Trauma (Drama,Thriller)

Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, The (Action,Comedy,Crime,Thriller)

Frank Drebin is back. Just accept it.
If you only see one movie a need to get out more often.
The sequel so big, they had to add a half
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Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) loves a mystery. Why are we here? Is there life after sex? Yes, Drebin tackles the big issues--and the biggest of all is how to stop devious Quentin Hapsburg's (Robert Goulet) plan to destroy the environment! Returning with Leslie Nielsen are Priscilla Presley as Jane, the woman who can melt a cheese sandwich from 20 paces; George Kennedy as the intrepid Capt. Ed Hocken; and O.J. Simpson, the man so famous a beverage is named after him, as hard-luck cop Nordberg. The gang's all here. And so are the laughs.
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Ghost (Comedy,Drama,Fantasy,Romance,Thriller)

Strangers with Candy (Comedy)

Going to high school for the first time is always scary... Especially the second time around.
High school is difficult... for a 47-year-old ex-con junkie crack whore.
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It happened like this. I was sitting in a movie that wasn't working for me. I walked out of the screening, thinking to take the shuttle bus to Prospector Square. But the next bus was going to the Yarrow, and so, what the hell, I went to the Yarrow.

There were two press screenings at the same time. A San Diego State film student in the lobby said he heard good things about "Me and You and Everyone We Know." And that is how I saw the best film I've seen this year at Sundance. Just like that.

Miranda July (right) directs and stars in "Me and You and Everyone We Know."
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About a Boy (Comedy,Drama)

Growing up has nothing to do with age.
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Will Freeman is a hip Londoner who one day realizes that his friends are all involved with the responsibilities of married life and that leaves him alone in the cold. Passing himself as a single father, he starts to meet a string of single mums, confident in his ability to leave them behind when they start to ask for a commitment. But Will's hope of a continued bachelorhood is interrupted when he meets 12-year old Marcus, in many ways his complete opposite.
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Hugh Grant, who has a good line in charm, has never been more charming than in "About a Boy." Or perhaps that's not quite what he is. Charming in the Grant stylebook refers to something he does as a conscious act, and what is remarkable here is that Grant is--well, likable. Yes, the cad has developed a heart. There are times, toward the end of the film, where he speaks sincerely and we can actually believe him.In "About a Boy," he plays Will, a 38-year-old bachelor who has never had a job, or a relationship that has lasted longer than two months. He is content with this lifestyle. "I was the star of the Will Show," he explains. "It was not an ensemble drama." His purpose in life is to date pretty girls. When they ask him what he does, he smiles that self-deprecating Hugh Grant smile and confesses that, well, he does--nothing. Not a single blessed thing. In 1958 his late father wrote a hit song titled "Santa's Super Sleigh," and he lives rather handsomely off the royalties. His London flat looks like a showroom for Toys for Big Boys.Will is the creation of Nick Hornby, who wrote the original novel. This is the same Hornby who wrote High Fidelity, which was made into the wonderful John Cusack movie. Hornby depicts a certain kind of immature but latently sincere man who loves Women as a less demanding alternative to loving a woman. Will's error, or perhaps it is his salvation, is that he starts dating single mothers, thinking they will be less demanding and easier to dump than single girls.The strategy is flawed: Single mothers invariably have children, and what Will discovers is that while he would make a lousy husband, he might make a wonderful father. Of course it takes a child to teach an adult how to be a parent, and that is how Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) comes into Will's life. Will is dating a single mom named Suzie, who he meets at a support group named Single Parents, Alone Together (SPAT). He shamelessly claims that his wife abandoned him and their 2-year-old son, "Ned." Suzie has a friend named Fiona (Toni Collette), whose son, Marcus, comes along one day to the park. We've already met Marcus, who is round-faced and sad-eyed and has the kind of bangs that get him teased in the school playground. His mother suffers from depression, and this has made Marcus mature and solemn beyond his years. When Fiona tries to overdose one day, Will finds himself involved in a trip to the emergency room and other events during which Marcus decides that Will belongs in his life whether Will realizes it or not.The heart of the movie involves the relationship between Will and Marcus--who begins by shadowing Will, finds out there is no "Ned," and ends by coming over on a regular basis to watch TV. Will has had nothing but trouble with his fictional child, and now finds that a real child is an unwieldy addition to the bachelor life. Nor is Fiona a dating possibility. Marcus tried fixing them up, but they're obviously not intended for each another--not Will with his cool bachelor aura and Fiona with her Goodwill hippie look and her "health bread," which is so inedible that little Marcus barely has the strength to tear a bite from the loaf. (There is an unfortunate incident in the park when Marcus attempts to throw the loaf into a pond to feed the ducks, and kills one.) Will finds to his horror that authentic emotions are forming. He likes Marcus. He doesn't admit this for a long time, but he's a good enough bloke to buy Marcus a pair of trendy sneakers, and to advise Fiona that since Marcus is already mocked at school, it is a bad idea, by definition, for him to sing "Killing Me Softly" at a school assembly. Meanwhile, Will starts dating Rachel (Rachel Weisz), who turns out to be a much nicer woman than he deserves (she also has a son much nastier than she deserves).This plot outline, as it stands, could supply the materials for a film of complacent stupidity--a formula sitcom with one of the Culkin offspring blinking cutely. It is much more than that; it's one of the year's most entertaining films, not only because Grant is so good but because young Nicholas Hoult has a kind of appeal that cannot be faked. He isn't a conventionally cute movie child, seems old beyond his years, can never be caught in an inauthentic moment, and helps us understand why Will likes him--he likes Marcus because Marcus is so clearly in need of being liked, and so deserving of it.The movie has been directed by the Weitz brothers, Paul and Chris, who directed "American Pie"--which was better than its countless imitators--and now give us a comedy of confidence and grace. They deserve some of the credit for this flowering of Grant's star appeal. There is a scene where Grant does a double-take when he learns that he has been dumped (usually it is the other way around). The way he handles it--the way he handles the role in general--shows how hard it is to do light romantic comedy, and how easily it comes to him. We have all the action heroes and Method script-chewers we need right now, but the Cary Grant department is understaffed, and Hugh Grant shows here that he is more than a star, he is a resource.Download here

Jurassic Park III (Action,Adventure,Fantasy,Horror,Sci-Fi,Thriller)

An Instinct for Destruction
Chaos Reigns
Dream... Fantasy... Destruction... Evolution of Adventure
Evolution of Adventure!
Evolve or Die.
Fiercer. Faster. Free.
Nature Takes No Prisoners
Only the Strongest Survive
Only the Strongest Survived
Something Unexpected Has Evolved.
Survival of the Fittest
Terror Evolves.
Their Time Has Come.
Their World. Their Rules.
This Time It's Not Just A Walk In The Park!
What didn't kill them Made them stronger
With every sound, with every heartbeat, there will be more to fear than ever before
You know how the dream started. You know how the fantasy ended. Time to evolve from point A to site B. Get ready for the Evolution of Adventure
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Eight years after the InGen incident, Dr. Alan Grant is happy with his life far from any dinosaurs other than fossilized. Unfortunately, he is extremely short in research money, and therefore accepts the offer of wealthy businessman Paul Kirby: A low flight over isolated Isla Sorna, where InGen's second research site was located, and Dr. Grant can fund his future research for a long time. What Dr. Grant didn't know is that Kirby just needs a dinosaur expert to help him and his wife find their 14-year-old son Eric, who crashed on the island while paragliding. What he did suspect, but never wanted to witness, is that the Velociraptors have evolved into a communicating species (and seemingly all along had the capability to do so), now being smarter than primates.
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Transporter, The (Action,Crime,Thriller)

Pro no hakobiya, iraihin wa itsumo WAKE ari [Japan]
Rules are made to be broken
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Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin (Jason Statham) lives what seems to be a quiet life along the French Mediterranean, hiring himself out as a mercenary "transporter" who moves goods - human or otherwise - from one place to another. No questions asked. Frank's newest transport seems no different from the countless ones he's done in the past. He has been hired by an American known only as "Wall Street" (see Rule Two) to make a delivery, but when Frank stops along route, he notices his "package" is moving. Violating his own personal rules, Frank looks inside the bag, finding its contents to be a beautiful, gagged woman.
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See No Evil (Action,Horror,Thriller)

Eight Teens, One Weekend, One Serial Killer.
This Summer, Evil Gets Raw.
This Summer, someone is raising Kane.
You Don't Know Evil: Unless You See It.
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A group of delinquents are sent to clean the Blackwell Hotel. Little do they know reclusive psychopath Jacob Goodnight (Jacobs) has holed away in the rotting hotel. When one of the teens is captured, those who remain — a group that includes the cop who put a bullet in Goodnight's head four years ago — band together to survive against the brutal killer.
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The good idea: Richard Pryor plays a character who is blind, and Gene Wilder plays a character who is deaf, and once they become friends they make a great team. The possibilities for visual comedy with this idea are seemingly endless, but the movie chooses instead to plug the characters into a dumb plot about industrial espionage.Wilder runs a newsstand, a customer drops a gold coin into his coin tray, and the coin turns out to be a disguised microchip worth millions, so of course that means that an assortment of villains have to threaten the heroes from one end of the movie to the other. The only other character in the movie of any interest is Joan Severance, a tall and classic beauty who is a suspect in the murder of a man connected with the chip. She's great to look at--a not inconsiderable element in a movie like this--and she has a nice, dry sense of humor that reminds you of the intelligence of a Kathleen Turner. But she is not enough to redeem the stock company of goons and heavies who have been written in as her companions.The movie doesn't seem to have had the impulse to experiment with its central idea. Think what a great physical comedian like Jacques Tati or Buster Keaton could have done with this notion--or never mind, Hollywood has forgotten how to aim that high. But think of the sight gags, the double-takes, and subtle little touches you could find in everyday life if two buddies, one deaf, one blind, teamed up together. This movie's idea of exploiting that inspiration is to have Wilder stand behind Pryor during a fist fight and tell him where to throw the punches. (This misses the point, since Wilder, who can see, could throw the punches himself.) In addition to its recycled plot, the movie has another almost fatal problem: Both of its heroes are nice guys. Wilder and Pryor both play loving, sensitive, kind and gentle souls, and that would be wonderful in life, but a movie needs some edge to it. I doubt if Gene Wilder has it in him to play a mean-spirited, vindictive character, but Pryor used to be able to call on that other side. He became a movie star by being a wise-guy. In recent years, however, he seems to have locked himself into a series of sweet roles in which the cutting edge of his personality remains concealed.What if the movie had made the relationship between its two guys one of necessity, not of friendship? What if they hated each other, yet still had to work as a team? That's an old formula, too-- most recently used by Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in "Midnight Run"--but it would have generated some tension. Instead, all we get are two really nice guys and some cardboard computer crooks.Download here

