On his 18th birthday, Goku (Justin Chatwin) is given a sacred dragonball by his grandfather. Told that with the other orbs in the set, a single perfect wish will be granted, a tragedy sends our hero out to find Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat), an old family friend who is the key to unlocking the object's secrets. Along the way, Goku picks up Bulma Briefs (Emmy Rossum), who agrees to help him. With Roshi and desert bandit Yamcha (Joon Park) in tow, he prepares to take on alien invader Piccolo (James Marsters), who along with his assistant Mai (Eriko Tamura) is bent on summoning the dragon Shen Long and ruling the Earth. As the impending solar eclipse signals the moment of reckoning, our group must train to overcome centuries of evil and transform into the ultimate fighting force in the universe.
Continue reading: Dragonball Evolution Review
Except that he's dead, of course, but assuming, as The Invisible does, the existence of a rather flexible netherworld between living and death, filling in further details isn't a problem either. When Nick wakes up as a sort of half-ghost, traveling through the land of the living without the ability to be seen or heard while his body lies on the brink of death, his detective skills need only to consist of following the murderers around, overhearing their motivations.
Continue reading: The Invisible Review
A facetious voice-over -- "This was the best of all possible worlds" -- introduces brooding loner Dean Stiffle (Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot), a teen caught between dueling self-helper parents, who's soon to discover his dead friend Troy (Josh Janowicz) behind the house of his party-throwing mother, Carrie (Glenn Close). Weeks later, Dean's best-selling psychiatrist-author father, Bill (William Fichtner), therapy-talks Dean sick about his lack of grief. Dad's cure: More of the same pharmaceuticals Dean's school's already drowning in.
Continue reading: The Chumscrubber Review
And so it is that in the terrorism-edgy mid-'00s, Steven Spielberg has resurrecteds War of the Worlds - again - and created the greatest alien invasion movie ever.
Continue reading: War of the Worlds (2005) Review
I'm not talking about masked-psycho-with-a-chainsaw scary.That's kids' stuff. This is a slow, relentless, meticulous fear. It's thefear of uncertainty, the fear of grand-scale devastation that humanityis powerless to stop. It's a fear that fills the air like a storm and creepsup your spine in a way that's hard to shake. It is a fear not unlike whatevery American felt on September 11, 2001 -- but divorced from fact andrealigned as entertainment through the subconsciously reassuring comfortof a movie theater seat and a tub of popcorn.
It's visceral, it's psychological, and it comes more fromthe terrified performances of Tom Cruise and the remarkable Dakota Fanning(the angelic 10-year-old from "Hide& Seek" and "Manon Fire") -- as a dock-worker deadbeatdad and his daughter on the run from 100-foot alien killing machines --than from the film's hyper-realistic special effects and monsters (whicharen't that different from the ones in the shamelessly corny "Warof the Worlds" rip-off "Independence Day").
The film is worth seeing just to experience this fear,which is a testament to the power of cinema.
Continue reading: War of the Worlds Review
Even with her latest turn as bodacious, babe-a-licious video game vixen Lara Croft still clinging to her like a skin-tight silver catsuit, Angelina Jolie is surprisingly credible as a prim and professional FBI profiler in "Taking Lives." Now, if only the plot of this serial killer thriller could have kept up with her in that department.
A slight, and slightly smarter, twist on the genre's average assembly-line offering, the movie's hook is that the unidentified psycho assumes the lives of the people he kills -- mostly handsome, young, well-to-do loners (if there is such a thing). So he could be anyone from the handsome young Montreal detective (Oliver Martinez) who's bitter that Jolie's been brought in on his case, to the handsome young painter (Ethan Hawke) who is the only witness to one of the murders, to the handsome, ominous stranger (Kiefer Sutherland) who seems to be stalking the artist.
But while director D.J. Caruso ("The Salton Sea") takes a judicious, stylish, slow-burn approach to the suspense (this isn't a tawdry twist-a-minute attempt to get your heart pounding), he can't outsmart the holes in the plot (adapted from a novel by Michael Pye), even if most of them appear only in retrospect -- after the dumb, patronizing and currently fashionable second-climax epilogue.
Continue reading: Taking Lives Review