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Archive for January, 2007

SMOKIN’ ACES – Clint Mansell

January 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Yet another Tarantino-inspired crime flick, Joe Carnahan’s “Smokin’ Aces” is one of the more wildly diverse motion pictures I’ve seen this year. It’s like channel surfing, and the only thing all the channels have in common is that they are violent and full of profanity. Otherwise, the tone flops all over the place… broad comedy, subtle comedy, brutal action, morality tale, anti-morality tale, mystery, drama… ultimately, the movie shoots off it’s climax too early and becomes too confused for it’s own good. Despite solid turns from the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Jeremy Piven, and an otherwise strong supporting cast, it’s just a big mess of a movie. Read more…

EPIC MOVIE – Edward Shearmur

January 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Does anybody else remember when this sort of movie used to be funny? There was once a time where these silly spoofs of movie genres were guaranteed to offer a few good laughs at worst, and a hysterical time at the movies at best. I suppose the 70’s and 80’s were the heyday for this kind of movie… I’m talking about stuff from Mel Brooks and the Zucker crew like “Young Frankenstein”, “Blazing Saddles”, “Silent Movie”, “Airplane”, “The Naked Gun”, and “Spaceballs”. There were even some okay ones in the 90’s, the first “Scary Movie” was pretty funny. I thought that “Date Movie” was the absolutely worst of these ever to be released, but that has now been topped by “Epic Movie”, which hasn’t got a funny bone in it’s body. Read more…

CATCH AND RELEASE – Brian Transeau and Tommy Stinson

January 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A gentle romantic drama starring Jennifer Garner and directed by Susannah Grant, Catch and Release follows the fortunes of young thirtysomething Gray Wheeler (Garner), whose idyllic life is thrown into turmoil when her fiancé is accidentally killed on his bachelor party weekend. Struggling to come to terms with the loss, as well as the fact that she may not have known her husband-to-be as well as she thought she did, she turns to his three best friends, Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), Dennis (Sam Jaeger) and Sam (Kevin Smith), to help her move on.

Trance music composer Brian Transeau, better known as “BT”, teamed up with Guns ‘n’ Roses bass player Tommy Stinson to write Catch and Release’s score – which, considering the backgrounds of the composers – turned out to be light and undemanding, with little or no influence from either the trance music or metal scene. Read more…

PRIMEVAL – John Frizzell

January 12, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Possibly one of the most mis-marketed movie in history, director Michael Katleman’s film Primeval had the tag-line “inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history” – and actually turned out to be about a giant crocodile in South Africa attacking a news crew who are in town to cover the story. The film which stars Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones and a slumming Jürgen Prochnow, was generally badly received, and did very little business at the international box office.

Composer Frizzell’s score is actually very effective and ominous, considering its tawdry subject matter, blending traditional orchestral and electronic writing with the traditional Burundian musical story-telling technique inanga chochotee Read more…

ALPHA DOG – Aaron Zigman

January 12, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

If any film this year should boast an interesting “making-of-the-movie” documentary, I suspect it will be this one.  Based on a true crime story from a few years ago, director Nick Cassavetes was given an unusual amount of actual case information from the prosecutors, who were hoping the movie would help bring about the capture of one of the suspects who was still at large.  Over the past couple of years, Cassavetes has had a legally questionable amount of access to information surrounding this story, and while I’m not sure about the ethics involved in the creation of this film (or all the specific details, for that matter), I do know that the end result is a powerful, unflinching, yet deeply flawed motion picture. Read more…

FREEDOM WRITERS – Mark Isham

January 5, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There have been a lot of ‘inspirational teacher’ movies over the years – from Goodbye Mr. Chips to Dead Poets Society to Dangerous Minds – and director Richard La Gravenese’s Freedom Writers is the latest to join that list. Hilary Swank stars as pedagogue Erin Gruwell, who takes up a post at a tough inner-city school, and seeks to change her students lives for the better through writing, poetry, the power of words inspirational stories about the Holocaust. A fairly well-received drama, the film also stars Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn and Imelda Staunton. Read more…

CODE NAME: THE CLEANER – George S. Clinton

January 5, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

“Code Name: The Cleaner” is a silly, potentially entertaining little comedy that doesn’t work because it does the last thing any silly, potentially entertaining little comedy should do… it takes itself far too seriously.

Let me explain.  A man wakes up in bed next to a dead (fully-clothed) FBI Agent.  The man can’t remember anything, and has a head wound.  There’s a case with $250,000 in it on the bed.  And wouldn’t you know it, there’s apparently some people who want this man to be dead, too.  Now, this man I speak of is played by Cedric the Entertainer, one of the most likable comedians in the business.  It’s been hard for me to pinpoint why I enjoy watching Cedric’s performances so very much, but seeing this film, I think I’ve got it: Cedric brings an infectious enthusiasm to every part he plays, even when the part is mundane and typical. Read more…