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August 2004
Week of August 9th through August 13th


Latest Additions:
The Terminal (in Film)
The Terminal is the worst Spielberg film I've ever seen. He has had an incredible run of success in Hollywood, but was bound to hit a low point sooner or later. The film will make money because of the marquis names, but will leave audiences totally unsatisfied.

The Chronicles of Riddick (in Film)
With the exception of the visual effects, "The Chronicle of Riddick" is an adequate sci-fi action flick filled with many Shakespeare references that make no sense. In terms of action, it should boost Diesel's career because he is commanding in this role, but there's no substance to his character.

Spartan DVD Review (in Film)
Currently out on DVD, David Mamet's Spartan is a crisp, taut thriller, laden with surprises and frenetic in its pace. It succeeds as a first-rate thriller and that's hard to find these days in Hollywood.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (in Film)
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is the best of three Harry Potter films presented on the big screen thus far. Fans will embrace the maturity of the characters, ponder the mystery that is set for them and enjoy the adventure that will bring them back for more.

I'll Sing For You (in Film)
A legendary musician is reborn again through his music in this fascinating documentary
The Day After Tomorrow (in Film)
The dialogue is absolutely terrible and the constant environmental propaganda becomes unbearable, but the film is fantastic eye-candy and delivers an awesome cinematic spectacle.
Baadasssss! (in Film)
Mario Van Peebles has decided to make a film in homage to his father by recreating that the process that led to that film, "Sweet Sweetback's BaadAsssss Song", being made. "Baadasssss!" captures the essence of independent filmmaking. It's entertaining and inspirational
Soul Plane (in Film)
The film makes no effort whatsoever to have any semblance of a plot or character development. There are a few chuckles, but there needed to be some gutbusters for Soul Plane to succeed. .  A ride on a real plane would be more entertaining.
Raising Helen (in Film)
Raising Helen is the same, dismal formula film that Hollywood cranks out year after year.  It has no surprises, no character development, and worst of all, tries to manipulate your feelings with crappy melodrama.
Saved (in Film)
Saved is one of those films where everybody learns a lesson and grows in the end.  This is annoying because it makes the film utterly predictable. So the film's approach is kind of wasted if all the characters learn something and the audience does not.
Shrek 2 (in Film)
Dreamworks has done an amazing job of not only bring back the stellar cast but coming up with a plot that all will enjoy. Shrek 2 is the one of the best animated sequels to come out in theaters in a long time. It's just as good as the original.
Troy (in Film)
The CGI and wooden dialogue come dangerously close to diminishing the film, but the positive aspects far outweigh the negative.  Troy will surely be a hit with audiences and march to box office glory this weekend. 
Coffee & Cigarettes (in Film)
Over the years Jarmusch compiled more segments, completing the series in 2003.  It's hit or miss as far as the segments go.  Some are boring and nonsensical while others are hilarious and brilliantly performed.
Laws of Attraction (in Film)
Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore are attractive actors that have great screen chemistry together. Unfortunately, that doesn't save Laws of Attraction from being an average at best romantic comedy. They deserve a better plot for their romantic escapades.

Mean Girls (in Film)
Just when you thought you've seen all the teen movies possible.this one surprises you. This undiscovered comedy is a definite early "summer" bird contender. It has all the makings of a box office hit.

Man on Fire (in Film)
Man on Fire is a film that will own you utterly as you watch it. Denzel Washington delivers a revenge film of raw feeling and ferocity. He goes to the darkest, most nuanced place of his career and it is more hardcore than this reviewer could have ever imagined. 

