Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

The Living Wake (2010)

Monday, May 24th, 2010

When anyone watches a movie they enter into a non-verbal contract with the director that states that as we place ourselves in their hands for the next two hours, we trust that they will not screw with us. That does not just cover that they won’t plant us back in the Middle Ages and then have someone make a phone call on an Iphone but also that they know what they are doing and will not film someone’s chin when they intend to be capturing a close up. If they do film a chin, that chin better be important in the third act. Director Sol Tryon in his debut film “The Living Wake,” breaks this contract.

“The Living Wake” covers the last day of self proclaimed genius K. Roth Binew (played by Michael O’Connell, also co-writer of the screenplay). He is diagnosed with a “vague and grave sickness.” On the plus side, the doctor is able to pinpoint to the second the moment Binew is going to die. Therefore, K. Roth sets out on his last day to pass out invitations to his final party, a living wake. He enlists his best and only friend, Mills Joaquin (Jesse Eisenberg) to take him around on a bike-powered rickshaw. The quirkiness only escalates from there. In an attempt to finally get the brief but powerful monologue his dad promised him, a monologue that would uncover all of life’s mysteries, he endures trials and tribulations, mostly of his own making. He concludes his day with a final performance at his living wake. On a makeshift stage, in an open field, Binew’s friends gather to witness his madness one last time.

Jesse Eisenberg, still doing his best Michael Cera impersonation (God bless him), does an adequate job being a dutiful and long suffering lackey. He is the reason this film is getting a release at all, as he is the only known name in the entire roster, and I guess they figured they could release the film on his recent success in Zombieland and Adventureland. Carter Little wrote the music, which was often overpowering, (Michael O’Connell has his hand in this as well), although I did enjoy their attempt at wit by placing the Westminister chimes throughout the score as if to show how time is slipping away from K. Roth Binew. Ha ha! So witty.

There are places in the film where the actors physically pause for the laughter as if they are playing before a live studio audience…but the laughter in my audience never came. It is very difficult to express why and/or how this film misses the mark and I think the difficulty in the explanation is part of the mark-missing in itself. Let me explain. The film wants to be over the top, both with its characters and their audacity and with the settings and situations they are placed in. However, it feels that Tryon is too timid and decides to play it safe. It’s not quite tongue-in-cheek and it’s not quite convincing me that these are real characters. The movie lies in some middle lukewarm ground where everything is simple and boring. There is a song that K. Roth Binew sings, his final hurrah as it were where he shucks off this mortal coil and says goodbye to his acquaintances. The event itself is big. The character, to Mr. O’Connell’s great credit, is played very big. The song, however, felt understated, underdeveloped and under whelming. Perhaps in a different director’s hands this would have been a cult house classic – certainly something I would enjoy. In fact, I feel this film is begging for an immediate remake. I would love to see this story with most of this cast in a capable director’s hands. Tryon seemed to have been watching “Rushmore” on an endless loop while making this film and I can see what he was going for. Honestly, he just lacked the confidence to be brazen, to really let K. Roth Binew loose, to let him be an utterly contemptible jerk and, perhaps, hated by the audience. That’s where he was written to be. That’s where O’Connell was playing him. Instead, Tryon pulled way back on the reins, too scared that his protagonist was not going to be adored and therefore landed in the queasy no-man’s land of apathy.

The gravest sin, and the one that finally pushed me completely out of the fanciful world this film was attempting to weave around me, came at the end of the film. I would say that this is a spoiler because there is a tissue-thin veil of doubt the film tries to throw over our eyes about the finality of K. Roth Binew’s life at the end of the day. And perhaps it is because of that shred of doubt that I was in such a quandary about what happened. In any case, if you care at all, don’t read further and know that I would recommend waiting until the re-imagining to watch this film.

