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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hell on wheels

New quad rugby documentary is deeply moving

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:00 AM

*Murderball* will make you see quadriplegics differently. It will help you to understand what it might be like to lose limbs, to live in a wheelchair, to exist without the full use of arms, hands, legs. But more than that, *Murderball* will move you, it will engage you in a compelling story and it will renew your faith in humanity.

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We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The new documentary on the Minutemen, that influential and much-loved ’80s punk outfit from San Pedro, California, is essential viewing. We Jam Econo resurrects and hoists high a genuinely maverick spirit, with its depiction of the Minutemen’s humble beginnings, the band’s visionary music (a hybrid of punk, funk, jazz and beat poetry) and populist approach to rock-as-lifestyle, and the members’ shared sense of mission that inspired hundreds of other bands to take up the cause. Old fans and newcomers alike will feel proud to stand before it and salute.

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The Bad News Bears

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Billy Bob Thornton proves a worthy successor to Walter Matthau in this gleefully crude remake of the 1976 misfit Little League classic. Rowdy, rude and un-P.C., The Bad News Bears is as profane as you can get and still receive a PG-13 rating. There’s nothing wholesome about it – and that’s a good thing.

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Hustle & Flow

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Expectations for Hustle & Flow, — which John Singleton produced — were not high. However, Singleton and writer/director Craig Brewer pull through, offering a compelling and controversial tale, despite some cliché trappings. It sounds like a southern-fried 8 Mile: DJay [cq] (Terrence Dashon Howard), is a slightly underqualified Memphis pimp in a mid-life crisis who seeks success in the rap game. But even though Eminem has already run this storyline into the ground, a great cast and entertaining writing save the day.

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The Devil’s Rejects

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Writer-director Rob Zombie has decided to hop on the sequel bandwagon and revisit the bloody, maniacal, serial-killing bad guys of his first film, the gory House of 1,000 Corpses. It’s sort of like Boogie Nights crossed with the Manson family. Devil’s Rejects may not be very scary, but as far as sick, funny trailer-trash extravaganzas go, it’ll hits home. It may run out of gonzo energy in the last half-hour or so, but when the warped, Bonnie & Clyde-style finale rolls around, it’s hard to wipe the sadistic smile off your face.

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The Island

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:00 AM

For the film’s first 40 minutes or so, director Michael Bay keeps his itchy scissor-fingers in check and delivers a creepy and reasonably thoughtful sci-fi film. Unfortunately, his attention deficit disorder kicks back in during The Island’s final two acts and Bay offers up yet another of his sleek but bloated ‘thrill-rides.’ Boasting the most blatant display of product placement you are ever likely to see, The Island buries an intriguing story about cloning and the misuse of technology beneath the bluster massive explosions and endless car chases.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Born to Boogie

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Born to Boogie — the Ringo Starr-directed, 1972 concert film of a newly electrified T. Rex — was meant to capture leader Marc Bolan’s Beatlemania-like grip on his young, impressionable audience. The film has been restored and expanded into a two-DVD, five-hour-plus collection. Among its features are two same-day shows...

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Stolen innocence

Shared scars unite two different adults

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

A haunting and provocative portrait of sexual abuse that boasts a pair of powerful performances by Brady Corbett and Third Rock From The Sun’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Bravely treating molestation as an act that haunts its victims while shaping their sexual identity, the film follows two brothers who attempt to reconcile their traumatic past. Despite the story’s inherently sordid nature, filmmaker Gregg Araki confronts his characters with such honesty and tenderness you can’t help but be drawn into their wretched predicament.

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Yes

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

British director, writer and producer Sally Potter turns Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet upside down and inside out. Romeo (Simon Abkarian) is a Lebanese surgeon living in exile in London, making ends meet as a cook in London. Juliet (Joan Allen) is an Irish-American caught in a lie of a marriage with husband Anthony (Sam Neill). The plot serves as a framework for commentary on today’s politics of class, war, religion, sex and hatred, marriage and science.

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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Much has been made of how Tim Burton’s new version is more faithful to Roald Dahl’s original vision, but aside for superfluous flashbacks of Willy Wonka’s troubled childhood and the director’s twisted and flamboyant visual style, it’s not much different. As Willy Wonka, Johnny Depp concocts a bizarre amalgam of Michael Jackson and John Waters, delivering an emotionally detached performance that, unfortunately, falls flat. It’s entertaining and at times quite sweet, but ultimately leaves you hungry for more.

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