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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

opening wide this week: ‘Rambo,’ ‘Meet the Spartans,’ ‘Untraceable,’ ‘How She Move,’ ‘Michael Clayton,’ ‘There Will Be Blood’

Rambo
Sylvester Stallone defies all military limitations on the age of soldiers in combat — not to mention common sense — when he accepts a job as a mercenary with an assignment to rescue somebody or other. From Thailand or somewhere. Bet on lots of inarticulate grunting and heavy-duty automatic-weapons firepower. (my review)

Meet the Spartans
The same idiots who cobbled together the Scary Movies and Epic Movie are at it again. Here, they present iconic moments from the last year at the movies, restaged with ugly actors and with the occasional fart joke thrown in. Just humor them, and maybe they’ll go away. (not screened for critics)

Untraceable
Diane Lane is an FBI agent who must track down a killer who broadcasts his murders live on the Internet before he strike again… at her! It’s like The Silence of the Lambs, only without all the suspense and unexpected humor and Oscar-caliber performances. (my review)

How She Move
High school kids gotta dance! It’s the best way to combat drug addiction! And inner-city violence! Plus the clothes are way cooler when you’ve got a hip-hop soundtrack following you around all the time. And it annoys your parents when you express yourself creatively in any way that can be called “street.” (my review)

Michael Clayton
Little-known fact: The original script for this one had corporate lawyer Michael Clayton defending Chicago ER doctor Doug Ross in a malpractice suit. It would have been a dual-role tour de force for Clooney. And he’s pissed that he’s missed his chance at Oscar glory. Oh, wait… (back in theaters for a pre-Oscar run; my review)

There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day-Lewis strikes oil in turn-of-the-20th-century California, and then goes on an extended gimme-an-Oscar rant about how to succeed in business by being a greedy, selfish bastard. Ironically, Day-Lewis plans to collect his Oscar by arriving at the ceremony in not one but two gas-guzzling Hummers. (my review)



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