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April 2008

Film Review: The Visitor

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In today’s crowded marketplace of blockbuster motion pictures, it’s unimaginable how a delicate picture such as “The Visitor” could be produced, much less find theatrical distribution. Perhaps the answer here is in the execution; a polite, gentle drama about friendship and musical expression, “Visitor” dances slowly, but effectively, working its way to the heart.

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Film Review: Son of Rambow

Reviewed at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival

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“Son of Rambow” has unfortunate timing, released after “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation” toured the country and “Be Kind Rewind” branded homespun VHS fandom as “sweding.” Yet “Rambow” is quick to clear the cobwebs, introducing itself as a bracingly hilarious, heartening, and visually elastic comedy about the bliss of big-screen replication. 

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Film Review: The Forbidden Kingdom

Reviewed at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival

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“The Forbidden Kingdom” marks the first collaborative experience for Jackie Chan and Jet Li, two action-film marvels fans have been clamoring to see bounce off walls and pummel bad guys for decades now. Criminally, “Kingdom” is a stiff, disturbingly ill-conceived fantasy film more consumed with playing slack-jawed fanboy than telling a compelling story (or at least a competent one) worthy of these two giants.

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Nightline and the Summer of 1984

Here's a little nugget of screen history found on YouTube: a "Nightline" episode taking a look at the potential blockbusters of 1984 - one of the more golden summers in recent movie history. The list of gems from that year is astounding.

Part One:

Part Two:

Who knew everyone had such faith in "The Last Starfighter?"


Film Review: Leatherheads

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George Clooney has not only proven himself to be one of the most charismatic actors working today, but he’s become something of a versatile director as well. “Leatherheads” is certainly the zaniest film he’s made so far, but it rings a bell of constant delight; Clooney attempts to capture a bygone big-screen mood and gets the job done with mud in his hair, whiskey on his breath, and a goofy grin on his face.

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Film Review: My Blueberry Nights

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Adored international filmmaker Wong Kar Wai makes his English-language debut with the sultry atmospheric piece, “My Blueberry Nights.” If you’re already a student of the director’s work, perhaps “Nights” will feel regressive and unusually aimless; however, those unfamiliar with Wong’s warm waters might find the picture alluring enough to crave his more eloquent cinematic forays.

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Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt Energy Drink

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I was out shopping at the local grocery store some time ago when I spotted a colorful aluminum can that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was something that I never expected to see in my lifetime, or, frankly, couldn’t believe existed, like a two-headed frog or that atrocious "Day of the Dead" remake coming out next week. 

Yeah, who knew Steven Seagal has his own energy drink?

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