In the Line of Fire (Action,Drama,Thriller)

An assassin on the loose. A president in danger. Only one man stands between them...
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Frank Horrigan is a Secret Service Agent. He currently does mostly undercover work. He goes to check on a report about a person who is threatening the life of the President. When he goes to the man's apartment, he finds clippings and photos of various assassinations throughout history. When he does a background check, he discovers that the man's identity is false. So he goes back to the apartment to get him, but when he goes in there, he finds the apartment cleaned out except for a photo of him when he was in Dallas, November 1963, protecting Kennedy. Later he gets a phone call from the man and tells him that he plans to kill the President and is daring Frank to stop him. When Frank reports to his superiors, he finds that there are some people like the agent in charge of protecting the President and the Chief of Staff, who think that Frank is letting his failure to protect Kennedy cloud his judgement. But as Frank chases him down, he discovers that he is not dealing with a nut but with a well organized individual.
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Thrillers are as good as their villains, and "In the Line of Fire" has a great one - a clever, slimy creep who insidiously burrows his way into the psyche of the hero, a veteran Secret Service agent named Horrigan (Clint Eastwood). The creep, who likes to play mind games with his opponents, makes a series of phone calls threatening to assassinate the president. He chooses Horrigan because he knows the agent still feels guilty about failing to save the life of John F. Kennedy 30 years ago.The would-be killer has an all-American name, Mitch, and is played by John Malkovich as an intelligent, twisted man who uses disguises, fake ID and an ingratiating manner to get close to the president. He tells Horrigan more or less what he plans to do, and when, but Horrigan's hands are tied. The president is running for re-election, and his chief of staff (Fred Dalton Thompson) doesn't want him to look like a coward. So after Horrigan sounds a couple of false alarms, he's taken off the White House detail, and has to break rules in order to stay on Mitch's trail.In its broad outlines, "In the Line of Fire" has a story similar to many of Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies, in which a psycho killer plays games with the cop, who is ordered off the case and then continues as a free-lance, helped by a loyal partner. The movie even supplies a typical Eastwood sidekick, a woman agent played by Rene Russo, who is tough and capable, and able to fall in love.Despite the familiar plot elements, however, "In the Line of Fire" is not a retread but a smart, tense, well-made thriller - Eastwood's best in the genre since "Tightrope" (1984). The director is Wolfgang Petersen ("Das Boot"), who is able to unwind the plot like clockwork while at the same time establishing the characters as surprisingly sympathetic.Horrigan, the Secret Service man, still blames himself for the Kennedy assassination. He feels he somehow could have made a difference. Mitch has done his research, knows all about Horrigan, and insidiously slithers into his mind with words aimed like poison darts. Soon the assassination attempt becomes a two-handed game, in which Horrigan is as much of an outsider as Mitch, and must protect the president almost against his will - and the will of his politically ambitious staff.Russo, as Lilly, another agent, finds an interesting variation on the role of associate and lover. Her relationship with Horrigan begins on a rocky note, when he drops a couple of sexist statements, essentially accusing the Service of tokenism for hiring women. Well, OK, he's an unreconstructed chauvinist pig, but eventually their respect for each other grows, and there is a wonderfully played moment when they concede they are attracted to one another.Meanwhile, the plot advances relentlessly. After seeing "The Firm," which was good but needlessly labyrinthine, it was a pleasure to follow the twists and turns of Jeff Maguire's screenplay for "In the Line of Fire." It doesn't waste a line. Horrigan takes the clues that Mitch provides him, uses intuition and experience, breaks agency policy when necessary, and eventually finds himself testing the willingness that all Secret Serviceman are supposed to have - to take a bullet in place of the president.Eastwood is perfect for the role, as a man of long experience and deep feelings. He is set off by an inspired performance by Malkovich, who is quiet and methodical and very clever, and devises a sneaky plan to work his way close to the president with an ingenious murder weapon. The movie's climax is exciting not only because of its action, but also because of its flawless logic.What's surprising is how much time the movie finds for small touches of realistic detail and emotion. The conversations between Eastwood and Russo - about work, jazz, strategy and romance - sound as if they're taking place between real people. The locations look convincing, especially Air Force One and some shots supposedly inside the White House. The special effects are good at inserting a young Eastwood into 1963 footage of Kennedy, establishing the character's deep need to stop the new assassination he feels is coming. And the direction of the final scenes is as spectacular as it is skillful.Yes, it's unlikely that Mitch the killer would jump into that elevator (it's an example, in fact, of the Fallacy of the Climbing Killer, in which villains always make the mistake of heading for a high place). But it allows an earlier situation to come around again as a sensational payoff. Most thrillers these days are about stunts and action. "In the Line of Fire" has a mind.Download here

Shot in the Dark, A (Comedy,Crime,Mystery)

... The Picture That Gets Away With Murder!
It's Sellers the Sleuth... and there's nothing he won't do to track down a body -- dead or alive!
Meet the inspector who was always on the job In The Bedroom... In The Nightclub... In The Nudist Colony!
This is a real high calibre comedy!
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When rich M. Ballon's spanish driver is found shot dead, Inspector Jacques Clouseau is the first official on the scene. All evidence suggests Maria Gambrelli, the maid, to be the murderer. But Clouseau, being attracted to the beautiful girl, is convinced that she is hiding something. So, he has her released from jail and tries to follow her secretly. Things do not work out the way the inspector wanted and people keep being murdered, and each time innocent Maria seems to be the killer. But with someone important wanting Clouseau and nobody else to cover this case, his tolerance-challenged boss Charles Dreyfuss is close to losing his mind when casualties keep turning up. And Clouseau keeps on causing trouble without knowing it...
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Invincible (Action,Fantasy,Thriller)

The Shadowmen are coming...
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Just Like Heaven (Comedy,Fantasy,Romance)

It's a wonderful afterlife.
Love will bring you back
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Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon), a dedicated Doctor in San Francisco, had almost no time for anything. When her sister with two kids set her up on a date, she gets into a tragic car crash and gets in a coma. Meanwhile, an artist named David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo) moves into San Francisco and coincidentally, into Elizabeth's apartment for rent. While at the apartment, Elizabeth's spirit haunts him. She doesn't remember who she is, who her family is, and what she did - All that she remembered was her apartment and where everything was. To settle the arguments, Dacid agrees to figure out who Elizabeth really is. When they get close to figuring out who she is, they eventually find love in each other and as they finally know who she really is, they learn that fate really has put them both together.
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In "Just Like Heaven," a man falls in love with a woman only he can see. She's not a ghost, because she's not dead, but a spirit. Why is she visible only to him? Perhaps because he has moved into her apartment. In a movie like this there is no logical reason for such matters. They simply are, and you accept them.

The woman is Elizabeth, played by Reese Witherspoon. The man is David, played by Mark Ruffalo. These are two of the sweetest actors in the movies, and sweetness is what they give their characters in "Just Like Heaven." There is not a mean bone in their bodies, and not a dark moment in the movie, unless of course you take the plot seriously, in which case it is deeply tragic.

Elizabeth is a young doctor at a San Francisco hospital. She is still single in her late 20s, and pulls 26-hour shifts in the emergency room. A friend despairs of her unmarried status and wants to fix her up. "I'm perfectly capable of meeting men on my own," she says. The friend: "I know you are. I just want you to meet one that's not bleeding."

David was a landscape gardener until two years ago, when his first wife Laura died suddenly. Now he drinks too much, and pays a lot of attention to the sofa he is sitting on at the moment. He's astonished when Elizabeth suddenly appears in the apartment, and orders him to stop making a mess of things.

Although a good long talk would clear up everything at any point during the movie, the talk is postponed because the movie must move toward happiness with agonizing reluctance. David, manifestly confronted with a supernatural presence, consults Darryl (Jon Heder), the clerk in a psychic bookstore. He brings in a priest for a painfully overacted exorcism. He employs Asian ghostbusters. Elizabeth taunts him about "Father Flanagan and the Joy Luck Club." But she lacks crucial knowledge about what has happened to her.

We meet her sister, her nieces, her co-workers, and the creepy doctor who took over her job when she became a spirit. Can Elizabeth and David, who are now in love, take steps to return her to a corporal existence that will make their relationship immeasurably more satisfactory? Can David's best buddy Jack (Donal Logue) help him with a little body-snatching? Can one movie support these many coincidences and close calls and misunderstandings?

