Movie Review

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A member of the Reject Nation says that Witless Protection “is quite possibly the Dumbest Movie of the Year.” Go figure.

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Denzel Washington helms his second motion picture and shows he has worthy skills behind the camera as well as in front of it, although there’s no question as to which he does best.

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The screen adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s novel was originally set in Ireland but has been transported to New York City to create a vehicle for Hilary Swank to show her softer, funnier side.

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Though this film had me at “achingly romantic,” I cringe at the thought of someone rolling their eyes and overlooking this remarkable film at the fault of the advertisers who betrayed this film’s distinct uniqueness.

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Christmas has finally swung in my direction. No more Tim Allen (though I like him), no Decking the Halls or Jingling of Bells but BLOOD.

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Films that center around pregnant women, in this case a teenage girl, are nothing new, especially this year. Then how is it in 2007 the concept produces winner after winner? Damn good writing.

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What better way to celebrate Christ’s birth than watching two warring alien races kicking the holy hell out of each other?

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Like a lot of people, I did not have high expectations going in for Alvin and the Chipmunks.

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After at least a decade, if not much more, of lackluster films from Sidney Lumet, the fading titan has strikingly returned to form with a fiery, blustering crash. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is easily the best-acted film of the year, but what’s more is that it’s a sharp piece of cultural criticism about late capitalism and the depths of tragedy it’s capable of producing. Nearly three-quarters of the way into the film, Marisa Tomei asks her husband, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, for car fare to her mother’s house; “I could really use some money,” she says, and she might as well be speaking for every character in the film. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is about money, pure and anything but simple: its role as America’s driving force, main object of desire and the one thing of which no one seems to have enough. Hoffman is introduced in a position of dominance, retrocopulating with his wife Tomei (it’s surprisingly graphic, despite being filmed in a non-revealing long shot), a dominance he’ll resume, though not in a porously-penetrative way, throughout the rest of the film in regards to his little brother, played by Ethan Hawke. Hoffman pushes him into a robbery he doesn’t want, nor have the brains, to commit but both, to their undoing, are in desperate need of the cash they assure themselves that they’ll score. (And Hoffman, the cokeheaded corporate exec, is too much the coward to do it himself.) Hoffman is obsessed with […]

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Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is as good of a film as Sidney Lumet has ever made and that is really saying something considering he’s been at it for over half-a-century.

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The second installment of what will probably be a twenty-three-movie cash cow picks up after the charm of finding the last treasure has worn off.

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Unlike the talkative Lions for Lambs, you can come away with an entertaining message movie that’s a breezy hour-and-a-half.

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Nathan Deen

Sweeney Todd

Movie Reviews By Nate Deen on December 22, 2007 | Comments (5)

I hate to have to throw myself into the fires of minority hell, but I’m compelled to vote no on Tim Burton’s dour, overly dark and overly bloody Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

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They say that time heals all wounds. Well, apparently it heals mediocre movies as well.

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Set in a small town, the film is populated by cardboard cutouts of your standard archetypes: the religious fundamentalist, the haughty fella from the city (black, natch), the reckless small-town simpleton, etc. etc.

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Based on the 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson, Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last man living in New York City…

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Burton, from Sondheim’s source material (a helluva score), does a heck of a job balancing the unwinking bloodletting with a bit of dark comedy.

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Last year, it was Martin Scorcese that rocked the gangster-movie lover’s hearts with a duel between a mobster-cop and a cop-mobster. This year, another brilliant director, takes his turn to honor the genre.

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When will science ever learn?

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Tim Burton and Johnny Depp go together like black and blue, or like fire and ash. Amidst the chaos, there is a unique unison between the two conflicting forces.

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