K. Roth Binew dies. Shocker, I know, but he times it very well with the ending of that final “big hurrah” song I was describing earlier and lands in his coffin, standing up, arms folded across his chest (if only he could have been holding a lily). The problem is, Michael O’ Connell CAN NOT STOP MOVING! And it’s not a subtle, “Did I just see what I think I saw?” kind of thing. This was serious hand twitching, chest heaving, Adams apple moving going on here. It was to such a point that, when none of the mourners who were staring intently at him even mention it, I felt that they were either in some serious denial or that they had all gone mad. “Binew is going to get up at any minute now” I thought to myself. Then they nailed shut the coffin and Mills Joaquin takes him away. “He’s taking Binew to a secluded place where he can open the coffin” I thought to myself. Then Mills Joaquin places the coffin on a boat in a river and sets it ablaze. “Oh, so Mills Joaquin wasn’t in on the gag and K. Roth Binew will soon burst out of the flaming coffin and it will be funny” I thought to myself. Then the screen went black and the end credits started to roll. Then I finally realized that it was not the audience at the living wake who could or would not see the dead man moving, it was the director. And it was then that I decided that if the director, Sol Tryon, could not be bothered to care about his film, then neither could I.

Harry Brown (2010)

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

It’s always great to see an exciting director’s first film. To say, “Wow! Once that guy polishes up some of his story telling skills, he’s going to make some impressive works.” Harry Brown is Daniel Barber’s first feature length film and it knocks the wind out of you. From the opening scenes, shot on what looked like grainy home movie stock, or what it was trying to resemble, cell phone footage blown up way beyond what it should be, the tone is set for this visceral film. What we see when the movie starts is what looks like an initiation, a bunch of youth hanging out in an alleyway, smoking drugs and playing with guns. Cut to two guys on a motor bike, shaky-cam, film the ground, driving through a park, whooping and laughing uproariously, pass a mother pushing her child in a stroller, bike stops and doubles back, driver circles the mother, pulls out the gun from the opening scene and opens fire on the poor woman. What happens next still has me scratching my head wondering how they accomplished it. The sudden, senseless, intense and brutal violence, which becomes the signature for this film is established up front and a director who doesn’t stylize and doesn’t shy away from such harsh images emerges into the zeitgeist.

This film is two parts to me. The first part is the story, which is extremely pedestrian, and is raised just above the common by Michael Caine and his extraordinary talents. Set in modern day Britain, we follow one man’s journey through a chaotic world where teenage violence and debauchery runs rampant. When his best friend is killed, he becomes the vigilante he was always meant to be. As I sat there watching the film I was constantly thinking through the first half – “Oh, he’s got a military background. That means he can do something about all the stuff we’ve been seeing these hooligans pull. He only needs one thing to push him ove… Oh… his only friend is going to go confront the hooligans…Yeah…that’ll do it.” This was a paint-by-numbers vigilante film; they might as well have gotten the outline to Death Wish or The Brave One and just plugged in new names. The music by Martin Phipps and Ruth Barrett do it no favors either, foretelling what is about to occur so far in advance that any emotional shock or connection with the characters is often lost. Emily Mortimer is all but wasted in this film, not given much to do but push exposition through and give us a glimpse into the fractured legal system that allows such horrible actions as are happening on the streets and apartments complexes in this film to go unchecked. As I stated before, the only thing that saves this portion of the film is getting to watch Michael Caine be the guy who gives these ruffians what for. It reminded me so much of the films and roles he’d done when he was younger, it almost made me nostalgic. The only other actor I want to spotlight is Sean Harris who did an outstanding job being a drugged-out-of-his-mind creep. With the bare minimum that he was given he styled a character so menacing and fascinating, in the portion of the film he was in, he stole the show from Michael Caine.

The second part of the film for me is utterly astounding and makes my mouth water for what the director will do next. The way that Daniel Berber handled the color, the texture, the mannerisms and rough aggressiveness of the streets and the children they spawn was amazing. It really made me wish he had chosen a better project to put this talent to. I wonder what he would have done with Sin Nombre, Bully or even transplanting a City of God type tale into England. He could bring those kinds of storylines to brilliant life. I don’t want him to get pigeon-holed, but from what I saw here, I just want him to fan this flame a little more and see the skill that’s began shining to come to full fruition before he moves on. The cinematographer, Martin Ruhe, as well must be complimented for making such raw and gritty images look absolutely beautiful.

It must be said that the kind of actions of violence portrayed in this film are not over exaggerated. The police advisors for the film, it is mentioned in the notes for the movie, had far more shocking stories to tell. That said this film does not come down praising or condemning either one side or the other, as well it shouldn’t. If the intention of the film was to entertain, it did so very well. However, if the intention was to inform, to educate or to stir something in the hearts of its audience and make a difference, it missed completely. It is difficult to do so when your hero’s response to violence is more violence.

