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9 Songs (2004)
2 lovers, one summer, and the 9 songs that defined them.
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Drama
Music
Romance

Matt, a young glaciologist, soars across the vast, silent, icebound immensities of the South Pole as he recalls his love affair with Lisa. They meet at a mobbed rock concert in a vast music hall - London's Brixton Academy. They are in bed at night's end. Together, over a period of several months, they pursue a mutual sexual passion whose inevitable stages unfold in counterpoint to nine live-concert songs.

Rock and Roll When I saw Scorsese’s “Last Waltz”, I thought that I would never again see a concert film as true. And I haven’t, until now. The Band were the last popular musicians to tell stories, have nearly all those stories be in the third person...


Published November 30, 2022
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Alexander (2004)
The greatest legend of all was real
Director: Oliver Stone
War
History
Action
Adventure
Drama
Romance

Alexander, the King of Macedonia, leads his legions against the giant Persian Empire. After defeating the Persians, he leads his army across the then known world, venturing farther than any westerner had ever gone, all the way to India.

The Borrowed Cyrus and Darius knitted together the largest empire known before or since. Their method was innovative, to allow local control preserving the culture and gods. What they added was infrastructure: roads, a universal set of laws (the first case law) weights and monetary system. The...


Published November 30, 2022
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The Forgotten (2004)
You'll Never Forget The Ones You Love
Director: Joseph Ruben
Thriller
Drama
Mystery
Science Fiction

Telly Paretta is a grieving mother struggling to cope with the loss of her 8-year-old son. She is stunned when her psychiatrist reveals that she has created eight years of memories about a son she never had. But when she meets a man who has had a similar experience, Telly embarks on a search to prove her son's existence, and her sanity.

Two Faces Readers of my other comments on Julianne Moore know that I credit her with being one of the few actresses that can do “folded” acting. That’s where the actor presents us with two characters, one usually _in_ the story and another that engages in...


Published November 28, 2022
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Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
Out of the ashes, hope will rise.
Director: John Moore
Action
Adventure

When an oil rig in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia proves unproductive, an aircraft crew are sent to shut the operation down and fly them out. On the flight out over the desert on the way to Beijing, Capt. Frank Towns and co-pilot A.J. are unable to keep their cargo plane, a C-119 Flying Boxcar, in the air when a violent sandstorm strikes. Crash-landing in a remote uncharted part of the desert, the two pilots and their passengers -- a crew of oil workers and a drifter -- must work together to survive by rebuilding the aircraft. Soon, low supplies and a band of merciless smugglers add even greater urgency to their task.

Flying Eye This movie was great fun and all the fun was in the eye. If you know the original, it justified itself as a character development project: people thrust into an isolated, life and death situation — various challenges to overcome, various group dynamics to confront....


Published November 28, 2022
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Finding Neverland (2004)
Where will your imagination take you?
Director: Marc Forster
Drama
Documentary

During a writing slump, playwright J.M. Barrie meets a widow and her four children, all young boys—who soon become an important part of Barrie’s life and the inspiration that lead him to create his masterpiece. Peter Pan'.

Still Not Found Never have I been so disappointed. This movie is right up my alley: I’m studying so-called “folded” films. A fine example is when you have a movie that has a play inside it and the reality of the two blur, like with “French...


Published November 28, 2022
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The Incredibles (2004)
Meet the Parrs, a family of superheroes.
Director: Brad Bird
Action
Adventure
Animation
Family

Bob Parr has given up his superhero days to log in time as an insurance adjuster and raise his three children with his formerly heroic wife in suburbia. But when he receives a mysterious assignment, it's time to get back into costume.

Pixar is Invincible All movies are about other movies. Most simply quote them, and most of these are bad. Some are very clever quoters, like Tarantino. But still mere quoters. A few weeks ago, I saw “Van Helsing” which impressed the daylights out of me. It...


Published November 26, 2022
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Cube Zero (2004)
Every nightmare has a beginning.
Director: Ernie Barbarash
Mystery
Science Fiction
Thriller

A young programmer whose job is to watch over the reality-warping Cube defies orders to rescue an innocent mother trapped in one of its rooms.

Watchers I was one of the enthusiasts of the original. It seemed a clever solution to one of filmdoms most persistent challenges: how to stage drama. Noir is our most basic cinematic model. The core of noir is a universe where capricious fate toys with human destiny...


Published November 26, 2022
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2046 (2004)
Are you still in the mood for love?
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Drama
Science Fiction
Romance

Women enter and exit a science fiction author's life over the course of a few years after the author loses the woman he considers his one true love.

Gloved Hand If Welles, Tarkovsky and Kurosawa are the three past masters. Greenaway, Medem and Kar-Wai are the three greatest living filmmakers. All three weave incredibly deep and personal stories which bleed into the act of their creating the film. Each create striking images that resonate...


Published November 25, 2022
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Anatomy of Hell (2004)
Director: Catherine Breillat
Drama

A man rescues a woman from a suicide attempt in a gay nightclub. Walking the streets together, she propositions him: She'll pay him to visit her at her isolated house for four consecutive nights. There he will silently watch her. He's reluctant, but agrees. As the four nights progress, they become more intimate with each other, and a mutual fascination/revulsion develops. By the end of the four-day "contract", these two total strangers will have had a profound impact on each other.

The Grace of Stupidity, the Beauty of Blood Some of us are more nimble than others at being and some of us hide it well, but it is the human condition to be stupid. We all are and that’s that. The best we can hope for...


Published November 25, 2022
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Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace (2004)

Two spheres Why are Canada and Australia so invested in exploring the periphery? My own theory is based on the existence of a few talented teachers in key places. For whatever reason, this is something you are unlikely to find elsewhere. First, note that every production value...


Published November 20, 2022
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