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Movies – Feb 2008

February, 2008
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band's visit

The Band’s Visit

Taking a humorous look at serious and touchy subject matters is always a challenge, but this film wins out big time. It’s set in the contemporary (more or les) Middle East, with the story recounting the hijinx of an Egyptian military orchestra while on a visit to neighboring Israel, and all the awkward shenanigans that ensue. While the stress herein is on laughs, the movie never leaves its serious topic too far behind, which is very enlightening to young viewers.

Director: Eran Kolirin
Starring: Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, Francois Khell
Rating: PG-13


The Spiderwick Chronicles 

Numerous studies have shown that moving is up there as the one of the greatest fears most of us harbor, and what could be bigger proof of this than the adventures of brothers Jared and Simon Grace, who aren’t merely twins, but connected in other ways as well. They’ve just relocated to creepy Spiderwick Estate, and realize there’s more to the cobwebs than meets the eye. This is a clever fairy tale story in the subtle yet grand traditions of the past - do not miss it. 

Director: Mark Waters
Starring: Mary Louise Parker, Sarah Bolger, Nick Nolte 
Rating: PG


10,000 BC

Leave behind those textbooks and venture into the first prehistoric magnum opus we’ve had on our hands in, well, ages. It’s no Beowulf – this movie aspires to be a more accurate portrayal of what life was like ten millennia ago, and the key points to keep in mind aren’t the CGI and bloody bits, but instead the daily struggle our ancestors had to put up with just so you could sit there comfortably, reading Little Star! We owe them to watch this Ronald Emmerich release, which is set to be truly spectacular.

Director: Ronald Emmerich
Starring: Camille Belle, Cliff Curtis, Omar Shariff
Rating: PG-13


Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

What could be a stronger message to kids than to always keep in mind the well-being of others, no matter who they are or what degree of influence they have on our own lives? Case in point: Horton is a typically big elephant. One day he stumbles upon a community of tiny individuals known as the Whos, residing in Whoville. Horton befriends them and starts to help the smaller people in any way he can as they face various difficulties, to the dismay of his friends and neighbors. But determination wins the day, and hopefully so will courtesy towards other people in real life. 

Directors: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jaime Pressly, Seth Rogen
Rating: PG


The Year My Parents Went on Vacation

Movies from Brazil are rare on the international stage, and ones that we do get to watch invariably play on clichéd expectations people have of the country. Well, this movie also uses one of them: soccer, but in an altogether gentle and contextual manner. It takes place in 1970, as a young boy, Mauro, finds himself all alone in a strange neighborhood in Sao Paolo, while his parents mysteriously go away, promising to come back soon. Mauro is taken in by the community, makes new friends and offers us as an audience a powerful narrative of commentary on his environment. 

Director: Cao Hamburger
Starring: Michel Joelsas, Eduardo Moreira, Simone Spoladore
Rating: PG



In an allegorical tale of coming out to experience the world for oneself, Christina Ricci plays Penelope, an extremely wealthy heiress cursed with a pig’s snout for a nose. This unsightly problem causes her family to keep her away from the public, but unfortunately the only way to break the curse is, naturally, true love. This means Penelope has a string of suitors, most interested in her money. But real love awaits all, and in its pursuit Penelope discovers herself as a real person, finds friendship, and gets into all kinds of trouble. 

Director: Mark Palansky
Starring: Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon
Rating: PG

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