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ESR spotlight on movies

Recent reviews of movies

Nothing but grit: In about a month Hollywood's remake of True Grit opens in theatres and Lisa Fabrizio says it's an exercise that needn't have been performed

Zombieland a must see: Lady Liberty didn't mind Whip It but she has nothing but praise for Zombieland

Surrogates a mediocre effort: Science fiction and Bruce Willis? Usually a pretty strong combination. Not when it comes to Surrogates, says Lady Liberty

Gamer no thrill: Lady Liberty loves herself some Gerard Butler but admits Gamer is horrible. She was more impressed by Sunshine Cleaning

First time director spins masterpiece: Lady Liberty enjoyed World's Greatest Dad but she absolutely loved District 9

Pleasant surprises: Lady Liberty wasn't sure what to expect with Julie & Julia or the critically maligned GI Joe but she actually enjoyed both movies

Star Trek: Cultural vector and Hollywood cash-cow (Part Five): Mark Wegierski wonders where the future of Star Trek – and of the real world – is headed

Star Trek: Cultural vector and Hollywood cash-cow (Part Four): Mark Wegierski looks at Trek's very enthusiastic fans, and at various "alternative-Treks"

Star Trek: Cultural vector and Hollywood cash-cow (Part Three): Mark Wegierski looks again at various aspects of Star Trek's liberalism and notes some real-world parallels

Star Trek: Cultural vector and Hollywood cash-cow (Part Two): Mark Wegierski looks at the less and more liberal aspects of Star Trek, especially in Deep Space 9 and Voyager

Star Trek: Cultural vector and Hollywood cash-cow (Part One): Just in time for the new Trek movie, Mark Wegierski takes a closer look at the whole phenomenon

In defense Of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: Many conservatives have long attacked the fifth Star Trek movie as anti-Christian but Daniel M. Ryan believes they might be off the mark

Star Trek: Is it liberal?: Is the Star Trek franchise a sci-fi sop to the liberals? Daniel M. Ryan says its actually a hard question to answer

The Women: Hollywood's recent remake of the 1939 classic The Women proves how far the film industry has fallen, says Lisa Fabrizio

WALL-E, economic ignorance, and the war on modernity: It's bad enough that WALL-E is full of environmentalist propaganda, writes Gennady Stolyarov II, but it also preaches anti-capitalism to the kids as well

When states regulate "free trade": While he didn't care much for the politics, Thomas M. Sipos does recommend the Jennifer Lopez starrer Bordertown, out now on DVD

Next exercise in predictability: Biding her time until Spider-Man 3 comes out next week, Lady Liberty took in the Nicholas Cage thriller Next. She's still waiting for Spider-Man 3

Good idea hobbled by poor execution: Lady Liberty was prepared to like Fracture but it turned out to be a little less than she had hoped

Shooter flawed but still entertaining: Lady Liberty found Shooter to be flawed and occasionally straining credibility but it still had enough to be entertaining

Bullock's latest a solid effort: There's nothing about Premonition that you must see, writes Lady Liberty, but it's still a worthy effort by Sandra Bullock

Astonishing visuals define 300: It would madness, at least according to Lady Liberty, for you to miss the graphic novel turned movie 300

Thornton's latest sappy but feel-good: The Astronaut Farmer was a bit syrupy but Lady Liberty reports she still managed to like it. The same wasn't true for The Number 23

A pleasant surprise: Lady Liberty had no intention of seeing Notes on a Scandal but a friend convinced her too...and she's thankful for that. She also has praise for Letters from Iwo Jima

Fine acting marks The Queen: Lady Liberty thought they were both flawed but she did enjoy -- for different reasons -- The Queen and Jesus Camp

Fantastic story telling marks Pan's Labyrinth: Lady Liberty found enough in Dreamgirls to keep her entertained but she reserves her raves for Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth

Hard Candy a gem of filmmaking: Lady Liberty wanted to love Children of Men but it didn't quite succeed. What caught her fancy? A movie about a pedophile and his teenage target

Premise saves Final Move: We were somewhat skeptical when Lady Liberty told us that she would be reviewing a direct-to-DVD feature. Even more surprised when she told us that Final Move wasn't all that bad

