for the Week of 10/26:
Loosely adapted from a
John Grisham novel, Gary Flederís Runaway Jury isnít as
suspenseful as it is enjoyable, nor is it as chaotic as it is twisty.
This picture is a mess in many ways, but its brisk, ingenious, and never
boring execution will win almost every moviegoer over. Itís undeniably
one of the most fun and entertaining trips Iíve had at the cinema this
year. Itís overacted, overdone, and ultimately disposable, but who
cares? Everyone who watches Runaway Jury will enjoy it; it works
because this is all it wants to achieve.
Dustin Hoffman and Gene
Hackmanís performances are surprisingly sub-par to that of John Cusackís.
While the two veterans take their characters much too seriously, Cusack
has a great feel for the material. I truly applauded every bit of his
work in this motion picture.
Sure, it may be flawed,
but this is one hell of a popcorn movie. Thereís a lot to admire here;
though desperately imperfect, Runaway Jury is insanely fabulous.
Itíll keep you captivated and enthralledóif thatís not worth a
recommendation, I donít know what is.
I like the slasher genre;
I just donít respect it. Wrong Turn is no exception; it comes
equipped with forks in the road, broken-down cars, a group of kids who
split up in the middle of the woods, genetically deformed villains, and
twenty foot jumps from the tops of towers that are being burned from the
ground up. Sounds fun, eh? Sometimes it is, but the small amount of
entertainment that Wrong Turn may bring is overpowered by its sheer
awfulness. As enjoyable as watching Eliza Dushku run from mutated
antagonists in the woods is, Wrong Turn was dead on arrival, simply
because of its atrocious script. If you find yourself driving into
Blockbuster to pick this one up, turn back while you have the chance.
Sweet Sixteen has
one of the most respectable styles of storytelling that Iíve ever
encountered. It allows the charactersí emotions and inner-conflicts to
stay the main focus of the film, while still emphasizing a strong
political view, in a beautiful way. Politically, I may not agree with it,
but I respect the way that it portrays the opinion in which it succeeds in
Director Ken Loach has an
astonishing ability to always show and never tell in such a fashion that
the audience always knows what he would like to communicate. His work
isnít the highlight of Sweet Sixteen, though. Martin Compston, who
plays our protagonist, Liam, is the person that holds this entire movie
together. While the written material is earth-shattering and powerful in
itself, Compston adds an unseen and unspoken force to Sweet Sixteen
thatís particularly effective.
Sweet Sixteen may
not be one of the best films of the year, but itís certainly one of the
most important. Occasionally, it may be hard to understand some of the
charactersí accents, for the picture takes place in Scotland, but when
itís over, youíll be glad that you watched it. Itís most definitely a
Oozing in style and
marked by some great performances, this adaptation of the Dickens classic
is a fabulous treat for every member of the family thatís old enough to
The visual richness of
Nicholas Nickleby is the most pleasantly surprising aspect of it;
sets, costuming, and shooting locations are all predominant focuses. This
one is distinct and unique, always in the top of its form. While it may
become a bit longish towards the end, the true beauty of this picture
always manages to shine through, and will delight everyone who chooses to
take part in viewing it.
direction is the only aspect of Nicholas Nickleby that Iím hesitant
to like. He clearly has a splendid vision and guides this picture along
proficiently, but his efforts are uninspired, unlike the rest of the
movie. This one mayíve been perfect if McGrathís work had been better, but
on the whole, it is pretty damn great. Whether it is brilliant or not is
questionable, but Nicholas Nickleby is certainly worth seeing.
The Bucket Review's Rating