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The Visitor

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2009 It’s always nice to see an accomplished character actor step up to a lead role, and Richard Jenkins does so with wit and pathos in this heartfelt, fresh perspective on the subject of…

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The Reader

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2009 Michael, a callow 15-year-old (David Kross) in 1958 Germany, falls into a sexual affair with an older woman (Kate Winslet), a reclusive streetcar conductor. Their physical passion takes on more personal tones when,…

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State of Play

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009   Russell Crowe’s a scruffy, ink-stained veteran reporter at a thinly disguised Washington Post. Rachel McAdams serves as his foil, a plucky political gossip blogger at the paper. They rather improbably team up…

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17 Again

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 Big and Freaky Friday did the body-swap thing better. This vehicle for teen heartthrob Zac Efron (currently under indictment, I believe, for the three High School Musical movies) has 37-ish loser Matthew Perry…

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Angels and Demons

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 Well, it’s not as if The Da Vinci Code didn’t serve as a warning to thinking moviegoers. Dan Brown’s next poorly written mess of metaphysical mayhem ups the hooey level considerably, with “symbologist”…

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W.

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 ©2008 Prescott Productions, LLC All Rights ReservedIt’s refreshing to see Oliver Stone, who’s infamous for cramming his revisionist views of history down our throats (JFK, Nixon), come up with this tragicomic analysis of…

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Bangkok Dangerous

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 When Nicolas Cage is good (Moonstruck, Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation), he’s very good. But when he’s bad, he’s—well, he’s this. The guy can act, so why doesn’t he do more of it? This…

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Babylon A.D.

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 This lead-footed, almost entirely incomprehensible film combines religious mumbo-jumbo with some perfunctory action sequences to create something I’d call disappointing had it raised any expectations at all. The formerly promising Vin Diesel phones…

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Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 Yes, it’s every bit as toxic as it sounds. Pampered title pooch is lost in Mexico and has to find its little sequined way back to El Lay, evading dognappers and other poorly…

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Duplicity

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009 He (Clive Owen) is ex-MI6; she (Julia Roberts) is ex-CIA. They’ve both put international spying behind them and graduated to the big time: the counterespionage departments of competing shampoo giants (comically headed by…

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