George Faber

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Generation Kill Review


Excellent
In their seven-part Iraq War miniseries adaptation of Evan Wright's book Generation Kill, David Simon and Ed Burns roll up a quiverful of arrows to fire off at various topics, ranging from the rampaging adrenaline of young men at war to the supreme idiocy of the invasion itself. However, the bright and gleaming theme running through most of these hard-bitten episodes has the filmmakers illustrating an age-old military maxim: Soldiers are often much more likely to be killed by the decisions of their submoronic leadership than they are by actions undertaken by the enemy. When that enemy is as pathetic a force as Saddam's Republican Guard, and the American officer corps obsessed more with the idea of taking Baghdad at warp speed than properly clearing the territory they're pushing through (both points made time and again in this series), that maxim is even more true than usual.

Wright was a Rolling Stone reporter who somehow got himself embedded in the First Recon Marine unit that was frequently at the very point of the entire American military machine rolling into Iraq in 2003. In the capable hands of Simon and Burns, his story of these turbo-trained alpha-male hunter-killers becomes something unlike most any other film project about the war. It opens in the sands of Kuwait, with the platoons tussling in the sand like overgrown boys, primed with teeth-bared intensity to launch themselves at Saddam's forces; only, in the manner of Jarhead, that great battle never quite seems to come.

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Morvern Callar Review


Good
Let's start with the obvious question: Morvern Callar is the name of a character. The name of a girl, actually. And not in a Lord of the Rings movie.

No, Morvern Callar is a modern-day psychodrama, starring Samantha Morton (never known for picking traditional roles -- Minority Report, Sweet and Lowdown) as the titular Morvern, a Scottish girl who comes to terms with her boyfriend's suicide by simply ignoring the body that's rotting in the hall. Tasked with instructions to use the money in his bank account for a funeral and send his novel off to a publisher in London, Morvern coldly decides to hack up the body and bury it in the moors, use the money for a trip to Spain for her and her pal Lanna (Kathleen McDermott), and sends the novel to a publisher -- under her own name.

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Titanic Town Review


Grim
Oh, hey, it's a movie about the IRA in Belfast! Does nothing take place in Ireland aside from IRA activity? When Billy Elliot's Julie Walters gets fed up of all the bombing, burning busses, gun battles, and home raids, she does something about it -- speaking out against war altogether. So, if you like your rock throwing broken up by a petition campaign, well, this movie's for you.

Priest Review


OK
The controversy surrounding Priest has been forefront in much of the cinematic trade literature for weeks now. Miramax, the film's distributor, almost had the guts to release the movie, a powerful criticism of Catholic doctrine, on Good Friday.

Priest is the story of Father Greg (Linus Roache), an idealistic young priest in Liverpool. The problem is that the young priest is gay, and he's torn between his hidden, inner desires and his faith in the church. Add to this his mentor, Father Matthew (Tom Wilkenson), an unconventional, karaoke-singing priest who is also breaking his vow of celibacy, and a teen-aged girl who confesses to Father Greg the incestuous abuse she experiences at the hands of her father. Greg is the victim of classic Catholic dilemmas: whether or not to break the seal of confession; whether or not to entertain his passion; whether or not to remain a member of the cloth.

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A Room For Romeo Brass Review


Excellent
There's something sick about a 25-year-old man wanting to befriend kids the age of 12 or 13. But it makes for great cinema, especially when the guy is affable and goofy, like newcomer Paddy Considine's character Morell, in A Room for Romeo Brass. Once he gains the trust of his two adolescent pals Romeo and Knocks, the good times start to roll as the two boys ditch school and head for the hills in search of adventure with their newfound friend. Directed by Shane Meadows (TwentyFourSeven), the film is at its core a twisted comedy about a young boy, Romeo Brass (Andrew Shim), and his search for love, attention, and acceptance through his friends and in defiance of his family.

The story begins with Romeo and best friend Knocks (Ben Marshall) as inseparable pals who live as neighbors in suburban England. Knocks has a rare back disorder that requires surgery and keeps him constantly limping, but his family is supportive, especially his mother and father as they excitedly anticipate his recovery. Romeo, on the other hand, lives with his mother and older sister in a volatile household with no father figure. In fact, Romeo's estranged dad Joseph (Frank Harper), shows up right around the same time the boys encounter Morell.

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