Yes. The movie works, and so we accept everything, even the preposterous scene where a man is unconscious on the floor and Elizabeth tells David the man's lung is leaking air into his chest cavity, or whatever, and he must open a hole with a paring knife and keep it open with the plastic pour spout of a vodka bottle. As the chest is vented and the victim breathes again, I was poignantly reminded of the heart valve that gave Ignatius Reilly so much concern in A Confederacy of Dunces, that funniest of all novels from sad New Orleans.

I also liked the dialogue, by Peter Tolan and Leslie Dixon, as when it turns out that Elizabeth's little niece can also see her: "My fate is in the hands of a 4-year-old, who has seven other imaginary friends." And when she finally persuaded David to take her case: "You have two realities to choose from. The first is that a woman has come into your life in an very unconventional way and she needs your assistance. The second is that you're a crazy person, talking to himself on a park bench."

The Idiot Plot is a term devised for bad movies where the problems could be cleared up with a few words, if everyone in the plot were not an idiot. When the movie is good, it is kept afloat by the very frustration that sinks an Idiot Plot. There is a contest between what we want and what the characters do, and we get involved in spite of ourselves. Elizabeth explains perfectly clearly how her sister Abby (Dina Spybey) could be made to believe he is in touch with her spirit: She could tell David family secrets only Elizabeth would know. Wonderful, brilliant, and yet instead they mope about on hilltops with bittersweet regret. This woman could have been saved with days to spare, and there they are with the clock ticking.Download here

Nun, The (Horror)

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An abusive and merciless nun turns an all-girl boarding school into a sadistic prison. Then she mysteriously disappears. Years later, someone or something begins brutally murdering the alumnae of the school. The surviving women regroup to face, once again, the ghastly violence of the nun.
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Cold Creek Manor (Drama,Thriller)

The perfect house hides the perfect crime.
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Wanting to escape city life for the countryside, New Yorkers Cooper Tilson (Quaid), his wife Leah (Stone) and their two children move into a dilapidated old mansion still filled with the possessions of the previous family. Turning it into their dream house soon becomes a living nightmare when the previous owner (Dorff) shows up, and a series of terrifying incidents lead them on a spine-tingling search for clues to the estate's dark and lurid past...
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"Cold Creek Manor" is another one of those movies where a demented fiend devotes an extraordinary amount of energy to setting up scenes for the camera. Think of the trouble it would be for one man, working alone, to kill a horse and dump it into a swimming pool. The movie is an anthology of cliches, not neglecting both the Talking Killer, who talks when he should be at work, and the reliable climax where both the villain and his victims go to a great deal of inconvenience to climb to a high place so that one of them can fall off.The movie stars Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone as Cooper and Leah Tilson, who get fed up with the city and move to the country, purchasing a property that looks like the House of the Seven Gables crossed with the Amityville Horror. This house is going to need a lot of work. In "Under the Tuscan Sun," another new movie, Diane Lane is able to find some cheerful Polish workers to rehab her Tuscan villa, but the Tilsons have the extraordinarily bad judgment to hire the former owner of the house, Dale Massie (Stephen Dorff), an ex-con with a missing family. "Do you know what you're getting yourselves into?" asks a helpful local. No, but everybody in the audience does.The movie of course issues two small children to the Tilsons, so that their little screams can pipe up on cue, as when the beloved horse is found in the pool. And both Cooper and Leah are tinged with the suggestion of adultery, because in American movies, as we all know, sexual misconduct leads to bad real estate choices.In all movies involving city people who move to the country, there is an unwritten rule that everybody down at the diner knows all about the history of the new property and the secrets of its former owners. The locals act as a kind of Greek chorus, living permanently at the diner and prepared on a moment's notice to issue portentous warnings or gratuitous insults. The key player this time is Ruby (Juliette Lewis), Dale's battered girlfriend, whose sister is Sheriff Annie Ferguson (Dana Eskelson). She smokes a lot, always an ominous sign, and is ambiguous about Dale -- she loves the lug, but gee, does he always have to be pounding on her? The scene where she claims she wasn't hit, she only fell, is the most perfunctory demonstration possible of the battered woman in denial.No one in this movie has a shred of common sense. The Tilsons are always leaving doors open even though they know terrible dangers lurk outside, and they are agonizingly slow to realize that Dale Massie is not only the wrong person to rehab their house, but the wrong person to be in the same state with.Various clues, accompanied by portentous music, ominous winds, gathering clouds, etc., lead to the possibility that clues to Dale's crimes can be found at the bottom of an old well, and we are not disappointed in our expectation that Stone will sooner or later find herself at the bottom of that well. But answer me this. If you were a vicious mad-dog killer and wanted to get rid of the Tilsons and had just pushed Leah down the well, and Cooper was all alone in the woods leaning over the well and trying to pull his wife back to the surface, would you just go ahead and push him in? Or what? But no. The audience has to undergo an extended scene in which Cooper is not pushed down the well, in order for everyone to hurry back to the house, climb up to the roof, fall off, etc. Dale Massie is not a villain in this movie, but an enabler, a character who doesn't want to kill but exists only to expedite the plot. Everything he does is after a look at the script, so that he appears, disappears, threatens, seems nice, looms, fades, pushes, doesn't push, all so that we in the audience can be frightened or, in my case, amused."Cold Creek Manor" was directed by Mike Figgis, a superb director of drama ("Leaving Las Vegas"), digital experimentation ("Timecode"), adaptations of the classics ("Miss Julie") and atmospheric film noir ("Stormy Monday"). But he has made a thriller that thrills us only if we abandon all common sense. Of course preposterous things happen in all thrillers, but there must be at least a gesture in the direction of plausibility, or we lose patience. When evil Dale Massie just stands there in the woods and doesn't push Cooper Tilson down the well, he stops being a killer and becomes an excuse for the movie to toy with us -- and it's always better when a thriller toys with the victims instead of the audience.Download here

Airplane II: The Sequel (Comedy,Sci-Fi)

For the ride of your life... All you need for Christmas are your two front seats!
Just when you thought it safe to go back into the departure lounge.
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Years have passed since Ted Striker heroically saved many lives by avoiding a plane crash. Working as a test pilot for a new Lunar Shuttle, he gets innocently sent into a mental ward after a crash of the badly constructed, computer-navigated spaceship. When he hears that the exactly same type of shuttle is scheduled for a moon flight soon, he breaks out to hinder the launch. Aboard, Ted finds his ex-ex Elaine Dickinson working as stewardess again and her fiancé Simon, a member of the committee that wants the Mayflower I to be launched. In flight, the ship's computer ROK 9000 takes control, killing the crew. Ted and Elaine manage to switch it off, and now it is up to Ted again to save the passengers' lives - if there only wouldn't be these flashbacks to the war and these people who know Ted and have no faith in his abilities at all.
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The first five or 10 minutes of "Airplane II -- The Sequel" are genuinely funny -- so funny I thought maybe this movie was going to work. That turned out to be a premature hope. The new inspirations quickly run out, and "Airplane II" turns into a retread, plundering the same situations and characters that made the original "Airplane" so funny.Too bad, but I can't say I wasn't warned. Three weeks ago, the nation's film critics received letters from a Los Angeles public relations agency, advising us that their clients David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, the makers of the original "Airplane," had no connection with the sequel.That made sense, since the original "Airplane" was such a berserk, manic celebration of every possible zany idea involving airplanes, that how could they have enough material left over for a second movie? Still, there's always the possibility that new talent could come along with new ideas for a sequel, and that was what I was hoping for with "Airplane II."It doesn't work out that way. After the movie's opening burst of comic inspiration, it settles into a pattern, recycling "Airplane" and even repeating some of the jokes (like the one involving Peter Graves as the licentious, perverted pilot).The big difference this time is that the aircraft isn't a passenger jet, but a space shuttle to the moon. After the onboard computer goes haywire, the shuttle departs from course and hurtles through the asteroid belt as it begins to fall toward the sun. (I think the asteroid belt and the sun are in opposite directions, but that, of course, is the last kind of question you're supposed to ask during a movie like this.)There was a strange thing about the original "Airplane." Even though it was spoof, even though it was an anarchic put on from beginning to end, it somehow did hook into our fears of flying. At some dumb, basic level, we were concerned about how that airplane was ever going to get back to earth again, and our concern gave the movie a narrative thread from beginning to end. Just like the original 1970 "Airport" (itself a pretty silly movie), the original spoof worked partly because of how we feel about airplanes."Airplane II" never really seems to know whether it's about a spaceship. It's all sight gags, one-liners, puns, funny signs and scatological cross-references. There's no story. I'm not saying a movie this silly needs to have a story, but it wouldn't have hurt.Another difference between Parts 1 and 2 is that the first movie was able to exploit our associations with its stars, particularly Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack and Peter Graves. They played against their own images as only they could. Part 2 doesn't really use them; it just hires them and has them stand around doing the dumb stuff in the script. The first movie was satire; the second is yuks.And yet, if "Airplane II -The Sequels" ever turns up on a double bill with a movie you do want to see, I'd suggest staying in the theater for the first 10 minutes. The gags involving the metal-detectors, the check-in counter and. the passenger-unloading zone are really funny. Maybe the makers of "Airplane II" exhausted their powers of comic invention at that point. Comedy is fairly hard work.Download here

Masked and Anonymous (Comedy,Drama,Music)

