1408
Confession time: Not only have I read (literally) every story ever written by Stephen King (some of 'em two or three times), but I've also seen (literally) every movie inspired by his books. Some of 'em four or five times. I discovered the man's work around the time I was 13 -- and I devoured his early paperbacks like a junkie devours his drug of choice. I was hooked. All through high school and college and "grown-up" life, if there was a new King paperback out there, I had to have it. Most I liked, some I truly did not, and I few I really went crazy for. And since I'm even more of a movie geek than I am a passionate reader, I'm always pretty excited to sit down with a new cinematic adaptation. (And no amount of Dreamcatchers will ever change that.)

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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nick and Norah have the kind of lives any suburban teenager would envy-- for one night, at least. Wandering from dingy club to slightly dingier club, across what remains of Manhattan's gritty East Village, the two wax poetic about their favorite bands, engage in the usual battle of the sexes and, what would you know, fall in love. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, based on the popular young adult novel of the same name, is a surprisingly timeless story given its hip trappings, and will enthrall teen viewers who imagine such a adventurous, music-fueled life for themselves.

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Eagle vs. Shark

Eagle vs. Shark
Eagle vs. Shark appears to be vying for the Napoleon Dynamite audience. However, while there are superficial similarities, this production, from New Zealand writer/director Taika Waititi, is unlikely to achieve the same kind of embrace by geekdom that was lavished upon Jared Hess' feature. There are two primary reasons. In the first place, the semi-comedic tone of Eagle vs. Shark is more uneven than that of Napoleon Dynamite. The film offers some laughs but there are times when the dead zones between them are uncomfortable to endure. The bigger issue relates to the characters. Like the protagonist in Napoleon Dynamite, the main characters in Eagle vs. Shark are quirky and socially inept. Unfortunately, they are also morons, and it becomes increasingly difficult to care one way or another about characters who act like they have undergone frontal lobotomies.

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American Teen

American Teen
American Teen, which has captured audience awards and drawn standing ovations at film festivals from coast-to-coast, is the latest example of a growing genre called "DINO" (Documentaries In Name Only). Combining candid footage with staged events, DINO directors assemble everything in the editing room, freely scrambling the chronology and cutting as they see fit. The goal is less to provide a slice of reality than it is to approximate a fictionalized version of that reality. DINOs are the motion picture equivalent of reality television, and American Teen is among the most accomplished to come along yet. In fact, it's so adeptly assembled that it has been picked up by a major distributor (Paramount) with an eye toward opening it in more than just art houses. The target audience isn't the usual "stodgy" crowd but the MTV post-music video generation. This is The Real World on a more ambitious scale.

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Talladega Nights

Talladega Nights
Talladega Nights (subtitled, The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) is, in many ways, just like every other Will Ferrell comedy: take some satire, add some hit-and-miss jokes, throw in a lightweight storyline, and let the lead actor be the catalyst that crystallizes these elements. Ferrell's ability to successfully fulfill that function is more dubious here than in his three best-known previous efforts, Old School, Elf, and Anchorman. The writing for those films was crisper, the humor less scattershot, and the overall effect more appealing. There are occasional moments of inspired comedy in Talladega Nights, but the film as a whole doesn't work. We're left ho-humming our way through one obligatory scene after another and wincing through a sting of failed gags until the next bit comes along that tickles our funny bone. It's a little like watching a current episode of Saturday Night Live (Farrell's showbiz alma mater) - you laugh a few times but, in the end, you wonder why you bothered.

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Revolver

Revolver
Revolver had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, some 27 months before finding its way into a small number of U.S. multiplexes. If that says nothing else, it's that distributors shied away from the film, fearing its complete lack of commercial potential. Considering that the director is the hip and violent Guy Ritchie, the man behind Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, this might seem surprising - until one sees this disastrous mess that is masquerading as a motion picture. Often, if you ask me about something I saw at a film festival more than two years ago, I'll draw a blank. But I recall Revolver with surprising clarity - for all the wrong reasons. Before this, Swept Away was universally viewed as Ritchie's worst effort. Revolver is supposed to be his comeback - a return to the genre in which his success was born. With this movie, we are supposed to believe that the remake of the Lina Wertmuller film was an aberration. But, surprise of surprises, Revolver turns out to be worse than Swept Away - and not just by a little bit.

