The Ring

BB (out of 5) Flat, tepid thriller that steals from every film of its kind.  Naomi Watts stars as a driven journalist whose niece mysteriously dies of a stroke seven days after watching a videotape that depicts strange, nightmarish images. Deciding that the story of the tape is more than just urban legend, she begins to…

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The Rapture

BBBB (out of 5) Mimi Rogers plays a swinging single telephone operator who has grown weary of going out with her male friend in search of couples for partner-swapping sex parties. Feeling hollowed out by her concentration on the carnal, she ends up joining a small cult of Christians who are waiting for the Rapture…

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Hairspray (2007)

BBBB (out of 5) A teenager in the 1960s decides to fight racial segregation and is met with serious threats to her future; sounds like an update of Mississippi Burning until you add big hair, rocking tunes and John Travolta in a dress. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays the youngster in question, Tracy, in this wonderful…

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Kalifornia

BB.5 (out of 5) David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes are travelling the country visiting the sites of famous American murders. He is presumably working on a book about the subject, but the matter becomes something of a reality when they pick up two hitchhikers (Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis) who turn out to be as dangerous as they are…

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Boxing Helena

B (out of 5) The controversy surrounding this film is a hell of a lot more interesting than the product itself. Kim Basinger decided six months after being committed to the project that she no longer wanted to be a part of it and broke her verbal contract with the producers, prompting one of the…

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Mr. And Mrs. Smith (2005)

BBBB (out of 5) Ah, if only more couples took the Kurt ‘N’ Courtney approach to solving their marital difficulties, they’d end up looking as healthy and gorgeous as the stars of this highly enjoyable film. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play assassins for hire who keep their jobs secret from each other and work for opposing…

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Dangerous Beauty

BBBB (out of 5) Catherine McCormack is wonderful in this true story of a Venetian courtesan who survives religious intolerance, a whole bevy of jealous lovers and one mother of a plague to live an independent life of her own design. Jacqueline Bisset has a terrific supporting role as her mother and chief ‘how-to’ coach, and the…

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Body Snatchers

BB.5 (out of 5) Third version of the classic science-fiction thriller is the least impressive. The testosterone has been upped but all the subliminal political significance is gone, as is the fun. This time, the evil alien invaders take over an army base right as a wholesome family led by Terry Kinney and Meg Tilly move there…

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Burlesque

BB.5 (out of 5) Christina Aguilera makes her starring debut as, what else, an aspiring singer who is tired of being mistreated by the owner of the Nowheresville, Iowa diner where she works. She helps herself to her salary from the cash register, hits the road and makes it to L.A., where she wastes no time…

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