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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: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Poseidon In the original movie, “Poseidon” is struck by a tsunami and overturned. At the time, as pointed out in the History Channel episode on the disc, no one thought that was possible. Since that time, the world has learned how frightening that force of nature can be. In the NBC remake, the destruction was caused by a terrorist bomb to exploit the paranoia heightened by 9/11. In Petersen’s version of the movie, the destructive force was changed to a rogue wave, unlike tsunamis, which resemble extremely fast, very high tides, and which cause destruction along shorelines; they’re not necessarily very hazardous to ships at sea. Rogue waves have been documented over a hundred feet in height and have totally destroyed ships as big as the “Poseidon” in the movie. The plot is simple. A huge luxury ocean liner is overturned at sea and a handful of people that survived the initial destruction struggle ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Departed, The Many people around the world sighed with relief when not only did Martin Scorsese finally, FINALLY, win a best director Oscar for “The Departed,” but the film itself was named Best Picture of the Year. It seemed about bleedin’ time that Scorsese won this most prestigious movie award; too bad it couldn’t have been for one of his more personal, distinctive movies, but “The Departed” is terrific, grand entertainment with a good cast, excellent production values and enough violence to equip three or four standard horror movies. But this is a Martin Scorsese gangster movie; he always emphasizes the blood and gore attendant upon the gangster lifestyle, and he’s right to do so. His movies aren’t for those disturbed by realistic depiction of violence, but they’re also not exploitative—Scorsese is nothing if not honest. And this time he was playful, too. “The Departed” is the first Scorsese movie to have an intricate, surprise-packed ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 June 2007 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Bullitt “Bullitt” was a medium-budget studio movie, basically a standard police thriller—but what it was about is not as important as its style, and that amazing car chase, still one of the best in movie history. It set precedents that many producers and directors have tried to top—and though many have succeeded (from “The French Connection” to “The Bourne Supremacy”), this blistering, beautifully-edited sequence in “Bullitt” is still the one everything else is compared to. Furthermore, McQueen cut such a stylish figure as the San Francisco police detective with the ludicrous name of Frank Bullitt that he established a new style for cops and their behavior. There wouldn’t have been a “Dirty Harry” or any Lethal Weapons without Frank Bullitt—or without Steve McQueen. He sometimes isn’t given his due as an actor, but he burned a hole in the screen—his sheer presence was electrifying and memorable. But like most such figures in movie history, ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Wicker Man, The (2006) Based on a 1973 British film starring Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee that’s a cult favorite, “The Wicker Man” starring Nicholas Cage just misses all the way around. Like the original, this “Wicker Man” poses as a thriller, mystery, and horror movie. It’s more successful in the beginning segments that introduce Cage as California Highway Patrolman Edward Malus. The movie opens at a sedate pace in a small town where Malus is just one of the people in a diner; he seems to be focusing on dealing with problems in his life. That’s why he’s buying the self-help tapes to listen to while he’s patrolling on his motorcycle. This set up is quietly contained and quite different from the tragedy that happens soon after. While on the highway, Malus finds a doll. He stops and picks it up, then drives on ahead and spots a station wagon that has the likely culprit. When he ...
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