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Rush Hour 2

Rush Hour 2
While the rules of the buddy/action comedy are significantly different from those of the romantic comedy, one key ingredient is common to both popular genres: that of chemistry between the leads. Unfortunately, while both motormouthed Chris Tucker and rubber limbed Jackie Chan are energetic and charismatic in their own right, they mix as well as oil and water. Yes, their characters - Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee and LAPD's Detective James Carter - are supposed to be mismatched. The problem is that the actors seem to be less in synch than their on-screen alter egos. There's more going on between sizzling Roselyn Sanchez and Chan, who only share a handful of scenes, than between Chan and Tucker.

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Octopussy

Octopussy
It's probably just a coincidence, but the two Bond films that Maud Adams appeared in -- The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy -- are easily the silliest entries in the long-running series (not counting the intentional spoof Casino Royale). In a duel of dumb storylines, Octopussy loses, but only by a length. There's a fine line between wit and absurdity, and this particular movie too often falls on the wrong side.

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Book of Swords

Book of Swords
Like the martial art heroes that he writes about, Louis Cha is a legend in his own time. Better known to his Chinese fans by his pen name of Jin Yong, Cha is the unrivaled giant of the modern martial arts (wuxia) genre. His novels were initially written for serialization in his own Ming Pao newspaper, which was published in Hong Kong.

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Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service
Veteran animator Hayao Miyazaki directs this buoyant children's adventure yarn about a young witch striking out on her own. At her mother's behest, 13-year-old Kiki sets out on a year-long apprenticeship with her black cat in tow. With a shaky command of her broom, she ends up in a charming little coastal town that looks like a cross between the French provincial and San Francisco.

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The Alamo

The Alamo
The film begins in March 1836 in the Texas town of San Antonio de Bexar, site of the Alamo, where bodies of Texan defenders and Mexican attackers are strewn over the Alamo. The film then flashes back to a year earlier. Sam Houston (Dennis Quaid) attends a party where he tries to persuade people to migrate to Texas. He meets with David Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton), recently defeated for reelection to Congress. Houston explains to Crockett that as an immigrant to Texas, Crockett will receive 640 acres (2.6 km2) [a square mile] of his own choosing. Crockett asks with a grin whether this new republic is going to need a president.

Meanwhile, in San Felipe, Texas, the Texas provisional government is meeting to discuss what course of action to take after the recent capture of the Alamo and Bexar from Mexican forces at the first Battle of San Antonio de Bexar. Texas having rebelled against Mexico and its presidential dictator Santa Anna, who is personally leading an army to retake the Alamo, the War Party calls for the Texas army to depart Bexar, cross into Mexico and confront Mexican forces at the town of Matamoros. The Opposition Party seeks to rebuild the Texan army and establish a permanent government to be recognized by other nations of the world. Sam Houston is voted out as commander of the Texas army. While having drinks with Jim Bowie later, the disgusted Houston tells Bowie to go to San Antonio and destroy the Alamo.

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Bloodlust Zombies

Bloodlust Zombies
A military weapons manufacturer creates a chemical weapon that causes victims to become blood-lusting killers. A lab accident causes the building to go into lock-down and the employees are trapped inside with the crazed killers.

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End Game

End Game
A secret Service agent and a news reporter investigate the conspiracy behind the assassination of the President.

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Killer Elite

Killer Elite
When his mentor is taken captive, a retired member of Britains Elite Special Air Service is forced into action. His mission kill three assassins dispatched by their cunning leader.

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Mega Piranha

Mega Piranha
A mutant strain of giant ferocious piranha escape from the Amazon and eat their way toward Florida.

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Nightstalker (2009)

Nightstalker (2009)
This time the subject matter of Lommells grainy handi-cam composition is Richard Ramirez, dubbed The Night Stalker by the media, a serial killer who killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 souls during his reign of terror in Los Angeles back in the Eighties. We first learn that Ramirezs unsavory uncle practically raised him to grow up a pot-smoking woman-hater. Moving from El Paso, Texas to Los Angeles, California as a young adult, Ramirez falls in with a coven of devil worshippers. To hear them talk about their satanic freedom-to-do-whatever-they-want ideals, they sound less like satanists and more like Goth hippies. Getting involved in satanism proves to be the trigger that inspired Ramirez to cross the line and begin sneaking into the homes of mildly chunky women with big boobs and gunning them down as they shower...

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