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There’s good news and there’s bad news regarding the events of DEVIL. The good news is that this is a movie with M. Night Shymalan’s name attached and didn’t end up being a complete waste of time and resources, in fact it’s actually a pretty entertaining piece of film. The bad news is that it’s still not going to be the best movie you’ve ever seen and despite the horror elements and claustrophobic setting, it’s not very scary either.
“Haunters” offers a twist on the usual superhero tale, with Korean stars Kang Dong Won (“Secret Reunion”) and Ko Su (“White Night”) as two troubled men blessed with special powers facing off against each other in a deadly battle. The film marks the debut of Kim Min Suk, who previously scripted and worked as an assistant on director Kim Jee Woon’s wonderful kimchi Western “The Good, The Bad, The Weird”. Combining action, drama and a thoughtful exploration of what can turn a man into a monster, the film was a major commercial hit in Korea, holding onto the top box office spot for an impressive two weeks.
The film begins following Cho (Kang Dong Won, in his last film role before carrying out his army service), a young one legged man, twisted by a childhood of abuse, his parents having tried to kill him due to his having odd and terrifying mind control powers. Barely considering himself human, Cho keeps away from any kind of social contact, living by manipulating others with his psychic abilities. His quiet life comes crashing down when his path crosses with Kyu Nam (Ko Su), a simple though kind hearted man working in a pawn shop he tries to rob, who for some reason seems unaffected by his powers. After the failed heist results in the gruesome death of Kyu Nam’s father figure pawn shop owner (Byun Hee Bong, also in thriller “The Game”), he sets about bringing Cho down and making him pay for his crimes.
Something's Gotta Give
I wanted to like this movie more than I actually did, because it addresses a couple of provocative issues head-on, without too much sugar coating. The first is the Hollywood tendency to devalue middle-age female actors, relegating them to supporting roles and stripping them of all sex appeal. The second is the unwritten rule that all romantic comedies must feature young protagonists (in order not to alienate the all-important teenage audience). Something's Gotta Give shows (gasp!) that female sexuality does not wither up and die long before menopause, and it features a couple who are in their 50s and 60s. Alas, the problems lie not in the movie's ideas or casting, but in the sitcom-like screenplay employed by writer/director Nancy Meyers, and in the inability of the filmmakers to cut the movie down to a reasonable length. Boredom sets in long before the end credits begin to roll.
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At first glance, Yes Man appears to be yet another high-concept Jim Carrey comedy. After all, the premise can be summed up in a sentence: "A character played by Carrey in 'zany form' must say 'yes' to every proposal." Over the years, we have gotten used to these kinds of movies from the guy who was once best known as a Pet Detective, so one could not be faulted for assuming that Yes Man would be a lot like Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty in tone and intent. However, while a viewer might be expecting a screwball, he/she ends up with a changeup. Because, despite all the funnyman Carrey trappings, this is, in essence, a fairly generic romantic comedy. Carrey does enough mugging at the beginning to fool us into thinking Yes Man is something other than what it is, but the minute Zooey Deschanel appears, the movie takes a left turn. Deschanel isn't just a token female love interest in a Carrey movie. She's a legitimate romantic foil. And that makes the movie a little different from how it's being sold.
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To describe The Ring, two adjectives leap to mind: spooky and lame. The former refers to the tone and atmosphere, which are about as good as it gets for a ghost story. The latter refers to the storyline, which is about as poorly constructed as can be imagined – a sad amalgamation of irritating contrivances and gaping plot holes that defy even a generous attempt to suspend disbelief. And, while I normally appreciate open-ended motion pictures, The Ring takes things too far by leaving about 75% of its questions unanswered. This isn't an artistic choice; it's screenwriting sloppiness, and it results in a profoundly dissatisfying experience.
To lump The Pianist in with all of the other Holocaust stories brought to the screen does a great disservice to this powerful, compelling motion picture. Crafted without a whiff of melodrama, this motion picture takes a steady, unflinching look at the plight of Jews in Warsaw during the years when Poland was occupied by the Nazis. For director Roman Polanski, this represents his most effective film in nearly three decades. Not since 1974's Chinatown has Polanski reached such dramatic heights.
In the tradition of Norma Rae and Silkwood, North Country is the story of one woman's struggle against an inflexible corporation. Despite some third-act flaws that weaken the conclusion, North Country does what it sets out to do: inspire and uplift. It also provides a stark reminder of the inequities faced by women as they attempted (and continue to attempt) to achieve equal footing with their male counterparts in the workforce. 1989 (the year in which the bulk of the film transpires) isn't that long ago. Many things have changed since then; sadly, the cultural shift has not penetrated into the darkest recesses of some areas of employment.
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Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai illustrates that, in some bizarre way, artsy films can be subject to the same major flaws that often afflict Hollywood blockbusters. It's typical for a big budget motion picture to ignore logic and consistency in order to boost the level of adrenaline. Ghost Dog, the latest from iconoclast director Jim Jarmusch, commits the same sin, albeit for radically different reasons. Jarmusch is so infatuated with his subject matter and thematic content that he force-feeds his plot through a pair of totally incomprehensible twists (one near the beginning and one at the end) in order to make statements and get things moving in a particular direction. As a result, only the most ardent Jarmusch fan will be able to suspend disbelief, and the movie turns into an exercise in ideas rather than an excursion along a stable narrative route.
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Pleasure of Your Company aka Wedding Daze
Against the advice of his best friend Ted (Michael Weston), Anderson (Jason Biggs) proposes to his girlfriend, Vanessa, publicly whilst dressed in a cupid costume. The shock of the proposal leads to her instantaneous death. Utterly devastated and distraught, Anderson quits his job and goes into mourning. Anderson is still obsessed with his perfect (and dead) former girlfriend and to help him move on, Ted persuades him to give romance one more try. To placate his friend, Anderson agrees. Right after, waitress Katie (Isla Fisher) comes over. On a whim, Anderson asks Katie to marry him, and to his utter astonishment, she accepts his proposal.
