modern

thoughts and reviews on modern movies

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Terminator Salvation (2009)

  (4.5/5) action – thriller – sci-fi Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (2 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 34% | Metacritic 51% I loved it! Having listened to Ben Mankiewicz’s review I was expecting it to be terrible. Fortunately I had not read Roger Ebert’s rather ill-informed review. I hold his

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Oscars Production 2009

Reference: Roger Ebert’s 09 Oscar Page | Official Oscars Website | IMDb Oscar 09 Page | Wikipedia 81st Academy Awards Page Kudos to the producers of the 81st Annual Academy Awards for some wonderful changes to the show this year: Nobody was prematurely played offstage: Winners were FINALLY allowed to give their acceptance speeches. Thank

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Changeling (2008)

  (3/5) thriller Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (3.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 61% | Metacritic 63% In The Changeling (2008), Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a pre-depression era single mom whose only child (Gattlin Griffith) was kidnapped. The L.A. police return a boy that is not her son, they

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The Visitor (2008)

  (2.5/5) drama, romance Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (3.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 91% | Metacritic 79% In The Visitor (2008), Richard Jenkins plays the lonely widower, Prof. Walter Vale, who lives and works in Connecticut. His life is rudderless until he returns to his Manhattan apartment to speak

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Doubt (2008)

  (4.5/5) drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (4 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 77% | Metacritic 68% In Doubt (2008) the principal of a Catholic school and senior nun (Meryl Streep) suspects a priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of being involved in an inappropriate relationship with an alter boy. On that

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Tropic Thunder (2008)

  (4/5) comedy – action – adventure Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (3.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 83% | Metacritic 71% In Tropic Thunder (2008) a frustrated director (Steve Coogan) sends his actors into the jungle (filmed in Hawaii) to make a more realistic Vietnam-era film. Local drug runners mistake

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Dale’s 2009 Oscar Roundup

Reference: Roger Ebert’s 09 Oscar Page | Official Oscars Website | IMDb Oscar 09 Page | Wikipedia 81st Academy Awards Page Here are my thoughts/picks for the major categories of the 81st annual Annual Academy Awards show- to be held on February 22, 2009. Links in this post are to my reviews of each on

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

  (3/5) [genre] Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (2.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 71% | Metacritic 70% I had no desire to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2oo8). I did because it the only 2008 film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar that I hadn’t seen. My instincts

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In Bruges (2008)

  (2/5) comedy, crime, drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (4 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 81% | Metacritic 67% I would sum of In Bruges as follows: Mobsters lay low in the story-book town of Bruges Belgium – and nothing happens. This movie was simultaneously boring and amusing. Amusing because

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Milk (2008)

  (4/5) docu-drama, bio-pic Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 93% | Metacritic 84% In Milk, Sean Penn inhabits America’s first self-identified gay politician, Harvey Milk. As with Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon (2008), within seconds I ceased focusing on Sean Penn the actor and was carried away with his

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The Wrestler (2008)

 (2.5/5) drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 98% | Metacritic 81% Mickey Rourke is an intriguingly unique actor. He was terrific in Sin City (2005) but disturbing, to me, in Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986). My opinion of him has flip-flopped over the years. Ultimately I do respect his

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Frost/Nixon (2008)

 (3.5/5) docu-drama, bio-pic Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 91% | Metacritic 80% Ron Howard directs another fine movie. Michael Sheen capably plays David Frost. To my mind, this movie is about Frank Langella’s total embodiment of Richard Millhouse Nixon. Langella honed this roll with Sheen during a two

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The Reader (2008)

  (4.5/5) romance – drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 59% | Metacritic 58% The Reader (2008) is a powerfully complex movie, both beautiful and sorrowful, romantic and tragic. Kate Winslet is within my top 10, perhaps top 5, all time favourite actresses. She is once again fantastic

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Yes Man (2008)

  (3/5) romantic comedy Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (2/4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 42% | Metacritic 46% Yes Man (2008) is a story about taking chances, trying new things and getting the most out of life. After attending a motivational seminar, Carl decides to say ‘Yes’ to every ‘opportunity’ thrown his

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Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

  (5/5) drama, romance Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (4/4)| IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 94% | Metacritic 86% This is a beautiful movie. It has an engaging story. The terrific cinematography captures India in a beautiful, yet realistic, way that I’ve never seen before. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) won Best Picture at the 2008

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GRAN Torino (2008)

  (4/5) drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert (3.5/4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 73% | Metacritic 73% Clint Eastwood hits another home run. I agree with my friend Don Bennett who said on exiting the movie: “I was expecting a good movie and I got a very good movie.” In Gran Torino

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Quantum of Solace (2008)

  (3.5/5) action – adventure  – thriller Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 65% | Metacritic 58% Quantum of Solace (2008) is part 2 to the spectacularly good Casino Royale (2006). It takes up just minutes after the first ends. I agree with the critics who say that this

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Elizabeth (1998)

  (3/5) – historical drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 80% | Metacritic 75% In Elizabeth (1998), Cate Blanchett plays Elizabeth the 1st, daughter of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth gains the thrown after her half sister Mary dies. From the moment of her coronation, she

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Best Laid Plans (1999)

  (2.5/5) crime drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 45% | Metacritic 40% I hadn’t heard of Best Laid Plans (199) until it showed up as a Reese Witherspoon Wishlist option on my TiVo. Reese is one of my favourite contemporary actresses. Josh Brolin, who I was impressed with

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Casino Royale (2006)

  (5/5) action, adventure, thriller Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 94% | Metacritic 81% As I did before watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I went back and watched the fantastic Casino Royale (2006) in preparation for the forthcoming Quantum Solace (2008). Quantum Solace

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Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

  (2/5) romantic comedy Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 66% | Metacritic 55% In the main, I respect Kevin Smith and have enjoyed several of his acting and directorial works including Clerks (1994), Chasing Amy (1997) and Clerks II (2006). But I hated Dogma (1999) and his excessive

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W. (2008)

  (3.5/5) political drama Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 56% | Metacritic 56% W. is Oliver Stone’s take on the life of George W. Bush. The advertising for this movie is misleading. I was half expecting a lampoon-style, slapstick comedy but I got a drama. Not as blatantly,

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Religulous (2008)

  (3.5/5) documentary, comedy Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 70% | Metacritic 56% In the irreverent Religulous, Bill Maher uses humour (and a little mean-spirited, unfair editing) to poke holes in the dogma, beliefs and creeds of several religions. Maher is an agnostic. His intention is to show

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Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

  (3.5/5) Reference: | Reviews: IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 81% | Metacritic 69% Yippy Ki-yay! For the fourth time in nineteen years, Bruce Willis enjoyably reprises his irreverent role as Detective John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard. This is a fun, predictable, action-filled romp with a nonsensical plot and a nonsensical

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Burn After Reading (2008)

  (1.5/5) Reference: | Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 79% | Metacritic 62% The title should be changed to "Burn Before Watching". It’s an awful movie. I laughed a lot during Burn After Reading (2008). I laughed at it, not because of it.  Given my general disdain for Coen Brothers