Movies

Profile: THE RITE brings out the devil inside Sir Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins in THE RITE | &Copy2011 Warner Bros.

Sir Anthony Hopkins is no stranger to horror films or thrillers. Since THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, he has been a part of some of the most memorable big screen scares of the last two decades. His latest thriller THE RITE, which opens this Friday, is no exception. The movie is based on true life occurrences with one of the Catholic Church’s top exorcist priests. In the film the young priest journeys to Rome to be instructed in exorcism rites, and encounters Hopkins’ character, a priest with thousands of exorcisms under his belt and decades of experience. Since it’s in […]Read On »

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Movie Review: NO STRINGS ATTACHED

NO STRINGS ATTACHED movie poster | &copy Paramount Pictures

Sometimes there is no accounting for what turns people on, let alone what people think will turn other people on. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are, together and separately, talented and attractive, and there’s nothing really offensive about their romantic comedy NO STRINGS ATTACHED. True, it defies logic and credibility in several major ways and its tone manages to be bland yet inconsistent, but it’s not mean-spirited, which gives it some points.

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The X List: Assignment X’s Best of 2010 – Movies

TRUE GRIT poster | ©2010 Paramount Pictures

The best films of 2010, in the opinion of this reviewer (who still has to catch up with THE FIGHTER, WINTER’S BONE and several other acclaimed releases): THE SOCIAL NETWORK Normally, people working with computers is one of the most boring things that can be put on screen. Director David Fincher, writer Aaron Sorkin and an across-the-board brilliant cast headed up by Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake leave the computers in the background and illustrate the dynamics of friendship and ambition in a way that is remarkably compelling and universal. The fact that the film is about the […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: BACK TO THE FUTURE – 25TH ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY

BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY - Blu -ray

It’s hard to believe it was only five years ago when Universal released all three BACK TO THE FUTURE films remastered for DVD with loads of bonus features and retrospectives. Now, it’s time for a Blu-ray reissue with BACK TO THE FUTURE: 25th ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY and if you thought the first set was great, this one blows it out of the water.

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Movie Review: TRON: LEGACY

TRON LEGACY movie poster - final

TRON: LEGACY opens with a very cool, TRON-ized rendition of the traditional Walt Disney Pictures logo, with the fairytale castle rendered in black, white and silver. This suggests that we’re in for a film of mild subversion that makes what we’ll see just that more wonderful. Actually, what we’re in for is a surprisingly faithful follow-up to the original 1982 TRON. Will we see an alternate universe where anthropomorphic computer programs are rendered primarily in shades of black, white and gray? We will. Will the light cycles of the first film have been updated to be more exciting and dynamic? Yes, they will. Will TRON: LEGACY have the same issue as its predecessor when it comes to thin characterizations and talk about changing the world so grand, broad and vague that it could mean practically anything? Yes, it will.

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Movie Review: YOGI BEAR

YOGI BEAR movie poster | © 2010 Warner Bros.

In an attempt to capitalize on the success of 20th Century Fox’s ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS film franchise (which combines CGI creatures with live action antics), Warner Bros. has dug into their archives to create a live-action version of the classic cartoon YOGI BEAR, but with lesser results.

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Movie Review: CASINO JACK

CASINO JACK movie poster | ©2010 ATO

Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up. Most Americans have heard of Jack Abramoff, if only because he wound up going to jail. Exactly what he did to land in prison is addressed in CASINO JACK, a pitch-black comedy of greed, crime, politics and the intersection of all three.

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Movie Review: THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA - THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER movie poster | © 2010 20th Century Fox

For those who take the pace, wit and generally immersive atmosphere of the HARRY POTTER films for granted, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is the latest example of the fact that making family-friendly fantasy is not as easy as it looks. The third of the films based on C.S. Lewis’ CHRONICLES OF NARNIA follows characters introduced in THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE and its sequel, PRINCE CASPIAN. Siblings Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley), now in their teens, are waiting out WWII at the home of their aunt and uncle; older siblings Peter and Susan are in America with their parents. Edmund and Lucy miss their days of adventure in Narnia and are coping with annoying, resentful younger cousin Eustace (Will Poulter), who can’t understand why they keep nattering on about an imaginary country. Then a painting on the wall comes to life and Edmund, Lucy and Eustace are all transported to a Narnian ocean, where they are rescued by a vessel captained by now-King Caspian (Ben Barnes). Caspian is happy to see his old friends again – he and his crew are off to find what became of seven missing lords. There’s an evil mist, a dark island, temptations and some deus ex machina up ahead.

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DVD Review: STARCRASH – 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION

STARCRASH - special edition DVD | © 2010 Shout Factory

Some times movies are bad because they don’t try hard enough to be good. Other times, movies are so bad, they’re amazingly good, which is the case of the long-lost 1979 Italian science-fiction cult flick STARCRASH. It’s badness comes from its earnestness and ambition. It has terrible dialogue, the occasional crappy special effect and a story that really doesn’t make a lick of sense.

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