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Vanity Fair
Legally British! Reese Witherspoon takes on Thackeray's 900+ page novel set in pre-Victorian England. Plenty others have passed on the novel due to its size, but perhaps what they were missing was a Bollywood perspective. Or perhaps not.

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Stander
So, take Bonnie & Clyde, then subtract Bonnie, then make Clyde a cop first, then change America to South Africa. Alright, let's just stop. Stander is a new crime drama done in the 60s style. That better?

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Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Sure, the premise sounds idiotic, but what can you expect from a stoner comedy? In fact, the more inane the premise, the better. So, do Harold & Kumar have what it takes to reach the stoner film hall of fame? I think so.

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The Corporation
This provocative Canadian documentary about the corporate world is both alarming and entertaining, and succeeds where other recent agenda-based
documentaries have failed. It's longer, more comprehensive, and ultimately more effective than any other political documentary released this year.
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Garden State
Zach Braff's debut film has accumulated quite a bit of buzz this year, with a quick selloff at Sundance and an addictively popular trailer.
It's a visual spectacle with a few laughs and a hip soundtrack, but falls a few blocks short of perfect.
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Spider-Man 2
2004 appears to finally be the year of the sequel, that is the year where sequels are actually worth the price of admission, and then some. Spider-Man 2 very possibly could become one of the highest grossers of the year, but this time it's worth it. Is Hollywood finally catching on?
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Breakfast with Hunter
This is your brain on drugs. Author and walking chemical lab Hunter S. Thompson gets the cinema verite treatment, courtesy from some guy who worked on TV. It repeatedly tells us how Hunter is a great writer and hipper than you. Too bad they're telling the truth.
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Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Critically acclaimed documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, creators of Paradise Lost and Brother's Keeper, have tried their hand at capturing the charmed life of America's top Metal band. They capture the bad boys of rock at a pivotal point in their careers.
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Before Sunset
Richard Linklater has undertaken the unlikely task of taking his artistic, indie favorite Before Sunrise and spray painting a Part 2 over the logo. Nine years later he revisits the material that won him such critical raves in 1995. All we have to say, is thanks Rich.
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Control Room
Who would have predicted the amount of influence the Iraqi War would have on film, especially documentary? Here is the most recent in a series of politically charged documentaries that focuses on Arab network Al-Jazeera, and all media operations during the Iraqi War.
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Fahrenheit 9/11
Heard of this one? It may just be the most controversial film of all time, and will end up being the most successful documentary of all time. It's as one-sided as anyone could expect, but is it worth watching for those on the political fence?
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Two Brothers
The director of the critically acclaimed The Bear delves back into the animal kingdom with this tale of two tigers, separated from each other and their family. Check this out for some spectacular animal work, but be wary of their human counterparts.
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Atlanta Film Festival
Beginning, Saturday, June 12, I will embark on a weeklong voyage through the world of cinema. My schedule (subject to change) currently consists of 35 films, but we'll see how the week turns out. I'll be keeping a thorough screening log with details reviews throughout the week.
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America's Heart and Soul
The title, the trailer and the ad campaign all makes this film look mundane, bland and manipulative. Admittedly, my expectations couldn't have been much lower for this Disney project. I came out pleasantly surprised, if not overwhelmed.
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Intermission
This latest ensemble comedy shows that Guy Ritchie must be popular in Ireland too. Intermission contains a large cast with some of the biggest stars of British/Irish cinema, all making complete idiots of themselves.
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Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon's not like the other kids. Nominated for this years Sundance Grand Jury Prize, this unusual, new indie comedy will hit theaters this Summer like the crack of nunchuck.
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Shrek 2
The loveable green guy finally gets a franchise, and no, I'm not talking about Ang Lee's Hulk. The Dreamworks sequel will likely break box office records, but is it too much different from the first?
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Dirty Pretty Things
This 2003 indie darling had a critically acclaimed performance and screenplay, the latter of which was nominated for an Academy Award. Stephen Frears' suspense drama explores the underside of society and what people will do for salvation.
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Troy
The historical epic is back and bigger than ever. Large battle scenes will bring in the men, while Brad Pitt's pecs will bring in the ladies. Troy will definitely bring in the dough, but will it become legendary?
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Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The Bride is back and guess what she still wants to do? Yeah, yeah, yeah, Kill Bill. Volume 2 is a little slower, more character driven, but with moments of great intensity. It's a worthy conclusion, but as a whole it would have been better if shorter, and just a single movie.
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Laws of Attraction
Lookie here. An indie comedy starring Julianne Moore, Parker Posey and Pierce Brosnan. Has potential, doesn't it? Think again. 'Tis only human to see green and choose incorrectly.
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Man on Fire
The latest Tony Scott film has all of the usual ingredients: a huge star, a strong supporting cast, good looking camerawork, and a fast-paced script. Will it be any different from any of his others?
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Dogville
Lars von Trier's latest is neck and neck with The Passion of the Christ for most controversial film of 2004. It happens to be extremely anti-American, rich in metaphor and intensely thought provoking. Ironically, it probably wouldn't appeal to the same demographic as Passion would.
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Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The Bride is back and guess what she still wants to do? Yeah, yeah, yeah, Kill Bill. Volume 2 is a little slower, more character driven, but with moments of great intensity. It's a worthy conclusion, but as a whole it would have been better if shorter, and just a single movie.
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Good Bye, Lenin!
This German film practically swept the European Film Awards last year. It is an unusual political comedy set during the fall of the Berlin wall and happens to be my early favorite of 2004 and the first perfect score I've awarded.
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Osama
This highly personal film about the Taliban, seen through the eyes of those who lived it, is shocking, disturbing, and a treasure to see, even if a little rough around the edges.
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Charlie Kaufman is full of surprises, but he is hardly unforgettable. His latest partnering with Michel Gondry might be his most offbeat premise yet, but possibly his most effective as well.
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Kitchen Stories
This quirky comedy from Norway explores the strange relationship between technology and tradition by performing elaborate kitchen studies in the homes of Norweigan men. Trust me, it is as unusual as it sounds, but it's also hilarious and insightful.
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Miracle
Miracle is the story of the infamous 1980 hockey battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. It isn't just a sports movie, but there is a lot of political content as well. They do a great job at capturing the time, while presenting a rousing and suspenseful story.
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The Fog of War
A new look at war, as told by former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, visualized by acclaimed documentary director Errol Morris, and scored by Phillip Glass. The result is an absolutely brilliant documentary, that won't soon by forgotten.
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Capturing the Friedmans
Andrew Jarecki has created a different type of documentary. Instead of just treating a subject, he follows conventions usually found in a fictional film. This makes the film much more entertaining than most documentaries, but maybe it takes away a little too much from the subject itself.
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Luck Be a Lady Tonight
How bad can one person's luck be? Bernie Lootz has made a career out of his misfortune. He uses his loserdom to keep his Vegas employer in the black. The Cooler has some strong acting, solid camerawork, and great set design, but nothing else.
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2004 Oscar Surprises, Snubs and Other Thoughts
The nominations are in. As usual (and welcome) there were plenty of surprises, snubs and disappointments. Here is my in-depth Oscar analysis, with my thoughts on the nominations and my predictions as to who will take the trophy home on February 27th.
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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is the only documentary I've seen that captures a live-action coup in progress. A documentary that had been working on a piece about Hugo Chavez was there during the coup in February of 2002 and caught all of the action. Quite the interesting documentary, but beware of the political motivations behind it.
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