it’s as depressing as it sounds. As a first time feature by music video director Anton Corbijn, the film sacrifices in-depth character study in exchange for faux performance footage and a focus on the music instead of the man. Continue reading

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Review: P2

p_twoOkay, I admit, I had some preconceived notions before heading in to see P2. I didn’t think it would be good. And I must say, this film exceeded my expectations in how bad it actually was. I’m gonna be fair here, too, and spread the blame around evenly.

The film is your classic holiday thriller. Pretty girl Angela (Rachel Nichols) is working late in a New York City high-rise on Christmas Eve. Do we know what she does? Nope. Does it matter? Not really. This is about as deep as her characterization goes. She’s running late to celebrate the evening with her family in Jersey, held up by work and the apology of a co-worker who got a little fresh with her at the firm’s annual holiday party. In the business, we call this foreshadowing. You can bet this little tid-bit is gonna come back and haunt someone. So Angela heads down in to the underground parking lot and wouldn’t you know it – her car won’t start. So a few false scares, some tense moments while waiting for a cab and a locked gate later, Angela gets chloroformed by the creepy parking lot attendant, Thomas (Wes Bentley). Continue reading

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Review: Fred Clause

fred clausLook, I’m going to start right off the bat here and say Fred Claus is not an original movie. It’s not going to set the world on fire with new ideas and deep thoughts on the meaning of Christmas or family. It probably won’t even change your mind about what kind of a performer Vince Vaughn is. What it will do is offer up 110 minutes of innocuous, family friendly fun, perfect for entertaining the kids coming to visit for the Thanksgiving weekend… if it manages to stick around for the next two weeks. Continue reading

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Review: American Gangster

american_gangster_ver3American Gangster is proof that heritage does not indicate quality. It’s going to play havoc on genetic engineering theory. The film stars Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. It’s written by the Oscar winning writer of Schindler’s List Steven Zaillian and directed by Oscar nominee Sir Ridley Scott. It’s a gangster movie about an underdog coming out on top. So how could this film be anything but brilliant? And yet… American Gangster is anything but brilliant. Continue reading

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