Are you humble before God?
Expect the worst and you'll get it.
Would you reach out your hand to save a drowning man if you thought he might pull you in?
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Against the backdrop of a nation on the brink of revolution, Uncle Sweetheart (John Goodman) and Nina Veronica (Jessica Lange) are slimy promoters planning a benefit concert. They desire the services of legendary singer Jack Fate (Bob Dylan), and soon Fate is sprung from jail. A rock journalist (played by Jeff Bridges) investigates the concert, attempting to determine just who will benefit. Revolution may be raging outside the arena, but Jack Fate and the benefit concert play on as planned.
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Bob Dylan idolatry is one of the enduring secular religions of our day. Those who worship him are inexhaustible in their fervor, and every enigmatic syllable of the great poet is cherished and analyzed as if somehow he conceals profound truths in his lyrics, and if we could only decrypt them, they would be the solution to--I dunno, maybe everything.In "Masked and Anonymous," where he plays a legendary troubadour named (I fear) Jack Fate, a religious fanatic played by Penelope Cruz says: "I love his songs because they are not precise--they are completely open to interpretation." She makes this statement to characters dressed as Gandhi and the pope, but lacks the courtesy to add, "But, hey, guys, what do you think?" I have always felt it ungenerous to have the answer but wrap it in enigmas. When Woody Guthrie, the great man's inspiration, sings a song, you know what it is about. Perhaps Dylan's genius is to take simple ideas and make them impenetrable. Since he cannot really sing, there is the assumption that he cannot be performing to entertain us, and that therefore there must be a deeper purpose. The instructive documentary "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" suggests that it was Ramblin' Jack Elliott who was the true follower of Woody, and that after he introduced Dylan to Guthrie, he was dropped from the picture as Dylan studiously repackaged the Guthrie genius in 1960s trappings.That Dylan still exerts a mystical appeal, there can be no doubt. When "Masked and Anonymous" premiered at Sundance 2003, there was a standing ovation when the poet entered the room. People continued to stand during the film, in order to leave, and the auditorium was half empty when the closing credits played to thoughtful silence. One of the more poignant moments in Sundance history then followed, as director Larry Charles stood on the stage with various cast members, asking for questions and then asking, "Aren't there any questions?" The movie's cast is a tribute to Dylan's charisma. Here are the credits after Dylan: Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Steven Bauer, Michael Paul Chan, Bruce Dern, Laura Elena Harring, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Cheech Marin, Chris Penn, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, Richard Sarafian, Christian Slater, Fred Ward, Robert Wisdom. In a film where salaries must have been laughable, these people must have thought it would be cool to be in a Dylan movie. Some of them exude the aw-shucks gratitude of a visiting singer beckoned onstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Ironically, the credits do not name the one performer in the movie whose performance actually was applauded; that was a young black girl named Tinashe Kachingwe, who sings "The Times They Are A-Changin' " with such sweetness and conviction that she is like a master class.The plot involves a nation in the throes of post-revolutionary chaos. This is "a ravaged Latin American country" (Variety) or perhaps "a sideways allegory about an alternative America" (Salon). It was filmed in run-down areas of Los Angeles, nudge, nudge. A venal rock promoter named Uncle Sweetheart (Goodman) and his brassy partner, Nina Veronica (Lange), decide to spring Jack Fate from prison to give a benefit concert to raise funds for poverty relief (maybe) and Uncle and Nina (certainly). That provides the pretense for Dylan to sing several songs, although the one I liked best, "Dixie," seemed a strange choice for a concert in a republic that, wherever it is, looks in little sympathy with the land of cotton.The enormous cast wanders bewildered through shapeless scenes. Some seem to be improvising, and Goodman and Bridges (as a rock journalist) at least have high energy and make a game try. Others look like people who were asked to choose their clothing earlier in the day at the costume department; the Happenings of the 1960s come to mind.Dylan occupies this scenario wearing a couple of costumes borrowed from the Tinhorn Dictator rack. Alarmingly thin, he sprawls in chairs in postures that a merciful cinematographer would have talked him out of. While all about him are acting their heads off, he never speaks more than one sentence at a time, and his remarks uncannily evoke the language and philosophy of Chinese fortune cookies."Masked and Anonymous" is a vanity production beyond all reason. I am not sure, however, than the vanity is Dylan's. I don't have any idea what to think about him. He has so long since disappeared into his persona that there is little received sense of the person there. The vanity belongs perhaps to those who flattered their own by working with him, by assuming (in the face of all they had learned during hard days of honest labor on a multitude of pictures) that his genius would somehow redeem a screenplay that could never have seemed other than what it was, incoherent raving juvenile meanderings. If I had been asked to serve as consultant on this picture, my advice would have amounted to three words: more Tinashe Kachingwe.Download here

Northfork (Drama,Fantasy)

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In a near-empty Northfork orphanage, Father Harlan gently tends to Irwin, a eight-year-old who lies between a dreamstate and death. As orphanage caretaker Harlan reads aloud about Northfork's years-ago forced evacuation to make way for a hydro-electric dam, Irwin's imagination takes flight. While a team of six men evacuate the last remaining citizens of the town, Irwin, too, invents a cast of characters to prepare himself for his own evacuation.
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There has never been a movie quite like "Northfork," but if you wanted to put it on a list, you would also include "Days of Heaven" and "Wings of Desire." It has the desolate open spaces of the first, the angels of the second, and the feeling in both of deep sadness and pity. The movie is visionary and elegiac, more a fable than a story, and frame by frame, it looks like a portfolio of spaces so wide, so open, that men must wonder if they have a role beneath such indifferent skies.The film is set in Montana in 1955, as the town of Northfork prepares to be submerged forever beneath the waters of a dam. Three two-man Evacuation Teams travel the countryside in their fat black sedans, persuading the lingering residents to leave. The team members have a motivation: They have all been promised waterfront property on the lake to come. Most of the residents have already pulled out, but one stubborn citizen opens fire on Evacuators, and another plans to ride out the flood waters in his Ark, which does not have two of everything but does have two wives, a detail Noah overlooked.Other lingerers include Irwin (Duel Farnes), a pale young orphan who has been turned back in by his adoptive parents (Claire Forlani and Clark Gregg) on the grounds that he is defective. "You gave us a sick child, Father," they tell Father Harlan, the parish priest (Nick Nolte). "He can't stand the journey." The priest cares for the child himself, although the lonely little kid is able to conjure up company by imagining four angels who come to console him. Or are they imaginary? They are real for little Irwin, and that should be real enough for us.The town evokes the empty, lonely feeling you get when you make a last tour of a home you have just moved out of. There is a scene where the six Evacuators line up at the counter in a diner to order soup. "Bowl or cup?" asks the waitress, and as they consider this choice with grave poker faces, we get the feeling that only by thinking very hard about soup can they avoid exploding in a frenzy of madness. One of Harlan's final church services is conducted after the back wall has already been removed from his church, and the landscape behind him looks desolate.This is the third film by the Polish twins. Michael directs, Mark acts, and Mark and Michael co-produce and co-write. Their first was the eerie, disquieting "Twin Falls, Idaho," about Siamese twins who deal with the fact that one of them is dying. The next was "Jackpot," about a man who tours karoke contests, looking for his big break. Now "Northfork," which in its visual strategy presents Montana not as a scenic tourist wonderland, but as a burial ground of foolish human dreams.Indeed, one of the subplots involves the need to dig up the bodies in the local cemetery, lest the coffins bob to the surface of the new lake; Walter O'Brien (James Woods), one of the Evacuators, tells his son Willis O'Brien (Mark Polish) that if they don't move the coffin of the late Mrs. O'Brien, "When this small town becomes the biggest lake this side of the Mississippi, your mother will be the catch of the day." Funny? Yes, and so is the soup scene in the diner, but you don't laugh out loud a lot in this film because you fear the noise might echo under its limitless leaden sky. This is like a black and white film made in color. In some shots, only the pale skin tones contain any color at all. In talking with the Polish brothers after the film premiered at Sundance 2003, I learned that they limited all the costumes, props and sets to shades of gray, and the cinematographer, M. David Mullen, has drained color from his film so that there is a bleakness here that gets into your bones.Against this cold is the pale warmth of the angels, who are evoked by Irwin. To console himself for being abandoned by his adoptive parents, he believes that he is a lost angel, fallen to Earth and abducted by humans who amputated his wings. Indeed, he has scars on his shoulder blades. The angels include Flower Hercules (Daryl Hannah), who seems neither man nor woman; Cod (Ben Foster), a cowboy who never speaks; Happy (Anthony Edwards), who is blind and mute, but perhaps can see something through the bizarre glasses he wears, with their multiple lenses, and Cup of Tea (Robin Sachs), who talks enough to make up for Happy.Of these the most moving is Flower Hercules, who seems to feel Irwin's loneliness and pain as her/his own. Daryl Hannah evokes a quality of care for the helpless which makes her a tender guardian angel. Since the Evacuators have a stock of angel's wings which they sometimes offer as inducements to reluctant homeowners, the thought persists that angels are meant to be real in the film, just as they are in "Wings of Desire," and only those who cannot believe think Irwin has dreamed them up."Northfork" is not an entertaining film so much as an entrancing one. There were people at Sundance, racing from one indie hipness to another, who found it too slow. But the pace is well chosen for the tone, and the tone evokes the fable, and the fable is about the death of a town and of mankind's brief purchase on this barren plat of land, and it is unseemly to hurry a requiem. The film suggests that of the thousands who obeyed the call "Go West, young man!" some simply disappeared into the wilderness and were buried, as Northfork is about to be buried, beneath the emptiness of it all.Download here

Cinderella Story, A (Comedy,Family,Romance)

Once upon a time... can happen any time.
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Routinely exploited by her wicked stepmother, the downtrodden Sam Martin is excited about the prospect of meeting her Internet beau at the school's Halloween dance.
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The (Adventure,Comedy,Sci-Fi)

