OPEN WATER

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Body of Beauty in Body of Water. Based on a true incident, OPEN WATER tells the speculative tale of two deep-sea divers accidentally abandoned by their diving party in Caribbean open water. Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan – one of the most beautiful actresses of our day) are the divers, on a tropical getaway to patch up marital … Read More

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY

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Bourne Again. In THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, Matt Damon IS (still) Jason Bourne. The superspy from THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002) is STILL on the lam, from the people who STILL want him dead – his ex-employers STILL at the CIA. Even though they’ve almost forgotten him at the opening of this movie, he lays low in India with his Euro chick, … Read More

SAW

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To Die For. It’s all about the story, innit? SAW dives into its second act in its first minute: Two men in a subterranean TRAINSPOTTING bathroom, chained by their ankles to steel pipes at opposite ends of the room. A dead man lies in a pool of blood on the floor; in his hands, a gun and microcassette player. The … Read More

CRIMINAL

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Innocent Until Proven Guilty Pleasure. Honor among thieves? I don’t think so! Well-dressed and well-spoken grifter, Richard (John C. Reilly), rescues inexperienced, young Spanish con artist, Rodrigo (Diego Luna) from an arrest, taking the supposedly-inexperienced youngster under his wing, at first for small cons, and then for a giant con that suddenly falls into his lap. Ah yes, but who … Read More

THE AVIATOR

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That Magnificent Man and His Flying Machines. A powerful biopic of sex, insanity and aeroplanes. In any order. Martin Scorsese directs THE AVIATOR based loosely on the life of Howard Hughes, with Leonardo DiCaprio adequately filling the shoes and flying the skies of the eccentric billionaire. (Leo’s star status slightly distracts, as does his phony accent. Jim Carrey – originally … Read More

THE INCREDIBLES

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Puts the “in” credible. In every review of THE INCREDIBLES it has become a refrain: “This movie could have worked as well in real life.” Big Bob Parr (voice of Craig T. Nelson) is a cone-shaped mountain of a guy, an ex-superhero doing time as a layperson in a world gone small – from his office cubicle to his aspirations. … Read More

NATIONAL TREASURE

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Precious Little. NATIONAL TREASURE is an old-fashioned treasure hunt, amped with modern technological idiocy, salted with a snide dig at the political laziness of the American people coupled with a sly j’accuse at their insuperably asinine government. Treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (a characteristically mourning-faced Nicolas Cage, as the descendant of the descendant twice-removed of whatever) must steal the original Declaration … Read More

SPIDER-MAN 2

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Spider Sense-tingling. Grander, faster, slicker than its predecessor, director Sam Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN 2 is more action-packed, more thrill-rided, more rollercoastered than SPIDER-MAN (2002) – but though its plaudits stretch skyscraper tall, its demerits run Mariana Trench deep. Based loosely on the comicbook episode Spider-man No More, plot finds Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina, in strapping scenery-chewing mien) “tampering in God’s … Read More

ALONG CAME POLLY

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Along Came Seymour. In ALONG CAME POLLY, Ben Stiller is yet another dweeby nebbish, Jennifer Aniston, yet another luminous man-toy, carnal love muscle. How do writers squeeze any further substance from these same drop-dead-boring characters? Stiller is Reuben Feffer, depressed after leaving his slut wife (Debra Messing), finding rebound romance in the arms of Polly (Aniston). Adversity ensues blah blah … Read More

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

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ETERNAL shines, then dims. Darkness piled upon darkness, steeped in disturbing dissonance; a glutting, suffocating despair; a stultifying of the spirit and a crippling of the ego. No way out, no way out… no, not the movie – my last relationship. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND opens with a disoriented Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) wondering how he sustained a … Read More

SURVIVING CHRISTMAS

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Surviving Affleck. There is one great moment in SURVIVING CHRISTMAS that almost makes it worth the pain: James Gandolfini cracks a shovel over Ben Affleck‘s stupid head. This movie serves as yet another unfortunate example of James Gandolfini proving what a great actor he is whilst simultaneously besmirching his career by acting in this film. Young, wealthy ad exec, Drew … Read More

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

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The Teen Model Effect. As far as I can gather from THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT’s totally illogical storyline, a teen model time travels backwards to rectify sins of the past so that in the “present” he can hook up with another teen model. Noble? No. Hot? Definitely. The Teen Model Effect: When a teen model flaps his arms in China, it … Read More

MEET THE FOCKERS

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Fock This! There are two big laughs in MEET THE FOCKERS – but I can’t remember where they are. Sequel to the minimally-superior MEET THE PARENTS, this movie once again makes a fool of Robert De Niro, continues to make a neb of Ben Stiller, while orbiting megastars Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman add little or nothing with their “oversexed … Read More

KINSEY

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A Cocksure Man. Apparently, Kinsey had a big one. For a pioneer of world-shaking sex research, that’s one helluva hook. And straight from the ‘truth is better than fiction’ bin – his wife had a small one… Liam Neeson is biologist Alfred C. Kinsey, who was single-handedly responsible for bringing sobriety and scientific method to the wild-eyed speculation and downright … Read More

TREKKIES 2

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Where Girlfriends Fear To Tread. You need not watch TREKKIES (1997) to understand TREKKIES 2. No sense in hurting your intelligence lobe twice in the same area. Where TREKKIES examined the extreme depths American Star Trek fanatics plumb in their quest to creep out their more sane human counterparts, TREKKIES 2 does the same thing abroad. And what a broad. … Read More

ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

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When The Anchorman was Man-Anchor. Will Ferrell makes me laugh. I’m not afraid to say it anymore. His shamelessness knows no bounds and I, for one, salute his strangely misshapen nude torso. In ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY, Ferrell is the blowhard, brain-soft title character, in love with his own self-proclaimed legend. And why not? His veteran standing and … Read More

IN GOOD COMPANY

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Team Mediocrity. One day Topher Grace will learn that “acting” is not “behaving like you’re making one big apology.” Playing Carter Duryea (a character as solid as a bowel movement after drinking month-old milk), fragile Topher assumes a Sales Head position over a company’s long-time Sales Head, Dan Foreman (Foreman – get it? Oh, Irony! Thy untamed Mistress!) – played … Read More

SPANGLISH

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Renaissance Sandler. STOP THE PRESSES: Adam Sandler can act! In a stunning demonstration of “playing against type,” Boy Sandler actually portrays a Real Human in SPANGLISH – a well-rounded, successful husband and father, as far removed from any of his other roles as Rob Schneider is from comedy. Playing noted chef John Clasky, replete with neurotically-fit bombshell spouse (Téa Leoni, … Read More

I, ROBOT

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I, Gamebot. I, Human, even whilst viewing the first trailers of I, ROBOT, knew that They, 20th Century Fox, were destined to make Film, Botch-up. Sure enough, this movie bytes! Pounding home the sordid fact that Big Studios – as cookie-cutter idioms unto themselves – must morph any greed-driven, blockbuster-bent story from cerebral concept to popcorn-glutton whiz-bangery, I, ROBOT is … Read More

ENVY

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Poo-sillanimous. Nick Vanderpark’s empire is built on poo. In Barry Levinson‘s ENVY, corporate peon and shiftless dreamer, Vanderpark (an uncharacteristically reined-in Jack Black) invents a spray which vaporizes doggy-doo, appropriately named “Va-poo-rize.” His pragmatic neighbor, Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller, in characteristic nebbish idiom), who is also Vanderpark’s co-worker and best friend, is the character to whom the movie’s title pertains. … Read More