Movies

Battle in Seattle

by Rick GrantB+ / Rated R / 96 min This is writer/director Stuart Townsend’s fictionalized documentary film chronicling the disastrous 1999 WTO conference in Seattle. Just prior to the WTO meeting, a labor protest commingled with the WTO activists creating a violent citywide riot that shut down the WTO conference. Mob rule took over. And there was a Battle In Seattle. Ray Liotta portrays the beleaguered Mayor Tobin who did everything possible to avoid the protests from getting out of hand. Alas, the original peaceful WTO protest was crashed by anarchists and labor troublemakers. Consequently, it escalated into a bloody …

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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

by Rick Grant A / Rated PG / 89 min Those nutty talking animals of the NYC Zoo return to the screen for a hilarious sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Like in the original film, the penguin squad steals the movie with their shenanigans, such as their dilapidated airplane ride back to NYC. The pilot penguin is in love with a bobble head Hawaiian doll. This penguin airline makes Jet Blue look like a broken down flight service. The pieced together plane ends up crashing in Africa with the gaggle of city animals who are ill-equipped to deal with their …

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Quantum of Solace

by Rick Grant C- / Rating PG-13 / 106 min Call this muddled 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Confusion. It features 007 (Daniel Craig) on a mission of revenge to terminate those responsible for killing his girlfriend Vesper (Eva Green), which harkens back to Casino Royale. This continuation of the last film is at the heart of the scenario’s problems. While M (Judy Denche) is trying to find out more about a secretive syndicate that has international reach, Bond is off the reservation killing M’s witnesses. Has Bond gone rogue? Meanwhile, the villain behind this international cabal is Dominic Greene, …

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latino film festival

by jon bosworth “Jacksonville lacks alternative cinema,” Jesse Rodriguez, Director of the Jacksonville Film Events Office, tells me from in front of one of the venues of the Chicago International Film Festival between screening films. Chicago is Rodriguez’ hometown and the Chicago International Film Festival was his passion for many of his formative years. This year, it’s 44th year, it is the oldest competitive film festival in the US. It is also the first year of implementing the concept of a “Festival Village,” a concept Rodriguez brought the Jacksonville International Film Festival back in February of this year when he …

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november movies

OCTOBER 31 HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY What would Halloween be without at least one horror-thriller, but this one is suspicious for being pretty lame as a teenage girl discovers that her parents made a pact with the devil to save her life. Molly Hartley (Bennett) looks to put her troubled past behind her with a fresh start at a new school, where she sparks with one of the most popular students (Crawford). But can her secrets stay buried, especially as she learns more about the horrific truth that awaits her once she turns 18? When the devil comes to collect, …

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special movie showings

Nov. 3 Monthly meeting of Jacksonville’s chapter of The International Laurel & Hardy Appreciation Society      Movies to be screened at the meeting: a Popeye cartoon, Brotherly Love, L&H short Come Clean, L&H feature film Pack Up Your Troubles. Pablo Creek Library, 13295 Beach Blvd. 6:30 to 8:15 pm. Info: 246-0312 or leaveemlaughingtent.com       Nov. 3 The 2008-2009 Southern Circuit Tour Of Independent Filmakers      Southern Circuit provides a unique program where independent filmmakers and their films travel to communities throughout the South. The Wet Season & Other Experimental Ethnographies will be shown on November 3, 7 pm- 8:15 pm at Florida …

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Pride & Glory

by RICK GRANTDRated R125 min If a film school professor could screen this movie for his students and afterwards ask the students “want’s wrong with this film? Anyone?” The correct answer would be “everything!” Auteurs, the O’Connor brothers (Gavin and Gregory) conjured up this filmmaking abortion. It fails on every level of cinematic art. Let me be more specific. It’s poorly shot. The dialogue is indiscernible due to incompetent sound recording. The O’Conner brothers were going for a dogma-esque tone which resulted in most scenes shot with pitch black backgrounds with tiny flashes of light on the characters. The stunts …

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W.

by RICK GRANT B Rated PG-13 131 min W’s director, Oliver Stone said in a recent interview that his film’s portrayal of W is empathetic. After viewing the picture, I concur with his assessment. Written by Stanley Weiser, the story involves a man desperately trying to earn his old man, Bush Sr.’s respect. W had to work hard to overcome his status as the black sheep of the family, and even as president, he still had to prove himself to his father. The Texas frat-boy’s wild youth, mediocre grades in high school and college, and his humiliation at learning his …

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The Secret Life of Bees

by Rick Grant A Rated PG-13 110 min The Secret Life of Bees, written and directed by Ms. Gina Prince-Bythewood from Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, involves an embattled marriage that explodes into a tragedy. Set in South Carolina in 1964, the characters orbit this catastrophic event. They are intertwined with each other in an interracial family love, which ultimately saves a 14 year old girl at the center of the storm. Dakota Fanning, now 15 going on 30, deftly portrays Lily Owens as a orphan whose mother leaves her abusive father, but she comes back (presumably for her daughter) and …

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Sex Drive

by Rick Grant B-Rated R101 min Compared to the umpteen coming of age movies, this teen-scene comedy fits somewhere in the middle of the group, between There’s Something About Mary and American Pie. Josh Zuckerman, a 23 year old actor who already has an impressive filmography, stars as Ian Lafferty, a shy laid-back senior in high school. Ian is embarrassed to be a virgin but he doesn’t let it interfere with his school work or his social skills. Still, sex occupies much of his brain as he tries to make the transition from being best friend with Felicia (Amanda Crew) …

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