DeNiro fails his subject matter: Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd is pretty to look at but Lady Liberty says it didn't do the subject matter justice. Meanwhile, Night at the Museum is trite and predictable but she enjoyed it nonetheless

Why Casablanca?: At this time of the year everyone is busy making their "Best Of" movie lists but Lisa Fabrizio believes its pointless to consider any other movie than the classic starring Humphrey Bogart

Eragon: The book was better: Are you surprised to find that the book series is better than the movie? Lady Liberty says its so. She did, however, enjoy Charlotte's Web

A visual treat: Lady Liberty will grant that the story is a bit simple but Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is one of the most visually stunning movies she has ever witnessed

Liberal preaching and man as animal: Mark Butterworth, on the other hand, thought Apocalypto was tiresome. He also doesn't have much good to say about Blood Diamond either

Preachy but worthwhile: Emilio Estevez's Bobby occasionally hammers its message with little subtlety but Lady Liberty still found it a worthwhile watch

Craig succeeds as Bond: Lady Liberty was a little leery of the latest in the Bond saga but she reports that Daniel Craig succeeds marvelously as the British super spy in Casino Royale

Cohen's 'documentary' a funny effort: Lady Liberty didn't want to like Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan -- heck, she didn't even want to see it -- but she has to confess she enjoyed it

Bening shines in latest effort: Lady Liberty has nothing but praise for both Annette Bening and the director of the quirky and powerful Running With Scissors

Clint's latest a masterpiece: Lady Liberty isn't a big fan of war pictures but she thought Flags of our Fathers was an incredible picture

Not enough magic in The Prestige: Lady Liberty was hopeful for some good magic tricks in The Prestige but was ultimately disappointed in the end

No pale copy: Lady Liberty writes that Infamous, the latest biopic of Truman Capote's life, is no lesser brother to last year's Capote

Unintended consequences: Mark Butterworth says that the makers of Infamous probably don't realize that their movie doesn't say quite what they think it does

Scorsese's soul: Mark Butterworth argues that The Departed proves there is nothing left of Martin Scorcese's soul. He did enjoy The Last King of Scotland

A Scorcese masterpiece: Lady Liberty, on the other hand, thought that Martin Scorcese's The Departed is a nearly perfect movie

School's out: Lady Liberty was disappointed by School for Scoundrels but was pleasantly surprised by the Ashton Kutcher-Kevin Costner tag-team of The Guardian

Overlong and overkill: Mark Butterworth, on the other hand, thought that The Guardian started off strongly but fell apart halfway through the movie

Affleck shines as troubled actor: Lady Liberty thought that Ben Affleck did a perfect job portraying George Reeves in Hollywoodland, the man who was blessed and cursed to play Superman. She also enjoyed The Illusionist

Snakes a pleasant (and scary) surprise: The fact that the studio refused to preview Snakes on a Plane shouldn't dissuade you to see it, at least according to Lady Liberty. She also enjoyed the teen comedy Accepted

Stone's latest an incomplete work: Although it wasn't perfect, Lady Liberty gave Oliver Stone's World Trade Center the thumbs up. She was less than impressed by The Night Listener and Zoom

Monstrous fun: Monster House isn't usually the type of film that Lady Liberty enjoys but it proved to be a winner. She also breaks with the critics by enjoying Lady in the Water but hated the super-dumb My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Predictable and ordinary: If you're looking for laughs from You, Me and Dupree, reports Lady Liberty, you will be very disappointed

Not so super: The great special effects and mostly good cast of Superman Returns were undermined by a poor script and simplistic story, says Lady Liberty. The Devil Wears Prada, on the other hand, is a fun romp

A low key pleasure: The Proposition isn't for everyone but Lady Liberty says this Australian western delivers the goods. Unfortunately she can't say the same for The Break-Up

Inconsistencies hobble interesting premise: Not even the presence of Keanu Reeves was enough to make Lady Liberty look past the problems of The Lake House. She has nothing but rapturous praise for Kiss Kiss, Bang, Bang however

