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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The gay blade?

Indie gay horror flick sucks

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

This low-budget slasher flick advertises itself as the first-ever gay horror movie, hardly a milestone in queer culture. Gay or straight, any slasher flick worth its running time should deliver the goods, and this one doesn’t. There’s no bloodletting for about 40 minutes, and, in the meantime, the banter among the straight-acting hotties is, to put it politely, low on wit.

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Memory of a Killer

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The centerpiece of this slick and sleazy Belgian thriller is Jan Decleir’s performance as Angelo Ledda, a hit man experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Adapted from a popular Belgian crime novel, the film has its share of action-thriller clichés (Ledda is at times almost superhuman in his ability to get out of tight situations) and unlikely contrivances, but Decleir’s pitch-perfect performance makes it worth seeing — memorable, in fact.

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Zazie dans le Metro

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

It’s not hard to imagine that a film about the escapades of a precocious tyke scampering through the streets of gay Paree could descend into the saccharine. Fortunately, Louis Malle’s 1960 film Zazie dans le Metro does not become overly schmaltzy. Unfortunately, however, it does become a bit blasé, which is quite a feat for a film involving a transvestite and creative use of profanities. The film is a visual feast that’s well-acted and charming more often than not, but those looking for a tighter narrative or well-knit plot may prefer Malle’s more serious-minded works.

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The Corpse Bride

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

It’s probably unfair to compare Tim Burton’s new film to his instant classic, The Nightmare before Christmas, but it can’t be helped. The director wears his fetishes on his sleeve, and his latest stop-action exercise in quirky misanthropy and macabre humor doesn’t have quite the same sparkle or wit as his cleverly creepy Christmastime confection from 1993. Luckily, the film is filled with enough clever details and sly asides to keep things entertaining, and the art design is astonishing.

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A History of Violence

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

With more than a nod to Hitchcock and Sam Peckinpah, the film gooses the “wrong man” theme with unexpected jolts of intense violence and candid sexuality. Though it’s meticulously paced and expertly crafted, the straightforward plot may strike some Cronenberg fans as rather conventional for the director. But the film’s carefully rendered subtext and uniformly superb cast sets it apart.

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Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Call it boyhood-wish fulfillment or the sound of a higher calling, but ever since Tom Hanks played an astronaut in Apollo 13, he’s been an unrepentant NASA booster and celebrity cheerleader for space exploration. His love affair continues in this lavish celebration of the Apollo program, which makes the most of the IMAX format and plops the viewer right down on the lunar surface for a closer look.

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Flightplan

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Jodie Foster’s latest suspense thriller isn’t going to be an in-flight movie anytime soon. In 93 short minutes, Flightplan manages to exploit every air-travel anxiety Americans have had since 9/11 — passenger fistfights, undercover air marshals, racial profiling, shoe-bomber-style explosives and supposedly bulletproof cockpit doors. All the hot-button issues are lined up like dominoes by director Robert Schwentke; whether take any thrill in watching them all topple depends on your own tolerance for being shamelessly manipulated by blockbuster thrillers.

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Roll Bounce

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The movie is a sweet-natured, summery blast from the past, and mostly irresistible for the first half, at least to anyone old enough to remember a time when kids skated through the streets with transistor radios plastered to their ears. Unfortunately, in the last half, the movie piles on the Big Dramatic Moments, so much so that it starts to feel like a bad after-school special from 1979.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Add it up

Paltrow plus Hopkins plus mathmatics likely equals Oscars

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

A high-minded drama with a prestigious cast headed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins, Proof is already being touted as Oscar bait. The hype isn’t necessarily unwarranted; the film is an elegant, intelligent work, even it echoes pieces of other Oscar winners like A Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting. Catherine (Paltrow) is the daughter of a math genius (Anthony Hopkins) who spent his later years a schizophrenic freefall. After an anonymous written new mathematical proof is found, Catherine fears she’s inherited her father’s madness along with his talent.

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This Divided State

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

This Divided State A documentary exploring the uproar that ensued when Utah Valley State College invited Michael Moore to come speak on campus in the weeks before the 2004 Bush-Kerry election. It’s a riveting metaphor for our violently divided country, a documentary filled with fascinating real-life characters displaying all the venom and vehemence illustrated in meetings of American conservatives and liberals these days (screaming, hissing, sign-toting, a.k.a. civil discourse, American style). The film drags a bit and is short on reflection, but aptly provides a frightening and fascinating allegory for the hatred between the two sides of our nation.

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