The Agronomist (in Film)
The Agronomist is Jonathon Demme’s love poem to Dominique and call to arms about his struggle.  Everyone in the world should sit and watch this movie.  Its themes are universal.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (in Film)
Superbly written and acted, Kill Bill Vol.2 outpaces its predecessor by a satisfying margin.
Connie and Carla (in Film)
Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette are good together, but the film needed a better script to showcase their acting talent. The film starts off with a cute premise, then quickly falls into political correctness and silly drag queen humor.
The Punisher (in Film)
The Punisher is an ill-fated attempt of bringing substance to a clichéd genre. There’s a lack of dialogue, a lack of violence, and a total waste of performances by the cast.
The Girl Next Door (in Film)
The Girl Next Door succeeds admirably as the best teen comedy since American Pie. The film could be the launching pad of fame for its young stars.
The Alamo (in Film)
The Alamo is not nearly the disaster it has been made out to be. Having read quite a bit about the story of The Alamo, the latest Hollywood version is the most accurate to date.
Johnson Family Vacation (in Film)
After seeing how well they worked together on television with “The Steve Harvey Show” and then on the big screen with “The Kings of Comedy”, it’s disappointing to see Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer together again in the unfunny film “Johnson Family Vacation”.
Hellboy (in Film)
Pulse pounding with some comedic flair, Hellboy is action adventure flick that's entertaining for newcomers to the comic book genre.
Walking Tall (in Film)
Walking Tall is most the simplistic pulse pounding action film so far this year. Just when you thought the one-man action genre films died with Stallone and Arnold, The Rock proves that he can bring it back with some intelligence and finesse.
Home on the Range (in Film)
Home on the Range is a fine film that proves hand drawn animation still has a place in the cinema. It's a wonderful children's movie and deserves a place among Disney's best.
The United States of Leland (in Film)
The flaw is really in the filmmaking. This is the first feature film from writer/director Matt Hoge. The guy has passion, it's evident on screen, but the film needed some fine-tuning to shore up the story and the pace.
The Prince and Me (in Film)
The problem is that the movie offers nothing more than rote predictability. From the opening credits to the closing credits, the movie plays it safe. It's meant for the teenage girl audience and the filmmakers make sure there's never a worry about plot or substance.
Jersey Girl (in Film)
No one will ever accuse Ben Affleck of not being a sensitive guy after seeing Jersey Girl. Itworks best as a date film. It will illicit tears, a few chuckles, and not much else.
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (in Film)
This will probably be the first in an avalanche of sequels, but the film is actually entertaining and an improvement on the original. It's a children's movie from start to finish, but succeeds in dropping some very adult themes over the heads of younger viewers.

The Lady Killers (in Film)
Ethan and Joel Coen have made a career of directing and writing interesting, quirky films with memorable characters, but their latest effort, The Ladykillers, is lacking considerably in all of these categories. It drags out a story that could have easily been resolved in less time.

Never Die Alone (in Film)
In order for anyone to appreciate this film, you have to know that the film is an adaptation of a book by Novelist Donald Goines. In this case, NEVER DIE ALONE, is a very well adapted story for which DMX excels in a role he could do blinded.

Secret Window (in Film)
If you are going to see a film that's based off a Stephen King novel, you better be prepared for something offbeat and spooky, and that's what Johnny Depp brings to this latest adaptation, Secret Window.

Dawn of the Dead (in Film)
Snyder's remake is not an outstanding piece of work, but more of a faithful one as he keeps the gore and chill effect as close to the original.

Bon Voyage (in Film)
Bon Voyage, the latest film from renowned French director Jean-Paul Rappeneau, is remarkably clever in its goal to satirize France's shameful surrender in World War Two. The story is complex and takes a while to get going, but becomes very interesting when the plot starts to develop.

Starsky and Hutch (in Film)
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson's comedic timing, as well as the '70s look in the film and the casting of Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear makes the film a joy to watch.

Spartan (in Film)
David Mamet's Spartan is a crisp, taut thriller, laden with surprises and frenetic in its pace. It succeeds as a first-rate thriller and that's hard to find these days in Hollywood.

Agent Cody Banks: Destination London (in Film)
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London is a wonderfully clean, silly, depthless film for the 8 to 12 year old set.

