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Kino Korner December 10, 2004
 
Kino Kwikeez
By Alex Shifrin Browse author Email
 
 

The Grudge

What They Say: A series of strange disappearances and unexplained suicides, all of which are somehow related to a suburban Tokyo house, prompts Japanese police and American nanny Sarah Michelle Geller to pool efforts in order to unravel a supernatural mystery. As they delve deeper into the house's bloody history, it becomes clear that something spooky is afoot.

What We Say: Made us jump on a few occasions, although this could just have been the result of chemically-induced paranoia setting in. We're not really used to seeing Japanese people on film unless they're sniffing little girls' panties or screaming "Tora! Tora! Tora!" Geller, for some reason, reminded us of late LifeStyle editor Marissa Payne.

The Lowdown: 13 Ghosts meets The Amityville Horror.

Best Bit: Creating a strange feeling of satisfaction in our camp, Bill Pullman commits bloody suicide within the first five minutes of the film.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Geller, Bill Pullman, Japanese people.

Rating:: 4/5

Playing: Russian cinemas.

National Treasure

What They Say: After centuries of hunting for the world's greatest treasure, incidentally now buried somewhere in the US, Nicholas Cage carries on his family's curse of being the next in line to spend his life involved in a fruitless search. Cage, however, being smarter than the average Coppola, bears the enthusiasm and dashing smile that just may lead him to success.

What We Say: Cage and pro-Nazi Walt Disney Pictures do their best to make us believe that the US dollar holds the key to the world's riches -- literally. Sad truth is that even if Cage finds the treasure, it's denominated in dollars, making it worthless. Unless he converts it into rubles.

The Lowdown: Indiana Jones meets Alan Greenspan.

Best Bit: Completely out of context, almost as if gratuitously meant to highlight Cage's thang as a male sex symbol, he reaches over and kisses the hot babe.

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Plummer, Oleg Taktarov.

Rating:: 3/5

Playing: Garbushka.

Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason

What They Say: Bridget Jones is back, and she's 34% more charming! That's pretty much it.

What We Say: An icon amongst sexual failures, Bridget Jones is a brand that will continue to emotionally medicate North Americans for years to come. We're recommending that part three includes a borderline obese, Sex In the City-quoting, chronic masturbator, in order to gain monopoly level market share. Look people, it's very simple: If you're homely and socially retarded, you will not have madcap adventures and you will not have the option of deciding between Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. You will have the option between the Jackrabbit and the cucumber. Sorry.

The Lowdown: Denial meets illusion.

Best Bit: As Bridget Jones parachutes during the opening credits, Carly Simon's theme to The Spy Who Loved Me almost makes us think that we're watching a different, better movie.

Starring: The chubby Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant.

Rating:: 2/5

Playing: American House of Cinema.

Paparazzi

What They Say: Newly discovered action film hero Bo Larame (Cole Hauser), while filming the second installment of a Lethal Weapon-esque franchise, takes methodical revenge on a group of paparazzi journalists who nearly caused the death of his wife and son.

What We Say: Produced by Mel Gibson, the film serves as a warning to those media organs still badgering him about The Passion being nothing more than an ecclesiastic snuff film. Gibson probably saved a fair bit of money by limiting nearly all speaking parts to Cole Hauser's expressionless "thanks for asking" or "thanks for stopping by" lines. So many gratuitous cameos, we were waiting for Robin Leech to start narrating.

The Lowdown: Death Wish meets Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Best Bit: A photographer lifts Tunney's top in order to get a breast shot as she's lying bloody and unconscious immediately after a car accident.

Starring: Cole Hauser, Robin Tunney, Dennis Farina, some fat Baldwin brother.

Rating:: 2/5

Playing: Russian cinemas.

Wimbledon

What They Say: Playing the last Wimbledon before his retirement, failing tennis star Paul Bettany rediscovers his mojo after screwing Kirsten Dunst. Initially having no interest in Bettany's wildcard entry status, the whole of London begins to catch Wimbledon fever as one of their own (ie. a mumbling pansy) fights to come home with the trophy.

What We Say: Continuing the pioneering work of by Hugh Grant, Bettany plays an awkward English tit attempting to charm an American hottie. After extensive Internet research, we concluded that Kirsten Dunst simply doesn't have a tennis star body. So unoriginally similar to Notting Hill, we're expecting a real estate hike near the Wimbledon tube stop, with Madonna relocating her palace into the vicinity shortly afterwards. This farce would have received a 1/5 if it wasn't for the well shot tennis sequences.

The Lowdown: Notting Hill meets Notting Hill, by way of Notting Hill.

Best Bit: John McEnroe, as color commentator, remarks on Bettany's outburst at the judge.

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Sam Neill.

Rating:: 2/5

Playing: Russian cinemas.

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