First Knight (Adventure,Drama,Romance)

Their greatest battle would be for her love.
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Lancelot lives by the sword. In fact, they're next door neighbours, so teaming up to fight for money comes pretty naturally. Lady Guinevere, on her way to marry King Arthur is ambushed by the evil Sir Malagant. Fortunately Lancelot is lurking nearby and he rescues his future queen. They fall in love, but Guinevere still fancies the idea of wearing a crown, so she honours her promise to Arthur. Can Lady Guinevere remain faithful, or will this Pretty Woman become a lady of the knight?
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It is the misfortune of "First Knight" to open third in the same season that also brought "Rob Roy" and "Braveheart," two better examples of the medieval swordcraft-and-seduction genre. The movie is entertaining enough in its own way, and Sean Connery makes a splendid King Arthur, but compared with the earlier films this one seems thin and unconvincing.The story is yet another retelling of the love triangle of Camelot. It centers on Guinevere (Julia Ormond), Lady of Leonesse, whose lands are under attack from the evil Malagant (Ben Cross). She determines to marry King Arthur, whose Camelot is legend, for two reasons: Because she can love him, and because he can protect Leonesse. But as events are unfolding, she meets the young and footloose Lancelot (Richard Gere), who saves her from a savage attack in the woods, and goes right on saving her, while falling in love with her, throughout the movie.It's an intriguing triangle. Guinevere loves Arthur with her mind and Lancelot with her heart. The two men admire one another. If she chooses Arthur, she also protects all of those she is responsible for. If she chooses Lancelot, love conquers all. This is precisely the same situation that developed in "Casablanca," and the parallel is all the stronger because Julia Ormond, in a certain light, looks so much like Ingrid Bergman, with the apple cheeks; the full lips; the slight overbite; the wide-set, grave eyes, and the generosity of body.The movie plays out its conflict on sets and locations that look, frankly, less than convincing after "Braveheart" and "Rob Roy." At one point, while a town is under siege, a bell tower falls over for no apparent reason except that prop men caused it to do so. At another point, Arthur stands on a hilltop with Guinevere and shows her the glistening city of Camelot at night - with a light sparkling in every window. Either they had lots of candles, or the guys who built the miniature got carried away.Another problem is closer to the crux of the story. In order to identify with Guinevere's dilemma, we must be truly able to believe it. We must be convinced by the attraction she feels for both Arthur and Lancelot. This is hard to do, because Richard Gere plays Lancelot with such insouciance that he doesn't seem serious enough to love. He doesn't have the psychic weight to be worth a kingdom."Casablanca" had something of the same problem in the Paul Heinreid character, who embodied all nobility but never seemed half as magnetic as Humphrey Bogart's Rick. Still, he was a resistance fighter, standing alone against Nazi evil, and so we understood why Ilsa left with him. And why Rick let her."First Knight" handles the choices less well. Guinevere determines to part from Lancelot, and favors him with a farewell kiss, which Arthur happens to see. And he responds very badly, sentencing them both to a public trial for treason, which begins by being less than convincing and only gets worse after Malagant arrives and shouts out (I am not making this up) "Nobody move - or Arthur dies!" Against these problems are some good things, including a nighttime battle sequence with moonlight glinting off helmets and spears, and a touching early scene in which Arthur offers Guinevere protection for Leonesse without the price of marriage, and she chooses marriage because she admires him so. There are some terrific sets by John Box, including a dungeon with a bottomless pit. And I enjoyed John Gielgud, in yet another of the farewell performances we have come to treasure.One crucial scene is undermined by bad lighting. In the conversation between Guinevere and Lancelot leading up to their fatal kiss, Gere is lit and photographed so badly that he looks pudding-faced. It's an interesting scene, illustrating how much of a movie is illusion and artistry - and how much the movies depend on it.Download here

Marine, The (Action,Drama,Thriller)

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John Hancock's "Baby Blue Marine" ends on such a puzzling, inconsequential note that it's easy to forget how many good things came before. The movie's first hour is so absorbingly well done, in fact, that I was beginning to hope this might be the summer's sleeper. But then things go so pointlessly wrong with the story that acting and direction can't save it: We walk out unfulfilled and even a little angry.The movie involves Jan-Michael Vincent as a trainee in Marine boot camp in 1943. He's a member of the idiot squad, the guys who can't seem to make it. He flunks out of training and is sent home wearing a baby-blue suit that dramatizes his disgrace. But in Los Angeles his luck changes, sort of, when a Marine veteran knocks him out and changes clothes with him in order to desert. When Vincent comes to, he has a hero's uniform. He hitchhikes vaguely toward St. Louis, not eager to tell his parents he didn't make it in the Marines. And so he's happy to stop for a few days when, in a little crossroads town, he meets a waitress (Glynnis O'Connor). It's love at first sight, he's invited to spend a few days with her family and, of course, he's taken as a Pacific veteran. He plays his deception so straight -- not really lying to people so much as agreeing with their conclusions -- that we're almost on his side. And the waitress certainly is. She lets out a long and worshipful sigh after seeing him for the first time, and her portrayal of a high school crush is so true, so sensitive, that not a moment goes wrong.The girl's parents like the young Marine, the town admires him, the love affair blossoms (in a field of flowers that's perhaps a shade too romantic), and everybody does things like attend football games, go to church and the movies and stop in the Main St. cafe for a cheeseburger. It's all very all-American, except for the nearby detention camp holding Japanese Americans from San Francisco.One night three of the detainees escape. A posse is armed and sent out to look for them ("They're big city kids with zoot suits and switchblades," a townsman solemnly warns). And then, when Vincent comes across the three of them on a riverbank, the movie goes totally wrong. He tells them to surrender, and they quite reasonably do, and he's helping them across the river when a trigger-happy local Army draftee shoots and hits Jan-Michael instead of one of the escapees. He floats downstream, the locals and the three Japanese-Americans all jump in to save him, and then the movie flashes forward to an ending (happy, to be sure) that nothing so far has prepared us for.The movie's publicity says Vincent "becomes a hero by performing an act of bravery worthy of any full-fledged Marine," but all he does is get shot by accident, fall in the river and get fished out. None of the issues raised by his deception are ever dealt with, the film's concern with placing American citizens in prison camps is never followed through on, the emotional relationship between the boy and the girl is left up in the air and we're left wondering if 30 minutes were dropped somewhere.Download here

Munich (Crime,Drama,History,Thriller)

Pay It Forward (Drama,Romance)

#1 It has to be something that really helps people. #2 Something they can't do by themselves. #3 I do it for them, they do it for three other people. These are the rules when you pay it forward on October 20th.
A movie from the heart that connects with the heart.
Have You Heard?
Is it possible for one idea to change the world?
Some favours you are not allowed to pay back.
Sometimes The Simplest Idea Can Make The Biggest Difference.
When someone does you a big favor, don't pay it back... Pay It Forward
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A school social studies assignment leads to social changes that spread from city-to-city. Assigned to come up with some idea that will improve mankind, a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) decides that if he can do three good deeds for someone and they in turn can "pay it forward" and so forth, positive changes can occur. What appears to initially be a failure, is indeed a success that is not immediately known but is traced backwards by a reporter who is a benefactor. The initial recipients of the boy are a drug addict (James Cavaziel), his badly scarred school teacher (Kevin Spacey), and his alcoholic mother (Helen Hunt). While physically and mentally scarred by past events, the teacher is not the only one bearing scars. The young boy fears his mother's fate, particularly at his brutal, alcoholic father's (Jon Bon Jovi) hands. The mother also bears scars from her childhood with a homeless, alcoholic mother (Angie Dickinson).
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Someone does you a good turn. You pass it on to three other people. They pass it on. And what a wonderful world this will be. That's the theory behind "Pay It Forward," a movie that might have been more entertaining if it didn't believe it. It's a seductive theory, but in the real world, altruism is less powerful than selfishness, greed, nepotism, xenophobia, tribalism and paranoia. If you doubt me, take another look at the front pages.Consider Las Vegas, the setting of the movie. If every person in trouble there paid it forward to three more people, there would be more Gamblers Anonymous members than gamblers. An intriguing premise, but not one that occurs to this movie--although Alcoholics Anonymous plays a supporting role and paying it forward is of course the 12th step.The movie has its heart in the right place, but not its screenplay. It tells a story that audience members will want to like, but it doesn't tell it strongly and cleanly enough; it puts too many loops into the plot, and its ending is shamelessly soapy for the material. Two or three times during the film I was close to caving in and going with the flow, but the story lost the way and I was brought back up to the surface again.Haley Joel Osment, the gifted young actor from "The Sixth Sense," stars as Trevor, a resourceful latchkey kid whose father has disappeared and whose mother, Arlene (Helen Hunt), works two jobs as a Vegas cocktail waitress. She's a recovering alcoholic with a few relapses still to go. At school, Trevor is impressed by the grave, distant presence of his new teacher, Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey), whose face is scarred by burns.Mr. Simonet doesn't want to win any popularity contests. "Do I strike you as someone falsely nice?" he asks Trevor. "No," the boy replies thoughtfully, "you're not even really all that nice." But Trevor responds to the lack of condescension in the teacher's manner: Mr. Simonet has standards and applies them in the classroom. On the first day of school, he writes the year's assignment on the blackboard: Think of an idea that could change the world. Trevor thinks. Things happen in his life to help him think and guide his thinking, and before long his mother discovers that a homeless man (James Caviezel) is living in their garage. It was Trevor's idea to invite him in. Then he can pay it forward.There are complications. One of Trevor's theories is that his mom and Mr. Simonet would both be a lot happier if they were dating each other. Mr. Simonet does not agree. Spacey does a wonderful job of suggesting the pain just beneath the surface of the character; the teacher's life is manageable only because he sticks to his routine. But Trevor plugs away, all but shoving the two adults toward each other. This is, unfortunately, the kind of self-propelling plot device that, once allowed into a movie, takes it over and dictates an obligatory series of events. Since it is self-evident that Trevor is right, we know with a sinking feeling that the screenplay must detour into tentative acceptance, hurt rejection, silly misunderstandings, angry retreats, confessions, tearful reconciliations and resolutions, all in the usual order.The movie intercuts between the predictable progress of the romance and the uncertain progress of Trevor's pay-it-forward scheme. We meet various supporting characters who get involved in paying it forward, and the time line is not always clear. The movie opens with one of those off-the-shelf hostage crisis scenes that ends with a criminal crashing into a reporter's car, and a stranger giving the reporter a new Jaguar. He's paying it forward. Then we flash back to "four months earlier" and Trevor's first day of school, but soon we're back to the present again, as the reporter tries to track down the pay-it-forward stories, and the lawyer who gave away the Jaguar tells why.This leads to another flashback: When the lawyer's daughter had an asthma attack and was ignored in an emergency room, he explains, a gun-waving African-American stabbing victim forced a nurse to give the kid oxygen and told him to pay it forward. It's an effective cameo, but it's awkward the way the movie cuts between scenes like that, Trevor's own setbacks and the tentative romance.With a cleaner story line, the basic idea could have been free to deliver. As it is, we get a better movie than we might have, because the performances are so good: Spacey as a vulnerable and wounded man; Hunt as a woman no less wounded in her own way, and Osment, once again proving himself the equal of adult actors in the complexity and depth of his performance. I believed in them and cared for them. I wish the movie could have gotten out of their way.Download here