Julie and Julia (2009)

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

There is so much food on show in Julie and Julia, it really does leave you feeling incredibly hungry. From starters and main courses to desserts, everything looks utterly delicious and it’s easy to believe the actors gained many pounds whilst filming this, as they are constantly eating. This is very much a film about cooking, so if you don’t like good food, just don’t bother watching. However, if you do like a good meal and some kitchen action, you may find this film very appetising. Be sure to have some snacks nearby when you watch though as otherwise it may be too much to bear.

Julie and Julia is based on two true stories. It shows the stories of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams), two women who made names for themselves through the art of cooking. Julia Child is a well known name in America as she the book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and appeared on Televison cooking shows. The film covers Julia’s life  from the late 1940’s to the early 1960’s, starting at the point when she moved to Paris with her husband Paul and discovered her love for cooking. The other story the film tells is the more modern day story of Julie Powell, a failed writer about to turn thirty who doesn’t know where her life is going. In a bid to find some purpose, Julie sets herself the difficult challenge of cooking her way through Julia Child’s massive cookbook and writes a blog about it.

Although the two stories are covering different time periods, they are very much interlinked and mirror each other. The two women are not at all like each other in temperament, but their lives follow similar paths. They both take up cooking to fill up time and find their own purpose and they both find cooking ultimately takes them to success.

Meryl Streep’s accent in the film is very bizarre. She is portraying an American woman, but she sounds like she’s attempting to sound either French or Polish. I can only imagine the odd accent is supposed to emphasise Julia Child’s eccentric nature and larger than life personality, but personally I found it a bit distracting. However, I did find her portrayal of Julia Child otherwise adorable. She’s a woman who seems unafraid of anything and she’s not afraid to show the world exactly who she is. She joins a cooking class which is solely occupied by men and she proves herself to be as fearless as any of them in the kitchen. She always seems happy, even under immense pressure and she never gives up.

Julie Powell is less likeable, which is surprising considering she’s being played by ‘nice girl next door’ type Amy Adams. Although Julie looks like a picture of innocence and sounds sweet as pie, she acts like a proper bitch sometimes, and you can’t help but wonder why her lovely husband puts up with it. She does acknowledge she has behaved badly though, so that helps soften the viewer’s feelings towards her and stops her from looking like a remorseless cow.

You can tell this is a Nora Ephron movie, as although I wouldn’t call the film a romance, the scenes between Julia Child are her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) are incredibly sweet and touching. It’s obvious the pair are besotted with one another, and Ephron makes it clear that without Paul, Julia’s success and happiness would not have been possible. Just as some of Ephron’s other movies such as Sleepless in Seattle and Michael make you believe in soul mates and fariytales, Paul and Julia’s relationship in this movie leaves you believing in true love.

Since this film is largely about cooking, i’ll sum it up using cooking terms. Julie and Julia is ‘light and fluffy, with a pleasant filling.’

rating: 5

Dir: Nora Ephron

Starring: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci

Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010)

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

casino_jack_and_the_united_states_of_moneyThe response I had to “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” is akin to when I, or really anyone, watches a book-to-film adaptation, especially of a very popular book, like one of the entries from the Harry Potter or Twilight series, a film made knowing that most of the fan base will be showing up to opening night. Depending on whether or not you’ve read the book your response to the movie will differ. If you have, you are able to fill in the blanks and connect all the plot lines and character motives that they had to cut out in order to make a 600+ page book into a two and a half hour movie. If you have not, then you can feel lost as you gaze into the plot holes, and as the movie progresses, the ability to track becomes much more difficult with an unfamiliar story line. Also if you fall into this second category, the inability to suspend disbelief is often accentuated because you will not feel as close to the characters as those who have poured over ever jot and tittle of the writer and it will therefore be up to the director to explain why you need to care about this person, about their story and about this film. If you leave the film and don’t care about what happened and what happens next, the director had not done his job. Watching “Casino Jack,” a documentary about Jack Abramoff, fraudster and lobbyist, I felt like I had not read the book and, furthermore, the director did not do his job.

