Wendy Crewson

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Winnie Mandela Trailer


When young Winnie Madikizela first set eyes on lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957, it was love at first sight and it wasn't long before she became Mrs Winnie Mandela. However, their idyllic life was soon to be torn apart when he was arrested five years later and later charged with life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state. Winnie did anything but give up though. She embarked on an activism campaign of her own, determined not to let her husband's voice be forgotten and tirelessly working on winning his freedom. Even in spite of numerous scandals that were thrust against her, her loyalty and fighting spirit never wavered.

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Antiviral Review


Good

It may be style over substance, but Brandon Cronenberg cleverly blends his father David's love of medical yuckiness with an elusive Lynchian-style mystery to keep us unnerved all the way through this low-key thriller. And the film also works as a dark satire on today's celebrity-obsessive culture, in which fans will go to any lengths to be closer to their idols. So imagine if they had the chance to share a star's illness.

This is the work done by the gleaming, futuristic Lucas Clinic, where clinician Syd (Jones) works. He injects one patient (Smith) with an STD taken from mega-star Hanna Geist (Gadon). But Syd has secretly given himself a more powerful virus, which he learns is killing Hannah. Now everyone wants to get their hands on him, even as he realises that he needs to find a cure before it's too late. So he gets in touch with Hannah's assistant (McCarthy) and doctor (McDowell), and discovers that there's a conspiracy afoot involving his clinic's main rival.

The idea that fans would go to this kind of extreme isn't actually that unbelievable in a culture in which we watch their every move on reality TV and feel like their friends through Twitter. And Cronenberg's idea goes beyond sharing viruses, including cloned skin grafts and even a butcher (Pingue) who sells meat grown from celebrity cells. While the ideas echo some of David Cronenberg's films (mainly Videodrome and eXistenZ), this is also a strikingly original approach. The imagery looks amazing, with all-white surfaces and a spare use of colour, against which Syd's unravelling physicality looks increasingly garish.

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The Vow Review


Weak
Inspired by a true story, this film is watchable mainly because of the extraordinary events, which are genuinely involving and moving. Although typically, Hollywood has ramped up the emotions while avoiding subtlety at all costs.

Goofy recording engineer Leo (Tatum) and adorable artist Paige (McAdams) had a cute romance, quirky wedding and four happy years together before a car crash changed everything. Leo only has minor injuries, but Paige has lost some five years of memories. Crucially, she has no idea who Leo is. And she doesn't remember turning her back on her law course, smirking fiance (Speedman) and wealthy parents (Lange and Neill). They're all she remembers now, so Leo tries to remind her of who she became after she left them behind. If they'll let him.

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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review


Grim
Of the many things I dislike about the Santa Clause series, the one that bothers me the most, the very very most, is this: Now, whenever any of the critics on this site tries to write the name "Santa Claus" they almost invariably spell it "Santa Clause." That extra "e" is absolutely maddening, and it is everywhere I look, unintentionally.

Against all odds, the e-happy Santa Clause series is back with a third installment, which involves Santa (Tim Allen) facing off against the Napoleon-complexed Jack Frost (Martin Short), who's got his eyes on the prize of being the supremo wintertime icon. His idea is to take advantage of a rare "escape clause" which lets Santa step down willingly if he says a certain phrase, so Frost can sieze the big red suit. Naturally, trickery is involved. Apparently Jack Frost is a very bad boy. You can tell by the fright wig hairdo.

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Away From Her Review


OK
The act of being forgotten becomes pop-Bergman fair in Sarah Polley's Away from Her. If Polley's name rings a few bells, its because she was a rather prominent ingénue of independent cinema in the early '00s, her range swinging from Doug Liman's rollicking Go to Atom Egoyan's solemn, sublime The Sweet Hereafter. Here, director Egoyan serves as executive producer and gives the floor to Polley as she translates Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" to the screen.

Fiona (Julie Christie) has begun to lose her memory as an effect of Alzheimer's. Grant (Gordon Pinsent), her husband, can only sigh heavily as he watches her slip away; at one point, she puts a frying pan in the freezer. Begrudgingly, Grant signs Fiona into a home for people with Alzheimer's and other diseases incurred through aging. There's a catch: He can't see her for a month, allowing her to settle in without any debilitations. He returns to find Fiona's memory thickly veiled, only remembering him as a figure without nuance. It also happens that Fiona has become cozy with a catatonic, wheelchair-bound man named Aubrey (Michael Murphy). While attempting to get his wife to remember him, Grant makes time to visit with Aubrey's wife Marian (a fantastic Olympia Dukakis) to see what her side is like.

Continue reading: Away From Her Review

The Santa Clause 2 Review


OK
Eight years ago, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) inadvertently caused the death of Santa Claus. Ever since, he's been wearing the bright red suit himself, delivering countless toys to millions of children all over the world on one special night a year. This Christmas, however, things aren't going as smoothly for Santa, because he hasn't yet fulfilled an important part of his contract...the part about a Mrs. Claus. Calvin must find a wife before Christmas Eve, because if he doesn't, his duties as the head Claus will vanish forever!

