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Movies – Spet 2006

September, 2006
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Talk about unique schoolings. Here’s a flock of kids who can’t handle failure very well, and decide to pull a fast one on society, including their pressing parents.
For the protagonists of Accepted, being cast aside by every college they’ve applied for amounts to no obstacle. All they need is a place of higher learning of their own, thus the fake university they setup, with its majors, faculties and even student ID’s.
Drawing on familiar, but evergreen, traditions established by the National Lampoon crew, Accepted may give your little darlings an idea or two, so watch out.

Director: Steve Pink
Starring: Justin Long, Adam Hershmann, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively
Rating: PG-13



No doubt, touting this as the animated movie to unleash "the original party animals" does sound trite, but among 2006’s slew of big ticket Pixar-esque titles, probably the snazziest characters and cleverest lines are right here.
Even more so than Over the Hedge, Barnyard encourages its personas to be both witty and meaningful, shedding much-needed light on the taught relations among humans and other animals. Led by Otis the Cow, daring livestock (including mice, mules and coyotes) attempt to redefine their world when the commandeering farmer takes leave, resulting in a range of gags that’s genuinely hysterical at times.

Director: Steve Oedekerk
Starring: Kevin James, Andie MacDowell, Sam Elliott
Rating: PG


DOA: Dead or Alive

When the days draw short and homework begins to overwhelm, take solace in a movie rendition of the video game franchise to transform game babes from pixels to a so much fleshier more.
While the pitfalls of Mortal Kombat syndrome beckon (the lure of mediocre effects and silly plotlines), at least we should be in store for adequate action, even if the girls themselves do not pack the same amount of bounce as their PS2 and Xbox originals.
The cast of dangerous fatales includes steaming Natassia Malthe (remembered from her villainess role in Electra) and Fast and the Furious 2’s Devon Aoki. Let’s hope they beat the hell out of algebra.

Director: Corey Yuen
Starring: Natassia Malthe, Devon Aoki, Jaime Pressly, Collin Chou
Rating: PG-13


Everyone’s Hero

Help teach the young ‘uns about hard work and dedication with a film that began slated for directorial duties by former Superman Christopher Reeve. Mr. Reeve’s tragic circumstances and courageous fight against unfavorable odds resemble the saga of Yankee Irving (voiced by Jake Austin of The Ant Bully), a young boy with profound faith in his baseball team, the New York Yankees, for whom he adventures far and wide.
Although baseball flicks occasionally come across with the appeal of school cafeteria grub, we sense a warmth about this one you may want your children to behold.

Director: Christopher Reeve and Colin Brady
Starring: Jake T. Austin, Mandy Patinkin, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy
Rating: G


How to Eat Fried Worms

While in some parts of the world just the above doesn’t really need to be included in school curriculum, what’s good to learn globally are techniques for avoiding and eventually defeating mean bullies. Everybody recalls dealing with those, and here we’re presented with a tall tale of courage in the face of adversity, fifth grade-style.
Comedic at times but mostly allegorical, Fried Worms seems to be in possession of that spark of creativity needed for school year yarns not directly dealing with the academic.

Director: Bob Dolman
Starring: Alexander Agate, Luke Benward, Thomas Cavanagh, Hallie Kate Eisenberg
Rating: PG


The Illusionist   

It can’t all be bugs, fighting lovelies and talking baseball bats come the new school annum. We got to have a bit of the moody, European flavor to ready us for another darkening autumn, and thus we present the illusionist, a period piece based on total fiction but looking quite real.
Set in an atmospheric 19th century Vienna, The Illusionist casts Edward Norton (haven’t seen him in a while) as powerful, slightly cynical magus Eisenheim, vying for the affectations of a gorgeous princess (Jessica Biel, who’s no longer the innocent teen from 7th Heaven). Among the most promising of the new season, and one to beat disappointing Brothers Grimm.

Director: Neil Burger
Starring: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel,  Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell
Rating: PG-13



Paths to success and redemption vary from person to person, and maybe that’s why we send the kids to school in the first place: to find their path. Crossover wishes to impart valuable inside tips on the balance between natural gifts and cerebral aspirations, a conflict embodied by talented basketball whizkid Noah. Struggling with tempting promises from somewhat unsavory agents, Noah must also consider factors like friendship, love and dedication to becoming a doctor before making the fateful choice.
Director: Preston Whitmore

Starring: Wesley Jonathan, Anthony Mackie,  Shelli
Rating: PG-13

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