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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

This stoner/road-trip comedy features two Asian-American (but more middle-class suburban) buddies who get super-stoned and go on a journey to obtain White Castle burgers. Despite a few laughs, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is the film equivalent of eating a sack full of greasy sliders: The first few bites are heavenly, while the rest leaves you feeling more sick than satisfied.

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Catwoman

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

To take the ripe-and-ready concept of a woman possessing the mystical and physical prowess of a cat and waste it on an hour-and-a-half music video is just plain criminal. Even by the standards of a popcorn-munching, comic-book movie blockbuster, this film is just plain ridiculous as Halle Berry tries hard to make us forget she won an Academy Award.

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The Bourne Supremacy

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

For those hoping for a summer movie not laden with computer effects or comic book heroes or unpopular teen girls fighting with very popular teen girls, don’t look to The Bourne Supremacy. The sequel to the 2002 hit The Bourne Identity featuring Matt Damon is nothing more than a pumped and revved version of the first with nonstop combat and incessant, migraine-inducing jump cuts.

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Carandiru

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Carandiru is the name of an infamously overcrowded prison in São Paulo where a riot in 1992 led to more than 100 unarmed inmates being killed by the police. Brazilian director Hector Babenco (Pixote, Kiss of the Spider Woman) has fashioned an over-the-top, garishly melodramatic pulp depiction of life in the prison before and during the riot with enough bloody tragedy to fill a half-dozen films.

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Solicitors of death

Documentary examines Khmer Rouge genocide

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

In 1975, after five years of civil war, Cambodia was taken over by the Khmer Rouge, a home-grown agrarian communist movement with an insanely absolutist approach to ideological purity. The government killed 2 million people in a four-year reign of terror. This documentary attempts to explain the how and — to a lesser extent — the why of the Khmer Rouge’s murderous ways, asking former guards how they could have done such things.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Noi Albinoi

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:00 AM

This is an Icelandic film with all the hallmarks of the frozen genre: the deadpan humor, the patient depictions of people doing nothing particularly interesting, the location in a place where time has slowed to a crawl and everyone goes about their business with the moroseness of a race trapped in an endless winter. Tomas Lemarquis gives an excellent performance as the laconic Noi.

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Lost Boys of Sudan

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:00 AM

In the African nation of Sudan, a civil war raged for 20 years. When the dust settled, some 20,000 kids were left orphaned. Called "lost boys," many of the kids eventually, with help from the United Nations and the U.S. State Department, made it to America. This documentary focuses on two of the refugees who, working to survive, sink into a mood of diminished expectations and depressing loneliness.

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I, Robot

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:00 AM

The film version of Isaac Asimov’s classic tale uses the science fiction author’s concepts to prop up a ridiculously clichéd script and by-the-numbers action sequences. It’s hard to pay attention for falling over plot holes and ’70s era television cop show shtick. Will Smith actually throws his badge at his superior officer for criticizing rogue-ish tactics. Come on!

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The Door in the Floor

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Based on the long first chapter of John Irving’s ninth novel, A Widow for One Year, this film tells the tale of the Coles, a couple haunted by the deaths of their sons. Jeff Bridges plays a drunken skirt-chaser; Kim Basinger’s Mrs. Cole is no Mrs. Robinson, though the audience gets to see her and Mimi Rogers in the nude. Yet in the end, the movie is overshadowed by its soaring score.

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Glitzy memorial

De-Lovely eulogizes an imagined era

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:00 AM

There are some who will love every urbane, musical moment of this biopic of late composer Cole Porter, known best for his 1948 Broadway hit, Kiss Me Kate. His complicated love story, featuring an adoring wife and homosexual hanky panky, is told in a narrative structure that leaves Porter witnessing and commenting on his life as it passes before his eyes in the surreal rendering of a Broadway musical.

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