STARDUST (2007)

Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Written By: Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman
Based on the Novel By: Neil Gaiman
Cinematography By: Ben Davis
Editor: Jon Harris

Cast: Ben Barnes, Robert Deniro, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Mark Strong, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Everett, Peter O’Toole, Ian McKellan, Ricky Gervais

In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.


For the grand adventure that the film is. It lacks an epic feel or grandiose locations and sights. Half the time it feels like the surroundings are sets. The film does end up better then you’d imagine though.

The lead Ben Barnes seems to be miscast. He feels weak and in effect unbelievably when he eventually becomes heroic. Especially when all the supporting characters are much richer and entertaining than the lead. Who lacks charisma and never comes close to being dashing. Though they try to make him so. Maybe that was the intention to go against type but it ends up not working at all.

What I really appreciate about the film is it’s macabre sense of humor and a mean streak to go with all this fantasy. While keeping the film fu adds a general sense of danger rather than films like THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Which while funny feels almost childlike and storybook clean. Whereas this film is a storybook and fantasy fairytale but with a bit of an edge. so that the film plays more for teens and adults.

Words like cute and fun come to mind while watching the film. Though it’s not what I would expect a director like Matthew Vaughn to make especially after his debut film LAYER CAKE a gangster film. He went to make this a full-fledged fantasy adaptation which is a wise choice showing he has range. In his talents though so far all of his films are adaptations. He is showing a diverse resume as he hasn’t made a truly bad film yet. So he has shown his talent which I would expect as a former producer of Guy Ritchie films.

The film is a fun little fantasy that you can get lost into the universe of and enjoy yourself. Which is rare these days. At least without it seeming processed and set up to sell toys.

It’s better than I personally thought it would be. The world they live in is never clearly defined. We never get to know the characters some of whom just seem like ideas more than developed characters integral to the story, Almost like distractions to pad out the story and have us not realize how thin the main story is but letting us get caught up in the situations, though the film is quite likable. The film stays within the fantasy limits but also tries to come off as smarter or more winking to the audience then most films of it’s type.

Though disappointingly another fantasy world that lacks minorities. It’s not a huge point but one I’d like to note probably not entirely the filmmaker’s fault but more could try. Minorities are underrepresented or not represented in most Fantasy Sci-Fi leaving you to wonder are they afterthoughts or in these so-called fantasy worlds are they Aryan wonderlands. Sorry to go off on a rant just a point that needed to be expressed.

Terry Gilliam Also almost directed the film which is a perfect example of the right director with the right material, but after directing THE BROTHERS GRIMM he was wiped out creatively. This would have been actually better for him to make.

GRADE: B

NORBIT (2007)

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Directed By: Brian Robbins
Written By: Eddie Murphy, Charles Murphy, Jay Scherick & David Ronn
Story By: Eddie Murphy & Charles Murphy
Cinematography By: Clark Mathis
Editor: Ned Bastille

CAST: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terry Crews, Clifton Powell, Eddie Griffin, Katt Williams, Marlon Wayans, Michael Colyar, Kristen Schaal, Rob Huebel

Norbit is a normal person, who after being adopted by Mr. Wong, ends up being married to the very large, Rasputia. Norbit’s childhood love, Kate Thomas arrives back in town to buy the orphanage. Norbit sees this as his chance to get back together with Kate, until he discovers that she is in fact engaged to Deion Hughes. Norbit isn’t going to lay this to rest, whilst he tries to survive life with Rasputia, and it looks like Deion also has something he would like to keep secret.

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I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY (2007)

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Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Written By: Barry Fanaro, Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor
Based on a screen Treatment By: Lew Gallo
Cinematography By: Dean Semler
Editor: Jeff Gourson 


Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Nicholas Turturro, Ving Rhames, Rob Schneider, Allen Covert Dan Aykroyd, Richard Chamberlin, Steve Buscemi, Blake Clark, Rachel Dratch, Nick Swardson, Mary Pat Gleason, Jamie Chung, Rob Coddry, Robert Smeigel, Richard Kline, Gary Valentine, Dave Matthews, Lance Bass, David Spade, Peter Dante, Jonathna Loughran 


Two straight, single Brooklyn firefighters pretend to be a gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits.

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SNOW ANGELS (2007)

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Written & Directed By: David Gordon Green
Based On The Novel By: Stewart O’Nan
Cinematography By: Tim Orr

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Thirlby, Amy Sedaris, Tom Noonan, Nicky Katt

On a cold afternoon, with snow on the ground, the high school band is practicing for the last football game. They hear shots. Flashback a few weeks before. Arthur is a high school student, bussing at a restaurant. Annie and Barb are waitresses there – Annie was Arthur’s babysitter when he was little. She’s now separated from her husband Glenn, who’s on the wagon, starting a new job, praying to Jesus, and trying to prove he has his balance back so he can see more of their small daughter, Tara. Annie’s seeing someone else, Arthur’s parents have just separated, and Arthur is attracted to Lila, a new student at the high school. It’s a small town, people’s lives cross.

