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Movies: Departures

Here it comes, folks, the best film of 2008, albeit in the second week of August 2009. It’s “Departures,” which certainly would have headed last year’s Top 10 list from yours truly, that is, if anyone but eligible Academy Award-types actually had seen it. Of course, director Yojiro Takita’s often lovely, lyrical film stunningly beat out heavy favorite “Waltz With Bashir” for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for 2008, and now everyone can finally understand why voters really got it right this time, since it is finally in selected theaters across the U. S. [...]

Movies: Cold Souls

The idea of “Cold Souls” is more enjoyable than the actual execution, and that is too bad. It’s a story about extracting souls and putting them to the side for a short while, and having an actor like Paul Giamatti play himself in this wild premise. Yeah, it’s a little like “Being John Malkovich” with a mix of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and a dash of Woody Allen’s “Sleeper,” but there’s a distinct reason for that. [...]

Movies: Julie & Julia

“Julie & Julia” is mostly a delight. Meryl Streep as Julia Child is priceless, Stanley Tucci as her ever-loving husband Paul provides perfect support, and Jane Lynch’s quick cameo as her too-tall sister Dorothy is wonderful. [...]

Movies: Funny People

“Funny People” just isn’t that funny, sad to say. Sure, it has its moments – many of which you have already seen in the commercials and the trailer – and it is actually an Adam Sandler movie that didn’t make me want to run screaming from the theater. But this way-too-long look at a nasty millionaire movie-star comedian who discovers he has a deadly illness misses the mark, being neither a good comedy nor a good drama. [...]

Movies: (500) Days of Summer

Come this winter, when the Oscar race starts heating up, “(500) Days of Summer” is going to be right in the heart of the mix. For no one who is lucky enough to see this clever romantic comedy will ever forget it, for it is nothing like the standard-fare rom-coms that Hollywood churns out every year. [...]

Movies: Humpday

“Humpday” is a movie that is made to make you squirm. No matter who you are, or what your sex or sexual persuasion is, this premise alone is enough to make you uncomfortable – and perhaps that's the whole point. [...]

Movies: The Ugly Truth

A classic battle-of-the-sexes tale, “The Ugly Truth” attempts to pull the mask of pretense away from modern relationships to reveal what women are really like (too controlling) and what men really want (oral sex). [...]

Movies: G-Force

If you have kids, they are probably clamoring to see “G-Force.” Know why? It’s because the MouseHouse marketing machine (AKA the Walt Disney Company) is at full bore on this one, flooding the world with commercials, video game tie-ins, a major-league baseball link, plush toys, you name it, they are selling it to your kids. [...]

Movies: The Orphan

Perhaps you remember that stagy 1950’s classic film “The Bad Seed” or you saw “The Good Son” back in 1993? Maybe those blond moppets from “Village of the Damned” and demonic Damien from “The Omen” gave you nightmares? You reckon you’ve got this evil-kid storyline sussed? Think again. “The Orphan” is an effective psychological thriller that will turn your blood to ice water. [...]
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