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King Arthur (2004)
Rule Your Fate.
Filmmaker(s): Antoine Fuqua

The story of the Arthurian legend, based on the 'Sarmatian hypothesis' which contends that the legend has a historical nucleus in the Sarmatian heavy cavalry troops stationed in Britain, and that the Roman-British military commander, Lucius Artorius Castus is the historical person behind the legend.

Blue Woman With these simple constructions, its easy to see where they decided the hook would be. I imagine the pitch was that this would be “Braveheart” meets “Gladiator” but with a fighten’ gal. I’m sure they took a model and put her in blue tattoos...

Published March 7, 2023
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Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
The bride is back for the final cut.
Filmmaker(s): Quentin Tarantino

The Bride unwaveringly continues on her roaring rampage of revenge against the band of assassins who had tried to kill her and her unborn child. She visits each of her former associates one-by-one, checking off the victims on her Death List Five until there's nothing left to do … but kill Bill.

Used Record Store There are movies that are well done; there are movies that satisfy; there are those that work, those that stick, those that transcend time to become classics and those that change lives. None of these measures necessarily has anything to do with each...

Published March 7, 2023
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Kinsey (2004)
Let's talk about sex
Filmmaker(s): Bill Condon

Kinsey is a portrait of researcher Alfred Kinsey, driven to uncover the most private secrets of a nation. What begins for Kinsey as a scientific endeavor soon takes on an intensely personal relevance, ultimately becoming an unexpected journey into the mystery of human behavior.

The Wrong Interview Here’s a major problem in drama: you want to deal with big issues, great disembodied, cosmic sweeps of things. Things that people love or make them suffer. This is why people come. But the tools we have to display these things are humans, usually....

Published March 4, 2023
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Alien Versus Predator (2004)
Whoever wins...we lose.
Filmmaker(s): Paul W. S. Anderson

When scientists discover something in the Arctic that appears to be a buried Pyramid, they send a research team out to investigate. Little do they know that they are about to step into a hunting ground where Aliens are grown as sport for the Predator race.

Pyramidal I’ve made a study of what differentiates the main Alien films, constituting a concise film school. Now this here is a different beast. It is a simple essay, not an ordinary long form film. You might like it because of the very idea, or the...

Published February 14, 2023
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A Very Long Engagement (2004)
Never let go.
Filmmaker(s): Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Young Frenchwoman Mathilde searches for the truth about her missing fiancé, lost during World War I, and learns many unexpected things along the way. The love of her life is gone. But she refuses to believe he's gone forever — and she needs to know for sure.

Gluttony One of the hardest things in the world is to stop when you know you should, but the attraction, the romance of your obsession pulls you deeper and deeper into the thing. It happens with big things like love and little things like this film. It...

Published December 25, 2022
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A Separate Peace (2004)
Filmmaker(s): Peter Yates

Four friends with one dark secret they could never outrun.

Parallel Branches Some books seem natural for high school study. They need to be simple to read, but contain enough ambiguity and analogy to show students that real literature is more than a plot. If the book is set in high school, so much the better....

Published December 25, 2022
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A Cinderella Story (2004)
Once upon a time... can happen any time.
Filmmaker(s): Mark Rosman

Routinely exploited by her wicked stepmother, the downtrodden Samantha Montgomery is excited about the prospect of meeting her Internet beau at the school's Halloween dance.

Variations Yes, this is a simple syrupy tale, childish and cliched with actors of ordinary skill and charm. But I liked it. The oddest thing is that though Disney cannot make decent cartoons any more, they sure have the old fashioned sentimental tale down, stuff from the...

Published December 24, 2022
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50 First Dates (2004)
Imagine having to win over the girl of your dreams... every friggin' day.
Filmmaker(s): Peter Segal

Henry is a player skilled at seducing women. But when this veterinarian meets Lucy, a girl with a quirky problem when it comes to total recall, he realizes it's possible to fall in love all over again…and again, and again. That's because the delightful Lucy has no short-term memory, so Henry must woo her day after day until he finally sweeps her off her feet.

Drew Draws I’ve come to appreciate this actress. Women can do things in that space between the film and us that male actors just cannot. Blame it on the feminine nature or cultural imperatives, depending on your views. But there is no denying that the art...

Published December 5, 2022
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13 Going on 30 (2004)
For some, 13 feels like it was just yesterday. For Jenna, it was.
Filmmaker(s): Gary Winick

A girl who's sick of the social strictures of junior high is transformed into a grownup overnight. In this feel-good fairy tale, teenager Jenna wants a boyfriend, and when she's unable to find one, she fantasizes about being a well-adjusted adult. Suddenly, her secret desire becomes a reality, and she is transformed into a 30-year-old, but adulthood, with its own set of male-female challenges, isn't as easy as it looks.

Why Are Formulas Endearing? I just cannot understand why I find this endearing and repellent at the same time. I find it endearing because it sticks to tried and true formulas, and being easily hypnotised cinematically these formulas work on me. I am disturbed at the same...

Published December 4, 2022
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I Robot (2004)
One man saw it coming
Filmmaker(s): Alex Proyas

In 2035, where robots are commonplace and abide by the three laws of robotics, a technophobic cop investigates an apparent suicide. Suspecting that a robot may be responsible for the death, his investigation leads him to believe that humanity may be in danger.

Bladewalker Some day, probably soon, we’ll become overtly offended — evolved — when special effects are used to paper over multidimensional weaknesses. Some day, probably far off, we’ll refuse to watch mugging celebrities in the place of actors. Some day, there will be more to stories...

Published November 30, 2022
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