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May 02,2009
Steve Lopez is a gifted writer, a journalist with a rare eye for the human condition, its struggles and its bliss.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  As a high-profile columnist, he captured life as he saw it in California's Silicon Valley for the San Jose Mercury News, then at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and currently at the Los ... [full story]
50419 times read - No comment posted

Apr 28,2009
"State of Play" is part political conspiracy thriller, part ode to old-style newspaper journalism, but neither part is coherent. It's in a state of disarray.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  Scottish director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland") bangs out a run-of-the-mill picture, based on an admired BBC miniseries, that opens with a thrilling splash of ... [full story]
27991 times read - No comment posted

Apr 28,2009
Bret Easton Ellis needs a new decade. The author of "Less Than Zero" made his literary fortune dissecting the nihilistic 1980s as if it were a good-looking corpse — the Great Gatsby with hair mousse. But the filmed adaptation of "The Informers" finds Ellis with his dullest blade, peering into the hollow souls of several upscale Los Angelenos and finding that, yes, rootless, spoiled and amoral people tend to be unhappy. Is that really all ... [full story]
27995 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
Here's the question: Will Zac Efron, 21, poster boy for teenage girls everywhere and Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood Star of the Year, grow up to look like a jowled, pudgy Matthew Perry?   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)   That's what "17 Again" would have you believe. Perry, 39, his 10-season "Friends" career over, isn't a bad actor. In ... [full story]
12647 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
The lights went down in the movie theater and the crowd screamed. The Disney logo flashed on the screen and they screamed more loudly. And when Miley Cyrus appeared in the opening scene, the audience of hundreds, average age about 9, went nuts.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  "Hannah Montana: The Movie" will be a hit with ... [full story]
27271 times read - No comment posted

Apr 10,2009
Cary Joji Fukunaga is a Banana Slug, an alumnus of UC Santa Cruz. That's the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Go Banana Slugs!   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  Go Cary Joji Fukunaga! "Sin Nombre" ("Nameless"), his resplendent Sundance Film Festival hit (best director), is an assured, vividly photographed, finely written, harrowing tale of Central American immigrants grinding ... [full story]
2632 times read - No comment posted

Apr 10,2009
Jody Hill is the directing and writing impresario behind a certain kind of scatological humor. It's a combination of the gross and the profane, of nerd worship and props to those with deep inferiority issues.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  Last year, there was the crude "The Foot Fist Way," starring Danny McBride as the proprietor of ... [full story]
2537 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
James Brennan, graduating from college, is so ready for that getaway to Europe with his buddy Eric. Then, over lunch on the big day, James' parents tell him that his father's job has, um, changed and they won't be able to give him the trip as a gift. There will be no Paris. Instead, it will be back to Pittsburgh and a summer job.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 ... [full story]
2870 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2009
If "Monsters Vs. Aliens" in 3-D is the filmgoing experience of the future, as DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg likes to pronounce, this exhilarating, lofty motion picture takes you there in a furious, fantastic ride.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  It'll be a monster at the box office, enticing kids and adults with its mighty female hero, ... [full story]
3279 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
"Crossing Over" crashes to the screen like "Crash," the 2006 Oscar winner that intertwined stories set in post-9/11 Los Angeles touching on themes of racism, suspicion and alienation.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  With its rich, complex characters, "Crash" did a better job capturing the ethnicity and turbulent life of an unwieldy and dangerous city than the ... [full story]
3051 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Writer and director Tony Gilroy painted a chilling picture of corporate espionage with "Michael Clayton." Now he's flipped the canvas to paint something lighter — a romantic comedy set in the same cutthroat world. The movie is sleek fun, full of verve and charm, but never lets the audience forget that big businesses fight just as dirty as governments do.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 ... [full story]
2851 times read - No comment posted

Mar 23,2009
If director Steven Soderbergh wanted to bring the Cuban revolution to the screen, depicting guerrilla leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara as a saint, why didn't he attempt one dynamic movie? What he generated with "Che: Part One" and "Che: Part Two" is a pair of forgettable and wearying ones. It's a lumbering, indulgent exercise in hero worship.   Benicio Del Toro stars as the legendary revolutionary in ‘Che, Part I and Part II’  RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - ... [full story]
1044 times read - No comment posted

Mar 23,2009
From the cinematic archives, a few words of wisdom: In the Hitchcock classic "Rear Window," Thelma Ritter (playing an insurance nurse) asserts, "When a man and woman see each other, and like each other, they should come together — wham!, like two taxis on Broadway."   RATINGS  GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  It's a wham!, not on Broadway but ... [full story]
807 times read - No comment posted



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