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Transit Review


OK
Infused with a B-movie vibe, this fast-paced, choppily edited thriller doesn't waste any time on character complexity or plot development, just putting an innocent, albeit troubled, family in harm's way. But its increasingly preposterous narrative and hysterically over-violent action makes it something of a guilty pleasure.

Ex-con Nate (Caviezel) is trying to reconnect with his wife Robyn (Rohm) and sons (Knight and Cherry) on a camping trip in Louisiana. But their paths cross with a gang of armoured-car thieves (Frain, Perrineau, Downho and Baird), who hide their stash in the family's camping gear. Getting it back is trickier than they expect, especially after Nate has a run-in with the law in a backwoods Louisiana town, and Robyn leaves him to fend for himself. And the gang doesn't care who they kill to get their cash.

Continue reading: Transit Review

A Sound Of Thunder Review


Bad
The best thing that can be said for the embarrassing A Sound of Thunder is that at least it presupposes an audience whose belief in evolution is ironclad, sadly a minor triumph in these increasingly Scopes monkey trial-like times.

Adapted with sub-simian grace from the iconic Ray Bradbury story, the film puts us in the year 2055, where a Chicago firm called Time Safari takes wealthy, bored men back in time and hunt dinosaurs. The trick here is that Bradbury - prefiguring all the great time travel paradox stories and films to follow - realized one couldn't just do this without creating massive complications further down the time pipeline. So Time Safari has its hunters walk through the 65-million-year-old jungle on a pathway suspended above the ground, with the strict dictum not to touch anything, never step off the path and not to bring even the most microscopic thing back with them. And the dinosaur that they "hunt" (over and over again) has been selected for the fact that it's going to die anyway, bare seconds after the safari team shoots it. Thusly the time continuum remains unchanged and everybody's happy.

Continue reading: A Sound Of Thunder Review

Sudden Death Review


Weak
There are Die Hard clones, and there is Sudden Death. How identical are these two films? Instead of taking place in an office building, Sudden Death takes place in a hockey arena. Star Jean-Claude Van Damme isn't a cop; he's a fireman. His wife isn't held hostage; his daughter is. The villains don't want bearer bonds; they want money transfers. The computer geek isn't black; he's white.

Continue reading: Sudden Death Review

The Musketeer Review


Bad
And now the high-flying Hong Kong style of filmmaking has made its way down to the classics, and it isn't pretty. This time out the nod to Asia goes by way of France in the excruciating bland and lukewarm production of The Musketeer, a version of Dumas's The Three Musketeers. By bringing in popular Asian actor/stunt coordinator Xing Xing Xiong -- whose only prior American attempts at stunt choreography have been the laughable Van Damme vehicle Double Team and the Dennis Rodman cinematic joke Simon Sez -- our Musketeers are thrown into the air to do their fighting. The end result is a tepid and dull action/adventure rip-off that stinks of Indiana Jones and bad Asian kung fu.

The story is so simple my grandmother could have adapted the screenplay. D'Artagnan (Justin Chambers) is the vengeful son of a slain Musketeer. He travels to Paris to join the Royal Musketeers and find the man that killed his parents. In Paris, he meets the cunning Cardinal Richelieu (Stephen Rea), who is trying to overthrow the King, and Richelieu's man-in-black associate Febre (Tim Roth), the killer of his folks. He finds the Musketeers in Paris disbanded and drunk, so he rounds up Aramis (Nick Moran), Athos (Jan Gregor Kremp) and Porthos (Steven Spiers) to free the Musketeer's wrongfully imprisoned leader Treville from the King's prison. D'Artagnan and his new frisky love interest/chambermaid Francesca (Mena Suvari) play footsy and coo at each other as the Cardinal hunts down the Musketeers until finally the Queen (Catherine Deneuve) ends up being captured by the menancing Febre, forcing the Musketeers to regroup, with D'Artagnan leading the charge, and save the day.

Continue reading: The Musketeer Review

Extreme Ops Review


Terrible
You know how somehow, God knows why, every movie is somebody's favorite movie. It could be the worst movie in the world, full of bad jokes, a cheesy script, and unexciting action, and you'll eventually run into someone who loves the piece of crap to death. Know what I'm talking about? Well that's never going to happen to Extreme Ops.

It's not that Extreme Ops is just a bad movie... if you go by the books it isn't the worst it can be. It's that the movie, despite being about stunts, terrorists, sex, and extreme sports, doesn't have enough energy to turn on a light bulb. Extreme Ops has all the power of a Tide commercial. It has all the chemistry of a vat of acid. It has all the excitement of eating oatmeal. Extreme Ops is so slow it's the antidote to amphetamines.

Continue reading: Extreme Ops Review

Imaginary Heroes Review


Very Good
Considering that Imaginary Heroes starts off with a teenager's suicide and then follows what happens to his family in the following year, it's a surprisingly energetic film that refuses to send its characters through either easy therapeutic resolution or cinematically pretty depression. This is more about how people grieve in reality, how they keep on moving through the days and plowing through the grief. And though it can't avoid all the potential clichés that come into its path, this is a tale of suburban angst that can easily stand beside works like American Beauty and The Ice Storm, if not surpass them completely.

