American-raised actor Lawrence (Del Toro) returns to his family manor on an English moor, where his wild-haired father Sir John (Hopkins) lives with his Sikh servant (Malik). Lawrence discovers that his brother has just been killed in the woods by a vicious creature, which later wounds him as well, turning him into a werewolf. And on the first full moon, he finds himself on the hunt as well as chased by a Scotland Yard detective (Weaving). But maybe a gypsy woman (Chaplin) and his brother's ex-fiancee (Blunt) hold the key to his salvation.
Continue reading: The Wolfman Review
This second film from American Beauty director Sam Mendes presents a highly stylized and muddied look into the world of the Irish mob. Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is at the center of it, as mob boss John Rooney's (Paul Newman) personal "Angel of Death." Raised as Rooney's son, Sullivan and his family have been given an idyllic life, marred only by the secrecy of Sullivan's dastardly work. But when his oldest son Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) witnesses dad taking care of business, their world is shattered, as mob boss Rooney's overeager son murders Sullivan's wife and youngest child in response. Now, Sullivan must put his loyalty to the test to protect his oldest son Michael and buy a life for them both.
Continue reading: Road to Perdition Review
A loose remake of the 1963 Haunting, this version gives us a creepy haunted house and four hapless people to populate it. Chief among them is Eleanor (Taylor), a real wacko who believes there are children's spirits in the house that speak to her. And she's right! Wow, original! And hey kids, the sexy Zeta-Jones plays a bisexual in the movie! Oooooh, scandalous! (Sarcasm, people.)
Continue reading: The Haunting (1999) Review
Thirteen Days is the film in question -- and unlike staff writer James Brundage I felt the film was a truly powerful one, an eye-opening dissection of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a sobering study of how close we came to annihialation during the Cold War, and a peek behind the scenes of detente. An excellent companion to another (even better) Kevin Costner vehicle, Oliver Stone's JFK, Thirteen Days is not an actor's showcase like JFK is, but rather lets its story do the telling, taking us behind the scenes as decisions with cascading consequences are made. To be sure, Roger Donaldson was likely a poor choice as director -- his arbitrary use of black and white vs. color, his heavy-handedness in glorifying Kennedy at every turn, and his preachy doomsaying all wear a bit thin. But even he can't ruin the film completely.
Continue reading: Thirteen Days Review