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Beach Red Review


Excellent
If you've ever been curious where Terrence Malick stole his flashback-infused war film The Thin Red Line from, check out Beach Red, a clear influence for the picture in more ways than one. What starts off like any other war film (storming the beaches at Normandy, an examplary series of special effects for 1967) rapidly turns on its ear, as the various soldiers are developed via flashbacks to their lives at home: Families, girlfriends... director Cornel Wilde shows us that soldiers are people too, and that war is more than just a few bullets traded on the battlefield. Remarkably soulful for a war movie from 40 years ago, Beach Red is underseen but highly worth watching.

Marie Antoinette Review


Very Good
The word "soft" summarizes the world of Sofia Coppola, perfectly. Each film she has made has the tenderness, vagueness and, ultimately, the sensibility of a fluffy, white cloud in the middle of a blue sky. With two near-perfect films on her resume, 1999's The Virgin Suicides and 2003's majestic Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's third film should have been an easy play. Instead, we are given the beguiling Marie Antoinette.

There's the famous Marie-Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst): the one who so insipidly said "Let them eat cake" when learning of the famine and starvation of the French people and the one who had her head cut off and displayed, with ample delight, to the same people she told to eat said cake. Then there's the private Marie Antoinette: the one who was forced into a French marriage (she was Austrian originally) by her brutish mother and who would eventually lose a newborn baby right as her kingdom was crashing down. Coppola seems very confused as to whom she wants to show in Marie Antoinette.

Continue reading: Marie Antoinette Review

Zoom Review


Weak
Upon its release, Zoom was instantly reviled not only as one of the worst movies of 2006, but one of the worst movies ever made. As I write this it's hovering as the 15th worst film ever per the IMDB's (admittedly unscientific) "bottom 100," one run below Troll 2.

Is Zoom worse than #17 Phat Girlz? Worse than Glitter (#23)? Worse than Alone in the Dark (#38)? Zoom is hardly a masterpiece, but, really now, it isn't that bad.

Continue reading: Zoom Review

The Man Who Fell To Earth Review


Excellent
Sorry folks, Labyrinth was not David Bowie's best movie. It's arguably this, The Man Who Fell to Earth, a rambling and haunting science fiction movie unlike any you've ever seen. (Except perhaps 2001.)

Director Nicolas Roeg doesn't exactly clue us in to what's going on through the entire running of the film -- and even the ending has some ambiguity to it -- so the following synopsis is more of a rough guideline based on the acclaimed novel and personal conjecture. Bowie plays Thomas Newton, the assumed name of an alien who has landed on earth in the hopes of finding a way either to save his home planet, which has become a desert wasteland, or to figure out a way to get the rest of the homeland's survivors to earth. His plan is simple: Use his advanced technology to start a company that will instantly dominate most industries, and use the proceeds to further these ends.

Continue reading: The Man Who Fell To Earth Review

Hercules Review


Good
Tepid Disney animated entry is redeemed by self-referential jokes about merchandising, and James Woods' neat Hades. Probably the beginning of the Disney-mocking-Disney genre of animated films... something which has saved the studio in recent years.

Pork Chop Hill Review


Very Good
Gregory Peck, along with a host of then-unknowns, star in this Korean War melodrama, about the taking of an unimportant hill on the eve of the end of the war. According to the production notes, this film is absolutely true, and it paints a disappointing picture of the bureaucracy of the U.S. Army and what it will do to "save face." Good film but not exceptionally memorable 40 years after the fact.

Sweet Bird Of Youth Review


Very Good
Tennessee Williams is up to his usual tricks in Sweet Bird of Youth, a nasty little film about an aspiring (yet hopeless) actor (Paul Newman), who returns to his home town with a head full of schemes and trouble. But it's Geraldine Page, as a Gloria Swanson-esque has-been actress tagging along with him, who steals the show. (She also got an Oscar nomination, though Ed Begley, as the town politico, won Best Supporting Actor.) The film gets a little bogged down in minutiae and irrelevant side plots, but on the whole it's solid and searing.

