Nicholas Lea

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Chaos (2005) Review


Weak
Though it ended up going straight to DVD in the U.S. (after earning a total of about $1 million in France), Chaos surprises by opening with a real bang. Might something good actually come of this? The film opens with a big bank heist -- always a reliable crowd-pleaser -- in which Wesley Snipes' Lorenz holes up and makes a bunch of demands, including that suspended cop Quentin Conners (Jason Statham) be brought in to negotiate. But just when things look like they're going to get interesting, Lorenz blows up the bank, the hostages all run out, and Lorenz vanishes... along with the movie's engagement.

Chaos immediately descends into doldrums, with Conners and extremely strange partner Shane (Ryan Phillippe) trying to figure out who Lorenz is and why he robbed a bank but didn't steal anything. Cat and mouse ensues, Seven style, until we figure out the truth that's been telegraphed since the very beginning. (And trust me, everything you need to fill in the pieces can be found in the last two paragraphs.)

Continue reading: Chaos (2005) Review

The X-Files: The Complete Series Review


Extraordinary
In the early 1990s, the young Fox network was just beginning to hit its stride with an odd mix of television not found on the major three networks. Fox viewers found irreverent comedy courtesy of the dysfunctional families on The Simpsons and Married... with Children; gripping real-life crime action in COPS and America's Most Wanted; and sappy post adolescent soap drama with Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five. Just about the only thing missing from this eccentric network line-up was a show about aliens. Oh, but wait... oeven that show would eventually find a home on Fox; in the fall of 1993, The X-Files arrived.

The riveting pilot episode quickly sets the framework for the entire series. FBI Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) works outside of the bureau's mainstream on discarded, unsolved cases regarding paranormal activity called the X-Files. His immediate supervisors think his work is without merit, so they assign a young female agent, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) to work with Mulder and disprove his wild theories. Mulder believes we are not alone in the universe; Scully believes science holds the key to the unexplained. Their first case together -- teenagers being abducted and killed in Oregon -- raises more questions than answers and leaves Scully with little exculpatory evidence to report back to her superiors.

Continue reading: The X-Files: The Complete Series Review

Vertical Limit Review


Terrible

With only the thinnest thread of a tether anchoring its mountain climbing action in reality, "Vertical Limit" takes suspension of disbelief to new extremes for a film that goes out of its way to seem credible.

Celebrated Everest-conqueror Ed Viesturs has a multiple-scene cameo in this adventure about a climber trying to rescue his sister from a huge crevasse near the top of K-2, the world's highest mountain.

But the stunts are so far-fetched you don't even have to own a pair of hiking boots to find them laughable. Even more hilarious, it's pathetically obvious that much of the movie was shot on a soundstage with cheap mountainside scrims in the background.

Continue reading: Vertical Limit Review

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Vertical Limit Movie Review

Vertical Limit Movie Review

With only the thinnest thread of a tether anchoring its mountain climbing action in reality,...

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