Men in Black (Action,Comedy,Sci-Fi)

Men in Black - Protecting the Earth from the scum of the Universe.
More secretive than the C.I.A. - More powerful than the F.B.I. - And they're looking for a few good men - They are the Men in Black
Protecting the earth from the scum of the universe
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In present-day America, Tommy Lee Jones plays Agent K, a member of an organization that has been keeping track of extra-terrestrial aliens on Earth for over 40 years. When K finds himself in need of a new partner, a brash NYPD detective, James Edwards (Will Smith) fills the position, becoming Agent J. Armed with space-age technology (which J barely understands) and their razor-sharp wits, J and K investigate a newcomer (played by Vincent D'Onofrio) who is bad news for Earth.
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Some sequels continue a story. Others repeat it. ''Men in Black II'' creates a new threat for the MIB, but recycles the same premise, which is that mankind can defeat an alien invasion by assigning agents in Ray-Bans to shoot them into goo. This is a movie that fans of the original might enjoy in a diluted sort of way, but there is no need for it--except, of course, to take another haul at the box office, where the 1997 movie grossed nearly $600 million.The astonishing success of the original "MiB" was partly because it was fun, partly because it was unexpected. We'd never seen anything like it, while with "MiBII," we've seen something exactly like it. In the original, Tommy Lee Jones played a no-nonsense veteran agent, Will Smith was his trainee, Rip Torn was their gruff boss, and makeup artist Rick Baker and a team of f/x wizards created a series of fanciful, grotesque aliens. Although the aliens had the technology for interplanetary travel, they were no match for the big guns of the MiB.In "MiBII," the guns are even bigger and the aliens are even slimier, although they do take sexy human form when one of them, Serleena, morphs into Lara Flynn Boyle. Another one, named Scrad (Johnny Knoxville), turns into a human who has a second neck with a smaller version of the same head, although that is not as amusing as you might hope.The plot: The aliens are here to capture something, I'm not sure what, that will allow them to destroy the Earth. The top MiB agent is now Jay (Smith), who needs the help of Kay (Jones), but Kay's memory has been erased by a "Deneuralizer" and must be restored so that he can protect whatever it is the aliens want. Kay is currently working at the post office, which might have inspired more jokes than it does.Smith and Jones fit comfortably in their roles and do what they can, but the movie doesn't give them much to work with. The biggest contribution is a dog named Frank (voice of Tim Blaney), whose role is much expanded from the first movie. Frank is human in everything but form, a tough-talking, street-wise canine who keeps up a running commentary as the reunited MiB chase aliens through New York. One of the eyewitnesses they question is a pizza waitress named Laura, played by the beautiful Rosario Dawson, whom Jay likes so much that he forgets to deneuralize her.The special effects are good, but often pointless. As the movie throws strange aliens at us, we aren't much moved--more like mildly interested. There's a subway worm at the outset that eats most of a train without being anything more than an obvious special effect (we're looking at the technique, not the worm), and later there are other aliens who look more like doodles at a concept session than anything we can get much worked up about.There is, however, a very odd scene set in a train station locker, which is occupied by a chanting mob of little creatures who worship the keyholder, and I would have liked to see more of them: What possible worldview do they have? If ''Men in Black III'' opens with the occupants of the locker, I will at least have hope for it.Download here

Vikings, The (Action,Adventure,History)

Mightiest Of Men... Mightiest Of Spectacles... Mightiest Of Motion Pictures!
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Einar and Eric are two Viking half-brothers. The former is a great warrior whilst the other is an ex-slave, but neither knows the true identity of the other. When the throne of Northumbria in Britain becomes free for the taking, the two brothers compete against one another for the prize, but they have very different motives - both involving the princess Morgana, however.
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Man-Thing (Action,Horror,Sci-Fi)

The nature of fear
When nature fights back!
Your fear is his deadliest weapon
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Agents of an oil tycoon vanish while exploring a swamp marked for drilling. The local sheriff investigates and faces a Seminole legend come to life: Man-Thing, a shambling swamp-monster whose touch burns those who feel fear.
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Basic (Crime,Drama,Mystery,Thriller)

Iron Giant, The (Animation,Drama,Family,Sci-Fi)

It came from outer space!
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"Iron Giant" is based upon the 1968 story,'Iron Man,' by the British poet laureate Ted Hughes. The film is about a giant metal machine that drops from the sky and frightens a small town in Maine in 1958, only to find a friend named, Hogarth, that ultimately finds its humanity and saving the towns people of their fears and prejudices.
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Home at the End of the World, A (Drama,Music,Romance)

Family can be whatever you want it to be.
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Two childhood friends face their past relationships, including their own, alongside a new friend in the 1980's in New York City. Their friendship becomes a love triangle as they struggle with a father's death and an unexpected pregnancy. Together, the shall face each other as they realize that everything they have may not be what they expected.
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Love & Sex (Comedy,Drama,Romance)

Get A Love Life!
Timing Is Everything
You'll find them in the romance section.
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When her rather explicit copy is rejected, magazine journalist Kate is asked by her editor to come up with an article on loving relationships instead, and to do so by the end of the day. This gets Kate thinking back over her own various experiences, and to wondering if she is in much of a position to write on the subject.
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Lost Empire, The (Adventure,Fantasy)

Journey to a world where kingdoms fall and heroes rise.
Reluctant hero, beautiful goddess, three days to save the world.
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American Businessman and China Scholar, Nick Orton is enlisted by the Buddhist goddess of mercy to save his world from de-evolving to the time of the Demon Master Shu and the 5 Traditional Masters who wish for no progress to ever happen. Nick is given help in the form of The Handsome Monkey king, Pigsy and Friar Sand who must do battle with dragons, demons and a heavenly legal system to assure that Earth remains as it should be.
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Rambo III (Action,War)

God would have mercy John Rambo won't!
The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it's to save his friend.
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John Rambo's former Vietnam superior, Colonel Samuel Trautman, has been assigned to lead a mission to help the Mujahedeen rebels who are fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but the Buddhist Rambo turns down Trautman's request that Rambo help out. When the mission goes belly up and Trautman is kidnapped and tortured by Russian Colonel Zaysen, Rambo launches a rescue effort and allies himself with the Mujahedeen rebels and gets their help in trying to rescue Trautman from Zaysen.
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There is a love scene in "Hot Shots, Part Deux" in which the hero, a dashing Navy commando played by Charlie Sheen, is dining with a beautiful espionage expert played by Valeria Golino. They are having spaghetti in an Italian restaurant, and somehow they each get one end of a log strand of pasta into their mouths, and suck it in until their faces come closer, and closer . . . and they kiss.This is, of course, a famous shot stolen from "Lady and the Tramp." So is the next shot, in which Sheen lovingly uses his nose to push a meatball in the direction of his lady love. One of the pleasures of watching a spoof like this is to spot the references; it's like a quiz on pop art.The Golina character is named Ramada Rodham Hayman. The other principal female character in the movie, played by Brenda Bakke, is named Michelle Rodham Hudleston. So it goes. The movie is directed by Jim Abrahams, who was one of the perpetrators of "Airplane!" (1980), the satirical parody that spawned this and many other films, including "Top Secret!" "The Naked Gun" and the original "Hot Shots!" The current film takes "Rambo III" as its starting place, with lots of loving little touches. The Sheen character, patterned on the Stallone original, is a pumped-up man of few words, who at the beginning of the film has left his life of action and violence to live a life of contemplation with monks in a remote Eastern land. He is tracked down there by his old commanding officer, played by Richard Crenna in a repeat of his own role in "Rambo III." Sheen wants to stay where he is, until Crenna tells him a story that makes him realize he is needed for a dangerous mission in the Middle East.The story is "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Sheen, named Topper Harley in the movie, is needed to rescue Americans who were sent in to rescue other Americans who were sent in to rescue other Americans. Why is his participation essential? "You are the best of what we have left!" In the unnamed Arab country, we see a Saddam Hussein look-alike living a life of blissful domesticity, interrupted by moments of mayhem and torture. And we join Sheen on the mission, which is constructed out of countless jokes based on the "Rambo" movies and other commando epics.There are also the usual in-jokes. Proceeding down an Asian river in a gunboat, Sheen passes another boat headed in the opposite direction. On it is his father, Martin Sheen, who starred, of course, in "Apocalypse Now," and is apparently still inside that movie as we see him. "Loved you in `Wall Street'," the father shouts, as the boats pass.Movies like this are more or less impervious to the depredations of movie critics. Either you laugh, or you don't. I laughed. Will this genre ever run out of steam? "Hot Shots Part Deux" doesn't have the high-voltage nonstop comedy of "Airplane!" and "Top Secret!," still the best of their kind, and it isn't as hard on Stallone as it could have been. But as long as the Hollywood assembly lines keep groaning, there will probably be a function for these corrective measures.Download here