Marie Antoinette Review


Very Good
The word "soft" summarizes the world of Sofia Coppola, perfectly. Each film she has made has the tenderness, vagueness and, ultimately, the sensibility of a fluffy, white cloud in the middle of a blue sky. With two near-perfect films on her resume, 1999's The Virgin Suicides and 2003's majestic Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's third film should have been an easy play. Instead, we are given the beguiling Marie Antoinette.

There's the famous Marie-Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst): the one who so insipidly said "Let them eat cake" when learning of the famine and starvation of the French people and the one who had her head cut off and displayed, with ample delight, to the same people she told to eat said cake. Then there's the private Marie Antoinette: the one who was forced into a French marriage (she was Austrian originally) by her brutish mother and who would eventually lose a newborn baby right as her kingdom was crashing down. Coppola seems very confused as to whom she wants to show in Marie Antoinette.

Continue reading: Marie Antoinette Review

The Sisters Review


Bad
Films have certain advantages over stage plays - locations can shift, laws of physics need not apply, and characters can do more than stand around and talk ad nauseam. Unfortunately, no one shared this world of possibilities with the makers of The Sisters, an aggressively frustrating and ultimately nonsensical waste of time and talent.The titular Prior sisters, hyper-literate and unlikable to a one, are conveniently categorized archetypes capable of little beyond petty bickering. There's the oldest, Olga (Mary Stuart Masterson), cold, repressed, and overly rational; the middle, Marcia (Maria Bello), whose vicious unhappiness has turned her into predatory shrew; and baby Irene (Erika Christensen), the idealistic peacemaker. The family, along with brother Andrew (Nivola), a spineless placeholder, and various relatives and hangers-on, assembles regularly for festive occasions as heartwarming as a pack of coyotes fighting over a kill.The melodrama is intimate but overly full of histrionics: Marcia is trapped in an awful marriage to an equally bilious psychologist and tempted into an affair - after approximately an hour of acquaintance - with a former student of her father's (Tony Goldwyn); two different professors (one acerbic, the other puppyish) are in love with the oblivious Irene; the entire family hates Andrew's trashy fiancée, Nancy. Each conflict plays out in vicious familial attacks and endless, self-congratulatory, falsely profound dialogue.The Sisters is based on the Chekov play Three Sisters, and I will title that Problem #1: It sticks too closely to the devices of the original. In Chekov's time, an unhappy marriage was permanent, love could be so socially unacceptable it was rendered unmentionable, and repression was a legitimate way of life. In a modern setting, the confines are simply not as limiting as the characters would like to believe. Marcia makes no secret of being violently miserable in her marriage and communicates with her husband solely in hurled vitriol, and yet she stays! For no good reason! This isn't a tragic character; she's a woe-is-me-martyr, and impossible to like for it.Problem #2 is in the adaptation of the piece from a stage play to the screen. I'd guess that, in the process, Richard Alfeiri was reluctant to make any significant alterations to his original or offer many concessions to the medium, because this reads exactly like a play. That isn't a complement; these characters do nothing but talk. In a stage setting, audiences are willing to put up with florid language, but for film, the dialogue is ridiculous. Characters pack every sentence with as many 50-cent-words possible - why say "live" when "inhabit" has so many more syllables? During one (of many) heated arguments, one sister actually says to another, "You do not understand my complexities enough to analyze and categorize me!" I wish I were making that up, or that it were an anomaly. But no, they are all so pleased with themselves, with their endless babble about the "nature of their truth" that every sentence furthers the desire to slap each and every character. Hard.Probably the biggest problem with The Sisters, however, is how great a waste it is. Despite the irritating script and visuals that are so sporadically fanciful that it looks as though Arthur Allan Seidelman is discovering the effects features on Final Cut Pro and wants to show them off, the cast is uniformly stellar. Bello's Marcia is deplorable, but she acts the hell out of her; same goes for Masterson and Elizabeth Banks as the uniformly reviled Nancy. All, really, are much better than the material given, so it is unclear what possessed such a rock-sold cast to sign on to such a screenplay, but at least their presence makes the film occasionally bearable.

