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List of "C" Movies

Cable Guy (1996) PG-13 comedy

Jim Carrey stars in this (surprise, surprise) loony comedy as an overly eccentric cable man who attaches himself to an unsuspecting customer (Matthew Broderick). The thing about this cable guy is that if you want to be friends, he'll be great. You get free cable, a big screen TV, Medieval Times fights, etc. He might drive you nuts, but that's only a side-effect. However, the moment you no longer wish to be friends with him, he'll make your life a living nightmare. This rather kooky, but all-around enjoyable Carrey flick is a must for his fans. The dark undercurrent of the film seems to make a half-baked statement on those who watch TV, which probably should have been done away with. Starring: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, George Segal, Diane Baker, Jack Black, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, Charles Napier, Ben Stiller. Directed by: Ben Stiller. B

Cadillac Man (1990) R comedy

Robin Williams stars as a car salesman who is so cliche that he even manages to talk his way into several girlfriends who are out of his league. But he shows a flash of heart when a crazed maniac (Tim Robbins) holds the dealership hostage to find out who has been fooling around with his wife (Annabella Sciorra), and he falsely takes the blame. Can Williams talk his way out of this mess, and still find time to sort out his plethora of personal problems? The story is inconsequential; it's the actors makes this comedy worth watching. Starring: Robin Williams, Tim Robbins, Pamela Reed, Fran Drescher, Zach Norman, Annabella Sciorra, Lori Petty, Paul Guilfoyle. Directed by: Roger Donaldson. B

The Caine Mutiny (1954) NR drama

A totally exhillarating adaptation of Herman Wouk's Pulitzer Prize winning novel starring Humphrey Bogart as the notorious Captain Queeg, the authority of the broken down naval ship, the Caine. His skeptical crew thinks their captain is insane, which brings the ship to a serious and mutinous situation! Van Johnson stars as the first mate and he does a great job. Fred MacMurray's performance as the intellectual officer is exquisite, but it's Humphrey Bogart's performance that is legendary. This ought to be considered one of the greatest films of all time and it still holds well today even though there was never a mutiny in the United States Navy. Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson, Robert Francis, May Wynn, Fred MacMurray, E.G. Marshall, Lee Marvin, Claude Akins. Directed by: Edward Dmytryk. A+

The California Suite (1978) PG comedy

A disappointing Neil Simon flick with a star-studded cast. The acting is good, but the jokes in it are not funny. It's comprised of four stories that don't coincide. Here's the run-down: the one with Bill Crosby and Richard Pryor, two bickering doctors whose violence toward each other result in the injuring of their wives, is unfunny. The one with Jane Fonda and Alan Alda who play an ex-couple that argue over the custody of their 17 year old daughter, is dull. The one with Walter Matthau, whose wife caught a hooker in his hotel bed, is dumb. The last and the best one, which isn't saying much, is the one with Maggie Smith, a prominent actress who loses at the academy awards, takes it out on her hubby, Michael Caine. That is ironic, because in real life Smith won an Oscar for her performance in this film. I suggest that you skip this one unless you just absolutely love Neil Simon. Starring: Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Walter Matthau, Elaine May, Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Richard Pryor, Bill Crosby, Gloria Gifford, Shelia Frazier, Herb Edelman, Denise Galik. Directed by: Herbert Ross. C-

Canadian Bacon (1995) PG "comedy"

American president, Alan Alda, is suffering in the polls and everyday, more Americans are losing their jobs. His chief cabinet member thinks the reason for these declines is because there is no longer a cold war between America and the USSR, so they decide to start that up again. They call upon Russia to ask, but politely decline by saying that they're sick it and Russia's ready to move on. So they decide to start their new cold war with Canada. Little does the president know, John Candy and several other desperadoes who live in Niagara Falls, NY take this seriously, jump the border and trash a perfectly nice and clean Canadian park. Running away from the Royal Mounted Canadian Police, only one person is caught. After being caught, the Canadians consider her to be insane and sends her to the Canadian capital for treatment. That won't stop Candy and the gang from going to Toronto (they don't believe that Ottawa is its capital) to rescue her by using whatever force is necessary. Uh-oh, the president is in a jam now, this isn't what he wanted. Now this all may turn into a full-fledged war! It's a rather lame attempt at political satire (directed by Michael Moore, no surprise) and the jokes are weak, however the highly talented cast keep this film flowing and they most certainly make best with what little material they have to work with. Starring: John Candy, Alan Alda, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollack, Rip Torn, Bill Nunn, Kevin J. O’Connor, Steven Wright, G.D. Spradlin, Dan Aykroyd, Michael Moore. Directed by: Michael Moore. C+

