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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

2046 (2005)

After the concentrated perfection of "The Hand" -- Wong Kar-wai's fraction of the anthology film, Eros -- the defects of this one are apt to appear the more glaring. Ostensibly it's a sequel to his close-to-perfection In the Mood for Love. Or anyhow the action picks up shortly after it ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

The hero is not what he is by reason of any philosophy, religion, or phobia: "It just never happened." But now his colleagues at the Smart Tech electronics store, cottoning on to his condition, are pitching in to cure him of it. Though not unsympathetic in treatment, the character is ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

49 Up (2005)

Timely bulletin from Michael Apted on the motley Brits he has been checking in on, at seven-year intervals, ever since they were seven years old. It would be easy for the American moviegoer, introduced to them three movies ago at the age of twenty-eight, to have become blasé about the ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

5x2 (2005)

François Ozon charts the course of a relationship from finish to start — Ozon charts the course of a relationship from finish to start — from final divorce to first ignition — in five stages. The reverse-chronology narrative has been tried a few times before, in such dissimilar forms as ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

9 Songs (2005)

Half-baked hot dish of sex and rock-and-roll, another penetration (so to speak) of triple-X hardcore into the aboveground art house, a plotless chronicle of the burbling passion of two young strangers who meet at a concert and then go on attending concerts in between demonstrations of their passion: tonguing, fingering, ... (NR)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Adam and Steve (2005)

Forced gay-ety around two men -- a Central Park nature guide and a germophobic psychologist -- who meet up again, without recognizing one another, seventeen years after their disastrous first date. The disaster is of gross-out proportions, a prologue that sets the sustained tone of trying too hard. With Craig ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D (2005)

The daydream superheroes of a bullied grade-schooler come to life, pull him out of the classroom, fly him to Planet Drool (Where Kids Rule), ride the Train of Thought to the Land of Milk and Cookies, take a Banana-Split Boat down the Steam of Consciousness, and so on. Didactic kiddie ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Aeon Flux (2005)

The live-action adaptation of an MTV cartoon remains so cartoonish — what with its computer-generated futuristic utopia, computer-animated internal organs, computer-manipulated stunts and body doubles, computer this and computer that — it's a wonder it bothered with flesh-and-blood actors at all. Charlize Theron, who may have been worried after Monster ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

After Innocence (2005)

Fit-for-TV digital documentary on a bushelful of ex-convicts exonerated through DNA evidence after five, ten, twenty, twenty-five years behind bars. The people are interesting to meet, and their stories, although a little one-note, healthily undermine our faith in the justice system. Directed by Jessica Sanders. (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alone in the Dark (2005)

Laughable fright show, based on an Atari video game. A long-winded preamble (stretching from an ancient extinct Native American tribe called the Abkani to a current top-secret paranormal agency called Bureau 713), a twenty-two-years-earlier prologue, and an up-to-the-minute dose of first-person narration ("My name is Edward Carnby, and I'm here ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Aristocrats (2005)

Paul Provenza's talking-heads film rounds up a herd of well-known and less-known comedians to tell and to analyze an old gray blue joke, the punch line of which is the film's title. (Alternate and not-as-good punch lines: the Sophisticates, the Debonairs.) The joke seems to be something of a private ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

Remake of the John Carpenter shoestringer of 1976, about an armed siege on a police station à la the Alamo. But the revised plot, just to give the new team of filmmakers some Creative Input, has been altered for minimum interest and sense. The besiegers are no longer an insatiable ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Asylum (2005)

David Mackenzie's encore to Young Adam is not noticeably a step up, nor is it a significant step removed from the selfsame era of repression, the late Fifties. The discontented and dangerously idle wife (Natasha Richardson) of a buttoned-down madhouse director (Hugh Bonneville) starts up a sort of Lady Chatterley ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Aura, El (2005)

A noir-ish whirlpool around an epileptic taxidermist (Ricardo Darín), dragging down the withdrawn daydreamer into an unmanageable crime of opportunity. The second film of the Argentine director Fabián Bielinsky, as much a character study as a caper film, is more measured and mature than his flashy first, Nine Queens, but ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Azumi (2005)

Peace plan for feudal Japan: train an elite team of ten, eager, youthful assassins -- nine men and one fetching female in knee-high socks and thigh-length terry-cloth bathrobe -- to wipe out every warlord in the land. (As a final training exercise to prove their mettle, the ten are required ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd