Alpha and Omega

Alpha and Omega
In the animated kiddie movie "Alpha and Omega," sometimes the wolves look like wolves and sometimes they look and move like humans; some bear an uncanny resemblance to Dora the Explorer.

That in itself should tip you off to the target audience for this unexceptional 3-D offering, which is also available in 2-D for those looking to avoid paying a ticket surcharge for low-budget animation. But the movie's visual flatness would work best at home on the small screen, where young girls (and maybe their big sisters) would enjoy the film's gentle, romantic shadings.

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Doubt
It's one of life's bitter ironies that one of the first things lost to moral certainty is the capacity for compassion. Righteousness is a cold, hard position, and an unshakeable one. It allows no room for one of the most basic tenants of human existence: doubt. Faith exists not in counterpoint to certainty but to doubt. And those in religious institutions who wish to commune with their fellows must never lose sight of the fact that doubt defines and binds us. Few of us have the capacity to defend a position of uncompromising certainty.

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Transporter 3

Transporter 3
The Transporter movies remind me of the Bond films of the '70s and '80s, in which each new installment tried to one-up its predecessor in terms of inventive and outrageous action set pieces. Without a doubt, Transporter 3 offers more innovative ways in which to defy the laws of physics than Transporter or Transporter 2, but it lacks more than a semblance of a coherent plot. And director Olivier Megaton (what a name for an action director…) has succumbed to the belief that an action scene isn't good if the viewer can figure out what's going on. Because of this, Transporter 3 is the most frustrating entry into a series that has never set the bar terribly high.

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Girl on the Train

Girl on the Train
Director Andre Téchiné (My Favorite Season, Wild Reeds, Thieves, Alice and Martin) has never been shy about confronting difficult subjects in his films, as one glance at his loaded résumé will reveal. Téchiné enjoys exploring dark, complex ideas and themes and often seeks to create a sense of moral ambiguity. With The Girl on the Train, Téchiné succeeds in establishing a fascinating dynamic that italicizes how unchecked media hype can explode a careless lie into a major news gaffe, although he accomplishes this without the same level of psychological character development he has shown in his best work. Still, although the main character's motivations remain largely a matter of conjecture, The Girl on the Train is a compelling piece of cinema.

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Music and Lyrics

Music and Lyrics
One would be justified in approaching Music and Lyrics with a certain amount of skepticism, considering that its writer/director, Marc Lawrence, is perhaps known for foisting two Miss Congenialitys upon the world (although to be fair, he didn't direct either - he just wrote and produced them). Yet, despite the feeble pedigree, Music and Lyrics turns out to be a better than average romantic comedy where the characters click and, unusual for movies of the genre, there are instances when genuine laughter bubbles up. This may be due largely to Hugh Grant, who understands the concept of comic timing and is able to deliver one liner after one liner in precisely the manner necessary to make them funny. Of course, for those who don't like Hugh Grant…

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Stop-Loss

Stop-Loss
Despite dismal box office results across-the-board, the major movie studios have yet to figure out that the American public is not interested in preachy movies about the war in Iraq. Filmmakers interested in producing compelling dramatic films about the Iraq conflict should look to the Vietnam war oeuvre, which contains many superior motion pictures. Unfortunately, what we have been immersed in thus far with the Iraq-based war stories tends to be simplistic and uninteresting. The underlying premise goes something like this: War is hell, the U.S. government is deceitful, and soldiers are being irrevocably damaged. Whether I or any other viewer agrees with this is not the point. It's the job of the filmmakers to present these themes in an intelligent, dramatically potent manner. With Stop-Loss, Kimberly Peirce is no more effective than the others (including Robert Redford, Brian De Palma, Gavin Hood, and Paul Haggis, among others) who have preceded her down this road. In her zeal to wave the flag of protest, she has lost sight of her characters and the reality of their situation. After a strong start, Stop-Loss becomes driven by a series of contrivances before falling prey to bad melodrama and even a little cheesiness.

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Kids Are All Right

Kids Are All Right
The kids may be all right, but the adults aren't. That's the underlying premise of Lisa Cholodenko's unconventional family drama - a motion picture that uses wry humor and uncommon sensitivity to underscore some of the difficulties inherent in any family, regardless of how unusual the structure may be. However, although many of the ideas and emotions expressed in The Kids Are All Right have universal implications, Cholodenko resists the urge to close things out in an artificially clean manner. When the 104-minute running time has expired, there's a sense of satisfaction that the story has been told, but by no means are all the loose ends neatly knotted. In fact, the untidiness of the ending hints at greater honesty than one might uncover when catharsis is achieved for all characters by squelching ambiguity.

