When Erik first comes upon the man they call "Champ" (Samuel L. Jackson), the homeless resident has just been violently attacked by a small gang of vicious delinquents trying to prove their manhood with an act of cowardice typical of the goons and bullies in this part of town. After suffering their blows, the victim lies nearly helpless on the grounds of his minimal stakeout in a downtown alley. Once more, Champ is down, but this is the life he's accepted and adapted to with stoic resolve.
Continue reading: Resurrecting The Champ Review
And awful it is. In a desperate bid to glom on to the Internet's evergreen supposed hipness, the script (a lifeless accumulation of the expected by a trio of writers who really should know better) puts us inside an FBI cyber-crime unit where flint-eyed but tender-hearted agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) tracks down the worst of the online worst. Stirring from her bank of computer monitors only to get coffee or crack wise with fellow agent Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks), Marsh is your prototypical wounded female cop with a young daughter and fretful mother at home, and a dead husband in her memory. (If her character had been male they'd have given her a bad temper and a drinking problem, but at least the sarcastic partner bit is gender neutral.) She gets put on the kind of case that (literally) only exists in the movies. Some psycho sets up a website called "Kill With Me" whose hook is that the more people view it, the quicker the subject on camera dies by some fiendish means. The first time out, it's a kitten; after that a person, and then another, and then another...
Continue reading: Untraceable Review
Bradley (Greg Kinnear) is an affable, eternally optimistic schlimazel who runs Jitters, a tiny coffee shop in an Oregon college town, a guy that burbles out statements like, "I think love is everything; the only meaning we have to this crazy dream." Bradley is so likeable and easygoing that he is ripe to be trampled upon by the love beast and he is. Twice. First, his wife Kathryn (Selma Blair) leaves him for another woman. He then falls head over heels in love with cool-drink-of-water real-estate agent Diana (Radha Mitchell), who ends up marrying Bradley, despite her continuing to engage in carnal relations with David (Billy Burke). Bradley relates his stretch of news from the lovelorn to his friend Harry (Morgan Freeman), Harry calmly telling Bradley, "At least this time it's with a guy."
Continue reading: Feast Of Love Review
And so this straight-to-DVD-after-five-years-on-the-shelf flick would be dismissed as a pale imitation of In the Company of Men, if only it weren't written and directed by a woman, Allison Burnett. And not only is she a woman, she's the very woman who wrote both Bloodsport III: Forced to Fight and Autumn in New York!*
Continue reading: Red Meat Review
Autumn in New York, directed by Joan Chen (Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl), is the recycled love story of a man who has it all but nobody to share it with. The tacky promo, "He taught her how to live, she taught him how to love," basically explains the plot in a nutshell. Flourishing Manhattan restaurant owner Will Keane (Gere) sees something in the beauty, wit, and innocence of young Charlotte (Winona Ryder), despite the fact that he dated her deceased mother in the past. On the flip side, Charlotte has merely a year to live and is not afraid to die because she has nothing truly worth living for. The two find sustenance in one another, but as all love stories go, they endure trying times. Winona is either too young or too sick, and he can't control his libido or escape his shady past. So they're meant for one another, but how long can it last?
Continue reading: Autumn In New York Review
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