Dracula Untold

BB.5 (out of 5) If everyone gets an origin story, it’s only fair that Bram Stoker’s evergreen anti-hero gets one too.  Most of the details are created from a few drops of history, a fair share of Francis Ford Coppola’s version and, for the most part, a lot of stealing from Lord Of the Rings…

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Green Lantern

BB.5 (out of 5) Ambitious, beautifully shot but ultimately flat entry in the superhero genre, with the always amiable Ryan Reynolds trying but failing to make much of an impression.  He plays a hotshot jet pilot whose unruly ways are hemmed in good when an alien crash lands on earth’s shores and its powerful ring becomes…

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The Last Samurai

BBB.5 (out of 5) After participating in a number of Civil War battles (many of which helped decimate the populations of natives in North America), an embittered, drunken veteran (Tom Cruise) follows his superior officers to Japan in search of big money. He has been hired by the emperor to train the country’s army in…

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Blood Diamond

BBB (out of 5) For all the film has going for it, Blood Diamond should be an instant classic: a top-notch cast, gorgeous photography, a strong story, a proven director and an incredibly important subject all do their part. When it comes together it doesn’t amount to much more than a familiar drama with its…

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Crush (1992)

BBB (out of 5) Odd little tale from New Zealand. Two women get into a nasty car crash on a roadside one afternoon; one is permanently crippled, while the other (Marcia Gay Harden) escapes the scene of the accident completely intact. Harden can’t keep away, though, and things get a bit creepy when she finds…

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The Illusionist

BBBB (out of 5) The son of a poor carpenter is taken from the arms of his childhood sweetheart, herself a Duchess and therefore too far above him, and deals with it by hitting the road and learning the art of illusion. He returns to Vienna a grown man (as Edward Norton) and performs such…

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Heavenly Creatures

BBBBB (out of 5) Awe-inspiring thriller from New Zealand tells the true-life story of two schoolgirls who committed murder in order not to be separated. When lonely Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) meets new student Juliet (Kate Winslet making an astonishing film debut), the two hit it off and end up becoming inseparable friends; it’s not long…

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

BBBBB (out of 5) The exciting, brilliant trilogy finally reaches its breathtaking conclusion of Frodo’s quest to save Middle Earth . While Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) continue to lead the humans of Middle Earth against the armies of Sauron, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue on their perilous journey towards…

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

BBBBB (out of 5) Sprawling adaptation of the first of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy of fantasy novels (and the first of a trilogy of films) that centre around the adventures of pure-hearted hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood), who must undergo a journey to destroy a ring that turns its bearer towards the evil pursuit of world domination….

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

BBBBB (out of 5) Peter Jackson’s breathtaking adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s popular fantasy novels continues in this second film chapter. Young hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) is growing weary in his journey towards Mordor to rid the world of the evil ring of power that threatens to destroy all life on Middle Earth. Picked because of…

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