Apart from the North Pole, much has changed since the original Santa Clause. Calvin's son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), has become an embittered teenager who rebels against society by spraying graffiti on the walls of his school. Charlie's mother and stepfather (Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold), blame his misbehavior on Calvin's absence, but Principal Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell) doesn't care about the reasons behind the misbehavior, she just wants it to stop.

Continue reading: The Santa Clause 2 Review

The Covenant Review


Unbearable
If nothing else, The Covenant is a testament to successful -- albeit misleading -- advertising. From the trailers, The Covenant looks like a sexy supernatural thriller, a cross between The Craft and The Lost Boys, about four attractive young men -- born from a family of witches -- with extraordinary powers, who must confront an ancient rival right before their 18th birthday. Pretty cool, huh?

Upon father investigation, we learn the MPAA rated The Covenant PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, sexual content, partial nudity and language." What more can you ask for in a guilty pleasure? With alleged intense action, sex appeal, and supernatural qualities, The Covenant just has to be a treat for the senses--right?

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Better Than Chocolate Review


Grim
To paraphrase Bob Dylan, Hollywood knows when something is happening, though it seldom knows what it is or why it happened.

Nobody knows why gay love stories have gone from being taboo to trendy, but the film industry is belatedly ready to exploit the new homophilia with Trick and Better Than Chocolate, a Canadian import by director Anne Wheeler. Gay love stories have momentarily joined the list of bankable film premises, along with Julia Roberts and dog-poop gags. Formerly alternative screenwriters and directors, probably concerned that the 15-minute stopwatch is ticking, are rushing in with product. So far, the results are mostly forgettable.

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The 6th Day Review


OK
You've seen the ads. You know the story. So is The 6th Day the same movie as Total Recall, just without the blonde? Not really, but don't feel bad if you have a little déjà vu along the way.

Rest assured, you're watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. This time he's not a spy or a commando, he's Adam Gibson, an extreme snowboarding tour guide in the not-so-distant future, an era that includes a company called RePet can clone your dog, cat, or snake. Or you can pick up a Sim-Pal, a child-size doll (with real hair that grows) that makes for one of the creepiest props I've seen since that miniature, squirting chicken in Eraserhead.

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Between Strangers Review


Good
Between Strangers? Hmmm, sounds like a softcore porn movie. Turns out it's a weepy melodrama starring a generation-bounding collection of movie stars.

Ever since Short Cuts won accolades, we get a yearly version of this movie, a sometimes thoughtful collection of stories, none large enough to stand alone as a feature film, some to slight to merit any attention at all. Between Strangers mitigates this problem by focusing on the stories of three women, all wrestling with past mistakes or old regrets.

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The Santa Clause Review


Good
Attempting to bring the Christmas movie into the 1990s, Disney enlisted drug offender and raunchy stand-up Tim Allen to play Santa Claus based on the strength of his TV show Home Improvement. Funny then that The Santa Clause would indeed become a minor classic of the genre considering its iffy pedigree.

Credit that to a clever script that has Santa falling from a roof on Christmas Eve (and presumably dying in the process -- be ready to explain that to the kids) and Allen's Scott taking up his job after donning the Santa suit. Scott then has a year to prepare to take over the job full time. This mainly works out to Scott's putting on a ton of weight and growing a Santa-style beard, all the while denying he is becoming Mr. Claus.

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Air Force One Review


Excellent
When one sees Glenn Close portraying the vice-president, one begins to realize just how much she looks (and can act) like Gerald Ford.

Frankly, I was shocked to discover how much I liked Air Force One. Yes, it has villainous Russians who can never see our good guy President (Harrison Ford) when he's hiding right in front of them (much less shoot him). Yes, it has Secret Service guys who die at the hand of the enemy like flies in a bug zapper. Yes, it has the cheesiest special effects this side of of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Yes, it features a rambling Gary Oldman in one of his clearly improvised looney-tune terrorist/psychopath roles. I could go on and on...

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Bicentennial Man Review


OK
Robin Williams wants -- and needs -- nothing more than to have his own The Truman Show -- a Hail Mary to ward off permanent stereotyping. Typecast as a goofy loudmouth in throwaway films ranging from Mrs. Doubtfire to Fathers' Day to Flubber, you have to look back all the way to The Fisher King in 1991 for his last great starring role.

Bicentennial Man aims to turn that all around by making Williams something we can relate to once again. Ironically, that's not as a human: It's as a robot.

Continue reading: Bicentennial Man Review

The Santa Clause 2 Review


OK
Eight years ago, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) inadvertently caused the death of Santa Claus. Ever since, he's been wearing the bright red suit himself, delivering countless toys to millions of children all over the world on one special night a year. This Christmas, however, things aren't going as smoothly for Santa, because he hasn't yet fulfilled an important part of his contract...the part about a Mrs. Claus. Calvin must find a wife before Christmas Eve, because if he doesn't, his duties as the head Claus will vanish forever!

Apart from the North Pole, much has changed since the original Santa Clause. Calvin's son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), has become an embittered teenager who rebels against society by spraying graffiti on the walls of his school. Charlie's mother and stepfather (Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold), blame his misbehavior on Calvin's absence, but Principal Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell) doesn't care about the reasons behind the misbehavior, she just wants it to stop.

Continue reading: The Santa Clause 2 Review

Wendy Crewson

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