A disappointing conclusion: Lady Liberty loved the first two X-Men movies but felt that the third -- and perhaps final -- chapter was a muddled mess

Weak story hobbles Cars: The animation, as you would expect from a Pixar produced movie, is superb but Lady Liberty thought the story is what left Cars with a flat

A well-crafted thriller: The Da Vinci Code has its share of detractors but Lady Liberty loved the movie as a well-crafted thriller that draws you in

Poseidon a neat package: Action? Drama? Special Effects? Poseidon has it all and then some. It's not perfect but Lady Liberty still thought it an entertaining movie

Moore propaganda: Bernard Chapin says that This Divided State, a documentary about a Michael Moore visit to Utah ahead of the 2004 election, does raise questions, just not the ones the director intended

MI:3 on cruise control: The latest in the Mission Impossible franchise is a mere shadow of the first which opened the series, writes Lady Liberty. She also reviews An Unfinished Life, new out on DVD

Reliving the day the world changed: There are plenty of people who believe that it's too early for a movie about September 11, 2001 but Lady Liberty disagrees and has nothing but praise for United 93

Interesting premise failed by poor realization: American Dreamz has an interesting idea behind it but Lady Liberty says a botched execution failed it

Slevin is pulp fun: Critics have been ragging on Lucky Number Slevin as a Tarantino clone but Lady Liberty thought it was fun nevertheless

A pleasant surprise: The commercials tell the story, writes Lady Liberty. Comedy-horror Slither is stupid fun and you won't be disappointed by it

Lee's mainstream foray surprisingly good: Movies like Inside Man are either very clever or very bad. Lady Liberty is pleased to report that it exceeded her expectations

V for Very Good: Disgusting anti-government propaganda? Telling indictment of today's times? Lady Liberty says V for Vendetta is a masterpiece. She also praises Vin Diesel and his work in Find Me Guilty

Depp's latest a noble failure: Johnny Depp's latest, The Libertine, has a lot to recommend it but it still ultimately fails, writes Lady Liberty. The Hills Have Eyes, on the other hand, is an unqualified mess

Transamerica flawed yet compelling: Both Transamerica and 16 Blocks had flaws but Lady Liberty says each worked well enough to fulfill their respective visions

A delightful presentation: There is a reason why people like Bob Hoskins and Judi Dench are the legends they're considered to be. Lady Liberty says Mrs. Henderson Presents illustrates why

Less than the sum of their parts: Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson in one movie? Unfortunately, writes Lady Liberty, that's about the best thing you can say for Freedomland

Firewall is as tired as its star: Harrison Ford is getting up there and so is the tired formula that serves as the basis of his latest movie Firewall. Lady Liberty also reviews the delightful Junebug on DVD

True grit: Murderball, a documentary about wheelchair rugby, had some technical problems but Lady Liberty says the story it told made them largely irrelevant

Brosnan shows comedic chops: Lady Liberty loved Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear in The Matador. Unfortunately Annapolis was a disappointing. She also reviews the DVD release of the amazingly filthy The Aristocrats

Capote a marvelous achievement: Lady Liberty hasn't love a movie as much as she did Capote for a long time. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the very dull The New World

Casanova as good looking as its stars: Lady Liberty fell in love with period comedy/drama Casanova, enjoyed the documentary Grizzly Man but wasn't that enthused by The Constant Gardener

Underrated fun: Grandma's Boy is crude slapstick humour, says Lady Liberty, and if you're a fan of that sort of film you'll love this one as well

Controversy overshadows touching Brokeback Mountain: Forget what you've heard about Brokeback Mountain, writes Lady Liberty. It's a sensitive movie with a touching story. Memoirs of a Geisha, however, wasn't a successful effort

Natural law and the impropriety of self-sacrifice: A review of the "Chronicles of Narnia" film: Gennady Stolyarov II enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe but had some philosophical issues with one of the movie's messages

Special effects drive King Kong: Story-wise it didn't have much going for it but Peter Jackson's first movie since the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a special effects masterpiece, says Lady Liberty of King Kong

Justice done for Lewis masterpiece: C.S. Lewis was always afraid of his masterpiece The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe receiving the big screen treatment but Lady Liberty says the first book was translated brilliantly

