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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

13 Going on 30 (2004)

With a sprinkle of Wishing Dust, the disaffected young heroine, on her first day of teenhood, is spirited into her future life as a "thirty and flirty and thriving" editor of her favorite fashion magazine, Poise. Yet she's still thirteen in her head, with none of the knowledge, the experience, ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

50 First Dates (2004)

High-concept romantic comedy about a love-'em-and-leave-'em ladykiller, a marine-park veterinarian in Hawaii, who tumbles for a brain-damaged blonde who can retain no short-term memories since her year-ago car accident and who is doomed every day to relive the day of the accident with no knowledge of intervening days: a scoop ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

After the Sunset (2004)

Rhinestone heist thriller (a brandished DVD of To Catch a Thief establishes a standard of comparison) about a couple of high-tech jewel thieves in smug retirement in the Islands: "Now the challenge is to find joy in simple things." But then the third of the priceless Napoleon Diamonds, of which ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Against the Ropes (2004)

Not too glossy or glossed-over a portrait of Jackie Kallen (a hoarse, coarse, brassy, sassy Meg Ryan), a woman in a man's game, manager of a prizefighter whom she discovered in a brawl with two crackheads: "Reminds me of Marvin Hagler." Not too believable a portrait, nevertheless. Charles S. Dutton, ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Alamo (2004)

Creditable retelling of an early chapter in Texas history ("As goes the Alamo, so goes Texas"), not as cumbersome as the John Wayne version of 1960, perhaps even a little cursory. Director and co-screenwriter John Lee Hancock humanizes the central figures -- Crockett, Bowie, Travis, Houston, though not the ogre-ish ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alexander (2004)

The Great, that is. Not great movie, mind you, just great Alexander. The movie, on the other hand, is a lumbering three-hour uncinematic spectacle that traces the Macedonian conqueror (or uniter, depending upon your politics) from his days as a young lad to the end of his days as a ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alfie (2004)

A new, updated, relocated Alfie — an Alfie for America, for the Bedhead generation, for the erectile-dysfunction era. He's still a Brit, and still talks straight to the camera, but now our lady-killer must be a chiselled Adonis (Jude Law) instead of a legitimate heir to Michael Caine (a Rhys ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Plural, more accurately: Aliens vs. Predators, facing off in the arena of an ancient pyramid under the Antarctic ice. Notwithstanding the outward hostilities, it's a pragmatic pooling of commercial assets by the Fox studio, profit motive only. A clearer motive, at any rate, than that of the dreadlocked Predators, who, ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Along Came Polly (2004)

An ostensibly romantic comedy throwing together Mr. Uptight (Ben Stiller) and Ms. Free Spirit (Jennifer Aniston), written and directed by John Hamburg, whose mind is quite literally in the toilet. The fart at the men's-room urinals is just a warm-up for the illustrated definition of "shart," an intended fart that ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

America's Heart and Soul (2004)

A cursory crisscross of the country, from sea to shining sea, in glossy coffee-table photography, for a gallery of portraits of ordinary citizens: a cowboy, a Cajun, a gospel singer, a weaver, a dairy farmer, a hatmaker, a vintager, a bicycle messenger, a klezmer musician, a salsa dancer, a blind ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

The rare Perennium Mortalis blooms but once every seven years in the jungles of Borneo, harboring behind its beauty a "pharmaceutical equivalent to the Fountain of Youth." ("That'd be bigger than Viagra!") Bad luck for the botanical team, then, that it's blooming during mating season for a strain of giant ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Promising comic premise -- a swinging single San Diego newsman in the Seventies, and his personal attraction but professional resistance to a female colleague -- subjected to a strategy of anything-for-a-laugh: wild exaggeration, improbability, impossibility, fantasy, absurdity, ribaldry, animal abuse, cartoon interlude, musical numbers, celebrity cameos (Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Around the Bend (2004)

Old Henry's last will and testament includes an ashes-scattering map for the three succeeding generations of males, Turner, Jason, and Zach. An insufferably cutesy salute to family ("A family carries each other"), regularly interrupted by ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken: mandatory stops on the map. With Christopher Walken, Josh Lucas, ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

A remake of the Jules Verne circumnavigatory adventure, converted into a vehicle for a Jackie Chan plot about a stolen jade Buddha. (The voyage is a mere getaway from the police and a passage to China.) No doubt the Mexican comedian Cantinflas, in the 1956 version, was no more faithful ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

As It Is in Heaven (2004)

A world-class Swedish symphony conductor (Michael Nyqvist, a big, strong Richard Burton-y pocked face) moves back to his native village with a bad heart, whips the church choir into competitive shape, upsets the local bluenoses, shelters abused women, wins the heart of the budding Jezebel, draws out the village idiot, ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd