The woman (Julianne Moore) tags along with her ophthalmologist husband (Mark Ruffalo) when he is struck by the blindness and sent to the initial holding facility for the infected. Visually plagued by random flashes of pure white, the film hams up Saramago's eloquent metaphor as the wards of the facility become factions. One splinter supports a dictator (Gael García Bernal) and an accountant (Maury Chaykin) who garner the entirety of the rations supplied by the army. Possessions and eventually women are traded for meager portions as the nameless woman begins to consider her tolerance in the face of a shadowy, violent orgy that even Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé might find a little too much.
Continue reading: Blindness Review
In this installment, it's, well, a boy girl thing. The swappers are high school seniors: Dim jock Woody (Kevin Zegers) and Yale-destined brainiac Nell (Samaire Armstrong), who've lived next door to each other all their lives and, as this type of movie dictates, now hate each other. A class field trip and an Aztec idol get the switcheroo done (the mechanics of the switch are, of course, inconsequential), but with Woody's brain in Nell's body and vice versa, how will she dazzle the regents during her final Yale interview, and how will Woody impress the talent scouts at the Homecoming football game?
Continue reading: It's A Boy Girl Thing Review
The pressures of Selma's illness take their toll on everyone, and Steven becomes lost in the cyclone of anger and sorrow that accompanies any tragedy like this. To find peace, Steven runs away to stay with his uncles, where he finds a new world of self-realization, living on his own terms instead of the indifferent rules set down by his father and by society.
Continue reading: Unstrung Heroes Review
Maybe I over-hyped it in my mind, becoming too hopeful in the face of overwhelming praise for the film. Or maybe I know Egoyan's tricks too well by now. Either way, I left the film extremely pleased but depressed: partly because the movie is such a downer, and partly because I know Egoyan can do even better.
Continue reading: The Sweet Hereafter Review
The movie revolves around the convenient story of a special UN operative caught up in a secret murder conspiracy involving a Chinese ambassador, the Chinese Triad Brotherhood, a rich Chinese businessman (played by...that bad guy from Rising Sun, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) a Chinese UN interpreter, and, inexplicably, Donald Sutherland. The film ends with more confusion than a boatload of Chinese immigrants trying to register at Ellis Island. Or should I say the film ends with the most blatant ripoff of both The Matrix and all of John Woo's Hong Kong films combined.
Continue reading: The Art Of War Review
If only the rest of the movie was so interesting. While the idea is pretty cool: a cop and an art thief tangle in a cat and mouse game, constantly switching sides, all on the eve of the millennium... it's the execution that gets 'em every time.
Continue reading: Entrapment Review
Based on a true story set in the early 1980s, Hoffman plays Dan Mahowny, a middle manager at a Toronto bank who finds himself swamped by gambling debts. To square matters with Frank (Maury Chakin), a bookie with a snow globe fetish, he uses his job's authority to set up fake loans and cash transfers. Hoffman doesn't play Mahowny as outwardly desperate; sitting at his desk with a loan approval form he's about to fake, he sweats and stares, but he's committed to feeding his addiction. There's a gleam of opportunity in his eyes, and you can feel him thinking: X amount of dollars means Y hours at the blackjack table in Atlantic City. Little else matters, including moral qualms.
Continue reading: Owning Mahowny Review
Cool as dry ice, Wesley Snipes comes off a two-year action movie hiatus like a bad-ass, black-belt James Bond with some ghetto in his blood in the opening scene of "The Art of War."
Dressed to the nines for a well-heeled Y2K New Year's Eve party in Hong Kong, he's doing a little workaday blackmailing of Chinese government officials when he is spotted by security and has to kung-fu his way out of there before parachuting off a skyscraper to escape.
Somebody shoots holes in his chute, but while Wes lands safely, the movie crashes face first into the pavement.
Continue reading: The Art Of War Review
"Mystery, Alaska" is a modern, good old-fashioned, American feel-good movie, about a talented hockey team in a snowbound, Arctic Circle hamlet that gets to take on the New York Rangers in an NHL publicity stunt.
It's an obliging tweak on the traditional, triumphant underdog story, used as a backdrop for a delightful character dramedy that mixes tried-and-true with mordant-and-new -- like a frozen, Frank Capra-meets-Robert Altman, ensemble sports movie.
Written by Sean O'Byrne and David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Lake Placid"), and directed by Jay Roach (the "Austin Powers" movies), it's hard to not get caught up in the energetic spirit of this film from the opening shot, which zooms in on a lone figure, decked out in hockey gear and skating like the wind around icy Alaskan vistas while the soundtrack pumps with drum-driven, inspired determination music.
Continue reading: Mystery, Alaska Review
A talented ensemble cast brings an extremely authentic family dynamic to "What's Cooking?," a satisfying four-course cross-section of ethnic American clans gathering for their Thanksgiving dinners.
Conceived by director Gurinder Chadha as a celebration of diversity, the film opens with an ironic shot of an advertisement on the side of a Los Angeles bus featuring an airbrushed white-bread family carving a turkey. Chadha then moves inside the bus to show the rainbow of races living together in the area, then on into a grocery store, where she picks up her first story in which a young Mexican-American man (Douglas Spain) bumps into his exiled father (Victor Rivers) and invites him home for Thanksgiving dinner.
This doesn't sit too well with his mother (Mercedes Ruehl), who had kicked Rivers out after discovering he'd had an affair. But she's prepared to make the best of it as her huge family gathers for their traditional daylong holiday preparations, mixing turkey with a cornucopia of Latino delicacies.
Continue reading: What's Cooking? Review
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