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Kino Korner August 26, 2005
 
Kino Kwikeez
By Alex Shifrin Browse author Email
 
 

Skeleton Key

What They Say: Kate Hudson plays a live-in nurse who must help and elderly woman care for her dying husband in their Louisiana country mansion. Soon afterwards, Hudson begins to suspect that the house is home to supernatural happenings and is compelled to take many showers and run around while scary music plays in the background. Eventually, the film ends.

What We Say: The plot twists were about as surprising as Khodorkovsky's verdict. Definitely not the worst thriller/horror film we've seen, but seems to fall short in the "shit happening" category. Hudson teases with near-nude scenes, a la hotel porn that edits the penetration shots.

The Lowdown: The Sixth Sense meets House times the square root of Emanuelle 3.

Best Bit: The thoughts that went through our heads as half-nude Hudson bent herself over while in the bathroom.

Starring: Kate Hudson, Caroline Ellis, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard.

Rating:: 3/5

Playing: America Cinema

The Island

What They Say: Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson live in a mid-21st Century sterilized society, where every moment of their lives is under scrutiny and control. As McGregor begins to have increasing doubts about the true nature of this existence, his curiosity begins to reveal a sinister truth. Cue eerie music.

What We Say: Four films glued together to make one seemingly ambitious feature. While the film generally got panned in the West, one thing that we did appreciate was that unlike most recent action/sci-fi films such as Independence Day, this one truly tried to build some depth to the storyline. The film lost some credibility when it patronized us with banal big screen action chase sequences.

The Lowdown: Four Rooms meets 1984.

Best Bit: When Ewan McGregor meets his clone because you can never really have enough Ewan. Ever.

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean.

Rating:: 4/5

Playing: Pirate DVD kiosks

Dukes of Hazzard

What They Say: That ol' Boss Hogg (Reynolds)... Just when you thought that he'd up and finished his last scheme, he done do it again. With an unbelievably elaborate plan to strip-mine Hazzard County for coal, the Duke boys must work fast if they're to save their beloved town. Remake of the 70's television show, for those of you born in the 1980's, god love you.

What We Say: It being utter shit aside, the film raked our nerves by trying to lightly preach that General Lee and the Confederate Flag are symbols of racism, but you know, we're just being ironic, but like not really racist and stuff. I mean, hey, lighten up, yuh doggone elitist Yankee!

The Lowdown: Gone in 60 Seconds meets Birth of a Nation.

Best Bit: The Waylon Jennings style narrative pauses, bringing us back to a time when sex was free and amphetamines were not the villain-de-jour. That's right, we're talking about last weekend.

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Willie Nelson, Burt Reynolds.

Rating:: 2/5 (one for each of Simpson's thingies)

Playing: Pirate DVD kiosks

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

What They Say: Based on the classic Dahl tale, Willie Wonka (Depp) holds a worldwide contest to offer five children a tour his chocolate factory. Assembling five kids with distinct characteristics of a child's persona (insolence, greed, love, intelligence and rowdiness), Willie begins a tour of his magic kingdom. One by one, the kids seem to disappear, and protagonist Charlie begins to wonder whether he'll make it home.

What We Say: Rather timely film. Jacko-Wonka anyone? They're planning a follow up where Wonka is brought before a jury to fight claims of molestation. It's a courtroom drama entitled Packing Willie's Chocolate Factory. You get the references:

The Lowdown: Michael Jackson's Peter Pan meets Agatha Christie.

Best Bit: Not really sure. The film kind of freaked us out a little.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, minors.

Rating:: 3/5

Playing: Russian theaters, DVD kiosks

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