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All reviews - Movies (110)

The Departed review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 7 July 2013 02:11 (A review of The Departed)

Legendary director Martin Scorsese takes the helm for this tale of questionable loyalties and blurring identities set in the South Boston organized crime scene and inspired by the wildly popular 2002 Hong Kong crime film Infernal Affairs. As the police force attempts to reign in the increasingly powerful Irish mafia, authorities are faced with the prospect of sending in an undercover agent or seeing their already frail grip on the criminal underworld slip even further. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young cop looking to make a name for himself in the world of law enforcement. Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a street-smart criminal who has successfully infiltrated the police department with the sole intention of reporting their every move to ruthless syndicate head Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). When Costigan is assigned the task of working his way into Costello's tightly guarded inner circle, Sullivan is faced with the responsibility of rooting out the informer before things get out of hand. With the stakes constantly rising and time quickly running out for the undercover cop and his criminal counterpart, each man must work feverishly to reveal his counterpart before his identity is exposed by the other. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, and Ray Winstone co-star, and writer William Monahan adapts a screenplay originally penned by Alan Mak and Felix Chong.
2 hr. 32 min.

Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Written By: William Monahan, Siu Fai Mak, Felix Chong


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Beowulf & Grendel review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 01:33 (A review of Beowulf & Grendel)

ne of the oldest epic poems in the English language gets a robust visual interpretation in this historical epic shot on location in Iceland. Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgård) is a Danish king who murders a troll that has been terrorizing his countryside. But Hrothgar spares the life of the troll's strange young son, who with the passage of years grows to become Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson), a fearsome warrior intent upon avenging his father's death. As Grendel begins his slaughter of the king's closest confidants, Hrothgar realizes his life is in danger, and he calls upon the brave and fearless Beowulf (Gerard Butler) to track down and kill Grendel. As Beowulf and his band of warriors search for the vicious and elusive Grendel, he crosses paths with Selma (Sarah Polley), a beautiful and sensuous witch whose alliances are divided between Beowulf and his archenemy. Produced by Canadian, British, and Icelandic concerns, Beowulf & Grendel was a major box-office success in Canada before crossing south to American theaters in the summer of 2006.


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Beowulf review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 01:32 (A review of Beowulf)

In a legendary time of heroes, the mighty warrior Beowulf battles the demon Grendel and incurs the hellish wrath of the beast's ruthlessly seductive mother. Their epic clash forges the timeless legend of Beowulf.

PG-13, 1 hr. 54 min.

Action & Adventure, Animation, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

Written By: Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary

In Theaters: Nov 15, 2007 Wide

On DVD: Feb 13, 2007

US Box Office:$82.2M


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Alfred the Great review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 01:29 (A review of Alfred the Great)

While Olde England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the 9th century, Alfred (David Hemmings) is commencing to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his motherland, he puts aside his religious vows to take up arms against the invaders, leading the English Christians to fight for their country. Alfred soundly defeats the Danes and becomes an English hero. But now, although Alfred still longs for the priesthood, he is torn between his passion for God and his lust for blood. After marrying the beautiful Aelhsweth (Prunella Ransome), he gives himself over to his dark side and aggressively rapes his wife. At this point, the Danes return and Alfred must muster the English forces once again for a decisive battle, but he also must battle his conflicting soul.


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Brotherhood of the Wolf review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 11:15 (A review of Brotherhood of the Wolf)

French legend has it that a creature known as the Beast of Gevaudan -- a huge, wolf-like monster -- was responsible for the violent deaths of over 100 persons in the mid-18th century, and this horror fantasy blends the lore of this fabled beast with a story of two men who set out to capture it. After a number of mutilated corpses begin appearing across the French countryside, naturalist Chevalier Gregoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) is dispatched by the King to find and capture the animal responsible for the killings. Mani (Mark Dacascos), an Indian from Canada and an experienced hand in the wilds, is hired to assist de Fronsac in his work. Gregoire's assignment earns him the acquaintance of Marianne de Morangias (Emilie Dequenne), the lovely daughter of the idly wealthy Count de Morangias (Jean Yanne), but Gregoire receives a much chillier welcome from her brother Jean-Francois (Vincent Cassel), who, despite having lost an arm to a lion in Africa, is quite the huntsman himself. As Gregoire and Mani arrive in the village of Gevaudan, they're drawn to a local house of prostitution, where the animalistic allure and supernatural powers of Sylvia (Monica Bellucci) prove to have a profound effect on the naive Gregoire. Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the special-effects expertise for the creation of the Beast of Gevaudan. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

R, 2 hr. 23 min.

Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror

Directed By: Christophe Gans

Written By: Stephane Cabel, Christophe Gans


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Beyond the Mat review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 11:14 (A review of Beyond the Mat)

In a rare foray into documentary filmmaking, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment produced this behind-the-scenes look at professional wrestling, shot on digital video by director (Barry W. Blaustein), screenwriter of several hit Eddie Murphy comedies. An unabashed wrestling fan since childhood, Blaustein nevertheless takes an unflinching look at the dark underbelly of the "sport," as he shadows a trio of wrestlers representing three very different aspects of the profession. Mick Foley is a superstar shown to be the complete opposite of "Mankind," his successful wrestling character. At work, Mankind is a bloodthirsty animal, but when his mask is off, he's a loving, doting father clearly worshipped by his two young kids, who are traumatized when they witness Foley being bloodied at an Anaheim, California, event. Terry Funk is a portrait of what Foley could become, a former legend now at the end of his career and in desperate need of knee surgery, but continuing to perform dangerous stunts in the ring. Jake "The Snake" Roberts, on the other hand, travels in second-class wrestling circles, a recovering drug addict who has a painful reconciliation with his daughter. Blaustein also interviews the World Wrestling Federation's boastful bigwig Vince McMahon. McMahon later tried to block the release and promotion of the film. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

R, 1 hr. 42 min.

Documentary, Sports & Fitness, Special Interest

Directed By: Barry Blaustein

In Theaters: Oct 22, 1999 Wide


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A Face in the Crowd review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 10:51 (A review of A Face in the Crowd)



Andy Griffith makes a spectacular film debut in this searing drama as Lonesome Rhodes, a philosophical country-western singer discovered in a tanktown jail by radio talent scout Patricia Neal and her assistant Walter Matthau. They decide that Rhodes is worthy of a radio spot, but the unforeseen result is that the gangly, aw-shucks entertainer becomes an overnight sensation not simply on radio but, thereafter, on television. As he ascends to stardom, Rhodes attracts fans, sponsors and endorsements by the carload, and soon he is the most powerful and influential entertainer on the airwaves. Beloved by his audience, Rhodes reveals himself to his intimates as a scheming, power-hungry manipulator, with Machiavellian political aspirations. He uses everyone around him, coldly discarding anyone who might impede his climb to the top (one such victim is sexy baton-twirler Lee Remick, likewise making her film debut). Just when it seems that there's no stopping Rhodes' megalomania, his mentor and ex-lover Neal exposes this Idol of Millions as the rat that he is. She arranges to switch on the audio during the closing credits of Rhodes' TV program, allowing the whole nation to hear the grinning, waving Rhodes characterize them as "suckers" and "stupid idiots." Instantly, Rhodes' popularity rating plummets to zero. As he drunkenly wanders around his penthouse apartment, still not fully comprehending what has happened to him, Rhodes is deserted by the very associates who, hours earlier, were willing to ask "how high?" when he yelled "jump". Written by Budd Schulberg, Face in the Crowd was not a success, possibly because it hit so close to home with idol-worshipping TV fans. Its reputation has grown in the intervening years, not only because of its value as a film but because of the novelty of seeing the traditionally easygoing Andy Griffith as so vicious and manipulative a character as Lonesome Rhodes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Unrated, 2 hr. 5 min.

