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Archive for July, 2011

DVD Report – July 26th

Surprisingly, the most highly rated movie in a field which includes Todd Solondz’ new film and a biopic about a Chinese ballet dancer, is the fast paced action flick featuring Jake Gyllenhaal. Source Code wasn’t a major box office hit, but critics said that the sci-fi techno-flick was an intelligent and thrill-packed ride. Most Criticker users agreed!

Source CodeAverage Tier 6.09
An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. Source Code @ Amazon

Life During WartimeAverage Tier 5.21
Friends, family, and lovers struggle to find love, forgiveness, and meaning in a war-torn world riddled with comedy and pathos. Life During Wartime @ Amazon

TrustAverage Tier 5.96
A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator. Trust @ Amazon

Winter in WartimeAverage Tier 5.84
The story is based on the beautiful novel by Jan Terlouw, that has been read by several generations of teenagers in the Netherlands.
When Michiel (13) becomes involved in the Resistance in the last winter of the Second World War, he learns that good and evil are close together. Michiel grows up and loses his innocence. (fuworks.com) Winter in Wartime @ Amazon

Mao’s Last DancerAverage Tier 5.24
A drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao’s cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet. (imdb) Mao’s Last Dancer @ Amazon

DVD Report – July 19th

Bradley Cooper missed out on his chance to star as Green Lantern after a botched audition, but still got his chance at super powers in the box office hit Limitless. And given the undeserved critical thrubbing GL has been getting, he seems happy enough about how the audition turned out. Although… my theory is that if anyone but Ryan Reynolds had starred in Green Lantern, critics would have been a lot more pleasant. It seems nobody except People Magazine likes that guy.

LimitlessAverage Tier 5.15
A copywriter discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities. Limitless @ Amazon

TekkenAverage Tier 2.41
When young Jin Kazama (John Foo) discovers an opportunity to avenge the death of his mother, he enters a martial arts tournament sponsored by the futuristic Tekken Corp. to gain access to the man he wants to punish. But as Kazama closes in on his goal, he uncovers dark secrets regarding his own past and the true nature of Tekken. Tekken @ Amazon

CracksAverage Tier 5.67
In an austere and cloistered girls boarding school in 1930′s England, the girls’ unhealthy bond with their beloved teacher, Miss G, is threatened by the arrival of an exotic and beautiful foreign student – whose rejection of Miss G’s attentions threatens the status quo and brings tragic consequences for them all. (Element Pictures) Cracks @ Amazon

PoticheAverage Tier 5.71
Mr Pujol rules his factory with an iron fist. When he suffers from a stroke, his wife surprisingly takes over… with some unexpected consequences… Potiche @ Amazon

Take Me Home TonightAverage Tier 5.21
From the writers of “That ’70s Show” comes this retro dramatic comedy set a decade later, in the financial boom of the late 1980s, about a recent college grad trying to figure out what to do with his life. Amid the goings-on at a raucous Labor Day party, brilliant but underemployed Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) learns a slew of lessons about life and love Take Me Home Tonight @ Amazon

Updates to Film Database: See Films Awaiting Approval

We’ve completely redesigned the logic behind the Film Database page, speeding up performance considerably. Now, you should be able to filter on Horror Films from Norway of the 1950s without having to wait an eternity.

Also, we’ve used the opportunity to introduce a long awaited request — the ability to browse film which are still awaiting approval. The link is only visible from the “New Films” page. Or you can get to it directly here by using this link:
http://www.criticker.com/?fl&filter=b

As always when we make changes, and especially considering the breadth of back-end updates to the database queries of the Film Database, we both fear and expect errors. Please report them via email or in the “Bug Reports” area of the forums.

DVD Report – July 12th

No Criticker Picks this week, but there are still a few films which are worth checking out. Leading the pack is Johnny Depp’s reptilian incarnation as the Rango. And considering that Matthew McConaughey is usually Criticker poison, The Lincoln Lawyer racked up surprisingly good reviews, as did spooky-kid flick Insidious.

RangoAverage Tier 6.62
A chameleon that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it. Rango @ Amazon

The Lincoln LawyerAverage Tier 5.64
Matthew McConaughey stars in the big-screen adaptation of Michael Connelly’s best-selling novel about struggling lawyer Mickey Haller, who conducts business from his Lincoln Town Car. When Mickey finally lands a big case, it has deadly consequences. Tasked with defending rich lothario Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), who’s been charged with assault, Mickey finds himself and his family in danger when he deduces that the sinister Louis may be guilty. The Lincoln Lawyer @ Amazon

ArthurAverage Tier 4.88
A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn’t like. Arthur @ Amazon

InsidiousAverage Tier 5.04
A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. Insidious @ Amazon

MiralAverage Tier 3.93
With the story of the Israel/Palestine-conflict as a contextual backdrop, we are shown and told the story of four palestinian women. It’s all centered around Dar Al-Tifl – a school and home for Palestinian orphans in Israel. Miral – one of the girls – has to carry the weight of her people, her history and her family on her shoulders, as she grows up with terrorism, Intifada, civil war and political conflict. Can she maintain a individual ambition in all this? Miral @ Amazon

DVD Report – July 5th

An interesting set of films on DVD this week include Hobo with a Shotgun, which is about exactly what you’d think. It got surprisingly decent reviews from Criticker users, but not as good as the latest action flick from controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike, 13 Assassins.

Hobo with a ShotgunAverage Tier 5.15
A homeless vigilante blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun. Hobo with a Shotgun @ Amazon

13 AssassinsAverage Tier 6.90
A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord. 13 Assassins @ Amazon

Of Gods and MenAverage Tier 6.18
A drama about Cistercian monks who stand up for their beliefs when confronted by fundamentalists Of Gods and Men @ Amazon

The Passion of Darkly NoonAverage Tier 3.24
While driving through the forest to the isolated house of the lovers Callie and Clay, the driver Jude finds a young man fainted on the road. He rescues the stranger, Darkly Noon, and the sensual Callie welcomes him while Clay is retired in the woods. He explains that his religious parents had been killed in their house by the furious locals and he had successfully escaped with his bible. Darkly becomes sexually obsessed by the sexy Callie and uses flagellation to punish himself for his desire. (imdb) The Passion of Darkly Noon @ Amazon