Monthly Archives: February 2008

THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL

The Other Boleyn Girl Movie Review

PG_13, 115 min, 2008

Director: Justin Chadwick
Writers: Peter Morgan (screenplay), Philippa Gregory (novel)
Stars: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana

The Other Boleyn Girl merely comes disguised as a serious historical drama. In fact, it’s a dark, sudsy, sumptuously made and morally vaccuous film with all the depth of a daytime soap opera – and as such, it’s quite fun. Continue reading

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CHICAGO 10

Chicago 10 Movie Review

R, 110 min, 2007

Director: Brett Morgen
Writer: Brett Morgen
Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Nick Nolte, Roy Scheider

A perfect companion piece to Robert Greenwald’s Steal This Movie (2000), Brett Morgan’s Chicago 10 is a fascinating documentary about the controversial period surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Continue reading

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PENELOPE

PG, 104 m., 2006

Director: Mark Palansky
Writer: Leslie Caveny (written by)
Stars: Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon

Penelope is a modern-day fairy-tale which sat on the shelf for two years (made in 2006, released in early 2008 – and only somewhat at this point). Hard to figure what the concerns were. It’s a little uneven, and not too funny, but nice enough. Continue reading

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SEMI-PRO

R, 91 min, 2008

Director: Kent Alterman
Writer: Scot Armstrong (written by)
Stars: Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin

Here is a goofy, virtually one-joke period comedy that makes you smile and chuckle and laugh out loud on more than one occasion, but little else. Maybe that’s enough. Continue reading

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CHOP SHOP

Chop Shop Movie Review

UNRATED, 84 m., 2007

Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writers: Bahareh Azimi, Ramin Bahrani (written by)
Stars: Alejandro Polanco, Isamar Gonzales, Rob Sowulski

Ramin Bahrani’s Chop Shop is a raw, effective, moving slice of life which doesn’t just observe its characters, or paint a portrait of their lives – it appears to actually live and breathe them. Continue reading

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VANTAGE POINT

PG_13, 90 min, 2008

Director: Pete Travis
Writer: Barry Levy
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Matthew Fox

Vantage Point is a thriller that plays with the notion of perspective – what one person sees from their point of view might be quite different from how someone else sees the same event. Continue reading

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SEX AND DEATH 101

R, 100 min, 2007

Director: Daniel Waters
Writer: Daniel Waters
Stars: Robert Wisdom, Tanc Sade, Patton Oswalt

Daniel Waters’ Sex and Death 101 is a pitch black comedy which is sometimes funny, sometimes raunchy, and fairly hit-and-miss. Continue reading

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BE KIND REWIND

Be Kind Rewind Movie Review

PG_13, 102 min, 2008

Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Michel Gondry
Stars: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover

Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, an odd, silly and ultimately sweet ode to movie lovers everywhere, is as whimsical as it is inconsequential. Continue reading

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DEFINITELY, MAYBE

PG_13, 112 min, 2008

Director: Adam Brooks
Writer: Adam Brooks
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Breslin

Definitely, Maybe is a (slightly) off-beat “love-story/mystery” – and one of the more charming romantic comedies of recent years – and it pulls off a neat trick for a modern film of its type: it seems to focus more on character than jokes, and as a result is more enjoyable than “traditional” romantic comedies. Continue reading

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JUMPER

Here is a bizarre sci-fi/action yarn that is about as mundane and ridiculous as I can possibly fathom for a film of its type.

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THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES

The Spiderwick Chronicles Movie Review

PG, 96 min, 2008

Director: Mark Waters
Writers: Karey Kirkpatrick (screenplay) and David Berenbaum (screenplay) and John Sayles (screenplay), Tony DiTerlizzi (books) and Holly Black (books)

Stars: Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, David Strathairn

Mark Waters’ The Spiderwick Chronicles, an adaptation of the acclaimed young adult books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, is a surprisingly absorbing, enjoyable, and perfectly-tailored family entertainment for this decade. Continue reading

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THE BAND’S VISIT

The Band's Visit Movie Review

PG_13, 87 min, 2007

Director: Eran Kolirin
Writer: Eran Kolirin
Stars: Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri

Eran Kolirin’s The Band’s Visit is a winsome fable – a warm, quietly charming human comedy which remembers with great clarity and attention to detail, a time not so long ago when a group of men from one culture spent a night with members of another culture and found commonalities between them. Continue reading

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I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN

PG_13, 97 m., 2007

Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, Saoirse Ronan

Amy Heckerling’s I Could Never Be Your Woman, a surprisingly engaging romantic comedy, is a somewhat hit-and-miss take on modern day romances, the age gap, TV sitcom production and the pitfalls of being a single mom raising a pubescent daughter. Continue reading

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OVER HER DEAD BODY

Over Her Dead Body Movie Review

PG_13, 95 min, 2008

Director: Jeff Lowell
Writer: Jeff Lowell
Stars: Eva Longoria, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell

Here is a romantic comedy that is neither romantic, nor comedic. It is lacking in chemistry, interest, laughs and even good ol’ common sense! To boot, Over Her Dead Body treats its idiotic plot device as just that – a plot device, idiotically, and without a scintilla of wonder at its implications. Continue reading

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