The Storm

The Storm
With Kerry Fox, Stephen Dillane and the Yugoslav conflict at the heart of this judicial thriller, Sturm is a kind of mash-up of Michael Winterbottomís Welcome To Sarajevo twelve years on. While Winterbottomís film was a journalistís search for a bullet and bomb tattered truth, Hans Christian Schmidís court drama is a cogitative quest for real justice, focusing on the human forces turning the cogs inside the International Criminal Court. Responsible for trying those accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, itís shocking so few films have been made about a court with so much at stake, especially in the wake of recent geopolitical thrillers, such as Tom Tykwerís The International or Sydney Pollackís The Interpreter. But following on from Lichterís ruminative border-line stories, Hans-Christian Schmid has uncovered an equally philosophical drama in another European no manís land. Only this time itís justice on trial.

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Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye
Director D.J. Caruso takes the next step forward towards being Hollywoodís newest blockbuster thriller director in Eagle Eye. He re-teams with star Shia LaBeouf, whom he found success with in Disturbia by borrowing generously from Rear Window. But Caruso doesnít want to be Hitchcock, far from it. With Eagle Eye heís making his play to become the next Michael Bay.

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Arthur

Arthur

It's still an open question whether in this day of increased concerns about alcoholism and health you can do a remake of 1981's Arthur, a comedy about a lovable drunk, because the new Arthur, with Russell Brand playing the Dudley Moore role, is a mere burlesque riffing off the old Arthur rather than an actual remake that has reconceived or rethought the original film.

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À bout portant

À bout portant
Everything appears to be going well for Samuel and Nadia. He is about to qualify as a nurse, she is expecting their first child. Their world is suddenly turned upside down when Nadia is kidnapped as Samuel looks on helplessly. Samuelís destiny will be linked with that of Sartet, a notorious crook who is being actively hunted by the police. If he wants to see his wife again, Samuel must act fast...

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Flightplan

Flightplan
Flightplan is the latest motion picture to take an intriguing premise and flush it into the septic tank. Despite the participation of selective, talented actress Jodie Foster and a screenplay that borrows heavily from The Lady Vanishes, Flightplan can't avoid falling apart during its final half-hour. Instead of an intelligent, inventive finale, we are stuck with the same approach employed by every half-baked thriller. The absurd conclusion would be laughable if it wasn't such a disappointment. And anyone mentioning the words "surprise twist" in association with this film is betraying an ignorance of the conventions of the genre.

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Band's Visit

Band's Visit
The quality and quantity of Israeli movie exports have increased significantly in recent years. Most of those features, while well-made, tend to be serious - not surprising considering the volatile situation those living there find themselves in. For that reason, The Band's Visit, the directorial debut of Erin Kolirin, is a welcome surprise. A drama about isolation and communication, The Band's Visit is characterized both by strongly delineated characters and low-key comedy. The movie is not lightweight but it is at times lighthearted.

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Super Size Me

Super Size Me
Amidst all the controversy this film has generated, it's safe to say one thing: very few viewers are likely to visit a fast-food restaurant immediately after seeing this movie.

Is Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me an attack on McDonald's? Not directly, although it's certainly not a Valentine. Rather, it's a look at the deleterious effects that the modern "fast food culture" is having upon our society. The movie's "hook" is that Spurlock performs an experiment upon himself to see how he would fare if he ate nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days. However, one could see that as tangential to the film's central themes, which advocate personal responsibility, decry corporate deniability, and emphasize that people aren't getting the message that fast food can be bad for those who eat it with regularity.

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Palindromes

Palindromes
Palindromes, the fourth feature from Todd Solondz, makes me wonder whether this director only had two good films in him. A shallow, transparent satire/social commentary, Palindromes lives and dies on a gimmick. In an attempt to do something "artistic," Solondz uses eight different actresses to play his 12-year old protagonist, Aviva. The idea, I suppose, is to challenge the audience into looking beyond the body type and skin color, and to recognize that the core of an individual never changes. It's a juvenile, simplistic, and embarrassingly literal device, and it dooms any hope of character identification.

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Cement Garden

Cement Garden
Considering the rancid, nightmarish quality of his books, it's somewhat amazing that a writer like British author Ian McEwan could have three of his works filmed by now. In addition to The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers has been made into a movie (by Paul Schrader in 1991), and The Innocent (directed by John Schlesinger) is due to be released. The most controversial of these, however, is The Cement Garden, principally because of its subject matter: teenage incest.

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Twister

Twister
The energy and the natural looking effects are what keeps this 1996 thriller fresh and watchable more than ten years later. Speed director Jan de Bont and Jurassic Park writer Michael Crichton teamed up to make this fast-paced adventure that has it's characters chasing tornadoes while their past chases them.

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Wrongfully Accused

Wrongfully Accused
There is little doubt that, over the last two weeks, Warner Brothers has established some kind of low water mark for quality in motion picture releases. Never can I recall one distributor releasing two unwatchable movies on back-to-back weekends. However, with The Avengers and Wrongfully Accused, Warner Brothers has achieved that dubious distinction. Wrongfully Accused is a mind- numbingly awful motion picture that has a better chance of making a viewer physically ill than of provoking a genuine laugh.

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Revenge of the Boarding School Dropouts

Revenge of the Boarding School Dropouts
Now that their snowboarding school is a hit and their team is winning big, Eddy and Max enjoy success to the fullest. But with their hard-partying lifestyle, the dynamic duo might just be heading for a wipeout. If they dont want to lose everything theyve worked for, our heroes must valiantly battle the temptations of slackerdom and get their team back on track in this cool comedy starring Tom Green and Dave England.

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Summer Catch

Summer Catch
This summer couldnt be more crucial for Ryan Dunne, a blue-collar kid with aspirations to become a major league baseball player. Every summer, the hottest college ball players descend upon Cape Cod to pursue their baseball dreams during the day and blow off steam in town at night. The first local boy in years to earn a slot in the team, Ryan finally got his shot...but the temptations off-field are getting in the way of his commitment to the game. Soon, a beautiful young woman who summers in the town with her family distracts Ryan. As the friction builds between his loyal townie friends and his cocky teammates, Ryans rivalry with hot-shot teammate Eric comes to a head. When a major league scout comes along, however, he tries to push the pangs of romance and player rivalry aside, because his sports talent may be his only ticket out of the small industrial town.

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Spartan

Spartan
"Bobby Scott" (Val Kilmer) is a former Force Recon Master Gunnery Sergeant, acting as a selection cadre member for 1st SFOD-D. While observing a "stress phase" exercise designed to evaluate Delta candidates, Scott meets recruit Curtis (Derek Luke) and Sergeant Jacqueline Black (Tia Texada), an edged-weapons ("knife-fighting") instructor. Sergeant Black and Curtis each demonstrate their competence, and make plain to Scott their ambitions to serve on future missions.

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S. Darko

S. Darko
In 1995, Samantha Darko (Chase) follows her best friend Corey (Evigan) on a road trip from Virginia to California, in an attempt to become professional dancers. Their dreams are cut short when their car breaks down in a tiny Utah town. They are saved by the town bad boy, Randy (Westwick), who takes them to the local motel where they meet the conspiracy-loving owner. He tells them of Billy Moorcroft, a boy that went missing.

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Misconceptions

Misconceptions
The story centers on a religiously conservative, married southern woman who receives a message from God instructing her to act as a surrogate mother and carry a child for two married gay men who live in Boston - a Jewish doctor and and African-American dance choreographer. All Hell breaks loose when the African American man comes to her home down south to micro-manage her pregnancy, and he wont leave.

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