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Gold Trailer


Gold is more than a valuable commodity for Kenny Wells, to him it's an obsession. The year is 1988 and Wells lives in Reno with his partner, Kay. The balding, fast-aging man is constantly down on his luck and often resorts to pawning his partner's possessions just to get hold of a little money.

The wannabe businessman attempts to start many new ventures but constantly finds himself being turned away. One day Wells awakes from his slumber and recalls a vivid dream telling him to go find Gold in unchartered territory. Kenny has little knowledge of how to make it work but knows that this is the big break he's been waiting for.

Teaming up with geologist Michael Acosta, Wells tells Acosta about the land he feels is rich with unmined gold reserves in Indonesia. Talking Acosta into the project, they begin their ambitious dig with basic supplies and minimal investment. As their workers begin to see that their efforts are not garnering any results they begin to leave and everything looks like it's going against the Americans.

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Truth Review

Excellent

That generic title obscures a surprisingly complex exploration of the real-life events surrounding the fall of iconic American newscaster Dan Rather in 2004. And while the film's script is rather talky (it's like Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom crossed with George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck), it's strongly made point is too important to ignore. And it features yet another storming, intelligent performance from Cate Blanchett.

She plays Mary Mapes, a producer at the classic CBS news programme 60 Minutes, who just a few months before the 2004 presidential election is working on a story about incumbent George W. Bush's shady National Guard service during the Vietnam War. She has an ace team of investigators (including Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Moss), plus the nation's top news anchor Rather (Robert Redford). But after the story airs, Mary is attacked with questions about the authenticity of a series of memos that trace irregularities in Bush's service record. Her boss (Bruce Greenwood) applies plenty of pressure as the controversy gains more traction than the story itself. And the media storm that follows catches everyone by surprise.

This account is based on Mapes' own memoir about these events, which gives the film a personal, as opposed to journalistic, tone. It hints heavily at both government and corporate efforts to discredit the story, putting Mapes and her entire team in an impossible situation. The film also makes it clear that those memos were indeed real, and that the controversy was actually just misdirection. What brings this to life is the revelatory acting from the ensemble cast, led beautifully by Blanchett, who gives Mary a passion for the truth that's fuelled by her inner demons. And the entire supporting cast adds layers of wit and insight, although Redford kind of relaxes on his easy charm as the engaged, engaging Rather.

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The Captive Trailer


Matthew is a typical loving father who takes a day trip with his young daughter Cassandra in his truck, stopping off at a roadside diner along the way to pick up pie for lunch. He's only gone a few minutes but by the time he returns to his vehicle he discovers that Cass is gone. She's nowhere to be found, and to make matters worse, when he reports her disappearance as an abduction to the police he is the first suspect in the case. The incident puts a deep strain on his marriage to her mother Tina, who doesn't know whether to blame him for letting her out of his sight or suspect his involvement herself. Some years later, they are still searching, but when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey find new leads, Matthew becomes determined to find out exactly where his daughter is being held.

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Barney's Version Trailer


Finding love has never really been a problem for Barney. Having been married once before, he thinks his marriage to 'the second Mrs P' is going to be it, he's finally ready to settle down. After all, you couldn't hope for more when you're marring a beautiful princess with 'a wonderful rack'; however when Barney lays eyes on Miriam, a guest at his wedding, he knows his marriage is a total sham and a huge mistake.

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Dinner for Schmucks Trailer


Tim loves his job, and he knows that any employee who wishes to climb the executive ladder may have to do things that they're not morally comfortable with; when Tim is invited to dinner by his boss he's elated but when it's revealed his dining partner won't be his fiancé Julie, he must find a 'remarkable' person to take to dinner, the person with the most impressive guest is rewarded with work benefits. After speaking with Julie, Tim decides he's going to take the moral highroad and give dinner a miss but when he accidentally hits a man in his Porsche, he can't believe how perfect this guy would be for the meal.

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I'm Not There Review


Essential
We first meet the real Bob Dylan, lit by a spotlight and blowing into a harmonica with his eyes turned ever-downward, at the very end of Todd Haynes' I'm Not There. (The footage comes from a concert filmed in the 1960's.) Though there are six evocations of our hero's persona and dozens of references to his words and images, his actual visage is kept under lock and key until the solemn credits. To Haynes, the mystery of who the man is behind closed doors should stay that way: Behind closed doors tends to be pretty tedious if not downright boring. It's more fun to extrapolate: In the open valleys of cultural myth, a celebrity can become any number of things.

