film reviews (late winter 05)

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) directed by Jared Hess (Peluca, 2003); starring Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez: Snaprating=WFD, CHARACTER-theme. Fans of Bad Santa will be less ashamed of laughing but may not understand why this deadpan movie makes them giggle so much.

The Jacket (2005) directed by John Maybury (Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, 1998); starring Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley: Snaprating=Cheaper, PROBLEM-theme. Fans of Vanilla Sky will enjoy this cryptic-pic and walk away with a theory about what happened when.

Constantine (2005) directed by Francis Lawrence (directorial debut); starring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz: Snaprating=WFD, RE-ORDER-theme (secondary MILIEU theme). Fans of good vs. evil battles will like this movie more than Van Helsing because the supporting characters are outstanding.

The Forgotten (2004) directed by Joseph Ruben (Sleeping with the Enemy, 1991); starring Julianne Moore and Gary Sinise: Snaprating=WFT, PROBLEM-theme. Fans who really loved the two WFT movies: Signs and The Village, will jump off their seat a couple times as long as they overlook the extremely bad editing.

Garden State (2004) directed by Zach Braff (directorial debut); starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman: Snaprating=WFD, RE-ORDER-theme (minor secondary Character-theme). Fans of quirky ironic depictions of everyday-people acting out an interesting script will like this 'Clerks meets Napoleon Dynamite' film.

Alien Vs. Predator (2004) directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Event Horizon, 1997); starring Sanaa Lathan and Raoul Bova: Snaprating=WFD, PROBLEM-theme. Fans of all the Alien and Predator films will discover nothing new or unsuspected as this story successfully pokes fun at itself and it's predecessors.

The Grudge (2004) directed by Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on: The Grudge, 2003); starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Behr: Snaprating=WFC, PROBLEM-theme. Fans of the original shouldn't sully their memories with this Americanized re-make which won't scare a 5-year-old (too much).

Saw (2004) directed by James Wan (Stygian, 2000); starring Leigh Whannell and Danny Glover: Snaprating=Cheaper, PROBLEM-theme. Fans of The Cube will notice strong situation and dialogue similarities, but even with flawed acting and directing the plot will keep you in suspense.

The Yes Men (2003) directed by Dan Ollman (directorial debut); starring Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno: Snaprating=WFC, RE-ORDER-theme. Documentary fans may not enjoy this unless watching extremely detailed, embarrassing pranks is entertaining.

September Tapes (2004) directed by Christian Johnston (directorial debut); starring George Calil and Wali Razaqi: Snaprating=WFT, MILIEU-theme (weak PROBLEM secondary theme). 'The Blair Witch Project meets The Killing Fields' in Afghanistan with poor directing, no plot, bad special effects and terrible actors.

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