Babylon A.D.

You have to admit that Vin Diesel is excellent at being scary.

This seems like another in the seemingly endless string of movies lately that’s based on some dark, futuristic graphic novel. There was Sin City and 300, and coming up we have Watchmen and Max Payne. (Also a remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, which isn’t based on a graphic novel, obviously, but is chock-full of special effects, unlike the original.
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De Niro actually does something even more jarring than teaching Yvaine to waltz.

The movie industry keeps doing this to me. Some weekends I absolutely can’t decide between two films, and other weekends, there’s just nothing new out there that I’m getting paid enough to see. Actually, I’m not getting paid at all, but you know what I mean. And though I was interested to see Rush Hour 3, this is the one I was really after this weekend.

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Don't forget your sunglasses and the SPF 100,000 lotion!

Don’t worry, you know I have to review The Simpsons, but that’ll be tomorrow instead. Yep, it’s a double dose this weekend, to make up for the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to watch either John Travolta in drag or Adam Sandler trying to be a comedian last weekend. But this weekend I had almost an embarrassment of choices, and I’d been wanting to see Sunshine just because it sounded cool.

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John Carter

The infamous white apes in the arena, trying to eat John

The movie 79 years in the making! That’s usually a very bad sign, of course. As a general rule, the longer a film lingers “in development”, the worse it gets. Apparently it resets after three-quarters of a century or so, though, since this one doesn’t seem to have suffered much.
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Green Lantern

Green Lantern comic Hal Jordan and Green Lantern movie Hal Jordan.

Are you ready for your mind to be blown? That’s what Hal Jordan asks his friend Thomas Kalmaku, who says he’s ready but isn’t really. I wasn’t ready, either. I was afraid this was going to be another Green Hornet style debacle. The previews were unclear. It was possible that Ryan Reynolds was playing the character for laughs like Seth Rogan did as the Green Hornet, and I was afraid. But I conquered that fear, went to the theatre, and had a good time, as it turned out.

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The Eagle

Marcus and Esca eye each other warily for the four thousandth time.

There’s something of a legend around the Ninth Legion of the Roman Empire. More properly called the Legio IX Hispania, or the Spanish Legion — not because they were from Spain, but because they helped beat that area into submission in the 40’s B.C.E. — the story says that they were wiped out in the Scottish Highlands by fierce Celtic warriors in about 120 A.D. Five thousand men were lost, and after that humiliating defeat the emperor Hadrian built the wall that now bears his name, to keep those scary Picts out of the civilized world.
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Robin Hood

Robin charging into battle against the French.

I — I don’t know where to start. It’s all so strange.

I’m best at the Tudor time period, but I’ve also read a lot about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons because — let’s face it — Eleanor was the coolest European noblewoman ever. She told the King of France to take a hike, and he did. Eileen Atkins makes a pretty good Eleanor, don’t get me wrong. The acting’s good all around. But the history. Oh, the history.

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