Passion of the Christ, The (Drama)

By his wounds, we were healed.
One man changed the world forever.
The movie, behind the greatest event in the history of the world.
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The Passion of The Christ focusses on the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth's life. The film begins in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus has gone to pray after sitting the Last Supper. Jesus must resist the temptations of Satan. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is then arrested and taken within the city walls of Jerusalem where leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy and his trial results in a condemnation to death.
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This version of "The Passion of the Christ" has not been given a star rating.Mel Gibson takes another cut at "The Passion" with this toned-down, unrated version of his bigger, longer, and uncut R-rated 2004 smash hit, "The Passion of the Christ." The recut eliminates five or six minutes of gore and violence in an attempt, according to Gibson, to make it more palatable for "Aunt Martha or Uncle Harry." Of the original version, which opened on Ash Wednesday 2004, Roger Ebert wrote:"If ever there was a film with the correct title, that film is Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ.' Although the word passion has become mixed up with romance, its Latin origins refer to suffering and pain; later Christian theology broadened that to include Christ's love for mankind, which made him willing to suffer and die for us."The movie is 126 minutes long, and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen."(Read Ebert's full, four-star review of the R-rated version here.)Download here

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (Comedy)

50 million people used to watch him on TV. Now he washes their cars.
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TV child star of the '70s, Dickie Roberts is now 35 and parking cars. Craving to regain the spotlight, he auditions for a role of a normal guy, but the director quickly sees he is anything but normal. Desperate to win the part, Dickie hires a family to help him replay his childhood and assume the identity of an average, everyday kid. Several folk who are also involved in Dickie's special world include: Sidney, Dickie's longtime friend and agent; Cyndi, his on-again, off-again girlfriend; Peggy, Dickie's real mother; George, Dickie's adopted father figure; and Grace, his adopted mother figure.
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Here is an inspired idea for a comedy, but why have they made it into a dirge? "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" has a premise that would be catnip for Steve Martin or Jim Carrey, but David Spade (who, to be fair, came up with the premise) casts a pall of smarmy sincerity over the material. There are laughs, to be sure, and some gleeful supporting performances, but after a promising start the movie sinks in a bog of sentiment.Spade plays Dickie Roberts, now about 35, who has been struggling ever since the end of his career as a child TV star. As fame and fortune disappeared, so did his mother; a biographical mockumentary about Dickie says he was orphaned after she "moved out of the area." Now he's a car valet and plays poker with other former child stars, including (playing themselves) Dan-ny Bonaduce, Dustin Diamond, Barry Williams, Leif Garrett and Corey Feldman. His desperate agent Sidney (Jon Lovitz, pitch perfect) can't find him work, and when Dickie hears about the lead in the new Rob Reiner movie, Sidney sighs, "That's out of our league." But Dickie runs into Brendan Fraser (the movie is like a reality TV version of "Hollywood Squares"), who gets him a meeting with Reiner. And Reiner drops some bad news: "I don't think you can play the part, because you're not a real person." Dickie never had a real childhood, he explains, and so he grew up to be--Dickie.That sets into motion the second, soapy, half of the movie. Dickie advertises for a "real family" where he can spend a month recapturing his lost childhood, and hooks up with the self-promoting ad-man George Finney (Craig Bierko) and his nice family: The mother Grace (Mary McCormack) and the kids Sally (Jenna Boyd) and Sam (Scott Tessa). And right there a nice sharp-edged satire gets traded in for a sappy sitcom.Spade's comic persona is essentially not sweet and lovable, and his attempt to force Dickie into that mode is never convincing. The best moments in the sitcom half of the movie come when he plays against type, as when he throws a wine cork at a sometime girlfriend Cyndi (Alyssa Milano) or phones in a false alarm so that Grace can follow the fire trucks to the address she's looking for. Funny, but not so funny are the staged docudramas in which his loving family stages a Christmas in the summertime so he can recapture his lost youth.The Grace character is played by Mary McCormack with her usual true-blue charm, and for a long time the movie wisely sidesteps any suggestion of romance between Grace and Dickie. When at the end we learn they get married, we give the nuptials about as much of a chance as Liza Minnelli's next matrimony. George, Grace's husband, is an underwritten figure who pops up from time to time in oddly written scenes, and then runs off with Cyndi, so we're told, since by then we haven't seen either one of them for some time.David Spade has a peculiar but definite screen persona, and in the right role he could be effective. In the old days of the studio system, he could have worked as a supporting player at Warners, pinch-hitting for Elisha Cook Jr. He is too recessive, narcissistic and dreamy-voiced to be a star, although he could play the lead in a story that hated his character. As the guy we're supposed to love here, the little lost boy who finally grows up, not a chance.Note: One of the pleasures of the movie is its population of former child stars. The end credits include a gathering of all those who appeared in the movie and a lot more, singing a song with lyrics that seem to come straight from the heart.Download here

2001 Maniacs (Comedy,Horror)

The south will rise again!
You are what THEY eat!
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Three college slackers, Anderson Lee, Cory Jones and Nelson Elliot, plan a good time away from their college by heading out to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. But along they way, they get detoured into the small, off-the-map, town of Pleasant Valley, Georgia, where they, along with three drifters, Joey, Kat and Ricky, and biker Malcolm and his girlfriend Leah, are welcomed as guests of honor by the cheerful but sinister-looking Mayor Buckman for the annual Pleasant Valley Guts and Glory Festival. Unknown to the eight unsuspecting Northerners, Mayor Buckman and the residents have more in store where they plan to use the festival as a blood ritual by separating the guests and killing them off one-by-one in ultra-gory fashion.
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The (Adventure,Comedy,Sci-Fi)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Action,Horror,Sci-Fi)

I'm good, but I'm not that good
My name is Alice and I remember everything.
Our lives are in their hands.
The evil continues...
The infection is spreading faster than anyone could have anticipated
You're all going to die
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The nightmare isn't over, General Cain ordered The Hive to be reopened, and in doing so contaminated all of Raccoon City, a city of the dead, with Alice stuck right in the middle. Now, along with other surviors, Jill Valentine, Carlos Oliviera and his Captain, Nicholai, they must fight to survive, to escape the nightmare that has plaqed Raccoon City. But now there is a new threat: Matt Addison has fully mutated into a seemingly unstoppable creature, code named Nemesis, who will stop at nothing until everything around it is dead, but it also has another agenda...
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I'm trying to remember what the city was called in the original "Resident Evil" (2002). I don't think it was called anything, but in the new "Resident Evil: Apocalypse," it's called Raccoon City, just like in the original video game. Call it what you will, it has the Toronto skyline. Toronto played Chicago in "Chicago" and now it plays Raccoon City. Some you win, some you lose.The movie is an utterly meaningless waste of time. There was no reason to produce it, except to make money, and there is no reason to see it, except to spend money. It is a dead zone, a film without interest, wit, imagination or even entertaining violence and special effects.

The original film involved the Umbrella Corp. and its underground research laboratory called The Hive. The experimental T-virus escaped, and to contain it The Hive was flooded and locked. But its occupants survived as zombies and lurched about infecting others with their bites. Zombies can appear in interesting movies, as George Romero proved in "Dawn of the Dead" and Danny Boyle in "28 Days Later." But zombies themselves are not interesting, because all they do is stagger and moan. As I observed in my review of the first film, "they walk with the lurching shuffle of a drunk trying to skate through urped Slushees to the men's room."

Now time has passed and the Umbrella Corp. has decided to reopen The Hive. Well, wouldn't you know that the T-virus escapes again and creates even more zombies? Most of the population of Raccoon City is infected but can be easily contained because there is only one bridge out of town. The story involves three sexy women (Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Sandrine Holt), the first a former Umbrella Corp. scientist, the second a renegade cop, the third a TV reporter. Picking up some guys along the way, they battle the zombies and try to rescue a little girl so her dad can pull some strings and get them out of the quarantined city before it is nuked.

We pause here for logistical discussions. In a scene where several characters are fighting zombies inside a church, the renegade scientist comes to the rescue by crashing her motorcycle through a stained-glass window and landing in the middle of the fight. This inspires the question: How did she know what was on the other side of the window? Was she crashing through the stained glass on spec?My next logistical puzzlement involves killing the zombies. They die when you shoot them. Fine, except Umbrella Corp. has developed some mutants who wear bulletproof armor. Zillions of rounds of ammo bounce off this armor, but here's a funny thing: The mutants do not wear helmets, so we can see their ugly faces. So why not just shoot them in the head? Am I missing something here?

