Nathaniel Arcand

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Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning Review


OK
The final leg of the Ginger Snaps series takes us back in time 150 years, where the presumed progenitors of Ginger and Brigitte are found in the Canadian frontier. Oddly, they still sound like valley girls. Anyway, there's a werewolf bite, Ginger gets snappy again, and, well, you know the drill as the body count rises. A mega-prequel is an interesting way to finish things off, but the film is too brooding and comparatively actionless to merit much interest.

Skins Review


Weak
The trials and tribulations of Native Americans and their "Warsaw" ghetto reservation lands are tough subjects to interpret for both a filmmaker and viewing audience. The fertile grounds of social injustices, governmental mockery, human indecency, and the slow erosion of community heritage are tackled in Native American Chris Eyre's well-intentioned but underexposed sophomore feature, Skins.

The film focuses on two Sioux brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation - one of the largest pieces of land granted by the government for "re-settlement" of Native American tribes. Rudy (Eric Schweig) is the local arm of the reservation's law enforcement and spends the better part of his night shifts rounding up drunken Indians and breaking up domestic disputes on the reservation. His brother Mogie (Graham Greene, looking like a beached whale) is one of the reservation's infamous drunks, due in part to a stint in Vietnam and the typical, abusive father.

Continue reading: Skins Review

Grey Owl Review


Grim
Pierce Brosnan stars in this period epic (and I do mean epic - this movie is looooong) about a British guy in the early 1900s who took on the persona of a native American beaver trapper named Grey Owl. The beginning of the film sports Grey Owl trapping beavers then coming to his senses for the environmental damage its causing, then Mr. Owl crusades around the world preaching "Not enough beaver." (I'll say.) By the end of the picture, Grey Owl is outed as being the Brit that he is, but no one seems to care. I only fell asleep twice.

American Outlaws Review


Grim

Fictionalizing and romanticizing the exploits of Old West outlaws has been a pastime of the entertainment industry since the day the James Gang robbed its first bank in 1866. From the pulpy serialized dime publications of the Old West itself to the rock'n'roll, brat pack Billy the Kid flick "Young Guns," horseback bandits have made for popular folk heroes.

It's a simple formula: Invent some noble cause that the outlaws are fighting for so they can be passed off as gallant, cast up-and-coming pretty boy actors in the leads, cast surly types as the law (and dress them in black), toss in a few gunfights riddled with hitchin' post clichés and a pretty lass to kiss just before the credits roll -- and voila! Instant Western.

"American Outlaws" is the slick Generation Y model from this blueprint, starring scruffy baby-face Colin Farrell ("Tigerland") as a Jesse James who robs banks to hurt Yankee railroad barons that done killed his maw when she wouldn't sell the family farm so they could lay down tracks.

Continue reading: American Outlaws Review

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