‘Lost in Translation’ is just two bored people in Japan who do nothing

Scarlett Johansson in 'Lost in Translation'
Scarlett Johansson in ‘Lost in Translation’

[rating=2]Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
Director(s): Sofia Coppola
Writer(s): Sofia Coppola

This is a great film, critics raved. Sofia Coppola has finally done it! She’s the first female up for Best Director because of this film! So I watched and tried to take it all in… I warn you, this is going to be more of a rant than a review.

Read more‘Lost in Translation’ is just two bored people in Japan who do nothing

Katie Holmes is refreshingly charming in ‘Pieces of April’

Katie Holmes in 'Pieces of April'
Katie Holmes in ‘Pieces of April’

Starring: Katie Holmes, Derek Luke, Oliver Platt, Alison Pill, John Gallagher, Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Alice Drummond
Director(s): Peter Hedges
Writer(s): Peter Hedges

In Pieces of April, a pierced Katie Holmes donning red-streaked raven hair is our proverbial black sheep, April Burns, anxious about having her family over for Thanksgiving dinner at her tiny New York City apartment. A stubborn April plans on cooking an entire meal herself despite her obvious lack of cooking skills. In a rage, she attempts to mash uncooked potatoes. There is an eerie silence of apprehension when April begins to prepare the meal only to discover that her oven is broken.

Read moreKatie Holmes is refreshingly charming in ‘Pieces of April’

‘The Magdalene Sisters’ will move, shock and horrify, but is a must-see true story

Dorothy Duffy stars in 'The Magdalene Sisters'
Dorothy Duffy stars in ‘The Magdalene Sisters’

[rating=4]Starring: Anne-Marie Duff, Nora-Jane Noone, Dorothy Duffy, Eileen Walsh
Director(s): Peter Mullan
Writer(s): Peter Mullan

Until 1996, the Catholic Church in Ireland judged and imprisoned women in institutions called the Magdalene Asylums. These asylums were named after Mary Magdalene, the prostitute who found redemption by following Christ in the New Testament. The Magdalene Sisters is the brutal true story of four women horrifically punished in these asylums by nuns, priests and the Catholic Church.

Read more‘The Magdalene Sisters’ will move, shock and horrify, but is a must-see true story

Forget Jack Black, the kids are the real stars of ‘School of Rock’

Jack Black teaches music in 'School of Rock'
Jack Black teaches music in ‘School of Rock’

[rating=2]Starring: Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Mike White, Joan Cusack, Miranda Cosgrove
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Writer(s): Mike White

I have had the displeasure of watching Jack Black through Orange County and Shallow Hal. So when I heard that School of Rock was winning rave reviews from critics, I struggled with indecisiveness. Should I pay $10 a ticket for a film, that despite starring Jack Black, other critics had found riveting? I couldn’t take the risk. Instead, I waited for it to be available on a considerably cheaper format, the DVD rental. I should have waited longer.

Read moreForget Jack Black, the kids are the real stars of ‘School of Rock’

‘Bend It like Beckham’ is about a young girl pursuing her dreams against all odds

Parminder K. Nagra and Kiera Knightly carry the trophy in 'Bend It like Beckham'
Parminder K. Nagra and Kiera Knightly carry the trophy in ‘Bend It like Beckham’

[rating=4]Starring: Parminder K. Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Juliet Stevenson
Director(s): Gurinder Chadha
Writer(s): Screenplay by Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Guljit Bindra

I have heard Bend It Like Beckham likened to My Big Fat Greek Wedding with soccer, but it’s much more than that. Unlike most sports films, this story isn’t really about a team or a sport. Bend It Like Beckham is about a young girl pursuing her dreams against all odds.

Read more‘Bend It like Beckham’ is about a young girl pursuing her dreams against all odds

‘Vampire Effect’ is ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’-light, but not quite as good

Ekin Cheng and Charlene Choi in 'The Vampire Effect'
Ekin Cheng and Charlene Choi in ‘The Vampire Effect’

[rating=2]Starring: Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Jackie Chan
Director(s): Dante Lam
Writer(s): Jack Ng

Now, you must understand, I am the kind of person who preorders Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Season 6 on DVD two months in advance. Having said this, it is by no means a stretch of the imagination to find that I am reviewing a film where Jackie Chan kicks vampire ass! Now you may not have heard of this film, for neither had I until I viewed the trailers on my Godzilla against Mechagodzilla DVD.

Read more‘Vampire Effect’ is ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’-light, but not quite as good

‘Daddy Day Care’ ushers in family-friendly era for Eddie Murphy

Jeff Garlin and Eddie Murphy in 'Daddy Day Care'
Jeff Garlin and Eddie Murphy in ‘Daddy Day Care’

[rating=3]Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Anjelica Huston, Steve Zahn, Regina
Director(s): Steve Carr
Writer(s): Screenplay by Geoff Rodkey

I grew up in the ’80s watching movies like Beverly Hills CopThe Golden Child and Coming to America. Back then, it seemed like there was no one quite as funny as Eddie Murphy thrilling us with his trademark laugh. Then he disappeared, tried to make a go at it in the music industry (big flop) and made several movies most of us didn’t see and quickly forgot if we did.

Read more‘Daddy Day Care’ ushers in family-friendly era for Eddie Murphy