Ed Wood film review

If you go into this biopic expecting lots of laughs, you may be disappointed. The film’s premise is the joke — that the hapless director Ed Wood, Jr., the most inept figure in the history of the creative arts, would be the subject of a hagiography. Keeping this disclaimer in mind, Ed Wood is a …
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The Empire Strikes Back film review

Twenty years will make you forget how good a movie was. I was excited to see the rerelease of The Empire Strikes Back, but I had forgotten about how masterful the film is realized, and I had especially forgotten what it looked like on the big screen. Empire, newly restored by George Lucas and his …
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Enemy of the State film review

It was a disappointing day on many levels. First I show up to the theater and pay $2.75 for a single slice of pizza. I take it into the theater and didn’t see the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace preview that I wanted to see. After that, I watch the disappointing movie Enemy of the …
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The Final Cut film review

Is it possible for a film to have too many ideas? Anything’s possible, of course, in the realm of science fiction. By exploring an unspecified futuristic society, writer/director Omar Naim raises disturbing sci-fi conundrums in the wildly original The Final Cut. Unfortunately, he leaves the bulk of his more pressing issues in the shadows and …
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The Forgotten film review

Wrap your brain around this one. It has been 14 months since grieving mother Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) lost her son, Sam, in a plane crash that took the lives of 10 other children. She’s been seeing a psychiatrist (Gary Sinise) on a regular basis, and the shrink has helped her cope with her sadness …
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Frida film review

Year: 2002 The Life of Mexican Painter Frida Khalo Selma Hayek turns in an unforgettable performance as the Mexican bisexual feminist/painter plagued throughout her life by poor health and unrequited love. In concert with Frida’s paintings, director Julie Taymor conceives her life as a sensuous collage, with Frida forever adrift, driven in her quest for …
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Friday Night Lights film review

When the lights come on at the 20,000-seat Ratliff Stadium, the city of Odessa, Texas shuts down. Streets are deserted and stores close early so that everyone can crowd onto the sparse campus of Permian High School to cheer on their Panthers. In this small, barren town, Friday night football is bigger than life. Based …
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The General’s Daughter film review

I really like John Travolta. He always plays that guy with the arrogance and cockiness, but it never seems old to me. In A Civil Action, he played a lawyer who just thought the world of himself. In The General’s Daughter, he still gets to play that character, but he has to go new places …
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The Glass Shield film review

At least it sounded like a good idea. Unfortunately, the execution of the new Miramax film, The Glass Shield, a drama set in an L.A. sheriff’s station, leaves the viewer with little more than the perception that he’s just seen a movie that could have been something, but didn’t quite make it. The Glass Shield’s …
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Goldeneye film review

After six years in the freezer, Bond is back. Any 007 fan worth his salt will be aware of the fact that Timothy Dalton is out, and Pierce Brosnan is in as the U.K.’s ultimate spy. Out is Bond’s Aston Martin. In is a new BMW. Out with another actor playing "M." In with Judi …
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The Matrix Reloaded film review

In 1999, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) uttered memorably, "Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is." In 2003, no one needs to be told, because everyone fully knows what the Matrix is. The idea of the Matrix has entered the popular lexicon. Magazines, with utter seriousness, create polls asking whether readers think we are …
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The Matrix film review

What many people forget when comparing The Matrix to its own sequels (or the Star Wars prequels, or any other maligned sci-fi epic) is that this 1999 original has bad dialogue too. In fact, search the entire trilogy for a line more cringe-inducing than “Buckle up, Dorothy, ‘cause Kansas is going bye-bye,” spoken by poor, …
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I Heart Huckabees film review

In David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees, everyone talks a little bit like they’re in a play – the dialogue is unusually dense and abstract for a film, even an artsy one, even an “existential comedy,” as this one purports to be. Huckabees is like a screwball comedy filtered through a student thesis project, but …
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Independence Day film review

Year: 1996 Independence Day marks the glorious realization of what, for me, has been a nearly 25 year wait. Countless prayers have gone unanswered, but on this day, I have finally witnessed on screen what I have only dreamt of all my life, for this film features the complete and total destruction of the city …
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In Time film review

(Reviewed as part of the Short Film Competition at Sundance 2005) In Time is a short film about a modern day African family living in the U.S. It’s based around a mother and her two daughters. One of the daughters is engaged to be married to a young man from their native country. The mother, …
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The Ipcress File film review

Harry Palmer (Michael Caine), disgraced army sergeant and reluctant spy, heads off on his most renowned adventure in The Ipcress File, wherein a bunch of scientists are kidnapped, then summarily returned – brainwashed. Harry fights the baddies and his own internal bureaucracy as he gets to the bottom of the matter, ignoring authority and cooking …
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Jaws film review

"You’re gonna need a bigger boat." It was the beast that launched a thousand monster movies. It was the film that sparked Spielberg’s fame. The low strings on the soundtrack still strike terror in the hearts of millions. It has some of the most memorable lines of dialogue in the history of the movies. It’s …
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Jeepers Creepers film review

What’s with Hollywood and road trips? Lately it seems like everything evolves from adventures while traveling across highways and small towns. To the credit of the filmmakers who think of these common ideas, most of the time, at least for the time being, these ideas work well. This year alone, we have seen plenty of …
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Keane film review

This intense little item from independent cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Lodge Kerrigan (Clean, Shaven; Claire Dolan) is an exercise in grit. For 90 minutes, this intense character study literally follows around a mourning father, William Keane (Damian Lewis), who tortures himself by wandering around New York City’s Port Authority bus terminal and the bleakest neighborhoods of New Jersey …
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