Skin deep: That Charlize Theron looks great in skin tight outfits is undeniable but Lady Liberty says there isn't much else going for Aeon Flux

Pride & Prejudice is beautiful and funny: The latest in a long series of Jane Austen film adaptations is marvelous, writes Lady Liberty, but avoid the "dark comedy" The Ice Harvest

Next to perfect: Seeing Walk the Line is almost as good as seeing Johnny Cash live in person, writes Lady Liberty. She also reviews Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Zathura fun and exciting: While Lady Liberty was pleased by the thriller Derailed, she particularly enjoyed the more fiction than science movie Zathura

The trenches of Iraq and Minnesota: You can skip the horrid The Legend of Zorro, writes Lady Liberty, but Jarhead and North Country are two must sees

Clooney's Good Night is brilliant: Lady Liberty enjoyed The Weather Man, which stars the always quirky Nicholas Cage, but she has nothing but lavish praise for George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck

Less than the some of its parts: In Her Shoes is a muddled mess, writes Lady Liberty, and ended up being predictable and very boring

Pacino's latest is a push: Outside of Al Pacino, who isn't given that much to work with, Lady Liberty says Two for the Money isn't a winning bet if you're looking for a good movie

Serenity now!: Lady Liberty was a little disappointed by the widely praised A History of Violence but thought that Serenity was an enjoyable extension of the departed Firefly television series

Flightplan is a must-see: If you love suspense and drama -- not to mention the incredibly talented Jodie Foster -- Lady Liberty says get yourself a ticket to Flightplan

Cage succeeds in Lord of War: Lady Liberty was prepared to avoid Lord of War but was won over by Nicholas Cage and a fine script. She also enjoyed the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, which stars Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo

The Man is tired and predictable: Lady Liberty loves Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy but their first cinematic pair-up, The Man, is simply awful

Carrell's Virgin a delightful surprise: Neither is destined to be a classic but Lady Liberty enjoyed both The 40 Year-Old Virgin, starring The Office's Steve Carrell, and thriller Red Eye

The Skeleton Key fails to scare: Lady Liberty says that The Skeleton Key fails thanks to a weak script, plot twists that are telegraphed in advance and poor direction

The penguins are the real heroes: Sky High was a pleasant enough movie -- and one worth seeing -- but Lady Liberty thought that March of the Penguins was utterly fantastic

The Machinist offers intelligent horror: If you missed The Machinist when it briefly appeared in theatres last year, writes Lady Liberty, catch it now on DVD. Avoid, however, Must Love Dogs in any format

The Island a solid effort: Not even Billy Bob Thornton could save the remake of the Bad News Bears but Lady Liberty was happy with Michael Bay's The Island

Say "I do" to Wedding Crashers: Lady Liberty had a marvelous time at both Wedding Crashers and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Fantastic Four lives up to its name: The critics may be lambasting Fantastic Four but Lady Liberty says it's a fun movie. Unfortunately Dark Water, starring Jennifer Connelly, isn't as successful when it comes to the horror factor

Script dooms Spielberg's latest: Steven Spielberg is the master of the sci-fi epic, right? Not with War of the Worlds, responds Lady Liberty

No magic in Bewitched: Only a lack of air-conditioning in her home caused Lady Liberty to sit through both Bewitched and Herbie: Fully Loaded

The Batman we've all been waiting for: The Perfect Man, which stars Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear, is better than one would expect. Batman Begins? Lady Liberty says it's a triumph

An entertaining couple: Mr. & Mrs. Smith may not have the deepest story in cinematic history but Lady Liberty says it's an entertaining movie thanks to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Crowe scores a knockout: Lady Liberty finds that Cinderella Man lives up to the hype thanks to an outstanding story and great acting. She also has kind words for Lords of Dogtown

Madagascar fails to live up to expectations: There are a lot of stellar animated movies out there. Unfortunately, says Lady Liberty, Madagascar isn't one of them

Third Star Wars prequel finally delivers: The first two Star Wars prequels were difficult to watch but with Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith Lady Liberty says George Lucas has a winner

Fonda and Sykes shine in Monster-in-Law: Jane Fonda and Wanda Sykes made Monster-in-Law, an otherwise mediocre movie, a comic gem, writes Lady Liberty. Will Ferrell and Kicking and Screaming on the other hand...