Hidalgo (in Film)
Hidalgo is an adventure tale for the whole family to enjoy, filled with emotion and quality entertainment. I highly recommend it.

Matchstick Men DVD Review (in Film)

Welcome to Mooseport (in Film)
While the film could have been a little funnier, it succeeds as a great vehicle for Ray Romano's foray unto the big screen.
Eurotrip (in Film)
The production team that made Old School and Road Trip outdo themselves in Eurotrip. I would go so far as to say this movie is funnier than both of those films combined.
50 First Dates (in Film)
Unbelievably, Adam Sandler's 50 First Dates is a great film. It has it all, humor, a clever concept, and amazingly, a beautiful romance that will leave audiences enchanted.
Barbershop 2 (in Film)
While the story gets a little hammy at times, the barbershop crew will keep you laughing from beginning to end.
The Dreamers (in Film)
NC-17, the rarest animal in pop cinema, is delivered like a freight train. The Dreamers is not to be missed.
You Got Served (in Film)
While the acting and the plot of the film isn't worth exploring, it's the dance scenes and the music that makes the film worth seeing.
The Big Bounce (in Film)
The Big Bounce tries to be a quirky comedy caper, in the same vein as Get Shorty and Jackie Brown. Those movies succeeded grandly whereas this film crashes and burns.
The Perfect Score (in Film)
The Perfect Score is an entertaining film. The filmmakers took a test that unfairly decides the future of every kid and hammers it with a very humorous story.
Only the Strong DVD Review (in Film)
These so called "forgotten" artists of yesteryear will be forgotten no more.
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (in Film)
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton is disarmingly good.  Teenage girls all over are going to get their money’s worth. 
Torque (in Film)
Torque is essentially an eighty-minute music video with ten minutes of preposterous video game CGI. 
Belly DVD Release (in Film)
The DVD that current hip-hops comes back with more flavor. 
My Baby's Daddy (in Film)
My Baby's Daddy is a very disappointing film. It had some genuinely funny moments, but is really not that funny or entertaining as a whole. 
The film is a haunting, thought-provoking, dramatic film. It not only features the challenging issues of right and wrong, but the acting is top notch, especially the work given by Ben Kingsley.
Cold Mountain is a good film, not a great film.  It's not the Oscar behemoth that they're hoping it will be, but I think audiences will generally be satisfied.
PAYCHECK (in Film)
John Woo is back in top form with his futuristic sci-fi thriller Paycheck.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (in Film)
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a masterpiece of production and subtlety.
The Last Samurai (in Film)
It's gripping, emotional, and laced with a splendid production design. Definitely one of the year's best films!
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (in Film)
They did save the best for last. Return of the King does an excellent job of delivering the journey part of the story, probably more than any film ever made.
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Latest Additions:
James' Journey to Jerusalem (in Film)
It's an enjoyable film filled with a universal story and a commanding performance by its lead actor Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (in Film)
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights is quite similar to the original film. The setting and time has changed, but the formula doesn't have that feel-good effect the second time around.

Lost Boys of Sudan (in Film)
Lost Boys of Sudan is a documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees, Peter Dut and Santino Chuor, on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America. What they think is going to be Heaven turns out to be the opposite. It's a powerful, moving film filled with compassion and hope.

In America (in Film)
In America accomplishes that rare feat of producing a haunting, dreaml ike narrative without sacrificing any of the elements that ground a film in realism.It’s one of the most emotionally engaging films I have ever seen.

Reviewed by Walter Orsini
Girlhood (in Indie)
Girlhood is an amazing, sobering but must-see look at the way many young people are now coming-of-age and poses the question of how this country can work to give them back the childhoods they deserve..

Reviewed by Niija Kuykendall
Shattered Glass (in Indie)
Shattered Glass is a superbly written movie. It's very entertaining, intriguing, and smart.

Reviewed by Edgar Arce
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