The feature directing debut of Dan Harris, the scriptwriting wunderkind behind X2 and a batch of upcoming superhero flicks (from Superman to The Fantastic Four), Imaginary Heroes is a breathtakingly assured piece of work. Notable are the shimmering cinematography and unusually nuanced performances from both veteran actors we tend to take for granted and several fresh, younger faces. It starts off with Matt Travis (Kip Pardue), a high school swimming legend who always hated swimming and so shoots himself in the head one night. Although we only really see him in retrospect, talked about in narration by his younger brother, Matt (Emile Hirsch), it's quickly obvious that Matt was the shining star of the family and so everything quickly goes to pot in his absence. The dad (Jeff Daniels) collapses into an unshaven, sullen drunk, and the sister (Michelle Williams) dashes back to the safe haven of college. Matt - the film's closest thing to a protagonist - buries everything deep, hiding all emotions from his best friend Kyle (Ryan Donowho) and girlfriend, breaking up with her after she keeps asking how he's feeling and why his body is covered in bruises.

Continue reading: Imaginary Heroes Review

A Sound Of Thunder Review


Bad
The best thing that can be said for the embarrassing A Sound of Thunder is that at least it presupposes an audience whose belief in evolution is ironclad, sadly a minor triumph in these increasingly Scopes monkey trial-like times.

Adapted with sub-simian grace from the iconic Ray Bradbury story, the film puts us in the year 2055, where a Chicago firm called Time Safari takes wealthy, bored men back in time and hunt dinosaurs. The trick here is that Bradbury - prefiguring all the great time travel paradox stories and films to follow - realized one couldn't just do this without creating massive complications further down the time pipeline. So Time Safari has its hunters walk through the 65-million-year-old jungle on a pathway suspended above the ground, with the strict dictum not to touch anything, never step off the path and not to bring even the most microscopic thing back with them. And the dinosaur that they "hunt" (over and over again) has been selected for the fact that it's going to die anyway, bare seconds after the safari team shoots it. Thusly the time continuum remains unchanged and everybody's happy.

Continue reading: A Sound Of Thunder Review

Feardotcom Review


Terrible
After the first hour of the celluloid atrocity so cleverly named FearDotCom, I awoke from a dreadful nightmare: a nightmare chock full of bad acting, goofy makeup, a ridiculous story, and blatant plot thievery from David Cronenberg flicks. In a cold sweat, I shuddered and realized that I couldn't wake up from my nightmare. It wasn't a dream at all; it was playing out right in front of my face on a movie screen.

FearDotCom is easily in the running for worst film of the year. The whole mess is a painfully dull ripoff of much better films - namely Poltergeist, Videodrome, and 8MM (okay, so that one's not much better). Full of grotesque imagery of sadistic tortures and killings and a plethora of asinine characters and pathetic attempts at acting, FearDotCom is a prime example of just how bad a bad movie can be.

Continue reading: Feardotcom Review

Spartan Review


Extraordinary
What is the man behind such parlor-room films as The Winslow Boy and House of Games doing directing an explosive military thriller, complete with airdrops and sniper rifles? And starring Val Kilmer? Trust me: Give Spartan ten minutes, and you'll stop asking such stupid questions.

David Mamet's latest project is far from conventional fare, and ultimately that works in his favor. From the opening scene, where two soldiers pursue each other through a jungle, Mamet keeps us guessing. What kind of movie are we watching? Within about 10 minutes, the bones of the story are made clear: the president's daughter (Kristen Bell) has been kidnapped from her dorm room, and the Secret Service pulls out all the stops to get her back. That includes recruiting special operations soldier Robert Scott (Val Kilmer), an uncannily capable military man who's as intuitive with people and motives as he is skilled with weapons.

Continue reading: Spartan Review

Maximum Risk Review


Bad
More Van Dam-age as our favorite musclebound Belgian, once again as a twin!, goes on a rampage in search of revenge or well, a clue, when his until-then-unknown twin shows up dead in a Paris street. Off to New York. Fights ensue. Van-Damme kicks a lot of ass. Explosions occur. The end.
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Moshe Diamant Movies

Transit Movie Review

Transit Movie Review

Infused with a B-movie vibe, this fast-paced, choppily edited thriller doesn't waste any time on...

A Sound Of Thunder Movie Review

A Sound Of Thunder Movie Review

The best thing that can be said for the embarrassing A Sound of Thunder is...

The Musketeer Movie Review

The Musketeer Movie Review

And now the high-flying Hong Kong style of filmmaking has made its way down to...

Extreme Ops Movie Review

Extreme Ops Movie Review

You know how somehow, God knows why, every movie is somebody's favorite movie. It...

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Imaginary Heroes Movie Review

Imaginary Heroes Movie Review

Considering that Imaginary Heroes starts off with a teenager's suicide and then follows what happens...

A Sound Of Thunder Movie Review

A Sound Of Thunder Movie Review

The best thing that can be said for the embarrassing A Sound of Thunder is...

Feardotcom Movie Review

Feardotcom Movie Review

After the first hour of the celluloid atrocity so cleverly named FearDotCom, I awoke from...

Spartan Movie Review

Spartan Movie Review

What is the man behind such parlor-room films as The Winslow Boy and House of...

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