Black_Jack2Just to give some background on me as an audience for “Jack”, I know nothing about politics. I know the name of the current president and if I’m given a few moments, I believe I can give the name of the vice-president. I am well aware that this makes me completely uninformed and wildly naive about something that affects me and my family and that I should stop watching and writing about film and start studying government. Yes, yes…I know. I got it. Ok. Now that you got that off your chest let me make the assertion, not as an excuse but just to get on with my review, that I am not alone. It is up to the filmmakers, especially in a documentary, to educate the audience about their subject. They should come to the editing room with people like me in mind and walk the very fine line between talking down to your audience and forgetting it altogether. As I was watching this film, I was confused. Then I was more confused. Then I was bored. For any other director I would have chalked it up as general ineptitude; someone who had not tackled a subject this big and did not understand that a general thesis needed to be agreed on before starting to film. However, the director of “Casino Jack”, Alex Gibney, also did “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” and “The Road to Guantanamo Bay,” two very good documentaries that handled their subjects thoroughly and fairly. Therefore I must conclude that the director, and the editor Alison Ellwood, both understand the subject very well, I would say too well, and forgot about people like myself who don’t have the slightest idea what a caucus or a lobbyist is. After watching the film, I still don’t know what a lobbyist is. I don’t know what Abramoff did besides that it had something to do with making money from Native Americans and their casinos and then getting greedy, as well as something else with emails that he wrote. But, yeah, that’s about it. That’s not just a knock against a poorly thought out thesis, that’s saying that the whole film was incompetently planned and edited.

There were portions where Jack wasn’t on screen or even talked about for large stretches of the film. This movie is supposed to be about him, right? It is his nickname in the title. It is his mug on the poster. Yet, we spend a good 10 minutes talking about the Northern Marianas Islands and the sweatshops and prostitution and poverty of its inhabitants. Why? I believe that Jack Abramoff was involved with it somehow; something about leading tours through the sweatshops, but darned if I know why he was doing it or what that should be making us feel about Jack. Another example. Early on in Abramoff’s life he converted to Judaism after watching “Fiddler on the Roof.” An interesting anecdote for sure but it was never brought up again. Was he a very religious man who struggled with guilt over what he did? Maybe, but it isn’t mentioned. Did he use his Judaism as a tool to get on people’s good side or into exclusive groups and clubs? I don’t know. Like I said, it’s here then it’s gone. So, why bring it up at all? Abramoff’s downfall came from the copious amount of emails he wrote speaking blatantly about all the people he was ripping off and all the other scams he was planning to implement. That’s the big turn around of the story. Finally the villain has been captured! Yet, we are not shown who got all his emails, how Jack was discovered, what he felt when it happened, nor how it all panned out. That would have been interesting to see. Instead we get the emails floating across the screen in stylish text as Stanley Tucci narrates. It’s the next best thing I suppose.

abramoff-fedora-muckIf I were to come up to you and tell you that someone you don’t know was caught for fraud and placed in jail, your response would probably fall somewhere between, “Who?” and “So?” and that’s reasonable because you have no connection with this person you’ve never met and therefore don’t know why you should care about him. I don’t know who Jack Abramoff is. I don’t really care who he is. I went to this film saying, “Tell me why you spent the time to make this movie and, more importantly, why I should spend the time to watch it.” I didn’t get an answer. In the end, there really did not seem to be much of a point. We have to know why we should care before we can care. The film spans Abramoff’s life and he is never portrayed in a good light, so he is clearly the bad guy we need to boo when he’s on screen so I’m not going to empathize with him. So, then whom are we supposed to be rooting for? The Native American’s he swindled? They are not really given enough screen time and we never really land on that subject long enough for any of the talking heads to be given much of a personality. Really no one, not the politicians, not the reporters, not the associates, no one was given much of a personality and therefore I didn’t give two spits about anyone, which is just poor storytelling. One of the final lines in the film says it all. “[Jack's] action filled life led way to a dreary documentary.” And how.

Exit through the Gift Shop (2010)

Friday, April 16th, 2010

exit-through-the-gift-shop[/caption] Banksy is a British graffiti street artist. His art is known throughout the world, however his identity is, even now, a complete mystery. The art he creates is often satirical; often taking jabs at government and popular culture. One of his pictures, “Naked Man” is a painting of a naked man hanging outside a window while inside a wife is shown in a state of undress and her husband is searching around for her lover. This picture was painted on the side of a sexual health clinic. That’s his style. There is a specific stenciling technique that he incorporates which is sometimes accompanied with graffiti writing; sometimes rats are shown; they are most times holding signs, balloons or paintbrushes. He has held various exhibitions, mostly in England but one titled, “Barley Legal” was held in Los Angeles. It created controversy due to an art piece containing a live elephant painted from head to toe in children’s finger paint to become the literal “elephant in the room”. As can be discerned by his many efforts to keep his identity a secret and because he instead prefers to let his art speak for itself, Banksy is clearly not in it for the fame. This movie is not about him. Not really.