Crash is a triumph: Avoid Ridley Scott's epic Kingdom of Heaven, advises Lady Liberty, but make sure to catch Crash, a movie with perfect casting and one of the best scripts of the year

Hitchhikers a mixed effort: xXx: State of the Union wasn't much to speak of but Lady Liberty thought the flawed The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was a bit more successful

Editing destroys remake: Given that the only new movie opening up was a remake of The Amityville Horror, Lady Liberty decided instead to watch the latest remake of The Four Feathers

Adventure and romance fuel pleasant escapes: Who would have thought it? The weekend offered two escapist movies -- one starring Jimmy Fallon -- and Lady Liberty enjoyed both Sahara and Fever Pitch

A groundbreaking achievement: Sin City had its problems -- notably an over reliance on comic book dialogue -- but Lady Liberty says it's a revolutionary effort

Only half right: Sandra Bullock's character may be armed but Lady Liberty says there is very little fabulous about Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Ring sequel a disappointment: Considering how well-crafted its predecessor was Lady Liberty was disappointed that The Ring 2 was fairly pedestrian

Nice to look at but not much there: Robots is a visual tour de force but unfortunately it's hamstrung by a weak script. Lady Liberty reviews that movie and Bruce Willis' latest, Hostage

Little comedy in The Pacifier: Lady Liberty didn't think much of the weekend's top grossing movie The Pacifier but thought The Jacket has a lot going for it

Attack of the movie haters: Political hacks converge on Million Dollar Baby: Nicholas Stix is mad dog angry at critics who decided to reveal the ending of Million Dollar Baby so they could make a political point. Warning, this essay contains spoilers about the movie.

All hail the king!: Lady Liberty has nothing to praise for the extended DVD version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, last year's winner for the best picture Oscar

Constantine neither heavenly or hellish: Whoa! Keanu Reeves has moved from fighting viruses and computers to taking aim at the Devil himself. Lady Liberty reviews Constantine and gives her predictions for the Oscars

Hitch not the hottest of dates: Lady Liberty says that Will Smith's Hitch isn't without its charms but you can find more attractive ways of spending your time

Talented cast saves Finding Neverland: Finding Neverland is a movie with an average script but a fantastic cast, writes Lady Liberty, which is much more then she could say about In Good Company

Sideways a rare treat: Lady Liberty thought that Clinton Eastwood's highly praised Million Dollar Baby didn't quite live up to its advance billing but she found Sideways to be an absolute jewel

Butler a pleasant surprise: Contrary to what we would have suspected, Lady Liberty thought highly of both The Phantom of the Opera and the remake of Assault on Precinct 13

Poor execution dooms Elektra: Elektra, which stars Jennifer Garner as the ultimate female assassin, is better than Daredevil but that isn't saying much, says Lady Liberty

Less than the sum of its parts: Good cast, interesting idea. So what went wrong with suspense thriller White Noise? Lady Liberty explains why it's not a bad movie, merely an average one

Remake crashes as badly as the the plane: Lady Liberty hasn't seen the original but the new version of Flight of the Phoenix didn't have a lot to recommend itself

The Aviator soars: Meet the Fockers is a sequel so you pretty well know what you can expect but Lady Liberty thought The Aviator was glorious

Lemony Snicket not so fresh: Lady Liberty loved Mike Nichols' Closer but she was far less impressed by Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, a movie based on a popular series of children's books

Less pleasing by one: Lady Liberty enjoyed Ocean's 12 -- the highly anticipated sequel to the remake of Ocean's 11 -- and says it's neither as bad or as good as you've heard

Less than the sum its parts: Given that no one has ever made an English language movie that concentrated on the Battle of Stalingrad, Steve Martinovich was hoping for a lot from Enemy at the Gates

Fight Club: Thomas Kelly says Fight Club shouldn't have been excoriated for its brutal violence but rather what was the cause and target of it

 



 


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