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Gone, Baby, Gone, Becoming Jane, Martain Child, No Reservations, Romance & Cigarettes

Posted Monday, February 11, 2008, at 10:32 AM

So here comes another Tuesday with a slate of new releases to keep us all occupied for another week.

Gone, Baby, Gone

This is a flick that was directed by actor Ben Affleck and has garnered great reviews. I really want to see this flick, but didn't have time to fit it in, so here's a brief description. From Academy Award® winning Ben Affleck and Miramax Films comes Gone Baby Gone the critically acclaimed "must see" gripping action drama based on the novel by Dennis Lehane author of Mystic River and starring Casey Affleck and Academy Award® winning Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris. When two young private detectives are hired to investigate the disappearance of a little girl in Boston they soon discover that nothing is what it seems and will ultimately risk everything to find her…everyone wants the truth until they find it.

Becoming Jane

I did get a chance to watch this flick and was mildly dissapointed. With two great adaptations of Jane Austen's books in the previous years(Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility), I was hoping Becoming Jane would have learned from what those two films did right and make this third film marvelous. They started out good by casting James McAvoy(largely known for his role as Mr. Tumnus in Chronicles of Narnia) as the lead male and Anne Hathaway as Jane. McAvoy does a tremendous job, but Anne seems to get lost and can't quite command the screen like she did so effortlessly in Devil wears Prada. Thus, the downfall of the flick begins. The rest becomes a lot of stuff you've seen before, as the storylines and such are pretty much a conglomeration of all of Jane Austen's books, so you'll see characters that you know, played slightly differently and called different names. I didn't finish the whole film as I got so bored with this flick. If you are a Jane Austen fan, this film will please you. If you are a fan of good movies, rent Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knightley as it is a far superior Jane Austen flick.

Martian Child

A recently widowed science fiction writer forms an unlikely family with a close friend and a young adopted boy that claims to be from Mars. The new couple ignores some sage parenting advice from the widower's sister and gets more than they bargained for when a series of strange occurrences lead them to believe that the child's claim may be true.

No Reservations

A master chef, Kate (CATHERINE ZETA-JONES) lives her life like she runs the kitchen at upscale 22 Bleecker Restaurant in Manhattan--with a no-nonsense intensity that both captivates and intimidates everyone around her. With breathtaking precision, she powers through each hectic shift, coordinating hundreds of meals, preparing delicate sauces, seasoning and simmering each dish to absolute perfection.

More at ease behind the scenes, she only leaves the sanctuary of her kitchen to accept compliments for one of her signature dishes, or, on rare occasions, to tangle with a customer who dares question her expertise. After work, most nights find her in bed before midnight, set to rise at dawn to beat her competition to the fish market for the next day's freshest selections.

Kate's perfectionist nature is put to the test when a brash new sous-chef joins her staff, the high-spirited and freewheeling Nick (AARON ECKHART). A rising culinary star himself, Nick favors opera while working and loves to make everyone around him laugh. His casual approach to both life and cuisine couldn't be more different from Kate's, yet the chemistry between them is undeniable...as is the discord, like forks clanging off a granite countertop.

Romance & Cigarettes

This is one of the other flicks I managed to watch this busy week and I am glad I did. This flick was directed by actor John Turturro and features an all star cast led by James Gandolifini and Susan Sarandon. It is a musical of sorts, but there are no original songs here. Matter of fact, the songs are sometimes not even sung by the actors, but rather lip synced to the original. Sometimes the original song is in the background, but the actor sings over top of it. This wacky mix only starts the interesting story that somehow manages to throw conventions out the window as it twists and turns into a somewhat lackluster comedy. It's still quite a trip to watch the whole thing unfold even if it falls flat on its face many times throughout the show. Basically, the wonderfully weird parts keep you watching through the in between that can sometimes drag on for way too long. I chock most of the errors up to first time director John Turturro who seems like he was just having too much fun messing with what he could do. It is well worth a watch for the zany musical segments, but the rest is pretty boring. Best to rent and watch while doing something else, so you can sit down and pay attention when the music starts, but can get a bit busy doing other things during the boring parts.

As always, this week's releases are available at Movie Gallery in McCook. Come back, let me know what you thought.

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Confectionary Glaze
Cody Dame
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Cody Dame is the CEO and owner of three local McCook Businesses, Game On, Spotlight Studios and Divine Productions. He also manages to work for the McCook Daily Gazette.