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The Sorcerer's Apprentice Review


OK
It's not like we expect anything else from Bruckheimer: this is a loud, wacky, effects-laden extravaganza that's short on plot, characterisations and any real tension. But it's also rather mindless good fun.

One of Merlin's apprentices, Balthazar (Cage), has been searching for Merlin's heir for nearly three thousand years, finally locating him in New York City in physics geek Dave (Baruchel). Doubtful but intrigued, Dave learns that Balthazar's ex-colleague Horvath (Molina) is determined to resurrect the evil Morgana (Krige) to destroy humanity. But Dave is badly preoccupied by the fact that the girl (Palmer) he has loved since age 9 is suddenly showing him some interest. Can't this world-saving business wait?

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Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Review


OK
There are times during this film when it's plainly obvious that it was based on a videogame, with levels of action, magical tools and even a fair maiden to rescue. The result is a silly but enjoyable guilty pleasure.

Dastan (Gyllenhaal) is the adopted youngest son of Persian King Sharaman (Pickup). With his two brothers (Kebbell and Coyle) and their ambitious uncle (Kingsley) he invades the holy city of Alamut. But things go badly wrong, and Dastan ends up on the run with the local Princess Tamina (Arterton), bickering over a ceremonial dagger that turns out to have time-shifting properties. With the help of a local sheik (Molina), they return to the city and try to thwart a dark conspiracy to take over the kingdom.

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The Uninvited Review


Terrible
As part of our ongoing battle with mortality, ghosts have become a comforting conduit to "the other side." No longer are they purely spectral poltergeists bent on driving the living insane. Instead, if you believe most of the movies made since the arrival of Eastern horror on these Western shores, these supernatural envoys are hell-bent on warning the living about the unholy terrors crawling beneath their very noses. In the case of the burnt-up phantom at the center of this remake of the Korean hit A Tale of Two Sisters, the message is loud and clear: Stay away from the incessantly dull American version.

After 10 months in a psychiatric hospital, young Anna Rydell (Emily Browning) returns to her family home in Maine. There she must face a distant father (David Strathairn), sarcastic sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel), and the newest member of the clan, nurse turned girlfriend Rachel Summers (Elizabeth Banks). You see, Anna's mother got very sick -- so sick that Dad had to hire a blond bimbette to care for her. Naturally, their relationship turned sexual, and all Anna remembers a bell, a fire, a horrific death, and a stint in the loony bin. Now that she's back, she wants to remember what happened -- and all signs point to Rachel as some kind of brash black widow. Anna is convinced that her Dad's new galpal is out to destroy the family, and there are ghosts from a supernatural realm who appear to agree.

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The Great Raid Review


Weak
Sometimes you can have the best story a filmmaker could ask for, a giant pile of money and all the best intentions, only to end up with what is ultimately a sub-par piece of work. Such is the dilemma of John Dahl's much-delayed The Great Raid, a gorgeous-looking film about an impossibly dramatic and yet mostly-forgotten real-life World War II rescue mission, which has everything going for it and yet never quite makes it to the finish line.

The facts are these: In 1945, as the American army is pushing back the Japanese in the Philippines, Tokyo has issued an order to exterminate every prisoner of war, an order enthusiastically carried out in the beginning of the film, which recreates an episode in which 150 U.S. POWs were covered in gasoline and set on fire. The Americans know that as they advance, the Japanese will do the same thing at every camp they get close to, and that the American Sixth Army is only days away from the camp at Cabanatuan, with over 500 prisoners - a starving and miserable bunch who survived the Bataan Death March and three years of privation only to face murder just as their fellow soldiers approach. So a team of 121 soldiers, mostly inexperienced Rangers, are ordered to sneak 30 miles behind Japanese lines and liberate Cabanatuan. It's a jury-rigged, rag-tag sort of mission, with the soldiers knowing it's a suicide detail, but also knowing they couldn't stand not to try.

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