banksy-graffiti-street-art-naked-man[/caption]Street art is a form of art that some would liken to graffiti, a higher level of graffiti, yes, but always on public property for the world to see. Sometimes the art is supposed to make a statement, sometimes it’s just a way to say “Hey, I was here.” Really the reasons for the artists to choose this type of art are as varied as the artists themselves. Street art comes in various shapes and forms; sticker art or wheatpasting for the larger pictures, stencil graffiti, traditional spray paint, mosaic tiling, etc. As usually happens when the shunned becomes cool, street art has become mainstream, and now, art by the big names in the street art scene, like Banksy, are being sold for thousands and thousands of dollars. However, this movie is not about the history of street art either. Not really.

exit-through-the-gift-shop-ratWhat this movie IS (kinda) about is a man named Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant who moved to Los Angeles opened a vintage clothes shop and made a decent living for himself and his family. His look reminded me of John Belushi in “The Blues Brothers.” Thierry has one tiny quirk. He’d picked up a video camera once and has not put it down since. He incessantly films everything and everyone around him. It became an obsession really, to document (devour) every moment, to record that “he was here.” It is speculated, by Thierry himself, that the fascination began when he missed his mother’s death and a boy taunting him in the streets informed him that she was dead. Whether or not this is the reason, Thierry carried his video camera wherever he went. When he went home to France for a vacation, his cousin, a street artist with the moniker of Space Invader (since he fashions the little monsters of the video game from the tiles of old Rubik’s Cubes) became the focus of Thierry’s home movies. Thierry began following Invader around Paris as Invader put up his art on various walls and bridges. Then through Invader, Thierry was introduced to other street artists, eventually, finally meeting Banksy. He filmed them all; always under the pretense that he was making a documentary.

The thing is that he was not making a documentary; in fact he was taking all the tapes he was recording, placing them in boxes and forgetting all about them. Filming, for him, was the end result; not sharing with others, not to re-watch and reminisce. All he did was capture. When street art started losing it’s poignancy and began adorning the walls of art collectors, Banksy told Thierry it was time to release his documentary and tell the real story behind what street art was all about. But Thierry had no idea what to do and his efforts to make a movie were ill-guided. So Banksy took all of Thierry’s footage and told him to go make his own art. Thierry did. It turns out that self-importance turns bad character even worse. Though the art he created borrowed heavily (read: ripped off completely) from other artists such as Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey and Banksy himself, he was a complete success – both financially and critically.

sundance2010-banksyThis movie begs the question, “Is this real?” Banksy is known as a heck of a prankster and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that he fabricated the entire story. If he did, however, then it really is a stroke of genius to tell the story of a man with no real talent, no training, and no real ambition but to become famous as a metaphor for what Banksy thinks of street artists who sell out. While in the same breath, he is telling the story of street art from its humble beginnings through to its gross commercialism which has grown so money hungry it swallows up anything that has the semblance of the street art. This power grab that allows a man like Thierry to become a successful “artist”. Banksy is also able to tell his own story and his feelings about what street art used to be and where it’s all ended up. If it’s not real, it is superbly written. Yet even if it is real, it is still so well structured, so multi-layered as to encompass all of these ideas and stories into a very entertaining and compelling narrative.

The Lovely Bones (2010)

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

I read Alice Sebold’s novel ‘The Lovely Bones’ a couple of years ago and remember being shocked by the subject matter. In the first couple of chapters the main character, a fourteen year old girl, gets raped and murdered by one of her neighbours. Afterwards she watches her family from ‘the inbetween’ – the place between heaven and hell. When I heard there was going to be a film adaptation, I was intrigued about how a movie would handle this unusual storyline.

Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson was the guy to take on this challenge, but if you’re expecting to see an action packed movie here, prepare to be surprised. Jackson gets the grizzly bit out of the way in the first twenty minutes and leaves out the graphic details of the novel. Whereas the book left no doubt about the horror Susie Salmon underwent in her final minutes, Jackson barely touches on the matter and leaves the viewer to work it out for themselves. It still successfully achieves the shock impact though, as Susie is lured by a seemingly friendly local neighbour into an underground den. Although you don’t know what he is planning to do to her, it’s  very clear something gruesome is on the cards. Stanley Tucci plays the part of the murderer George Harvey and it’s his performance that really makes the film quite terrifying. He looks harmless enough, but when he’s alone with Susie the mumbling incoherent noises he makes as he’s talking to her are really quite disturbing. The viewer start to share Susie’s discomfort as she begins to sense she is in a dangerous situation.

