At high school, Scott Murphy was the star football player. He was also popular and had a pretty girlfriend to boot. One year, Scott takes his team all the way to the finals, which they win. However, the win came at a price for Scott; as he made the final touchdown, an opposing player crashed into him, causing Scott a knee injury that ensures he will never play football again.
Continue: Touchback Trailer
Fortunately writer-director Garcia is very careful to avoid wallowing in sentimentality.
Elizabeth (Watts) is a shark-like lawyer who easily seduces her new boss Paul (Jackson). She's had a difficult emotional life, and prefers to keep things under control, managing her friendships and relationships with icy distance.
Continue reading: Mother And Child Review
Three high school students (Angarano, Gallner and Braun) use a phone app to find a 38-year-old woman (Leo) who wants to have group sex. But she's just bait. Before they know what happened, they're caged in an isolated church, where the activist pastor (Parks) explains why he's decided to take violent action against immoral society, which he blames on homosexuality. But the situation devolves into a Waco-style armed stand-off between the militant church and an ATF agent (Goodman) and his team.
Continue reading: Red State Review
After June (Diaz) bumps into Roy (Cruise) in the airport, she finds herself in a mid-air shootout and a cornfield crash-landing. But she wakes up at home as if everything is fine. And so continues her adventure, as Roy turns out to be a possibly rogue federal agent trying to stay one step ahead of the spies chasing him (Davis and Sarsgaard) and keep June safe from the bad guys as they dart to the Azores and across Europe, where they meet a technology nerd (Dano) and a smirking arms dealer (Molla).
Continue reading: Knight And Day Review
Adoption is a life changing situation for all involved.The woman who feels she must give up her baby must find a way of life after giving up her child, the adoptee ofter goes through months of unknowing before finally being given a new family member and the child often grows up feeling loved by their adoptive parents but wanting to discover more about their birth parents. Mother and Child is a moving tale of three women all in very different situations but all connected through a similar circumstance. Adoption.
Continue: Mother & Child Trailer
If you want to remember the Alamo, the latest feature film version of the Texas fort's famous last stand may not be much help.
A beautifully produced but relatively bloodless (literally and figuratively) Hollywood rendering of the 1836 siege on San Antonio by tyrannical General Santa Anna, who was determined to recapture the territory for Mexico, it's a movie more concerned with details like Jim Bowie's terminal case of consumption than it is with the historical context of its story and its legendary characters.
In this movie, Bowie (Jason Patric) the frontier adventurer and volunteer army colonel is presented as little more than an infamous "knife fighter" haunted by his wife's death. Newspaper publisher, lawyer and militiaman Lt. Col. William B. Travis (Patrick Wilson) is just a determined dandy with questioned military skills (questioned mostly by Bowie) who rises to the occasion as temporary commander of these now-fortified grounds surrounding an unfinished mission. David "Davey" Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton) is a fiddle-playing former senator made famous by a stage play written about something he once did while wearing a coonskin hat -- and why he's even at the Alamo isn't entirely clear.
Continue reading: The Alamo Review
Mel Gibson plays yet another idealized and idealistic father-of-five war hero, bursting at the seams with charge-leading integrity in "We Were Soldiers," a detailed and staggering account of the first harrowing battle of the Vietnam War.
This may sound like a bit much to take so soon after he single-handedly vanquished the British as a choleric colonial in "The Patriot." But Gibson is well cast in this far heavier and historically accurate picture that only falls back on hackneyed Hollywoodisms when it takes a break from the battlefield (and that isn't very often).
Gibson stars as Lt. Col. Hal Moore, the man who reluctantly but boldly lead the first American ground troops into the Ia Drang Valley on November 14, 1965 -- 11 years after the occupying French were trounced in the same location (as established in the film's brutal World War I-styled prologue).
Continue reading: We Were Soldiers Review
Set in an absurd, patronizing fantasy world in which flag-waving citizens line the streets to see the president's kid off to college and angry political protesters share the red-carpet sidelines at black-tie events with shallow reporters asking stupid questions, "First Daughter" could well be the most hackneyed and insipid movie of 2004.
Failing to achieve even the shrug-worth mediocrity of January's similarly plotted "Chasing Liberty" (with Mandy Moore), this gimmick-driven disaster drags star Katie Holmes down with it as Samantha Mackenzie, the sheltered, personality-free offspring of a controversial commander-in-chief (an unconvincing, completely vanilla Michael Keaton), who falls in love with a cute Secret Service agent (an even blander Marc Blucas) posing as a student in her dorm.
Although introduced in the manner of a fairytale, the film's rampant lack of authenticity is simply insurmountable. Samantha's bodyguards constantly hover three feet behind her -- even in class and while she's alone in the dorm's TV room. The girl is never once shown doing anything that even remotely resembles studying, yet as she's egged on by a soundtrack of flutes and twinkling triangles, she proclaims her determination to have a normal coed experience. In pursuit of it, she sneaks out on dates with that charming classmate she doesn't know is an undercover agent -- that is until he blows his secret identity by rescuing her during one of many security breaches so impossibly contrived that the Secret Service should sue 20th Century Fox for defamation of character.
Continue reading: First Daughter Review
Another utterly captivating John Sayles ensemble piece with an incredible sense of a particular place and its personality, "Sunshine State" manifests the winds of change and uncertainty blowing mightily over a humble island township off the Florida panhandle that has been targeted for ravenous resort development.
Like "Lone Star," "Limbo" and other films from the iconic independent writer-director, this one transports you into the soul of its community through smaller pieces of the whole. Sayles paints a larger picture through the lives of individual denizens who are each struggling with a choice between the rich heritage of their fading pocket berg and the big money being offered by developers.
Some are rediscovering a spiritual connection to the town, like Angela Bassett, who plays a refugee from the island's black community, which made the place thrive in the 1940s before its culture began fading away with desegregation. She couldn't get away fast enough as a teenager -- although that might have been because she was pregnant and her parents were sending her away whether she liked it or not. She became an actress but never made it past infomercials. Now she has returned to visit her estranged mother (Mary Alice) for the first time with her handsome, affluent new husband (James McDaniel) on her arm.
Continue reading: Sunshine State Review
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