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Batman

Batman
The superheroes of DC Comics have been very good to Warner Brothers. In 1978, Superman became a major motion picture event, packing theaters and resulting in a franchise that generated three sequels before collapsing under the weight of bad writing, bad acting, and bad special effects. Then, only two years after the release of the movie that killed the Superman series (Superman IV: The Quest for Peace), Warner Brothers turned to DC's other venerable hero, Batman. From the moment the announcement was first made, fans were ecstatic, especially when it was revealed that the tone of the film would more closely resemble the dark nature of the comics, as opposed to the jokey, campy feel of the '60s TV series starring Adam West. This Batman was intended to be a different breed from any previous live-action incarnation. Like Superman, Batman spawned three sequels, and, like the saga of The Man of Steel, the Caped Crusader's adventures were eventually ended not by the successful plots of his enemies, but by the inept plots of those who helmed the series. Batman and Robin ended the profitability of a franchise that had been teetering since installment #3, Batman Forever.

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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado about Nothing is Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of one of Shakespeare's better-known comedies. Centered around two romances - Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), and Benedick (Kenneth Branagh) and Beatrice (Emma Thompson) - the story follows these very different courtships. For Hero and Claudio, it's love at first sight and, as with any immediate attraction, they have a lot to learn about each other. Beatrice and Benedick, on the other hand, have known each other for quite some time and it takes a little none-too-subtle prodding from their friends to help them realize and admit their feelings.

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River Queen

River Queen
The film takes place in New Zealand in 1868 during Titokowaru's War between the Māori and New Zealand colonial forces. Sarah O'Brien (Samantha Morton) has grown up among soldiers in a frontier garrison on Te Awa Nui, the Great River. Pregnant at 16 by a young Maori boy, she gives birth to a son. When, 7 years later, her son, Boy, is kidnapped by his Maori grandfather, Sarah is distraught.

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Visitors

Visitors
After six months at sea on an unassisted solo circumnavigation, Georgia Perrys 44-foot sloop is becalmed for several days. Cabin fever sets in, and the border between fact and fantasy begins to distort. But if these are just tricks of the mind, how do these encounters leave Georgia with physical manifestations?

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Ancient Warriors

Ancient Warriors
A military unit teams up with an islands ancient warrior spirits to battle a crime lord.

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Intermission

Intermission
Lehiff (Colin Farrell) is a petty criminal always involved in trouble. Lehiff’s nemesis, Garda Detective Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney) presents himself as a savior who fights the "scumbags" on Dublin’s streets, and enlists the help of Ben Campion (Tomas O'Suilleabhain), an ambitious film-maker and the bane of his "go-softer" boss, who considers Lynch too nasty a subject to be shown on a mainstream “docusoap” series on Irish terrestrial TV.

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T.N.T. Jackson

T.N.T. Jackson
Her name is Diana Jackson, but you can call her T.N.T. When T.N.T.s brother is killed by ruthless drug dealers, the beautiful young karate expert goes to the most dangerous part of Chinatown to find the killer. In trouble with the law since she was 13, T.N.T. wants no help from the pigs but she does befriend a Chinaman named Joe, whose impressive martial arts skills prove useful more than once. In her quest for the killer, shell meet the white drug lord, Sid Elaine, his bitchy girlfriend his suspicious Chinese assistant, Ming and Charlie, his handsome black assistant with criminal ambitions of his own. Before her search is over, shell find herself making love to Charlie, trading insults with Elaine, and fighting criminals while nude and in the dark. Just call her T.N.T.

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FairyTale: A True Story

FairyTale: A True Story
Based on factual accounts, this is the story of two young girls that, somehow, have the ability to take pictures of winged beings... which certainly causes quite a stir throughout England during the time of the first World War. Everyone, except the girls who think its quite normal, are excited about this photographic proof that fairies exist... even the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini pay the girls a visit.

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In Our Name

In Our Name
Suzys a British soldier, born and bred, but fitting back into civilian life after fighting in Iraq isnt easy. Haunted by the responsibility she feels for the death of an Iraqi child, she becomes obsessed with the safety of her own daughter, feeling the need to protect her against a threat that doesnt seem to exist. As Suzys paranoia builds, her behaviour becomes more and more erratic, until finally, she puts her own child in serious danger.

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