Plot Synopsis: Following her murder, Susie moves to the afterlife and is stuck in a place called ‘the inbetween’, from which she watches her family as they learn about her death and try to live without her.

The best scenes were those that took place in Susie’s ‘inbetween’ world’, as the cinematography was incredible. It combined images from Susie’s past life when she had been alive, and images from her nightmarish death. For example, at one point Susie feels like she’s drowning (her murderer is throwing evidence into a lake), but she lands on a soft bed, which presumably was from her house. This constant contrast of bad and good reiterates the idea that Susie is halfway between heaven and hell, and that she won’t reach an idyllic heaven until her mind finds peace.

I found this a compelling film, but I was disappointed with the ending. Without giving too much away, the plot seemed to change direction and meaning suddenly in the final ten minutes. It seems to be about Susie’s family getting justice, but then we’re told it’s not about that at all, and it’s actually about them coming to terms with her death and learning to live with it. The come-uppance George Harvey gets seemed like a bit of a cop-out to me and didn’t really feel like enough. I can’t remember if the novel had the same ending or not, but for a film ending, it definitely needed a little more oomph.

rating: 7

Dir: Peter Jackson

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon

Surrogates (2009)

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Surrogates, based on the graphic comic book series of the same name is a science fiction film set in the not-too-distant future.  In this future people live their lives vicariously through the use of robotic surrogates, which they control with their minds from the comfort of their own homes. This interesting concept was what grabbed my attention and made me sit down and watch Surrogates. It didn’t hurt that the lead guy was Bruce Willis, as he’s watchable in pretty much anything and rarely fails to please.

Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) is a detective investigating the discovery of a lethal weapon which not only destroys surrogates, but kills their controllers at the same time. This is a hush hush investigation, as it can’t be made public that using robotic surrogates could be dangerous, as one of the main reasons for using surrogates is that they are supposed to be safe. Any harm that comes to them as they are acting out their controller’s daily life is not supposed to have any impact on their controller. The discovery that a technology exists which can harm both would cause public outcry.

Digital effects are used excessively in this movie, as the robotic surrogates are designed to look like idealised versions of the people controlling them and largely have flawless faces and perfect figures. This is logical and the digitally altered faces allow viewers to easily identify the surrogates from their controlling counterparts. Nevertheless, it was very hard to concentrate on the story when Bruce Willis’ appearance was so obviously altered and expressionless. It was distracting to see a face so familiar look so different.

Fortunately, when Tom’s surrogate is destroyed, he has to come out of his chair and actually start doing some investigating for himself and that’s when we get to see the Bruce Willis we know and love.  As Tom gets more used to life without a surrogate and sees that his relationship with his wife has almost completely disintgrated and they don’t know how to communicate with one another, he starts to question how effective surrogates are and begins to look at them in a negative light.

Unfortunately, despite the interesting idea behind it, Surrogates never really gets going and it fails  to engage the viewer. Tom Greer is the only character we really get attached to, as everyone else is living life through a surrogate, and it’s hard to become attached to someone when you’re aware they’re basically a robot

rating: 4

Dir: Jonathon Mostow

Starring: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Ving Rhames

“Superman Returns” Movie Review

Monday, January 7th, 2008
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And not a moment too soon, because during the five years (much longer in movie-fan years!) Superman sought his home planet, things changed on his adopted planet. Nations moved on without him. Lois Lane now has a son, a fiance and a Pulitzer for Why t...

“Inside Man” Movie Review

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
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Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, Academy Award nominee Clive Owen and Academy Award winner Jodie Foster star in this intense and explosive crime thriller.

The perfect bank robbery quickly spirals into an unstable and deadly game of cat-and-mou...

“A Scanner Darkly” Movie Review

Sunday, December 30th, 2007
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Set in a not-too-distant future where America has lost its "war" on drugs, Fred, an undercover cop, is one of many people hooked on the popular drug, Substance D, which causes its users to develop split personalities. Fred is obsessed with...