The Return


Plagued by nightmares (visions), ghosts haunt traumatized 20-something professional.

This looked so good in the trailers. If only the full-length films were always on par with the previews... Sarah Michelle Gellar's agent should be shot, beaten, drawn & quartered, run over with a tank, left in the desert naked for a week, and then forced to watch really bad television commercials for letting her agree to this abysmal script. Adam Sussman, the writer, should be in a 12-step program. One look at this work, and you know he's hit bottom. Can you even call what they had a script? What was the studio smoking the day they signed off on this? Don't even get me started. Utter rubbish. Enormous heap of turds. Etc.

One or two good jumps, but lots of rotting dead time in between.

1/5 - lots and lots of crap

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The tagline says it all: Inspired by the true story of the greatest security breach in U.S. history

A kick-ass spy movie based on actual events. Anything in the espionage genre is like anything that says "cajun" on a restaurant menu--I'm like a moth to the flame. Breach has a solid cast that does not disappoint: Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Dennis Haysbert, Bruce Davison. Chris Cooper is fine in his role as the traitor-in-our-midst; and Ryan Phillippe...who knew? Phillippe actually exceeded my expectations, low as they were. Screenplay by Adam Mazer, William Rotko & Billy Ray (who also directed). This one ought to garner some attention at the award shows. Definitely add Breach to your list of flicks to see.

Suspense, drama, thriller. You will see the ending coming a hundred miles away.

3.5 outta 5 - good flick

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Mr. Brooks


Boring Mr.-Rogers-type has this wicked alter-ego. Always a step ahead of the investigators, Brooks gets blackmailed by some profound idiot who happens to photograph him in the act. Hilarity ensues.

This film is insanely dark, a little twisted, somewhat unnerving, and I loved it. Every. Minute. More than Mel Gibson in Payback, Kevin Costner was destined to play a role like this, and he shines. It's disturbingly exciting to step into the mind of a serial killer. Oh hell, by the end, you're pulling for him. You want him to succeed. Stockholm syndrome. Although, unlike Gibson in Payback, Costner's character has no redeeming qualities. He is one sick puppy.

No real character development. No significant conflict. This isn't Hamlet. It's Mister Rogers meets any chainsaw massacre. Could double as a date movie if you don't want a second date. Unless they like it, then marry them.

Murder, deception, psychosis. Ah, yes, like a recipe for the perfect film.

3.5 outta 5 - disturbingly good

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Bridge to Terabithia


Finally! An un-Disney, Disney movie, without the Brady Bunch or Leave It to Beaver bullshit, and substantially less phony crap than usual. One minute, it's live-action whistle while you work, then you blink, and they rip the rug out from under you. Geesh.

A film that strikes deep into your flesh, draws some blood, virtually piercing the heart. A movie that deals with life, and love, and loss; that reminds us of the value of friendships, redemption, and imagination. Ah, imagination. Too many adults have too-easily forgotten the power of pretending.

Being a family movie, you expect a certain amount of cheese. The dairy farmers of the world can rest easy, Disney does not short us. First, Jess's drawings--a four year old with crayons could have produced these. Now, on one hand, you could say that no matter what the prop department put forth, it wouldn't have been good enough for this protégé-come-DaVinci. On the other hand, a four year old with crayons could have produced these ...ugh. And the music class scenes...if it weren't for Zooey Deschanel, these repetitive Kumbayah's would have been fatally intolerable.

Yes, it's a family movie. It might even (gasp!) spurn some conversation. Yes, I rate it higher than Die Hard 8 and Pirates 3. No, I am not shitting you. STFU & keep an open mind.

No explosions, gun fights, or car chases. Lots of references to dreams and artistic expression. Sadly, screen time is short for Deschanel. Good family flick.

Take the bridge to Terabithia.

4.5/5 - move to top of netflix queue

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from IMDB:

After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak...

After garnering attention at the 2004 Sundance film festival, Speak earned a Woodstock film fest audience award, and two nominations from the Writers Guild and Director's Guild. This made-for-cable flick flies pretty well beneath the radar, and deserves much more attention. Kristen Stewart (The Messengers, Panic Room) shows remarkable range, and heaps of potential. Excellent performances from supporting cast, including Elizabeth Perkins, D.B. Sweeney and Steve Zahn. Zahn is great as the art-teacher-mentor-wannabe-hippee. Andrij Parekh's cinematography is superb, just pulling you into this movie, practically forcing you to lose yourself in it. Good acting, good writing, good locations, good gawd. Imagine a film with plot, development, substance, conflict, a theme, character depth...shocking!

Showtime Pictures reportedly spent an estimated (one) million dollars on this diamond in the rough. What a steal! Jessica Sharzer directed, co-produced and wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, which was a New York Times best seller. Move over, Mr. Spielberg. Sharzer will eat your lunch.

No explosions or gunfights. Some comedy, drama, and an assault (the SVU kind). More than a coming-of-age film. Mislabeled as a chick flick, guys may earn points for watching this with their s/o.

5/5 - drop everything and rent this today

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5/5: Drop everything and go see it today
4/5: Definitely worth seeing in theaters
3/5: Easily worth the price of the matinee
2/5: Last Choice at Blockbuster (or bottom of your online rental queue)
1/5: Keep your money, stay home & channel surf
0/5: Abysmal


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