Hogarth Hughes is an intelligent young boy with a love of exploring. One day, his adventurous nature leads him to discover a colossal iron giant living in the forest having fallen from space. The robot appears to have the understanding of a child and thus finds himself vulnerable to the dangers of the earth and oblivious to his fate should the government find out about him. When Hogarth realises this and that the iron giant just wants to be his friend, he does everything within his power to keep him safe, even if that means lying to the government agents and army officials who come sniffing around for information. Hogarth is just 9-years-old, but he finds himself having to explain the way the world works to this confused creature, including mortality, sacrifice and the rules of right and wrong.
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Wallace Avery is struggling with the hardships that life is throwing at him; a boring job, a failed marriage, an estranged son and an unfulfilling relationship; and decides that something must be done in order for him to find happiness again. He fakes his own drowning and purchases a new identity, becoming golf pro Arthur Newman and landing himself a job at a golf club away from Florida. It's then he meets Michaela "Mike", who is actually named Charlotte Fitzgerald and has assumed the identity of her twin sister who's suffering from mental health problems. They set out on a road trip together to Indiana but it isn't long before they both discover each other's true identities. With that in common, their bond strengthens and a romance blossoms as they take comfort in each other's dissatisfactions in life. But when it comes down to it, this couple have some serious decisions to make about the kind of people they really want to be.
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After the 2011 black comedy The Guard, Brendan Gleeson reteams with writer-director John Michael McDonagh for a darker comical drama grappling with issues of faith and forgiveness. McDonagh's usual jagged dialogue and snappy characters are on-hand in abundance while the film digs deep through a rather meandering, episodic plot.
In rural Ireland, Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is quietly enduring confessionals when one of his parishioners says he's going to kill him next Sunday. Shaken, James begins to explore his faith and mortality over the coming week. His daughter Fiona (Kelly Reilly) arrives following another suicide attempt, and he consoles a grieving French visitor (Marie-Josee Croze) and visits an imprisoned killer (Domhnall Gleeson). But almost anyone in the village could be the aspiring murderer: the over-emotional butcher (Chris O'Dowd), drug-addict doctor (Aidan Gillen), ladies-man African (Isaach De Bankole), shifty millionaire (Dylan Moran), eccentric fisherman (M. Emmet Walsh).
Intriguingly, it never really matters who issued the threat (James has a pretty good idea), because that's not the point of the film. McDonagh is exploring bigger ideas here, adeptly mixing riotously funny dialogue with startlingly bleak emotions. The film's languid pace nearly lulls us to sleep, then wakes us up with another sparky scene-stealing performance from the gifted cast. Gleeson is wonderfully muted, expressing more with an exhausted sigh than most actors can manage with a Shakespearean monologue. His moments with Reilly crackle with honest emotion, and the deceptively simple scene between father and son actors Brendan and Domhnall is a heart-stopper.
Continue reading: Calvary Review
Cindy and Jim Green is a young, married couple who are looking forward to starting a family. They try everything they can but it doesn't work. After the couple find out they can never conceive, it leaves them devastated.
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Nick Twisp (Cera) is a 16-year-old who feels out of sync with the world. He has a summer job in a caravan park, where he instantly falls in love with Sheeni (Doubleday), the fiercely protected daughter of religious nutcases (Walsh and Place). Sheeni is like a female version of him, only sexy and smarter, and he creates an imaginary alter ego named Francois Dillinger to give him the confidence to seduce her. But of course things go wrong from the start.
Continue reading: Youth In Revolt Review
On first viewing (the movie's opening weekend), I admit I didn't get all of Fletch's jokes, but found myself pleasantly amused. Twenty-two years later, I get all the jokes, but I remain only pleasantly amused, nothing more, nothing less. This is a comfort movie -- smart and sassy enough to make good company, but a notch short of brilliant.
Continue reading: Fletch Review
It is readily apparent that Will Smith, Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh had a ball on the set of "Wild Wild West."
Smith -- playing gun-slinging government agent Jim West -- looks so cool in his leather pants, waistcoat, and bolero jacket and hat, that at one point in the movie he's standing next to the voluptuous and nearly naked Salma Hayek (in a largely ornamental role), and your eyes are drawn to him. It's gotta be fun to look that slick.
Kline gets to play government agent Artemus Gordon, an eccentric inventor and master of disguise, which is right up his alley. He can barely keep from cracking himself up in his introductory scene, vamping around in saloon matron drag and pancake makeup.
Continue reading: Wild Wild West Review
As I write this, the time is 8:32 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 2004, and I have just walked out on "Christmas With the Kranks" after roughly 45 minutes of mind-numbingly humorless, sit-com barrel-bottom idiocy.
An adaptation of John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" that has been violently stripped of any semblance of humanity, this supposed comedy is about a couple called the Kranks (ha, ha, ha), played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, whose daughter won't be home for Christmas, so they choose to bow out of the festivities altogether and take a cruise. But apparently their choice amounts to a social offense of the first order in the bogus, plot-device suburbia where the movie takes place (during a transparently bogus winter). It even makes the newspaper.
Soon an army of neighbors are beating down their door like some Yuletide Gestapo, angrily demanding they put up their seasonal decorations while Curtis inexplicably cowers inside like a child.
Continue reading: Christmas With The Kranks Review
Thankfully, the talking pooches basking on beach recliners in the TV commercials for Disney's Iditarod comedy "Snow Dogs" are only from a dream sequence, and not some ill-advised CGI gimmick around which a movie was built.
The real gimmick -- a Miami dentist (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) inherits a sled dog team and becomes determined to learn the ropes of mushing -- isn't much more plausible. But "Snow Dogs" has a contagious sense of humor and a great spirit that go a long way toward turning the predictable plot into entertaining family fare.
Gooding provides plenty of choice comedic double-takes and ice-induced pratfalls as he shivers his way through a story that includes mischievous sled dogs, assorted friendly Yukon ruffians, a pretty, sparky Eskimo love interest (Joanna Bacalso) and the Disney-traditional long-lost father.
Continue reading: Snow Dogs Review
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