What I was missing were more of the mutants from the first picture, where they were little monsters with 9-foot tongues. They have a walk-on (or maybe a lick-on) in the sequel, but it's no big deal. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" could have used them, but then this is a movie that could have used anything. The violence is all video-game target practice, the zombies are a bore, we never understand how Umbrella hopes to make money with a virus that kills everyone, and the characters are spectacularly shallow. Parents: If you encounter teenagers who say they liked this movie, do not let them date your children.Download here

Metro (Action,Comedy,Crime,Drama,Thriller)

Life is a negotiation.
San Francisco's top police hostage negotiator is about to get more than he ever bargained for.
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Scott Roper is the best hostage negotiator in San Francisco. His girlfriend Veronica "Ronnie" Tate is a newspaper reporter. Scott and Carmen have a dog named Troy. While listening to a baseball game on his car stereo, Scott is called downtown where a man named Earl is holding 17 hostages in a bank. Scott rescues the hostages by shooting Earl. Scott is then assigned a partner -- sharpshooter Kevin McCall. That night, Scott takes his friend, Lieutenant Sam Baffert, to see a man named Michael Korda. Scott waits downstairs while Sam is in Korda's apartment. Sam asks Korda about a man who deals in stolen jewelry, because Sam suspects that some of the dealer's jewels came from Korda, who is a professional jewel thief. Sam's visit with Korda ends with Korda killing Sam. When Scott hears a woman in the building scream at the sight of Sam's body, Scott runs inside the building and sees the body. Scott wants revenge on Korda, but Captain Frank Solis refuses to let Scott work the case, so Scott decides to work the case on his own. Scott and Kevin go to a horse race track, where they win a bundle of money, then they are called to a downtown jewelry store where hostages are being held. When Scott notices that Korda is the hostage taker, Korda grabs a hostage and leaves in a truck. Scott and Kevin use Captain Solis's car to chase Korda. Korda wrecks the truck, and leaves the hostage behind when he gets out of the truck. Korda then boards a trolley car, and Scott and Kevin start chasing the trolley car. While up close, Scott jumps onto the trolley car, leaving Kevin to drive Solis's car. Scott and Kevin manage to stop the trolley car, and they chase Korda into a parking garage, where Korda tries to hit Scott with a car. Scott and Kevin still manage to grab Korda. During visitation at the jail with his cousin Clarence Teal, Korda orders Teal to kill Ronnie as a way to get revenge on Scott. Teal shows up at Ronnie's apartment that night and attacks Ronnie. Scott shows up and chases Teal down the fire escape, and Teal is hit and killed by a car. On the next morning, Korda escapes from the jail, and soon after escaping, Korda kidnaps Ronnie, luring Scott into a confrontation at an abandoned shipyard.
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Striptease (Comedy,Crime,Drama,Thriller)

A comedy in the last place you expect to find one.
It ain't "Showgirls"...then again, it ain't "Snow White" either!.
Some People Get Into Trouble No Matter What They WEAR.
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Erin Grant loses care and custody of her daughter when she's divorced from her husband Darrell, a small-time thief. Struggling for money, she is a dancer at a nightclub, where one night Congressman Dilbeck (in disguise) attacks another member of the audience. A spectator, who recognizes Dilbeck and is fond of Erin, offers to get back her daughter by blackmailing Dilbeck. Things do not work out as planned, though.
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What a work of art and nature is Marilyn Monroe. She hasn't aged into an icon, some citizen of the past, but still seems to be inventing herself as we watch her. She has the gift of appearing to hit on her lines of dialogue by happy inspiration, and there are passages in Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot" where she and Tony Curtis exchange one-liners like hot potatoes. Poured into a dress that offers her breasts like jolly treats for needy boys, she seems totally oblivious to sex while at the same time melting men into helpless desire. "Look at that!" Jack Lemmon tells Curtis as he watches her adoringly. "Look how she moves. Like Jell-O on springs. She must have some sort of built-in motor. I tell you, it's a whole different sex."

Wilder's 1959 comedy is one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft, a movie that's about nothing but sex and yet pretends it's about crime and greed. It is underwired with Wilder's cheerful cynicism, so that no time is lost to soppiness and everyone behaves according to basic Darwinian drives. When sincere emotion strikes these characters, it blindsides them: Curtis thinks he wants only sex, Monroe thinks she wants only money, and they are as astonished as delighted to find they want only each other.

The plot is classic screwball. Curtis and Lemmon play Chicago musicians who disguise themselves as women to avoid being rubbed out after they witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. They join an all-girl orchestra on its way to Florida. Monroe is the singer, who dreams of marrying a millionaire but despairs, "I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop." Curtis lusts for Monroe and disguises himself as a millionaire to win her. Monroe lusts after money and gives him lessons in love. Their relationship is flipped and mirrored in low comedy as Lemmon gets engaged to a real millionaire, played by Joe E. Brown. "You're not a girl!" Curtis protests to Lemmon. "You're a guy! Why would a guy want to marry a guy?" Lemmon: "Security!"

The movie has been compared to Marx Brothers classics, especially in the slapstick chases as gangsters pursue the heroes through hotel corridors. The weak points in many Marx Brothers films are the musical interludes--not Harpo's solos, but the romantic duets involving insipid supporting characters. "Some Like It Hot" has no problems with its musical numbers because the singer is Monroe, who didn't have a great singing voice but was as good as Frank Sinatra at selling the lyrics.

Consider her solo of "I Wanna Be Loved by You." The situation is as basic as it can be: a pretty girl standing in front of an orchestra and singing a song. Monroe and Wilder turn it into one of the most mesmerizing and blatantly sexual scenes in the movies. She wears that clinging, see-through dress, gauze covering the upper slopes of her breasts, the neckline scooping to a censor's eyebrow north of trouble. Wilder places her in the center of a round spotlight that does not simply illuminate her from the waist up, as an ordinary spotlight would, but toys with her like a surrogate neckline, dipping and clinging as Monroe moves her body higher and lower in the light with teasing precision. It is a striptease in which nudity would have been superfluous. All the time she seems unaware of the effect, singing the song innocently, as if she thinks it's the literal truth. To experience that scene is to understand why no other actor, male or female, has more sexual chemistry with the camera than Monroe.

Capturing the chemistry was not all that simple. Legends surround "Some Like It Hot." Kissing Marilyn, Curtis famously said, was like kissing Hitler. Monroe had so much trouble saying one line ("Where's the bourbon?") while looking in a dresser drawer that Wilder had the line pasted inside the drawer. Then she opened the wrong drawer. So he had it pasted inside every drawer.

Monroe's eccentricities and neuroses on sets became notorious, but studios put up with her long after any other actress would have been blackballed because what they got back on the screen was magical. Watch the final take of "Where's the bourbon?" and Monroe seems utterly spontaneous. And watch the famous scene aboard the yacht, where Curtis complains that no woman can arouse him, and Marilyn does her best. She kisses him not erotically but tenderly, sweetly, as if offering a gift and healing a wound. You remember what Curtis said but when you watch that scene, all you can think is that Hitler must have been a terrific kisser.

The movie is really the story of the Lemmon and Curtis characters, and it's got a top-shelf supporting cast (Joe E. Brown, George Raft, Pat O'Brien), but Monroe steals it, as she walked away with every movie she was in. It is an act of the will to watch anyone else while she is on the screen. Tony Curtis' performance is all the more admirable because we know how many takes she needed--Curtis must have felt at times like he was in a pro-am tournament. Yet he stays fresh and alive in sparkling dialogue scenes like their first meeting on the beach, where he introduces himself as the Shell Oil heir and wickedly parodies Cary Grant. Watch his timing in the yacht seduction scene, and the way his character plays with her naivete. "Water polo? Isn't that terribly dangerous?" asks Monroe. Curtis: "I'll say! I had two ponies drown under me."

Watch, too, for Wilder's knack of hiding bold sexual symbolism in plain view. When Monroe first kisses Curtis while they're both horizontal on the couch, notice how his patent-leather shoe rises phallically in the mid-distance behind her. Does Wilder intend this effect? Undoubtedly, because a little later, after the frigid millionaire confesses he has been cured, he says, "I've got a funny sensation in my toes--like someone was barbecuing them over a slow flame." Monroe's reply: "Let's throw another log on the fire."

Jack Lemmon gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop in the parallel relationship. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is Shakespearean in the way it cuts between high and low comedy, between the heroes and the clowns. The Curtis character is able to complete his round trip through gender, but Lemmon gets stuck halfway, so that Curtis connects with Monroe in the upstairs love story while Lemmon is downstairs in the screwball department with Joe E. Brown. Their romance is frankly cynical: Brown's character gets married and divorced the way other men date, and Lemmon plans to marry him for the alimony.

But they both have so much fun in their courtship! While Curtis and Monroe are on Brown's yacht, Lemmon and Brown are dancing with such perfect timing that a rose in Lemmon's teeth ends up in Brown's. Lemmon has a hilarious scene the morning after his big date, laying on his bed, still in drag, playing with castanets as he announces his engagement. (Curtis: "What are you going to do on your honeymoon?" Lemmon: "He wants to go to the Riviera, but I kinda lean toward Niagara Falls.") Both Curtis and Lemmon are practicing cruel deceptions--Curtis has Monroe thinking she's met a millionaire, and Brown thinks Lemmon is a woman--but the film dances free before anyone gets hurt. Both Monroe and Brown learn the truth and don't care, and after Lemmon reveals he's a man, Brown delivers the best curtain line in the movies. If you've seen the movie, you know what it is, and if you haven't, you deserve to hear it for the first time from him.Download here

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