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Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Doom Universal had high hopes for “Doom.” An international consortium was put together to make this moderately expensive movie, based on a home video game wildly popular the world over. But the movie tanked at the box office—has ANY movie based on a video game done particularly well? It’s possible that they tend to make their money in ancillary markets—that is, on video. But even if that’s true, if a customer has a choice between a standard DVD of the movie and this high-definition DVD, there’s no compelling reason to go with the more expensive disc, as high-definition adds very little to this movie—which needs all the help it can get. Occasionally, studios have fun playing with their logos, as when with movies with winter setting, we see the logo covered in snow. Universal has had more fun with the image BEHIND the logo—the Earth itself. (So shouldn’t the name be Planetary rather than ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Dirty Dozen, The England- 1944. Major Reisman (Marvin) a smart but insubordinate trouble-maker is forcefully given a difficult and politically uncomfortable mission by General Worden (Borgnine): take a group of military prisoners who are on death row or have long-term prison sentences and build them into a capable team. Once the group is together, they’ll be given a high-risk mission to go behind German lines and destroy a chateau that is frequented by German generals. Reisman is able to build the unstable group (with much flack from his superior officers) into a cohesive unit through his leadership skills and the offer of commuted sentences to the team. As the group heads off on their mission, a few loose cannons (particularly Telly Savalas as a wacko who thinks his violence toward women is dictated by God) threaten to ruin the entire enterprise. Director Aldrich’s extremely popular war film boasts one of the most impressive big-name male casts in ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory When this remake of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was announced a couple of years ago, the idea was met with much consternation. The 1971 original has become a much-beloved family favorite and a few generations have grown up with its deliciously twisted story, charming heart and memorable songs. How could a remake in the cold corporate world of the ‘00s even begin to compare? The easy answer is simple- by returning to Roald Dahl’s original book (and title) and visualizing parts of the story that were a technically impossible to do 30 years ago. Apart from that, Burton filters the story through his personal vision and gives it a completely odd ball charm that frequently catches you off-guard. Reclusive, brilliant candy magnate Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) has kept himself locked away in his candy factory for decades. Unseen by the public for years, the world goes Wonka-crazy when a worldwide sweepstakes is ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Batman Begins When Warners decided to restart the Batman movie franchise, they clearly brought the right people aboard. Director Christopher Nolan (and screenwriter David Goyer)’s depiction of Batman’s origin and early days is a near-perfect work and an astounding technical, visual and dramatic feat. Utilizing Nolan’s flair for playing with narrative time (as seen in “Memento” and his current release “The Prestige”), “Batman Begins” relates the story of a young Bruce Wayne, son of wealthy parents who, traumatized by an experience in a cave full of bats and the murder of his parents by a mugger, evolves into a one-man crusader of justice. Bale is perfectly cast as the haunted, driven and resourceful Wayne and the main strength of the film is in allowing a significant portion of the film to focus on his character with a degree of depth. Instead of it being about Batman, who is also Bruce Wayne, it’s a film ...
Editor's rating: 
Sunday, 01 October 2006 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Syriana After the 9/11 attack, a book came out that changed the face of American espionage in the Middle East. In See No Evil, author Robert Baer accused the Central Intelligence Agency of relying too heavily on technological spying devices instead of dealing with flesh-and-blood “assets” (the people they seduce, bribe, blackmail, and brainwash to help them manage intelligence). The CIA’s response was that it was too hard to train people to speak Farsi and the other languages involved in that volatile area, and it was equally as hard to get agents into the area without getting them killed. The book was praised and castigated almost equally. However, there was no refuting the fact that the United States had been caught flatfooted by a terrorist aggressor and that shouldn’t have happened. The book became an overnight bestseller and caught the attention of film director, Stephen Gaghan. Gaghan wrote the screenplay for Stephen Soderbergh’s “Traffic”, their take ...
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