Duncan (Joshua Jackson) has trouble with keeping jobs. He has a brother who cheats on his wife and a snide attitude. He hangs out with a gang of guys he's known for forever and a day and stiffens up when people bring up his hockey star past. All this changes when he takes a job at the apartment complex where his grandparents live. His grandpa, Ronald (Donald Sutherland), is losing his mind not so gracefully and often jokes about killing himself. His grandma, Ruth (Louise Fletcher), is just trying to keep him together. Then one day, Duncan meets Kate (Juliette Lewis), and all of a sudden life might have a bigger meaning outside of Minneapolis and his love for The Replacements.
Continue reading: Aurora Borealis Review
His Gray Evans (Giovanni Ribisi) is a movie star who can't go far without being recognized and adulated, but he's being led down the path of depression by psychotic paranoia spiked with narcissism. He's married to his boyhood idol, Mia (Franka Potente), who truly loves him, but she's more the inspiration for distrust than love and joy. Self-destruction lurks in the wings.
Continue reading: I Love Your Work Review
The story so far: Kathryn (Gellar) and Sebastian (Phillippe) are spoiled, ultra-rich, rival half-siblings living in posh Upper East Side Manhattan. How does such a child while away the day? Well, sexual conquests of unsuspecting lesser-thans is a damn good start. On a whim, Kathryn challenges Sebastian to the ultimate test: deflower puritanical virgin Annette (Witherspoon) and he can have Kathryn as a prize.
Continue reading: Cruel Intentions Review
You know something is rotten with The Skulls right from the get-go. I mean, what self-respecting prep school-Ivy League snob would join an organization with a name as stupid as "The Skulls"? Well, Luke (Joshua Jackson) would be, for one. Only he's no preppie. He's a "townie" with no money, but even though he's of the Lower Classes, since he's such a good rower (yes, "the skulls," I get it), he's a shoo-in for the secret society. A mysterious invitation arrives, and Luke is whisked into a world of power and money, where men in red robes usher in beautiful women for the taking at tuxedoed parties. Before you can utter "Fidelio," Luke has become One of Them.
Continue reading: The Skulls Review
Despite an awful title that's perfectly suited for a hospital or construction site safety guide, the objects in question are not dirty syringes or rusty nails; rather, The Safety of Objects is brimming with narrative strands about people coping with life's most difficult and daunting elements (the loss of a loved one, sexual frustration, professional ennui) by focusing their quests for happiness on either their unsatisfying careers or mundane possessions such as dishwashers, guitars, and treadmills. Esther Gold (Glenn Close) fanatically dotes on her comatose songwriter son Paul (Joshua Jackson) in lieu of caring for her husband Howard (Robert Klein) and rebellious daughter Julie (Jessica Campbell). Neighbor Annette Jennings (Patricia Clarkson) is a single mother trying to take care of her two kids while waging a financial and personal battle with her ex-husband. Lawyer Jim Train (Dermot Mulroney) can't see the forest from the trees because of his fixation with work, and his constant absence from his wife and kids has made him unaware of son Jake's (Alex House) creepy relationship with a Barbie-esque doll that speaks to him. And in a prime example of dysfunctional overload, we even get sexually frustrated, fanatically health conscious housewife Helen Christiansen (Mary Kay Place), as well as neighborhood gardener Randy (Timothy Olyphant), who's dealing with the death of his adolescent brother.
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Hey, look at me! A gay kid got beaten to death in Laramie, Wyoming, so let's go there and interview people... and write a play using their words.
Continue reading: The Laramie Project Review
If you're looking for a review of "Cursed" or "Man of the House" in your newspaper this morning, you're not going to find one -- in any newspaper anywhere. Opening in theaters nationwide today, these two movies have been kept hidden from critics because, to be blunt, the studios think they're garbage and want to rake in as much money as they can before word gets out.
Of course, nobody will admit to this at Dimension Films or Columbia Pictures, which are releasing the junkers. But it's no coincidence that every movie Hollywood doesn't screen in advance -- either by not holding previews until the night before opening or not holding them at all -- is largely lambasted once critics and audiences have caught up with it.