Drama, Classics

Directed By: Elia Kazan

Written By: Budd Schulberg

In Theaters: May 28, 1957 Wide

On DVD: May 10, 2005

WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES


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7 Faces of Dr. Lao review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2013 10:49 (A review of 7 Faces of Dr. Lao)



Tony Randall has the showcase of a lifetime in the marvelous George Pal production The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao. We first see Randall as Dr. Lao, an enigmatic Chinese medicine-show impresario. The doctor brings his travelling show into the frontier town of Abalone, which is chafing under the oppression of land-hungry Clint Stark (Arthur O'Connell). Newspaper editor Ed Cunningham (John Ericson) is conducting a campaign of words against Stark, but he is no match for the land baron's money, power, and hulking henchmen. Nonetheless, Cunningham continues his crusade, all the while attempting to romance icy young widow Angela Benedict (Barbara Eden). All of this is observed with bemusement by Dr. Lao, who has already established himself as a man of many talents by alternating between pidgin-English and eloquent articulation, depending on the circumstances. Each of the townspeople--including the three already mentioned--learn a great many truths about themselves when they attend Dr. Lao's unusual circus. In the course of straightening out everyone's problems, Lao metamorphoses into (1) Merlin the Magician, (2) Pan, (3) Medusa, (4) The Abominable Snowman, (5) Apollonius of Tyana and (6) a Talking Serpent. The combined talents of Randall, puppeteer Pal and make-up wizard William J. Tuttle (who won two Special Oscars) resulted in this captivatingly unique entertainment experience. Curiously, Tony Randall is not fond of Seven Faces of Dr.Lao, and refuses to be interviewed on the subject. Perhaps he was unhappy that much of the philosophy dispensed in the original Charles G. Finney novel The Circus of Dr. Lao was weeded out of Charles Beaumont's script....or perhaps he just didn't like having his head shaved for the part. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Unrated, 1 hr. 40 min.

Western, Mystery & Suspense, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Directed By: George Pal

Written By: Charles Beaumont, Ben Hecht

In Theaters: Mar 18, 1964 Wide

On DVD: Oct 3, 2000

WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES


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Seven Samurai review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 4 July 2013 02:43 (A review of Seven Samurai)



Akira Kurosawa's epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. The film opens with master samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) posing as a monk to save a kidnapped farmer's child. Impressed by his selflessness and bravery, a group of farmers begs him to defend their terrorized village from bandits. Kambei agrees, although there is no material gain or honor to be had in the endeavor. Soon he attracts a pair of followers: a young samurai named Katsushiro (Isao Kimura), who quickly becomes Kambei's disciple, and boisterous Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), who poses as a samurai but is later revealed to be the son of a farmer. Kambei assembles four other samurais, including Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), a master swordsman, to round out the group. Together they consolidate the village's defenses and shape the villagers into a militia, while the bandits loom menacingly nearby. Soon raids and counter-raids build to a final bloody heart-wrenching battle. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

Unrated, 3 hr. 24 min.

Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Classics

Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

Written By: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni

In Theaters: Apr 26, 1954 Wide

On DVD: Mar 1, 1999

Columbia Pictures


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8½ review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 4 July 2013 02:42 (A review of )

Fresh off of the international success of La Dolce Vita, master director Federico Fellini moved into the realm of self-reflexive autobiography with what is widely believed to be his finest and most personal work. Marcello Mastroianni delivers a brilliant performance as Fellini's alter ego Guido Anselmi, a film director overwhelmed by the large-scale production he has undertaken. He finds himself harangued by producers, his wife, and his mistress while he struggles to find the inspiration to finish his film. The stress plunges Guido into an interior world where fantasy and memory impinge on reality. Fellini jumbles narrative logic by freely cutting from flashbacks to dream sequences to the present until it becomes impossible to pry them apart, creating both a psychological portrait of Guido's interior world and the surrealistic, circus-like exterior world that came to be known as "Felliniesque." 8 1/2 won an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, as well as the grand prize at the Moscow Film Festival, and was one of the most influential and commercially successful European art movies of the 1960s, inspiring such later films as Bob Fosse's All That Jazz (1979), Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), and even Lucio Fulci's Italian splatter film Un Gatto nel Cervello (1990). ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

Unrated, 2 hr. 15 min.

Drama, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

Directed By: Federico Fellini

Written By: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Brunello Rondi

In Theaters: Jun 25, 1963 Wide

On DVD: Dec 4, 2001


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