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Young D.A. Louie Jeffries is hit by a car and dies in 1964 but manages to slip by the pearly gates and is instantly reborn. Twenty-three years later, his widow Corinne still misses him, ignoring the frustrated devotion of his best friend Phillip Train, who has pretty much raised his only daughter Miranda (Mary Stuart Masterson) as his own. When Phillip brings Yale graduate Alex Finch to meet the Jeffries family, Alex (Robert Downey, Jr.) quickly realizes he is in fact Corinne's dead husband reborn.
His memories of his life as Louie return just as Alex begins a romantic involvement with Louie's (his) daughter Miranda. Instead, Louie then spurns his daughter's advances and begins romancing his widow Corinne (Cybill Shepherd), frustrating Phillip's attempts to court Corrine, and resulting in a number of comic mixups.
Soon, however, Alex/Louie realizes Phillip and Corinne should be together and arranges things so they can realize their love and he can get out of their way.
With Phillip and Corinne together at last, a bump on the head causes Alex to be admitted to hospital. While unconscious, Alex is administered a special injecton he should have received at the pearly gates 23 years previous, to make him forget his past life as Louie. When he wakes, he tells Miranda that the last thing he remembers is them kissing in the corner of the refrigerator. He happily resumes romantic interest in Miranda, which she gladly accepts, having never been informed of his other identity by anyone. Oddly this relationship continues with Phillip and Corinne's full knowledge and approval, although neither of them has forgotten "Louie" lives on in Alex.
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Final Destination 5
The film opens up with co-workers gathering together for a company retreat. The group includes Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto), who dreams of an apprenticeship in Paris, his best friend Peter (Miles Fisher), Peter's girlfriend Candice (Ellen Wroe), and her rival Olivia (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood). Along for the trip are Molly (Emma Bell), who breaks up with Sam just before the trip, Peter's co-workers Isaac (P.J. Byrne) and Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta), and their boss Dennis (David Koechner).
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Chain of Command
When Merrill Ross (Michael Dudikoff) is thought to be a C.I.A. agent gone bad and teaming with some other alphabet named agency to take over the oil rich country of Qumir, he finds hes in the middle of a very explosive situation. Not knowing who he can trust, hes forced to use a process of elimination thru the chain of operatives he encounters.
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Flirting with Disaster
Mel Coplin departs on a mission of discovery dragging his wife and 4 month old son behind. He and wife, Nancy, wont agree on a name for their son until adopted Mel gets in touch with his roots. He assures her that once he knows who he really is, the right name for their boy will be a snap. Enlisting the aid of student-psychologist and part-time adoption agent, Tina Kalb, they embark on a journey across the United States to find Mels birth mother. The best part, Mel tells Nancy, is its all free. Tina is finishing her dissertation and will film the happy reunion of mother and child as part of her research. For this privilege, shes footing the bill. His adoptive parents are left behind feeling abandoned by an ungrateful son. Clerical errors, mistaken identities, Nancys misplaced high school friend and his gay lover, and a super-charged libido here and there are thrown into the mix along the way until -- at last -- Mels real parents, the Schlictings (mispronounced as Shit-kings by Mrs. Coplin), are discovered in remote New Mexico. There, Mel begins to wonder if he would have been better off not knowing these people, after all.
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From Pentimento, the memoirs of late playwright Lillian Hellman, JULIA covers those years in the 1930s when Lillian attained fame with the production of her first play The Childrens Hour on Broadway. Not surprisingly, it centers on Lillians relationship with her lifelong friend, Julia. It is a relationship that goes beyond mere acquaintance and one for which the word love seems appropriate. While Julia attends the University in Vienna, studying with such luminaries as Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, Lillian suffers through revisions of her play with her mentor and sometimes lover Dashiel Hammett at a New England beachhouse. After becoming a celebrated playwright, Lillian is invited to a writers conference in Russia. Julia, having taken up the battle against fascism, enlists Lillian en route to smuggle money through Nazi Germany which will assist in the Anti-Fascist cause. It is a dangerous mission especially for a Jewish intellectual on her way to communist Russia. During a brief meeting with Julia on this trip, Lillian learns that Julia has had a child which is called Lilly. Shortly after returning to the States, Lillian is informed of Julias murder. The details of her death are shrouded in secrecy. Lillian sadly travels to England to search for her namesake the child she had promised Julia to care for.
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Ken Park focuses on several teenagers and their tormented home lives. Shawn seems to be the most conventional. Tate is brimming with psychotic rage Claude is habitually harassed by his brutish father and coddled, rather uncomfortably, by his enormously pregnant mother. Peaches looks after her devoutly religious father, but yearns for freedom. Theyre all rather tight, or so they claim. But they spend precious little time together and none of them seems to know much about one anothers family lives. This bizarre dichotomy underscores their alienation the result of suburban ennui, a teenagers inherent sense of melodrama, and the disturbing nature of their home environments.
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The story centers around a man, David (Played by Joe Lando, who discovers that the earth is under attack from thousands of meteors (caused by a failed attempt by world leaders to destroy a comet heading towards earth). David soon discovers that a meteor that landed in nearby Lake Mead (in Nevada), has contaminated the drinking water in the Las Vegas area (where he lives with his wife and daughter). People who drank the water begin to die. This discovery causes the federal government to begin quarantines of people who drank the water a Davids daughter included. David is then separated from his family through a series of plot circumstances.
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