David Bergstein

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Laws of Attraction Review


Grim
Heard a good lawyer joke lately? If not, there may be several to be found amongst the bickering and backstabbing in the romantic comedy Laws of Attraction, the easiest gag being the film's unbelievable premise. Two top-of-their-game divorce attorneys, who share nothing in common other than their contempt for one another, fall in love and get married!

Are you laughing yet? You should be, considering Attraction tries to emulate the razor-edge wit of Adam's Rib, the classic 1940s comedy on which this film is based. Instead, Attraction hinges too much on a lifeless plot where all of the action is fueled by an overabundance of annoying banter between its two stars.

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Spartan Review


Extraordinary
What is the man behind such parlor-room films as The Winslow Boy and House of Games doing directing an explosive military thriller, complete with airdrops and sniper rifles? And starring Val Kilmer? Trust me: Give Spartan ten minutes, and you'll stop asking such stupid questions.

David Mamet's latest project is far from conventional fare, and ultimately that works in his favor. From the opening scene, where two soldiers pursue each other through a jungle, Mamet keeps us guessing. What kind of movie are we watching? Within about 10 minutes, the bones of the story are made clear: the president's daughter (Kristen Bell) has been kidnapped from her dorm room, and the Secret Service pulls out all the stops to get her back. That includes recruiting special operations soldier Robert Scott (Val Kilmer), an uncannily capable military man who's as intuitive with people and motives as he is skilled with weapons.

Continue reading: Spartan Review

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