Jonathan Lemkin

Jonathan Lemkin

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Shooter Review


Weak
As the hero of Shooter, Mark Wahlberg narrows his eyes into a piercing stare, delivers his bite-sized chunks of dialogue under his breath, and maintains a constant state of muscle flex so that each vein in his ropy arms sticks up like a speed bump on an elementary school driveway.

Wahlberg even boasts the ideal name: Bob Lee Swagger. The surname ensures he's all attitude. The fact that he goes by three monikers means he's a bona fide presidential assassin, situated in a class above Lee Harvey Oswald.

Continue reading: Shooter Review

Red Planet Review


Weak
One approaches the release of Red Planet with a singular, desperate thought: There is no way... it is not possible... it is inconceivable... that Red Planet could be worse than Mission to Mars.

Indeed, Red Planet makes for a far better film than Mission to Mars. While that's not saying a whole lot (since Mission currently ranks as the worst movie I've seen all year) Red Planet is at least competently constructed and mildly engaging, so long as you put aside the sappy melodramatics. Of course, this isn't that easy to do.

Continue reading: Red Planet Review

The Devil's Advocate Review


Good
It takes a story this ridiculous to be this good. Imagine The Firm, but with the Devil. (Cue demonic laughter.) Keanu Reeves stars as a rising star of a lawyer, and Al Pacino stars as the Devil himself (sample line: "Call me dad!"). The movie plays perfectly into Pacino's penchant to overact the crap out of his part -- only this part has no limit to the attitude you can throw at it. The rest of the film is simply very well-made. Special effects, acting (particularly Charlize Theron as Keanu's sanity-vacating wife), music, set design -- it's all there. No, it ain't Oscar bait, it's just one, ahem, hell of a good time.
Jonathan Lemkin

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