Friday, July 3, 2009
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Recently reviewed films now playing in theaters.
· Cheri (PG-13) "Dangerous Liaisons" lead Michelle Pfeiffer and director Stephen Frears reunite for another, less-satisfying, bodice-ripping period piece. Still radiant at 51, Pheiffer's efforts are thwarted by the miscast Kathy Bates and Rupert Friend as the title character. 2 stars - Michael Clark
· Departures (PG-13) The winner of the most recent Best Foreign Language Oscar, this Japanese drama suffers through some minor narrative bumps along the way, yet still manages to deliver an original and bittersweet story about death, longing and unexpected careers. 3 stars - MC
· Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (PG-13) Director Michael Bay's follow-up to the surprisingly original first installment is a tired, loud, ugly, overlong and monumentally silly exercise in repugnant Hollywood excess. 1 star - MC
· Easy Virtue (PG-13) This comedic retooling of the originally somber Noel Coward play loses something in the translation but affords leading lady Jessica Biel the chance to prove she's more than just a pretty face. Co-stars Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas both shine. 2 stars - MC
· Food, Inc. (PG) A throttling, but deliberately paced documentary about the U.S. food industry that is as horrific as it is informative. Anyone who sees it - and that should be anyone who eats - will never look at what they put into their body the same again. 4 stars - MC
· The Proposal (PG-13) What starts out as a refreshing and unconventional romantic comedy concludes in most typical and dissatisfying chick-flick manner. The surly Sandra Bullock and the determined Ryan Reynolds make up for the weak story with palpable chemistry. 2 stars - MC
· Year One (PG-13) The once legendary writer/director Harold Ramis nearly wipes out a career's worth of good will with what is easily the worst feature film of the 21st century. Jack Black and Michael Cera regurgitate their typical non-acting styles as surfer-dude cavemen. 0 stars - MC
· The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (R) Resembling the original 1974 version in little more than name only, this high-strung, frantic remake starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington manages to eke out a few thrills before delivering one of the worst endings in memory.
2 stars - MC