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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

The Insider Review


Excellent
Listen up! A movie adapted from a magazine article about the making of a four-year old segment of a television program: Does this pitch have you hooked yet? No? Well, despite a potentially dry-as-dust premise, The Insider manages to rise above its inherent limitations and provides a compelling look inside the politics of 60 Minutes and the tobacco industry.

They say you should never see two things being made: Sausage and legislation. Add journalism to that list. I've been in this racket long enough to know that objectivity is painfully lacking in the places you expect to find it the most. Backroom deals make strange bedfellows of interest-conflicted parties (e.g. Time-Warner owns Entertainment Weekly magazine, which reviews Warner Bros. films, etc.) So when 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Pacino) decided to do a story about the hazards of cigarettes in 1996, he found himself embroiled in controversy.

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Wonder Boys Review


Excellent
I have no idea what "wonder boys" are. I assume it's one of many questions that are answered in the novel but which go ignored in this film adaptation.

As it turns out, it doesn't really matter who the Wonder Boys are. The film has enough substance and, especially, ribald and dark, dark humor to carry it despite a few minor flaws like this.

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The Cincinnati Kid Review


Extraordinary
A fairly obvious attempt to make The Hustler of poker, with Steve McQueen playing the role of Fast Eddie (McQueen and Newman were rival screen heroes at the time). The Cincinnati Kid artistically falls just short of that standard -- the characters are not as fully developed as in The Hustler -- but it's just as much fun, and one of McQueen's best films.

McQueen is the Kid, a young card player who believes he is the best in the country. Edward G. Robinson is the Man, the aging veteran that McQueen must knock off his pedestal. McQueen is cocky, confident, appealing, and fundamentally decent; Robinson is complex and opaque, with one of the greatest poker faces in cinema. The inevitable showdown between the two is a battle of wills and nerve which lasts a night, most of the next day and another night.

Continue reading: The Cincinnati Kid Review

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story Review


Weak
Each summer, a handful of big budget blockbusters vie for box office supremacy at theaters across the country and around the globe. This year is no exception, as Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Shrek duke it out for the top draw, another, less prestigious fight will take place. And I can already tell you that Dodgeball is a strong contender for the title of this summer's biggest throw-away movie.

From the word go, Dodgeball has a few fundamental weaknesses that would make the movie itself -- not just its storyline -- a true underdog story. First off, it's a Ben Stiller vehicle. And like most Stiller vehicles, it more closely resembles a tricycle than a car. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it's written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the creative genius behind the 2002 comedy Terry Tate: Office Linebacker.

Continue reading: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story Review

Wonder Boys Review


Good

If "Wonder Boys" is to be a hit at all -- and it deserves to be -- it's going to have to be a word of mouth hit, because the marketing for this movie stinks.

The poster is a homely, dueling-airbrushes disaster. The commercials and trailers don't capture a fraction the movie's antic character. As near as I can figure, the insipid title has nothing to do with the story -- about a benevolent, crusty college professor whose life is turned amusingly upside-down in a single weekend.

I suspect that, except for those who have read the Michael Chabon novel or have a particular penchant for one of the perfectly-cast players, most folks won't be feeling much of a jones to see it.

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Men In Black II Review


Terrible

"Men in Black II" has sequel-itis something fierce. An ungainly, comedy-deficient, B-movie rush job (despite being five years in the making) it's burdened by phoned-in performances and a plot that goes largely unexplained despite almost non-stop expository dialogue.

Most of Agent Jay's lines sound as if they've been made up on the spot by indulged superstar Will Smith -- and as charming as the guy can be, an ad-libber he's not. Tommy Lee Jones's Agent Kay, whose memory was wiped at the end of the original "Men in Black" by the franchise's trademark gadget, the neuralizer, is back. But he's a bump on a log. Most of the time the actor looks as if he's just gotten off the phone with his agent after trying to get out of this humiliating, flimsy sequel.

Agent Kay has been rounded up from an oblivious life in a rural post office and de-neuralized because he's the only one who knows where to find "the Light of Zartha," an alien object hidden on Earth that serves no explored purpose other than as a plot device to introduce Lara Flynn Boyle as a morphing, tentacled space baddie. She vamps around in a push-up bra and panties, taking over MIB headquarters and releasing evil aliens from the MIB prison (including an obnoxious, two-headed idiot henchman played by Johnny Knoxville of MTV's "Jackass") to help her find the Light.

Continue reading: Men In Black II Review

Welcome To Mooseport Review


Bad

"Welcome to Mooseport" is a fusty, rusty, laugh-track-lame comedy about two petty, immature men running for mayor of the same stereotypically idyllic small town and vying for the affections of the same apparently undiscriminating small-town woman.

One of them (an unusually humdrum Gene Hackman) is the newly termed-out President of the United States, who has retired to the little Maine burg and enters the race as a PR stunt that goes awry. The other (torpid TV star Ray Romano) is a plumber who owns the local hardware store and hasn't the backbone to commit to anything -- and yet he's persuaded to run for office. Or so we're told. Even though it's pivotal to the plot, this cajoling takes place off-screen for no good reason.

But the rivals' stations in life hardly matter since, once you get past the screenplay's fresh paint, these two guys are the same stale, odious, infantile jerks that have been pawned off as Everyman heroes in every other ill-conceived comedy from the last 20 years.

Continue reading: Welcome To Mooseport Review

The Insider Review


Very Good

Leave it to "Heat" director Michael Mann to make a seat-gripping near-thriller about something as inherently dull as corporate whistle-blowing.

"The Insider" is a freely fictionalized retelling of the events that really got the ball rolling in the current attack on the tobacco industry: When a medical researcher for cigarette maker Brown and Williamson spills his guts to "60 Minutes," it puts CBS into in an ethical tailspin as lawyers come knocking with a broken confidentiality agreement in one hand and a lawsuit in the other.

I know what you're thinking: Yawn!

Continue reading: The Insider Review

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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

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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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