Movies

Inkheart

by Rick Grant Grade: C- / Rated PG / 106 min This movie is suffering from the Brendan Fraser Effect (BFE)-that is, most any movie in which Fraser stars depends on special effects to cover up his lackluster acting. Given the BFE of this fantasy scenario, the premise demands that the viewers suspend their disbelief and pretend Fraser can act. The protagonists of this preposterous scenario are Fraser’s character Mortimer Folchart and his teenage daughter Meggie (Eliza Bennett). They have the gift of being Silvertongues-that is, as they read a book aloud, the scenario comes to life. They can read …

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Inspired By… Your monthly guide to lit-based entertainment

by Kellie Abrahamson Literature has inspired works in nearly all forms of entertainment. Countless plays, paintings, video games and even albums have been penned, painted, designed and composed after someone creative read someone else’s creation. But arguably the artists guiltiest of turning books into something else altogether are filmmakers. Many of the stories in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters got their start on bookshelves (Harry Potter, anyone?) and, with hundreds of books being optioned for film each year, the phenomenon isn’t likely to change anytime soon. In February alone four movies are being released with roots in literature. Here’s a look at …

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Revolutionary Road

by Rick Grant Grade: A / Rated R / 119 min In Revolutionary Road, director Sam Mendes explores the American Dream as it existed in the mid 1950s and its effect on a couple, Frank and April Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet together on screen for the first time since Titanic). Mendes film delves deep into concept of the average American couple finding Nirvana in the suburbs. The utopian fantasy set the stage for the sexual and counter-culture revolution of the 60s and 70s. This pursuit of the Madison Avenue idea of the husband working at a well paying …

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Paul Blart: Mall Cop

by Rick GrantGrade: C / Rated PG / 87 min Clearly, after viewing this film, Kevin James proves he is funnier than its producer, Adam Sandler. That is not to say that the film rises above the level of a mediocre comedy. However, for his size, James is a great physical comedian who uses his body and the ubiquitous Segway Transporter to best advantage. The setup is paint-by-numbers filmmaking using a tried and true formula. James plays a rent-a-cop security guard, Paul Blart at a New Jersey mall. He cruises the mall on his trusty Segway scooter. The high tech …

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Last Chance Harvey

by Rick Grant Grade: A- PG-13 92 min In youth-obsessed Hollywood, it’s rare that someone writes a romantic comedy about sixty something people that resounds with youthful exuberance and true love. Writer/director, Joel Hopkins created this charming story of two lonely people who find each other in an amazing circumstance, and how this melding of the minds changes them forever. It only proves my theory that no matter who you are or how old you are, there is a soulmate out there waiting for you somewhere. The question is: Is it fate or the power of love that brings the …

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Defiance

by Rick Grant A / Rated R / 137 min This film, written and directed by wunderkind filmmaker, Edward Zwick, uses Daniel Craig’s full potential as a versatile actor. His rugged physique and confident demeanor leaves no doubt that his character, Tuvia Bielski is the leader of a group of Jewish rebels. They escaped the ghetto to hide out in the vast Belarussian forest in Nazi occupied Poland. The rebels steal arms and food, working in concert with the Russian Army to ambush Nazi patrols. The forest partisans set up camp with log buildings and maintain a viable functioning community …

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Gran Torino

by Rick GrantA / Rated R / 116 min For this film, Clint Eastwood created his most memorable character, Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran who recently lost his wife. In his late 70s, Walt is the quintessential grumpy old man who hates all minorities equally. The demographics of his neighborhood have changed drastically since he and his wife moved in many years ago. A Vietnamese family moved in next door, and Mexicans are living throughout the neighborhood. Walt’s worst fears have come true. He is surrounded by immigrants. Walt sounds like Archie Bunker with dozens of racist epitaphs for …

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January Movie Listings

JANUARY 9      BRIDE WARS Liv and Emma are best friends who have planned every detail of their respective weddings since childhood. At the top of their bridal “must have” list: a ceremony at New York’s ultimate bridal destination, the Plaza Hotel. Now, at age 26, they’re both about to get married; they’re about to realize their dreams; and they’re about to live happily ever after. Or maybe not. When a clerical error causes a clash in wedding dates–they’re now to be married on the same day!–Liv, Emma and their lifelong friendship are put to the ultimate test. Look for Candice …

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special movie showings

Jan. 7 VEER! VEER!     The new film by local filmmaker Patrick Barry, will premiere at ArtWalk. The film follows real-life, professional skateboarder Jesse Sorensen around Jacksonville after his latest skate video is broken up by the authorities. Transworld skate magazine once named him, “the next Tony Hawk” early in his career but, as Sorensen puts it, “It didn’t quite pan out how I imagined.” Now overweight and aging, he’s just learned that he’s been dropped from his skate sponsorship. “What started out as a skate video, ended up as a sort of docu-skate-narrative-experimetal-film,” notes Barry. Barry’s previous film, Haberdash, screened at …

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Slumdog Millionaire

by Rick Grant Grade: A / Rated R / 120 min From director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy comes Slumdog Millionaire an enchanting British film that tells the story of an abused orphan in the mold of “David Copperfield.” The story is told through the lens of an Indian television gameshow, Who Wants to be A Millionaire in which the orphan Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is winning and stands a chance to win the grand prize of 10 million rupees. Jamal’s claim to fame is his worldliness and street savvy, learning things about Indian life from his own experiences. …

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