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SHALL WE KISS? (2007)

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Written & Directed By: Emmanuel Mouret
Cinematography: Laurent Desmet
Editor: Martial Salomon

Cast: Emmanuel Mouret, Virgine Ledoyen, Julie Gayet, Michael Cohen, Frederique Bel, Stefano Accorsi

When Gabriel and Emilie meet by chance, he offers her a ride, and they spend the evening talking, laughing and getting along famously. At the end of the night, Emilie declines Gabriel’s offer of “a kiss without consequences”. Emilie admonishes him that the kiss could have unexpected consequences, and tells him a story, unfolding in flashbacks, about the impossibility of indulging your desires without affecting someone else’s life.

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SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007)

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Directed By: Sam Raimi
Written By: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi & Alvin Sargent
Screen Story By: Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi
Based On Characters Created By: Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
Cinematography: Bill Pope
Editor: Bob Murawski 


Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Topher Grace, Thomas Haden Church, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, James Cromwell, Theresa Russell, Dylan Baker, Bill Nunn, Elizabeth Banks, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Becky Ann Baker, Willem Dafoe, Cliff Robertson 


Peter Parker has finally managed to piece together the once-broken parts of his life, maintaining a balance between his relationship with Mary-Jane and his responsibility as Spider-Man. But more challenges arise for our young hero. Peter’s old friend Harry Obsourne has set out for revenge against Peter; taking up the mantle of his late father’s persona as The New Goblin, and Peter must also capture Uncle Ben’s real killer, Flint Marko, who has been transformed into his toughest foe yet, the Sandman. All hope seems lost when suddenly Peter’s suit turns jet-black and greatly amplifies his powers. But it also begins to greatly amplify the much darker qualities of Peter’s personality that he begins to lose himself to. Peter has to reach deep inside himself to free the compassionate hero he used to be if he is to ever conquer the darkness within and face not only his greatest enemies, but also…himself

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SON OF RAMBOW (2007)

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Written & Directed By: Garth Jennings
Cinematography By: Jess Hall
Editor: Dominic Leung

Cast: Bill Milner, Jessica Stevenson, Neil Dudgeon, Will Poulter, Jules Sitruck, Ed Westwick, Asa Butterfield, Edgar Wright

SON OF RAMBOW is the name of the home movie made by two little boys with a big video camera and even bigger ambitions. Set on a long English summer in the early 80’s, SON OF RAMBOW is a comedy about friendship, faith and the tough business of growing up. We see the story through the eyes of Will, the eldest son of a fatherless Plymouth Brethren family. The Brethren regard themselves as God’s ‘chosen ones’ and their strict moral code means that Will has never been allowed to mix with the other ‘worldlies,’ listen to music or watch TV, until he finds himself caught up in the extraordinary world of Lee Carter, the school terror and maker of bizarre home movies. Carter exposes Will to a pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood and from that moment Will’s mind is blown wide open and he’s easily convinced to be the stuntman in Lee Carters’ diabolical home movie. Will’s imaginative little brain is not only given chance to flourish in the world of film making, but is also very handy when it comes to dreaming up elaborate schemes to keep his partnership with Lee Carter a secret from the Brethren community. Will and Carter’s complete disregard for consequences and innocent ambition means that the process of making their film is a glorious rollercoaster that eventually leads to true friendship. They start to make a name for themselves at school as movie makers but when popularity descends on them in the form of the Pied Piper-esque French exchange student, Didier Revol, their unique friendship and their precious film are pushed, quite literally, to breaking point.

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CONTROL (2007)

CONTROL

Directed By: Anton Corbijn
Written By: Matt Greenhalgh
Based On The Book By: Deborah Curtis
Cinematography By: Martin Ruhe
Editor: Andrew Hulme
Music By: New Order 


 Cast: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandria Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Harry Treadaway, Toby Kebbell, Andrew Sheridan, Richard Bremmer

Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he’s almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn’t know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him.

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DISTURBIA (2007)

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Directed By: D.J. Caruso
Written By: Christopher Landon & Carl Ellsworth
Story By: Christopher Landon
Cinematography By: Rogier Stoffers
Editor: Jim Page 


Cast: Shai LeBouf, Sarah Roemer, Aaron Yoo, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss, Viola Davis, Matt Craven, Jose Pablo Cantillo 


After his father is killed in a car accident, things unravel for Kale Brecht and he is placed under house-arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. Having nothing better to do, Kale occupies himself by spying on his neighbors. But one night, he witnesses what appears to be a murder going on in Mr. Turner’s house. Kale becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind these murders but, after a few unsettling run-ins with Mr. Turner, it becomes a matter of life and death. And the ominous question: Who is watching whom?

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