Daniel Taplitz

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Red Dog Review


Excellent
Shamelessly enjoyable, this raucous Aussie movie keeps us laughing - and ultimately sniffling back the tears - as it recounts an urban myth. A terrific sense of the time and place, rambunctious characters and a terrific starring dog make it well worth seeing.

Red Dog is the most famous resident of Dampier, northwest Australia. Through the 1970s, he unified the mining community as a communal pet, then he adopted a master in John (Lucas). He eventually accepts John's girlfriend Nancy (Rachael Taylor) as part of the pack, which includes the local barman (Noah Taylor) and a lively collection of miners (Angel, Batchelor, Nichol and others). He also has a rivalry with the fiendish Red Cat. And after John disappears, he roams the length and breadth of western Australia looking for him.

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Chaos Theory Review


Good
When you take a film class, the first thing you're told is that if you can't capture the attention of your audience in the first five minutes, you will lose them for the duration of the narrative. For the most part, in practice, this is actually true. Think about the number of times you've waited for a film to get better and it simply hasn't, then you walk out of the theater lamenting the loss of those two hours of life.

In sharp contrast to this rule, Chaos Theory's first ten minutes are painful, followed by a moving journey that follows one couples' path to forgiveness after the realization of infidelity. The last few minutes mirror the beginning in their annoyingly simplistic banality, but the middle hour of the film is completely engaging. Even more impressive is that, though it is mainly Frank's (Ryan Reynolds) story, the separate actions of both he and his wife (Emily Mortimer) are treated as equally important in terms of how they impact their family unit. The chemistry between parents and child feel lived-in.

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Breakin' All The Rules Review


Terrible
Breakin' All the Rules is about stupid people with problems, meaning what would take you and me five minutes to resolve takes these characters 85 excruciating minutes. The only thing the movie breaks is your patience.

Quincy (Jamie Foxx) is a man with everything -- a good job as a magazine editor, good friends, and a fine woman to whom he's on the verge of proposing. Just as he's about to write a series of guidelines for firing employees, his girlfriend dumps him at their engagement party. Despondent, he quits his job, refusing to fire employees for his spineless boss (Peter MacNicol), and becomes a recluse.

Continue reading: Breakin' All The Rules Review

Daniel Taplitz

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