At first, he's a young, train-hopping wanderer who has taken the name Woody (Marcus Carl Franklin), from his hero Woody Guthrie. He also plays a guitar with "This Machine Kills Fascism" painted on it. Later, the man appears as an aged Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) who can't understand why the locals are being bullied out of their land by a decrepit Pat Garrett (Bruce Greenwood). Fitfully, the sequences are shot in the dusty browns of Peckinpah and the hippie westerns of the late 1960s and 1970s. Both stories, along with the others, are consistently interrupted by a press conference with poet Arthur Rimbaud (Ben Whishaw), who speaks in a particularly American sarcasm while scrutinizing everyone who questions him, half-mumbling with cigarette in hand.

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Eight Below Review


Weak
When you see the phrase "inspired by a true story," you assume the accompanying movie will have the intimate perspective of someone affected by adversity. Eight Below, Disney's sled dogs in peril picture, is a case of false advertising. You get a true story only told by someone rattling off headlines and first paragraphs: "Dogs Abandoned in Snow," "Owner Sad About Dogs Missing." The only adversity worth following, which the movie doesn't cover, is how Paul Walker kept his dreamy tan in the Arctic cold.

The year for some reason -- the actual events happened in 1957 -- is 1993. Walker plays a guide at the National Science Foundation's base in Antarctica, where he and his eight sled dogs cover the terrain, helping with expeditions. Bruce Greenwood plays a big-shot scientist who comes to the cold continent looking for the remains of an asteroid or something else out of a Michael Bay movie. The men head out on the sled, encounter a heap of trouble, and barely return to headquarters.

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The Core Review


Weak
The Core is Armageddon inside the Earth. If you've caught the trailer, spotted the revealing poster, or even overheard a total stranger briefly mentioning the plot in mixed company, then you've figured this much already. What's most distressing is that The Core is Armageddon without a heart to dangle from its sleeves. Michael Bay's bombastic endeavor may have choked itself on chest-heaving male bonding and fist-pumping patriotism, but at least it gave a damn. Here, we're going through the motions.

When the core of our planet stops spinning on its axis - a reason is given, though it makes little sense - a motley crew of hastily-trained scientists must accompany two astronauts (Bruce Greenwood, Hilary Swank) to the Earth's center so they can jump-start our globe using nuclear weapons.

Continue reading: The Core Review

Swept Away (2002) Review


OK
After beginning his career with two frenetic crime films (Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch), filmmaker Guy Ritchie has changed his tone in order to make a vanity project. But it's not his vanity at stake, it's that of his wife, super-hyphenate Madonna, in this fairly faithful remake of the lusty, free-wheelin' 1974 Italian film Swept Away. That original, directed by Lina Wertmuller, starred Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato. This update, a film that Ritchie proves does not need to exist, stars Adriano Giannini (in his father's original role), Madonna, and Madonna's sinewy body.

Sure, hubby puts those super-tight abs and intimidating biceps front-and-center. But he's also forced to put Madonna's acting ability up there as well, and the awful truth is that Madonna is an average actress at best. Being as naturally theatrical as she is (and that's a compliment), she excels at stagy roles, as in Evita, but when it comes to the everyday, she comes across as rather limp.

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Double Jeopardy Review


Unbearable

Getting knocked up might just be the best thing to ever happen to Jodie Foster's career. Without a pregnancy to get her off the hook, it would have been Foster running from rampant, rabid loopholes in the laughable, pathetic, incoherent thriller "Double Jeopardy."

Poor Ashley Judd got the call to replace Foster in this picture -- about the fantasy revenge of a woman whose shady businessman hubby fakes his own murder and frames her for it -- and the actress barely survives it with her dignity intact.

Built upon the wildly inaccurate legal postulate that if you're convicted of murder and the victim turns up alive, you can kill them for real and the law can't touch you, this movie couldn't be more riddled with holes if the script spent an afternoon at the business end of a artillery range.

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The Core Review


Unbearable

It would be a terrible shame if talented actors like Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo and Alfre Woodard have reached a point where money trumps professional pride. But I can't imagine any other reason they'd sign on to a half-witted, obscenely formulaic, huge-budget save-the-Earth sci-fi embarrassment like "The Core."

Almost exactly the same movie as "Armageddon" -- and almost as insufferable -- it features a handful of good-looking scientists and NASA astronauts who, instead of going into space to set off a nuke and save the world from a asteroid, travel to the center of the Earth to set off a nuke, thus restarting the dying molten core and saving the world from electromagnetic disaster.

The exact same shopworn characters die in the exact same order, some accidentally, some heroically to save the mission. The simplest laws of physics and even plain-as-day physical facts are utterly ignored (the nuke-the-core plan is based on two-dimensional thinking even though the Earth is -- duh! -- a sphere).

Continue reading: The Core Review

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