William Lee Scott

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Burning Blue Trailer


Daniel Lynch is a high ranking Navy fighter pilot and a respected member of the squadron; possibly one of the last people anyone would think of as becoming the subject of a scandal. However, he is harbouring a deep secret that only comes to light when he is discovered to be having a homosexual relationship with fellow aviator Matt Blackwood. This all comes about in the midst of a government investigation which has been launched to determine the cause of two fatal aircraft accidents believed to have come about over suspicious circumstances. Suddenly, Lynch and Blackwood find themselves treated like criminals as their relationship becomes the main subject of the investigation. Lynch's best friend Will Stephenson is hurt by their secret, while everyone else is doing what they can to quash this scandal before Naval reputations become tarnished.

Continue: Burning Blue Trailer

The Go-Getter Review


Good
Unless you're a Star Wars nerd, you've probably never set eyes on Martin Hynes. Nine years ago, Hynes played a young George Lucas in George Lucas in Love, a smart comedy short that offered the supposition that the grand lord of geekdom got his inspiration for the classic trilogy from classmates at a Los Angeles college. Since its release, it has garnered a cult classic status while its director went on to direct limp teen comedies Sleepover and Sydney White. As for Hynes, he became a screenwriter for several unrealized properties and ended up writing the first draft of Stealing Harvard, the thankfully-forgotten Tom Green comedy.

Six years after his Harvard cred, Hynes seems to have returned to more fertile and vital ground with The Go-Getter, his second full-length film and a minor hit at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Hynes, who also wrote the film, never shows up on screen but the nerdy impresario he embodied years ago can be seen in the guise of Mercer White (Lou Taylor Pucci), a high-school dropout who takes to the road with a stolen car not long after his mother's death. Initially, Mercer's voyage has two goals: to find and inform his half-brother Arlen (Jsu Garcia) of their mother's death, and to get all sweaty-like with Joely (Jena Malone), a thong-sporting, middle-school crush of Mercer's.

Continue reading: The Go-Getter Review

Pearl Harbor Review


Weak
There's a point in Pearl Harbor when Cuba Gooding Jr. leaps into a battleship's gun turret and starts shooting down Japanese planes while hell rages around him. It's a dramatic moment... until you realize that it's that "Show me the money!" guy from Jerry Maguire, shooting CGI bullets at a CGI plane... and you are reminded once again just how phony everything you've seen in Pearl Harbor has been.

Ironically, this incident, where ship's cook Dorie Miller took charge and shot back during America's worst hour on December 7, 1941, is just about the only true event to be found in the entire, oppressive three-hour film. (And our producers are quick to remind us of just how ripped-from-history this little vignette is. Never mind that Gooding has a pitiful excuse for a role with maybe five minutes of screen time.)

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Black And White (1999) Review


OK
A very unique and brutal subculture exists in America these days. It's a strange juxtaposition of harsh street life and uber-materialistic greed tempered with a sense of justifiability from a code of unwritten ethics. The world is that of the gangsta rappers, the ghetto boys, and the thug-life advocators that dominate the world of hip-hop and rap music. Black and White, the latest film by James Toback, explores this subculture that grows stronger with every new generation it affects.

The hardest thing about an outsider trying to infiltrate a subculture and explain it to the masses is that the truth is often lost in the translation. Toback throws together a huge canvas of characters and actors in attempt to create a clear picture of why white kids are motivated to impersonate black rappers' lifestyles and why rich whit guys treat black rappers like Arnold and Willis from Diff'rent Strokes.

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October Sky Review


Good
This true story (well, based on one anyway) tells the tale of Homer Hickam, a go-nowhere coal miner's son who, in the late 1950s, decides to take up amateur rocketry for no discernable reason. Secretly, this is a movie about overcoming adversity and fatherly love, and the sentiment is heaped on so high you can't help but shed a tear. Stand By Me meets The Right Stuff.

Identity Review


Grim
If, like me, you've been seeing trailers for Identity all year -- with its rain-soaked cast, rickety motel, slowly dying characters, and disappearing bodies -- then, like me, you have absolutely no clue what this movie is supposed to be about.

After spending 90 minutes in a screening during which the highlight was a print that caught on fire and melted halfway through the performance, I'm not terribly closer to knowing myself.

Continue reading: Identity Review

Gone In 60 Seconds (2000) Review


Weak
You are Nicolas Cage. After clawing your way through B-movies to an Academy Award for Leaving Las Vegas, what do you do? You take part after part in a progressively worsening slate of action films (pausing only for the even worse melodrama City of Angels), bottoming out with Snake Eyes and 8MM. Your action career is at an obvious end. So do you go back to the drama you can pull off so well?

No! You take a role in Gone in 60 Seconds, and try to extend your movie muscle even further! Here's a movie that's pure, unabashed Hollywood: Randall "Memphis" Raines (Cage), in order to convince a mean criminal to spare the life of his brother (Giovanni Ribisi), must BLOW UP 50 cars in the next 72 hours!

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October Sky Review


Excellent

Although "October Sky" is a film with no surprises from its soundtrack of '50s rock 'n' roll standards to its triumph over adversity themes, this teen-years biography of a NASA scientist who got his start building rockets in his basement is so full of spirit and letter-perfect filmmaking that I defy anyone to watch this movie without getting a tingle in his or her heart.

Thrilling in the best sense of the word, traditional without being corny and with a script, photography and symbolism that could be the basis of a film literature textbook, "October Sky" is a classic in the making. It's just a pity it wasn't released in time for Oscar consideration.

The picture stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Homer Hickman, a coal miner's son determined to break away from his assumed destiny following in his father's bleak and dangerous subterranean footsteps.

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The Butterfly Effect Review


Grim

In Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman's ingeniously idiosyncratic showbiz semi-farce "Adaptation" there is a running gag about a typically bogus Hollywood-thriller screenplay called "The 3," in which a preposterous, nonsensical twist ending reveals the three main characters to be different personalities in a schizophrenic's mind.

In this week's "The Butterfly Effect," a superficially chilling high-concept horror movie full of paradox-packed time-loop contortions, the entire plot depends on just such cursory twists, none of which stand up to much intellectual scrutiny.

Stoner-comedy staple Ashton Kutcher -- who, like a young Keanu Reeves, is hard to take seriously in any non-stoner role -- stars as Evan Treborn, a double-psychology major (snicker, snicker) working on an memory assimilation thesis inspired by blackouts he suffered as a child during several traumatic events.

Continue reading: The Butterfly Effect Review

Pearl Harbor Review


Grim

The handful of battle scenes that make up a good hour of "Pearl Harbor" are adrenaline-pumping and hyper-realistic on a massive scale.

You feel the impact of every single 7.7mm round from dive-bombing Japanese Zeros as they rip through pavement, planes and people in the infamous attack around which the film in centered. Director Michael Bay's camera goes inside cockpits, rides along on bombs from release to explosion, captures the terror of a torpedo in the water from the deck of a ship and includes some of the best special effects ever put on film.

The money shot is a hull-buckling blast that rips through the USS Arizona. It makes being on a luxury liner hit by an iceberg look like a 25-cent carnival ride.

Continue reading: Pearl Harbor Review

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