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We had the chance to spend a “guy weekend” with our 17-year-old son last week; he’s an actor/filmmaker who is graduating high school in a few weeks and then going off to college, so it was a great chance to drive up to Boston (where David will be going to school) and just hang. And, because he loves the movies, we ended up seeing three of them in about 36 hours…which was just fine with us.

  • Kill Bill Vol. 2 actually is far superior to the blood-fest that made up Vol. 1…it is beautifully photographed (especially the black and white sequences), nicely acted (there are wonderful performances by Uma Thurman and, go figure, David Carradine), and is a very stylish exercise. We still think that director Quentin Tarrantino is a little too in love with style at the expense of story…but he’s still about the most imaginative filmmaker out there. It’s not for the faint of heart, but “Kill Bill Vol. 2” is exciting movie-making.

  • Troy is an old-fashioned epic bolstered by the magic of modern digitization. At one point, it looks like there are a thousand Greek ships sailing for Troy…you know it was done by computer, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. That said, “Troy” could have been a soulless movie…but it isn’t. It manages to weave an interesting political/military story with some interesting character performances – especially by Eric Bana as Hector, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, and Peter O’Toole as Priam. Brad Pitt manages to bring some life to the central and yet underwritten character of Achilles. It’s not a great movie, but it is good. And since it is a version of the “Iliad” as opposed to being some mindless sequel to a teenie flick, you have to be thankful for small favors.

  • Van Helsing is absolute rubbish. It belongs to the Crash and Smash school of filmmaking…no heart, no soul, no real characters, no story, and no reason to exist.

Have a good weekend. (We're going to see "Shrek 2.")
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