Continue reading: Cursed Review
Leave it to the sublimely inventive Steven Soderbergh to do a remake the right way around -- starting from a mediocre movie that didn't live it to its potential, then setting out to make it better.
Looking to have a little fun after his back-to-back successes of "Erin Brokovich" and "Traffic," Soderbergh gathered a gang of his favorite actors who were willing to work cheap and set his sights on a high-tech retooling of the forgettable Rat Pack casino heist caper "Ocean's 11."
Made in 1960, the original starred Las Vegas habituates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford, who just showed up, said their lines and brought their joking, drinking and womanizing personalities with them. The movie had character and style, of course, but little else.
Continue reading: Ocean's Eleven Review
Laced with horribly clichéd secret society mumbo jumbo and unintentionally funny homoerotic undertones, "The Skulls" is a laughable thriller about a pre-law Yale student (Joshua Jackson) so shallow and ambitious that he's willing to throw over his best friend and the girl he loves just to be accepted in an underground campus club of power-hungry blue bloods.
The Skulls, you see, are an indomitable, clandestine handful of the country's social and political elite -- all Yale men -- who the movie tells us founded the CIA among other ominous undertakings. Members are members for life. They get branded and paired up with other members as "soul mates." They live by a musty, leather-bound, 200-year-old book of rules. They cover up each other's scandals.
When this brotherhood accept new members, money is deposited money in their bank accounts, they're given expensive cars, tuxedos (which are worn to frequent Skulls dinner parties), nice wrist-watches, nights with call-girls in a Christian Dior gowns, and -- most importantly as far as young Luke McNamara (Jackson) is concerned -- they pay their conscripts' tuitions and see to it they get into the law school of their choice.
Continue reading: The Skulls Review
The thing I've always liked best about Muppet movies isall the pop culture sight gags that send adults laughing over the backsof their chairs while the kids sitting next to them just giggle at theMuppets because they're the Muppets.
"Muppets From Space" has more of these over-the- heads- of- babes gags than any of its predecessors, and while thestory -- about hook-nosed, species-unknown Gonzo searching the stars forhis origins -- only moves forward in clumsy fits and starts, when the plotstalls out, the gaps are filled with funny, funny stuff.
After opening credits accompanied by a laughably ominousspace opera score, the story begins with a dream sequence in which Gonzois turned away from Noah's Ark because there's only one of him. As therain starts pouring down, Noah (F. Murray Abraham in a cameo) hands hima small umbrella and wishes him luck.
Continue reading: Muppets From Space Review
Rife with more and better twists than a teen-targeted psychological thriller deserves, "Gossip" is a dark and borderline-tantalizing popcorn flick about a trio of sociology majors whose experiment manipulating the campus rumor mill runs amok into rape and murder charges.
Our three muckrakers are rich pretty boy Derrick (James Marsden), bookishly sexy Jones (Lena Headey) and scruffy struggling artist Travis (Norman Reedus), who all live together in Derrick's uber-industrial, million-dollar, warehouse district loft.
Their little project -- ostensibly groundwork for a paper in an introspective sociology class taught by the subversive Eric Bogosian ("Talk Radio") -- begins as an admittedly mean-spirited test of how rumors grow and mutate. After seeing a reputedly virginal rich girl (Kate Hudson) pass out at a party while necking with her boyfriend (Joshua Jackson), they plant the story that the two had sex in an upstairs bedroom.
Continue reading: Gossip Review
"Cruel Intentions" is literally "Dangerous Liaisons" transplanted to present-day Upper East Side Manhattan and featuring ruthless teenagers playing sexual power games instead of 18th Century French aristocrats.
As such, I fully expected it to be dumbed down beyond all recognition. I expected "Dangerous Liaisons 90210." But I can admit when I'm wrong.
Sexy, savage and succulent, with deliciously cruel and manipulative performances by Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the John Malkovich and Glenn Close roles, in its own way this fourth film adaptation of Choderlos De Laclos' scandalous 1782 novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" rivals the Malkovich-Close magnum opus in sophistication, dexterity and scintillating deviousness.
Continue reading: Cruel Intentions Review
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