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Editor's rating: 
Sunday, 01 July 2007 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Layer Cake An unnamed (the credits refer to him as “XXXX”) small-time drug manufacturer (Daniel Craig) lives a professional, upper-middle class existence, building up a nest egg for retirement, while treading in the world of hardened professional criminals. As XXXX abhors violence, he tries to stay far away from unprofessional criminals and situations that produce too much risk. Unfortunately his little controlled empire turns to chaos when he is instructed to broker a deal for one million Ecstasy pills, which, unbeknownst to XXXX, were stolen from a vengeful Serbian drug lord. Adding to the confusion is the request by gangster Jimmy (Kenneth Cranham) for XXXX to track down the errant daughter of big-time gangster Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon). As XXXX tries to navigate between the various factions, he becomes tangled in double and triple-crosses, bungled plans, and sudden outbursts of violence. Matthew Vaughn makes his directorial debut with “Layer Cake,” having previously produced “Snatch” and “Lock, ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Entrapment Even though the big climax of “Entrapment” features our hero (Sean Connery) and heroine (Catherine Zeta-Jones) hanging by their fingertips from a splintering cable near the top of the twin towers of the (then) tallest building on Earth, the movie doesn’t really generate very much suspense. Director John Amiel’s style is too relaxed for that to happen, and we don’t have a strong emotional investment in the characters. Still, it looks good, and passes itself off reasonably successfully as the kind of movie it is intended to be. But it’s not memorable, and has few gotta-see-that-again moments, so unless you just have to have all of the films by either star (can’t imagine a John Amiel completist), you can safely pass on “Entrapment.” The movie opens with an elaborate break-in at a Manhattan skyscraper; the thief is dressed ninja-style all in black, with a strange contraption over the face. You might be reminded ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Big Fish William Bloom (Billy Crudup) has always been overshadowed by his larger-than-life father, Edward (Albert Finney), who has regaled family and friends with tall tales of his fanciful adventures for decades. When Edward finds out that he’s dying, William returns home with his wife, to care for his father and to try to find some resolution to their strained relationship. His father, finding a new audience in William’s young wife, relates the fanciful tales of his life to her. William, angry at his father for not telling him the honest truth about himself and his life, pushes him to come clean and to cease spinning wild stories. “Big Fish” is a sweet, charming film which finds director Tim Burton working with a much more personal story (his own father died prior to filming) and stretching his style a little further. As the elderly Edward Bloom relates his story, we see those sequences with Ewan McGregor ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Volver The rural Spanish village of La Mancha is prone to windstorms, which cause occasional outbreaks of deadly brushfires. Four years ago, Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and her sister Soledad (Lola Duenas) lost their mother (Carmen Maura) and father in a fire. When their aunt dies, Soledad is beset by the mysterious return of her mother, whom Soledad assumes is a ghost with unfinished business. At the same time, Raimunda is forced to handle an unpleasant situation involving her husband, Paco (Antonio de la Torre) and her daughter, Paula (Yohano Cobo). Soledad attempts to keep their mother’s presence a secret from Raimunda, but a reunion of the two feels imminent. “Volver” means “to return” and while the title refers to several aspects of the story, the most significant one, beyond the story, is the return of Spanish movie star Carmen Maura, who, after an absence of eighteen years makes a welcome return to the ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Prestige, The The public loves magic. Nearly everyone, at least in public schools, can look back on their younger years and remember when the magician played the schools. The kids went nuts getting ready for the big day, then spent the rest of the day and maybe the rest of the week trying to figure out how all the tricks were done. That same love and curiosity continued into adulthood, which is why so many audiences are attracted to street magicians like David Blane, cold readers like John Edwards, or Vegas-style illusionists like Doug Henning and David Copperfield. “The Prestige” started as a novel by Christopher Priest. Priest is an English horror/SF novelist who doesn’t hesitate to mix the two genres to get whatever effect he chooses for his stories. Director Christopher Nolan was so concerned over the movie’s ending being given away to American audiences that he kept an American tie-in edition to the ...
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