Motherhood

Motherhood
Motherhood is a comedy that celebrates the joys and frustrations of being a mom/wife/blogger/human being in the trendy West Village. The emphasis is on frustration. While many moms can sympathize with the long lines at Party City and the trials of planning a birthday party for a six-year-old (and maybe even being oh-so-close to a nervous breakdown), itís not so easy to identify with Eliza Kendall Welch (Uma Thurman).

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Devil
Thereís good news and thereís bad news regarding the events of DEVIL. The good news is that this is a movie with M. Night Shymalanís name attached and didnít end up being a complete waste of time and resources, in fact itís actually a pretty entertaining piece of film. The bad news is that itís still not going to be the best movie youíve ever seen and despite the horror elements and claustrophobic setting, itís not very scary either.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a brilliant movie for the future of film in a variety of ways that I suspect no one involved with the film will want to celebrate. For example, I suspect that hopeful movie critics for years to come will be given it as a test of their abilities. It's a tricky movie to critique. I also have my suspicions that a wide variety of film classes will make great use of it. Should we turn the sound off and examine scenes for any number of the methods and modes of film creation, this is a movie with much to teach. It is, without the slightest hint of question, a beautiful and masterfully constructed film. It is also the best silk purse example of a film I've had to suffer through since Gods & Generals.

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Saint John of Las Vegas

Saint John of Las Vegas
Let's see if I can get through this entire review -- about a guy with a gambling problem - without employing gambling jargon as metaphors. Sort of like writing about Julie & Julia without using food references.

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Wendy and Lucy

Wendy and Lucy
Wendy and Lucy is a love story, but not of the conventional sort. It's about how the vagaries of fate can sabotage a seemingly bright future and tear apart two dear companions. It's about the desperate search of one to find the other in a place where she knows no one, is homeless, and has lost her only means of transportation. These two face uncertain prospects and, even if they are reunited, might be forced apart by the reality of their situation. One of these companions is a twenty-something woman named Wendy (Michelle Williams). The other, Lucy, is a dog.

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Flame & Citron

Flame & Citron
It is a tradition in war movies that resistance fighters are represented as heroic - individuals contesting with a totalitarian menace. This is especially true of World War II, where history lauds those who stood against the Nazis all across Europe. Ole Christian Madsen's Flame & Citron doesn't exactly smash those worshipful myths but it injects an element of pragmatism. Conflict with Hitler's troops was not always rooted in altruism and there were times when the resistance fighters weren't more laudable than those they opposed. Flame & Citron is interested in exploring the reality underlying the legends.

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Caramel

Caramel
Caramel could easily be dubbed a Lebanese version of Salon. The movie, the directorial debut of writer/director/actress Nadine Labaki, follows the lives and loves of five women whose paths criss-cross in Beirut. As is often the case with ensemble efforts like this one, some of the stories are more interesting than others and this has the unwelcome side-effect of making proceedings stumble whenever one of the less compelling women takes center stage. Unlike some foreign films, Caramel is easily accessible for viewers of all nations and cultures, although the subtitles will degrade its box office potential in the United States.

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Scarface

Scarface
Upon its initial release, Scarface was savaged by many critics and suffered from tepid box office performance. Opened at the height of Oscar season with awards aspirations, it was shut out by the Academy - although it did receive three Golden Globe nominations to go along with director Brian De Palma's Worst Director Razzie nod. Cartoonish and campy, Scarface played like a pastiche of hard-core violence and unintentional parody with a profanity-laden soundtrack so saturated with fucks that rarely does more than a few seconds without the word being uttered. (There are reported to be 226 instances of its usage.) Somewhat mysteriously, the film has acquired a large enough following during the 25-plus years since its release to push it into "cult classic" territory. However, viewed today, while Scarface seems less shocking than it did during its initial theatrical run, it's no more substantive or interesting. There is limited entertainment value for those who savor over-the-top, gratuitous exploitation, but the level of quality is not such that Scarface deserves a full re-evaluation by the critical community.

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The Odyssey

The Odyssey
The Odyssey, a high budget made-for-TV adaptation of Homer's epic adventure, is, by television standards, a monumental achievement. By theatrical standards, the special effects are ambitious but not overwhelming. Yet it's hard to deny that it captures the sweeping spirit of Homer's original poem with color and verve.

Armand Assante plays Odysseus, flawed hero of the Trojan War. When victory is won, he defies the gods with the sin of pride. Poseidon is angered and punishes him with the curse that he will never return home to his family and heritage. So he and his men are doomed to wander the Mediterranean Sea, bumping into powerful and deadly creatures that hamper his journey. Most of the episodes of Homer's poem are incorporated in some fashion. But one of the great ironies of the poem is that these adventures are told in flashback, Odysseus relating them to Telemachus, his son, after the fact. With what we know about Odysseus' character -- smart but devious -- it's entirely possible that his "real" adventures in the Mediterranean were fabricated in whole or in part. This television production adopts a more conventional storytelling style and has the adventures occur on scene such that there is no such doubt. Not necessarily a flaw in the show, but an interesting point to note.

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Quicksand

Quicksand
Martin Raikes (Michael Keaton) is a bank investigator who is sent to Monaco to check up on the shady dealings of a movie production. After the business trip, he'll then fly over to London to visit his daughter.

When Martin arrives in Monaco, he is met by the film company's CFO, Lela Forin (Judith Godreche) and washed-up action star Jake Mellows (Michael Caine).

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Warriors of Terra

Warriors of Terra
A headstrong animal-rights activist group plans a raid on a bio-tech company to stop the cruelty. They discover the true nature of the experiments that are really taking place. As they break into a biotech lab only to have their idealism crushed by the terrifying things they find inside. But when a genetically mutated human with a taste for human flesh gets released, they all struggle to survive!

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The Escape Artist

The Escape Artist
The young and self-confident Danny blufs at the local police-station that he will escape out of prison within one hour. What follows is a flashback about his childhood with his uncle and aunt, which are vaudeville-artists themselves. We also follow the problems of Danny with the corrupt son of the mayor.

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The Gate II: Trespassers

The Gate II: Trespassers
Its been five years since Terrys friend Glen discovered The Gate to hell in his backyard. Glen has now moved away and Terry begins practicing rituals in Glens old house and eventually bringing back demons through The Gate and leading to demoniac possession and near world domination.

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Bereavement

Bereavement
The horrific account of 6 year old Martin Bristol, abducted from his backyard swing and forced to witness the brutal crimes of a deranged madman.

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Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale

Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale
Elle wants to be a singersongwriter, but her dreams are cut short by the sudden death of her parents. She moves in with her adoptive uncle, who runs a small independent record label whose biggest act, Sensation, is also Elles biggest pain. The pop music environment at the label, very different than the country roots she is used to, adds to Elles feelings of loss and frustration, and her misplaced guilt, which is caused by the fact that her parents had been en route to her performance at the time of her death. But when she meets Ty Parker, a famous pop singer with a passion for real music, her repressed ambition is released through a revitalized interest in singing and songwriting.

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I Love Trouble

I Love Trouble
Shes green and eager. Hes seasoned and jaded. Theyre reporters for rival Chicago newspapers assigned to cover the same story. He offers tips and advice she scoops him. Then, their snappy patter, repartee, and ripostes get romantic even as their competitive juices overflow. Will corrupt scientists at a chemical company whose goats give cancer-causing milk kill the cub and the columnist, or will they escape with their lives and their by-lines to hear wedding bells?

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