Yours, Mine And Ours Review


Bad
Three major studios (Sony, Paramount, and MGM) collaborated on one motion picture, and this is the result? A moronic mingling of massive families, Brady Bunch style, that isn't satisfied until father figure Dennis Quaid is coated in a sticky paste and pummeled into submission? That thinks it's amusing when one child pukes, but hilarious when another child slips in it? That somehow convinces Oscar winner Linda Hunt to attempt a demoralizing joke involving her pink thong? I've long since accepted that Hollywood requires its family comedies to be juvenile, but do they need to be so dumb?

Raja Gosnell's Yours, Mine and Ours is a remake of a mediocre Lucille Ball-Henry Fonda pairing that couldn't be further from the original. This version reunites former sweethearts Frank Beardsley (Quaid) and Helen North (Rene Russo), except now they're widows heading up huge families - he has eight children, she has 10. While attending their high school reunion, the two are pleasantly surprised to find that the feelings they once shared still exist. In the very next scene - which we have to assume occurs the day after the reunion - Frank and Helen are telling their respective broods that they tied the knot, forming one gigantic disaster of a family.

Continue reading: Yours, Mine And Ours Review

Pork Chop Hill Review


Very Good
Gregory Peck, along with a host of then-unknowns, star in this Korean War melodrama, about the taking of an unimportant hill on the eve of the end of the war. According to the production notes, this film is absolutely true, and it paints a disappointing picture of the bureaucracy of the U.S. Army and what it will do to "save face." Good film but not exceptionally memorable 40 years after the fact.

RoboCop 3 Review


Bad
As a franchise, there are several signs that you should stop making the movies, and top on the list of signs that the horse is dead is this: Nobody but the bit players who can't get work elsewhere come back for the next sequel.

Such is the case with RoboCop 3, which replaces its title character (Peter Weller) with Robert John Burke and cameos every other bit player from each part of the RoboCop franchise.

Continue reading: RoboCop 3 Review

The Man Who Fell To Earth Review


Excellent
Sorry folks, Labyrinth was not David Bowie's best movie. It's arguably this, The Man Who Fell to Earth, a rambling and haunting science fiction movie unlike any you've ever seen. (Except perhaps 2001.)

Director Nicolas Roeg doesn't exactly clue us in to what's going on through the entire running of the film -- and even the ending has some ambiguity to it -- so the following synopsis is more of a rough guideline based on the acclaimed novel and personal conjecture. Bowie plays Thomas Newton, the assumed name of an alien who has landed on earth in the hopes of finding a way either to save his home planet, which has become a desert wasteland, or to figure out a way to get the rest of the homeland's survivors to earth. His plan is simple: Use his advanced technology to start a company that will instantly dominate most industries, and use the proceeds to further these ends.

Continue reading: The Man Who Fell To Earth Review

Welcome To Mooseport Review


Bad
If you thought the issues that plagued Florida voters during the last Presidential election were a bit unbelievable, then welcome to Mooseport - a coastal Maine town where electing a mayor is more difficult than counting hanging chads. In this film, an "election" means finding the most qualified person to decide the "tough" issues like where a stop sign should be placed or who should date the town veterinarian.

Enter former President Monroe Cole (Gene Hackman). He's the most liked President since JFK, and he has decided to make Mooseport his retirement haven. Not that he has much of a choice since his ex-wife, the former First Lady, has nearly cleaned him dry in a nasty divorce. Mooseport is also going through a crisis. The mayor has recently died, and the troubled city council cannot find anyone willing to run for office. With President Cole now living in town, the city council sees him as the answer to their prayers, and after enough of their pressure, Cole enters the race for no other reason than to keep his last possession: his vacation home.

Continue reading: Welcome To Mooseport Review

Defending Your Life Review


Extraordinary
Hands-down my favorite Brooks (Albert) movie, with an especially inspired performance by Meryl Streep as, like everyone else on the cast, a dead person trying to figure it all out. Glorious.

