Archive for February, 2003

Last Samurai, The

In the 1870s, Captain Nathan Algren, a cynical veteran of the American Civil war who will work for anyone, is hired by Americans who want lucrative contracts with the Emperor of Japan to train the peasant conscripts for the first standing imperial army in modern warfare using firearms. The imperial Omura cabinet’s first priority is to repress a rebellion of traditionalist Samurai -hereditary warriors- who remain devoted to the sacred dynasty but reject the Westernizing policy and even refuse firearms. Yet when his ill-prepared superior force sets out too soon, their panic allows the sword-wielding samurai to crush them Read the rest of this entry »

Demons

When a girl in a subway station accepts a pair of passes to a free screening of a new horror movie, little does she know that she’s about to be thrown into a nightmare that never seems to end. No, she’s not going to see “The Linda Tripp Story,” but is a character in Italian director Lamberto Bava’s horror classic, “Demons. Read the rest of this entry »

Bad Santa

“Bad Santa” is the story of two conmen who go on a road trip to malls dressed as Santa and his elf. Rather than spreading good cheer, the duo’s motive is to rob each establishment, a strategy that becomes complicated when they encounter an 8-year-old who teaches them the true meaning of Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Possibly one of the most beautiful, poignant and stunning films you will ever see, at least in Mandarin. Directed with amazing strokes of fantasy and myth by Ang Lee, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” not only became a huge hit around the world, it totally destroyed box office records in the United States and garnered 10 Academy Award nominations. Much praise for a film that totally deserves it. Read the rest of this entry »

Films Review March

HALF PAST DEAD (PG-13)

Three things you can do that would be less painful than sitting through Steven Seagal’s latest film “Half Past Dead”: Cover your head in honey and stick it down an ant hole; Go clothes shopping with the Olsen twins; Sit through an IRS audit. I used to like Steven Seagal movies. Read the rest of this entry »

Belly of the Beast

Ten years ago, Jake Hopper was a CIA agent who was stationed in Thailand. Then one day, things went sour, and his partner, Sunti barely escaped with his life. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

In the small town of Parkes, New South Wales, right in the middle of a sheep paddock, is a satellite dish. It’s an odd sight. Rising high above the tree line, the dish looks out of place. It isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

The Whole Nine Yards

The characters in “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Drowning Mona” come from opposite worlds, yet share one distinct trait. They’re despicable. They’re loathsome. They’re heartless. They’re also pretty funny. Read the rest of this entry »

Traffic DVD

Twenty-five years after Vietnam, America is still at war. This time the enemy is drugs, or more appropriately, the people who make, dispense and use them. If we are to believe everything we see and read, the war is being lost. Read the rest of this entry »

Mona Lisa Smile

Set in 1953, Katherine Watson (Roberts) is a free-spirited graduate of UCLA who accepts a teaching post at Wellesley College, a women-only school where the students are torn between the repressive mores of the time and their longing for intellectual freedom. Read the rest of this entry »

City by the Sea

In “City by the Sea,” Robert DeNiro plays veteran Manhattan homicide detective Vincent LaMarca, a man who put his career ahead of his marriage and relationship with his son. It’s been fourteen years since LaMarca last saw his son Joey (James Franco), now a drug-addict scouring the decrepit boardwalk of Long Beach, Long Island for his latest fix. Read the rest of this entry »

Phantoms

The monster movie is back! Creature features are hip again, and I couldn’t be happier. I love monster movies, especially ones that stick to your face. Currently on tap at local theaters are two monster films that have a lot in common even though they’re set worlds apart. Read the rest of this entry »

Ocean’s Eleven DVD

The remake of “Ocean’s Eleven” proves that Hollywood can still make them like they used to, as long as stars and filmmakers are willing to put aside their egos and hefty paychecks. As light and buoyant as an anorexic skydiver, “Ocean’s Eleven” is both smart and funny, a rare combination these days. Read the rest of this entry »

The Night Strangler

First and foremost, it has to be said that “The Night Stalker” was and still is one of my dad’s favorite shows of all time. The series was one of the reasons he got a satellite dish so he could watch the re-runs on the Sci-Fi Network. Read the rest of this entry »

Miracle

You don’t have to be a fan of ice hockey to appreciate “Miracle,” an old-fashioned underdog tale about America’s unexpected defeat over the Russians during the 1980 Winter Olympics. Written by Eric Guggenheim and directed by Gavin O’Connor, “Miracle” is more about the man who made it happen than the actual event. Read the rest of this entry »