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Wednesday, 01 August 2007 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Fountain, The Most cultures have an immortality/fountain of youth myth. The avoidance of death is one of the (if not the) most primal human desires. In “The Fountain” writer/director Darren Aronofsky delves into the idea of this myth, telling a story that’s epic in scope but intimate and simple. “The Fountain” intercuts between three stories taking place in three different timelines: in the first, conquistador Tomas (Hugh Jackman), deep in the South American jungle passionately quests after the fountain of youth on a mission for his queen, Isabel (Rachel Weisz) who feels its discovery will help save her reign from the Inquisition. In modern times, doctor Tom Creo (also Jackman) pushes himself and his colleagues to the limit in an attempt to find a cure for the brain tumor that is killing his wife, Izzy (also Weisz). Sometime far in the future, a bald monklike man named Tommy (Jackman again) journeys through the cosmos in ...
Editor's rating: 
Sunday, 01 July 2007 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
A Scanner Darkly Set at a cleverly indeterminate “7 years in the future,” “A Scanner Darkly” relates a somewhat loose, but intriguing tale of a drug called “Substance D” and its hallucinatory destructive effects on a group of people in a California suburb. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is an undercover policeman, working within a small circle of “Substance D” users to find the key supplier of this particularly destructive drug. Continued use of “Substance D” causes increasing paranoia, hallucinations and irrational behavior. The twitchy, unsettled Freck (Rory Cochrane) is the most extremely effected of the bunch, obsessed with the feeling that he’s covered with tiny crawling aphids. Arctor’s undercover identity is unknown, even to those in charge within the police, as undercover officers and their liaisons are cloaked in a “scramble suit” whenever they enter the police station, which makes their physical and voice details impossible to discern. While at the station, Arctor is told to closely ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Excalibur This nearly awesome adaptation of the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table takes its title from Arthur’s magical sword—“Forged when the world was young and bird and beast and flower were one with man, and death was but a dream.” Boorman and co-writer Rospo Pallenberg adapted their screenplay from Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur,” and it’s the most complete and faithful movie version of these familiar stories. Only “Camelot” is as thorough, and it’s not nearly as good a movie. Other Arthurian movies, like “First Knight” and “King Arthur” have fled from the magical elements of the original tales like they were poison; Boorman and Pallenberg embrace them and weave them into the fabric of their narrative—which is as it should be. Without the magic, the Arthurian tales are just more stuff about medieval kings and knights. But here the most important character is Merlin the magician, magnificently ...
Editor's rating: 
Thursday, 01 February 2007 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Based on the acclaimed novel by Roald Dahl, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is now a standard for kids’ movies, partly for the imagery and simple, good-hearted story with values, and partly because of the endearing way Gene Wilder portrayed the title character. (Dahl wrote the script.) The set-up is great for kids. The mysterious Willy Wonka, master candy-maker, has been gone from the public eye for years. Before he closed his factory and stopped allowing the public in, people used to stop by to see how he made all his wonderful candies. Except that there was a very evil man named Mr. Slugworth (Gunter Meisner) who tried to steal Willy’s recipes. As a result, Willy Wonka got to the point that he didn’t trust anyone. He withdrew from the public eye, but his company continued to produce wonderful products. Now, , Willy Wonka is once again going to open the doors ...
Editor's rating: 
Monday, 01 January 2007 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Forbidden Planet On my 13th birthday in 1956, my mother drove some friends of mine and I from Gardiner, Oregon 30 miles south to North Bend to see the movie I had been almost desperately anxious to see: “Forbidden Planet.” It was the best birthday present of my life, and became part of my life; though I knew it wasn’t perfect, it was my favorite movie until “2001: A Space Odyssey” supplanted it. It’s still one of my favorites, enough so that I’m among those interviewed in the “Amazing!” documentary included on both the high-def and standard DVDs recently released by Warner Bros. Warners has treated the movie very well. The original negatives were used for the digital transfer; flecks and specks were cleaned up perfectly, and the color has never been better, not even in the original theatrical releases. It’s in Eastman color, which tends to fade very rapidly, but now has been restored ...
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