Senseless Review


OK
Really a showcase for Wayans's physical comedy talents (which are prodigious), this silly comedy about a hard-working underpriviledged college guy who gains super senses thanks to an experimental drug, is as senseless as they come. Fun to watch at moments, though.

Hercules Review


Good
Tepid Disney animated entry is redeemed by self-referential jokes about merchandising, and James Woods' neat Hades. Probably the beginning of the Disney-mocking-Disney genre of animated films... something which has saved the studio in recent years.

Continue reading: Hercules Review

Men In Black II Review


Good
In an interview, director Barry Sonnenfeld told me about four years ago that he didn't want to make another Men in Black. The studio wanted it, he said, but he just wasn't interested. What a difference Wild Wild West and Big Trouble will make to your choice of film projects!

And so Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return to their black suits in one of the most uninspired sequels in recent memory, going through the motions while spouting one-liners en route to encounters with familiar characters at the familiar locations which made the original Men in Black so endearing.

Continue reading: Men In Black II Review

Forty Shades Of Blue Review


Excellent
"I think you hate women," a trusted colleague recently told me. She went on to say something along the lines of, "OK, maybe you don't hate women, but you certainly don't trust them." Weeks later, still considering those heavy words so lightly thrown, I thought of Ira Sachs's remarkable and challenging new film Forty Shades of Blue. The central character is the woman hanging onto the arm of her rich, older boyfriend. It's a woman's role usually subordinated while the hell-raising man gets all the laughs, glory, and screen time.

As played by Dina Korzun, I didn't understand this woman character at all. She's closed off, remote, seems not to use the mind that is her own, and puts up with all sorts of horseshit from her boorish man, Memphis music producer Alan James (Rip Torn, who tears up the screen with his raging bull persona). She looks like a fashion model, a slender little slip of a thing dressed in wonderful clothes. We learn that she is originally from Russia, and has a three-year-old child. She appears somewhat bored with her wealthy lifestyle and mansion, and -- here's the thing... she's either completely inaccessible or she doesn't use the brains in her head.

Continue reading: Forty Shades Of Blue Review

Cross Creek Review


Very Good
At once touching and weird, this feel-good version of Deliverance has Mary Steenburgen dropping everything to move to a tiny backwater bayou civilization in Florida called Cross Creek, where she intends to write fiction when she isn't busy helping the locals get their lives together. Nominated for four Oscars (it won none), this meandering trip into the world of moonshine and 'gator hunting features a stellar performance by Rip Torn which just about keeps the saccharine level at bay. (It is also, incidentally, the true-ish story of the woman who wrote the book The Yearling.)
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Rip Torn Movies

Men In Black 3 Trailer

Men In Black 3 Trailer

Agents K and J work for the Men In Black, an organisation specialising in hunting...

Men In Black III Trailer

Men In Black III Trailer

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August Movie Review

August Movie Review

In Austin Chick's August, Josh Harnett is having a bad day. As pre-9/11 dot-com hotshot...

Bee Movie, Trailer and Clips Trailer

Bee Movie, Trailer and Clips Trailer

Bee MovieTrailer and ClipsBee Movie is a comedy that will change everything you think you...

Bee Movie, New trailer and Cannes stunt Trailer

Bee Movie, New trailer and Cannes stunt Trailer

Bee Movie Released December 2007Trailer StreamSynopsis:Bee Movie is a comedy that will change everything you...

Yours, Mine and Ours (2005) Movie Review

Yours, Mine and Ours (2005) Movie Review

Three major studios (Sony, Paramount, and MGM) collaborated on one motion picture, and this is...

Marie Antoinette Movie Review

Marie Antoinette Movie Review

The word "soft" summarizes the world of Sofia Coppola, perfectly. Each film she has made...

Zoom Movie Review

Zoom Movie Review

Upon its release, Zoom was instantly reviled not only as one of the worst movies...

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