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May 30, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

IMDB: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

This was, by far, the best of the 'prequel' Star Wars series -- dark, disturbing, and setup the timeline for the 1970s episodes.

Even Hayden Christensen, who has the acting skills of an ironing board, was almost tolerable as the about-to-become Darth Vadar.

Rating: 6

Posted by mark at 08:19 PM

Unleashed (2005)

IMDB: Unleashed (2005)

This is the part that allows Jet Li to show a bit of himself aside from his martial arts prowess. If you're looking for lots of kung-fu-Jet-Li this is really not the vehicle for that.

While there's plenty of decent fighting in this film, it is the character studies that push the film above the baseline of standard martial arts fare.

Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins portray the salvation mentor (Freeman) and animal trainer (Hoskins).

Li meanwhile, decides on his own what path he wishes to follow, and it is that decision that causes most of the agitation of the film.

Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 08:11 PM

Hitch (2005)

IMDB: Hitch (2005)

Once again, Will Smith shines in this feel-good comedy. Smith plays a matchmaker for those guys who just need a plan on how to hook up with a woman that they hope will be their future love mate.

That said, the true shining star of this movie is Kevin James, who portrays Albert, the accountant, with so much humor and sensitivity, that the audience is instantly hooked on him, and hopes he'll succeed in his amorous endeavor.

Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 08:02 PM

Two Brothers (2004)

IMDB: Two Brothers (2004)

Two infant tiger cubs, separated and then reunited, elicit a truly fine family film, albeit with some heartache and sadness until their reunion.

Guy Pierce portrays the hunter with a heart quite well.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 07:51 PM

The Legend (1993)

IMDB: The Legend (1993)

A rather humorous martial arts free for all with the interminable Jet Li.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 07:43 PM

My Family (1995)

IMDB: My Family (1995)

Strong performances, especially from Jimmy Smits, but unfortunately the script drags this generational family saga into the ground.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 07:38 PM

The Grudge (2004)

IMDB: The Grudge (2004)

Some pretty creepy visuals (the little boy was scary) -- I may want to watch the original before giving a review based on the story. Sorry, but Sarah Michelle Geller has never done it for me, aside from her Buffy role and this film didn't change my opinion of her.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 07:23 PM

Garden State (2004)

IMDB: Garden State (2004)

Quirky life slice flick -- it was enjoyable, but didn't hold the level of revelation that the critics tried to impart.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 07:19 PM

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

IMDB: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

This is one funny Zombie movie!

Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 07:15 PM

Hostage (2005)

IMDB: Hostage (2005)

Plot Outline: A failed police negotiator turned small town cop, must save the lives of a family held hostage, which draws him into a much more dangerous situation.

A hostage negotiation wrapped in another hostage negotiation.

Ok Willis action fare, but nothing special. The performance of Ben Foster as Mars Krupcheck is worth noting.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 06:15 PM

Tortilla Soup (2001)

IMDB: Tortilla Soup (2001)

Plot Outline:
A Mexican-American master chef and father to three daughters has lost his taste for food but not for life.

Cutesy family fare.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 05:56 PM

Haute Tension (2003)

IMDB: Haute Tension (2003)

Plot Outline: Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble (and blood) while on holiday at Alexa's parent's country home when a mysterious killer invades their quiet getaway.

Pretty cool Slash 'em whack-a-doodle with a twist.

It's difficult to determine the difference between the 2003 French version with dubbed English and the one whose trailers are being shown now, set to hit the domestic theaters June 10, 2005.

The cast looks to be identical.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 05:30 PM