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  • Issue of
  • Jul 11-17, 2007
  • Vol. 27, No. 39

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • From the Vaults

    Congrats Thailand; with the release of this heartwarming tale of an explosives loving, rocket surfing, kickboxing farmer-superhero, you’ve officially eclipsed Hong Kong as the leading exporter of utterly insane action films. Kudos also to indie distributor Magnolia, which has recently imported other wild Thai gems, the stunt happy films of star Tony Jaa and the deliriously weird and stunning cowboy shootout-musical Tears of the Black Tiger.
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  • The Scene
  • License to Wed

    Mandy Moore can't get a break. Here, the darling singer-turned-actress is cast as the underdrawn female lead, Sadie, in a movie about what it takes to make marriage work. Co-starring John Krasinski as her fiancé, Ben, and onetime funnyman Robin Williams as Reverend Frank, License’s premise is simple: Frank won’t marry the couple unless they pass his marriage course, proving they’re ready.
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  • The Scene
  • Transformers

    How much you dig an action flick that sees giant robots blowing up each other (and everything around them) will depend on your ability to lower your IQ to that of a can opener. As the opening shot makes clear, Bay expects you to do just that: A military helicopter flies above rolling desert sand and the subtitle reads, “Qatar — The Middle East.” Or did you think it was Qatar, Indiana? Though a giant robot movie should be all velocity and vacuity, it shouldn’t assume its audience is stupid. As expected, $150 million buys myriad fancy pixels and explosions, and Bay delivers an avalanche of eye-popping effects.
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  • The Scene
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Over the last four films, we’ve watched Harry grow from an insecure neophyte marveling at the wonder of magic into a focused young man who understands that sorcery is something dangerous. Director David Yates underlines this realization by delivering the gloomiest installment in the Potter series yet. Embracing the essential Englishness of Rowling’s stories and evoking the angry young men of late ’60s British cinema, Harry is alienated and exhausted. The unrelenting attacks and loss of family and friends have taken a profound emotional toll. And just as the characters in Harry Potter have matured, the films, too, have matured in depth and style. With each new movie, the directors seem less intimidated by the books and freer to impose their own artistic sensibilities.
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  • The Scene
  • Private Fears in Public Places

    This flimsy bit of Gallic melancholy fails to enchant despite the impressive talent involved. A handsomely made, hopelessly wistful romantic roundelay about six lovelorn characters in snowbound Paris who circle each other in elliptical orbits of unhappiness, it’s the sort of alleged comedy piece that’s more admirable than enjoyable.
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Food & Drink

  • Table and Bar
  • Northern comfort

    Upscale soul food? Yes, the Southern Hospitality Group has brought catfish and fried okra to the plush confines of the Fisher Building. Most of the Café’s offerings merit the “upscale” label only in price. The results are uneven, with some fantastic traditional dishes and some that simply reiterate a debased version of Southern cuisine.
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