Archive for August, 2004

Die Another Day

Most milestones are marked with a party, and even though the champagne loses its fizz before the final reel, “Die Another Day,” is still cause for celebration. The twentieth film in the James Bond franchise, “Die Another Day” arrives forty years after the release of “Dr. No.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Faculty

Invasion of the Body Snatchers” has been remade so many times that another entry into the genre seems redundant, yet director Robert Rodriguez, abetted by Kevin Williamson’s screenplay, tackles the material with a renewed gusto and wins. Read the rest of this entry »

The Thin Red Line DVD

War may be hell, but could it be any more tedious than writer-director Terrence Malick’s remake of “The Thin Red Line”? Bloated and pretentious, “The Thin Red Line” is a wonderful two hour movie trapped inside a three hour marathon of confusing imagery and self-indulgent direction. Read the rest of this entry »

One Point O

After receiving mysterious empty packages inside his apartment, a young computer-programmer (named Simon) begins a personal investigation into their origins. This leads him to discover his odd and eccentric neighbors; an artificially intelligent robot-head, named Adam; a virtual-reality sex game; and a possible corporate conspiracy. As the story progresses, Simon’s grip on reality becomes more and more tenuous, while his craving for Nature Fresh milk becomes almost unbearable Read the rest of this entry »

Frailty

In my lifetime, I have only had occasion to watch two movies through the gaps between my fingers, not counting the last three Pauley Shore films. Both “The Exorcist” and “Jaws” generated the unwilling response, perhaps because those two films managed to depict their fantasy world with such reality (okay, so the shark looks fake by today’s standards). Read the rest of this entry »

Heartbreakers

Chop shop owner Dean Cumanno (Ray Liotta) never knew what hit him. One day he’s marrying the woman of his dreams, the next day he’s giving her $300,000 in a quickie divorce settlement. That’s what happens when you get caught the day after your wedding having sex with your secretary. Read the rest of this entry »

Garden State

Andrew Largeman has been on anti-depressants and mood enhancers so long he doesn’t know what to feel when he gets the call that his mother has died. The one-time actor, best known for playing a mentally challenged football player in a television movie, drops everything and heads home to New Jersey for the first time in eight years. Read the rest of this entry »

High Fidelity DVD

“High Fidelity” begins with John Cusack’s character, Rob Gordon, asking which came first,”the music or the misery?” It’s rare for a film to speak with such a distinctive voice. “High Fidelity” is that rarity, a film so honest and real you feel like you’ve accidentally stumbled into someone’s life. Read the rest of this entry »

Gargoyles

I must have been young and naive when I first saw “Gargoyles” on television. It was released in 1972, so that means I was 15. I must have been impressionable, because I remember watching the film with my family and thinking it was neat. Now that I’ve sat through the film again on DVD, all I can say is I must have been on some heavy drugs without my knowledge. But here’s the rub. Read the rest of this entry »

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

In “The Prisoner of Azkaban,” blossoming teenage wizard Harry Potter is in a whole world of hurt. First he turns his Aunt Marge into a human dirigible, and upon returning to Hogwarts, learns that convicted killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), implicated in the death of his parents, has escaped his cell. Further complicating Harry’s third year at Hogwarts is puberty, turning the confused boy into a frustrated, complicated young man. Read the rest of this entry »

Secret Passage

Isabel and Clara are growing up in a time of terror. It is 1492, and Spain has decreed that all Jews must either convert to Catholicism, go into exile or face trial and execution. Although forcibly baptized, the sisters are chased through Christendom until they arrive in Venice Read the rest of this entry »

What Lies Beneath DVD

Anyone who has seen the trailer will be one hour ahead of the characters. I don’t mind being teased into seeing a film, but when a trailer divulges an important plot twist that doesn’t occur until at least an hour into the film, something is terribly wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

The Man in the Iron Mask

Handsomely mounted, exquisitely detailed and gorgeously shot, the latest incarnation of Alexandre Dumas’ “The Man in the Iron Mask” is ultimately stolid. Adapted and directed by Randall Wallace, who delivered a rousing “Braveheart” script, “The Man in the Iron Mask” seems as lifeless as it’s title character. Read the rest of this entry »

Torque

Biker Cary Ford is framed by an old rival and biker gang leader for the murder of another gang member who happens to be the brother of Trey (Ice Cube), leader of the most feared biker gang in the country. Ford is now on the run trying to clear his name from the murder with Trey and his gang looking for his blood. Read the rest of this entry »

Ronin DVD

They first meet in an out-of-the-way pub, late at night, during a rain shower. The perfect setting for a little intrigue. They’re nameless at first, but hey, isn’t that Robert De Niro? Yeah, and the woman behind the bar, wasn’t she Truman’s fantasy in “The Truman Show?” That guy sitting at the bar? Didn’t he double-cross Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible?” And speaking of double-crossing, isn’t that guy in the booth the same person who tripped up Harrison Ford in “Patriot Games?” Read the rest of this entry »