The Cannonball Run (1981) PG comedy

As long as you're not expecting Citizen Kane, there is enough to enjoy about this film (reputed to be horrible) to keep you entertained for an evening. A slew of Hollywood notables take their precious careers and put it up for grabs in this overblown ensemble comedy. It stars Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., among others, who all meet up for a wild cross-country car race that ain't exactly legal. Sounds like fun? Well, you decide. Jackie Chan also has a minor role in this film, but there's no kung-fu. Starring: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jack Elam, Adrienne Barbeau, Terry Bradshaw, Jackie Chan, Bert Convoy, Jamie Farr, Peter Fonda, George Furth, Michael Hui. Directed by: Hal Needham. C

Can't Buy Me Love (1987) PG-13 comedy

This film stars Patrick Dempsey as a teenaged nerd who wants only one thing: popularity. How should he accomplish such a thing? He pays the cheerleader captain (Amanda Petersen) $1,000 to go out with him. The entire high school is stunned by the pairing of course, but they soon accept him as one of their own…but at what cost? Cheesiness ensues, but I like the message. I especially enjoyed the part where Dempsy turns on American Bandstand to imitate the dances, but he accidentally turned on PBS where they were enacting a tribal African mating dance. Lo and behold the new dance craze. Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson, Courtney Gains, Tina Caspary, Seth Green, Sharon Farrell, Darcey DeMoss, Dennis Dugan, Cloyce Morrow, Cort McCown. Directed by: Steve Rash. B-

Capote (2005) R drama

This is a great film that follows the research and writing process of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Phillip Seymour Hoffman adopts the thoroughly annoying whiny voice of the title character in his effective performance. The film is engaging from beginning to end--it provides both laughs and tears--and it ought to be considered among cinema’s finest biographies. Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Bob Balaban, Amy Ryan, Mark Pellegrino. Directed by: Bennett Miller. A+

A Caribbean Mystery (1983) NR mystery

This adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel reads just like one of her books but sometimes becomes boring and slow. Miss Marple travels to a hotel resort located somewhere in the Caribbean where she becomes close friends with one of its residents. When he suddenly passes away one night, Miss Marple can't help but to inspect the case. It's not one of the best Agatha Christie adaptations, but it is more than enough to please the fans. Novelist Sue Grafton co-wrote the teleplay. Starring: Helen Hayes, Barnard Hughes, Jameson Parker, Season Hubley, Swoosie Kurtz, Stephen Macht, Beth Howland, Maurice Evans, Brock Peters. Directed by: Robert Lewis. B-

Cars (2006) G comedy

Pixar's seventh film is a charmer. An automobile named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a hotshot rookie race car driver. On his way to a highly publicized race, he gets lost. His foolishness and selfishness gets him into trouble in a local, failing town. He goes to trial and he is sentenced to repair the town's roads that he destroyed. But he quickly befriends the locals. This movie is probably Pixar's most daring venture and the CGI quality manages to top their previous films. But this is a lesser film in terms of plot, character development and jokes. Such disappointment is what happens when the Pixar's standards have been set so high. Voices of: Owen Wilson, Larry the CabܥeJonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okenedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlethwait, Amelia Warner, Caroline Warner. Directed by: Karyn Kusama. A-

Casablanca (1942) NR drama

Probably the most famous classic and the most popular movie ever stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick, a mild-mannered Casablanca nightclub owner who is caught between political trifles of Germany and France. It's not exactly apparent why this film has gained so much popularity --- perhaps it's overrated --- but "Casablanca" is exceptional with a great script and perfect acting. It's amazing that practically every minute of this film contains an oft-quoted line or classic moment. Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, S.Z. Sakall, Madeleine LeBeau, Dooley Wilson, Joy Page. Directed by: Michael Curtiz. A+

Casanova (2005) R comedy

This is an insipid dramatization of the on the 18th century ladies-man (Heath Ledger) who is always on the run from the powerful church, and he must find someone to wed. He proposes to a young lady but someone else loves her. Enter a female novelist of racy novels (Sienna Miller). Above all, this farce is boring and most of the jokes fall flat. It's unfortunately not worthy of the cast. Starring: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt, Lena Olin. Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom. C-

Casino Royale (1967) NR comedy

For now, let's ignore the fact that this flick stars a whole slew of talented cast members. Casino Royale is an amusing parody of James Bond. While many of the jokes are worthless, they usually bring a smile to your face. Now let's talk about the cast. It stars Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Charles Boyer, John Huston, Ursula Andress, Deborah Kerr, etc. With a cast like that, shouldn't this film be very good? It fails because it's not able to deliver with this kind of personnel! And that's not to mention the 8 billion directors involved. Starring: Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Orson Welles, Joanna Pettet, Dalilah Lavi, Woody Allen, Deborah Kerr, William Holden, Charles Boyer, John Huston, Kurt Kasznar, George Raft, Peter O'Toole. Directed by: John Huston, Ken Hughes, Robert Parrish, Val Guest and Joseph McGrath. C

Casino Royale (2006) PG-13 action

Daniel Craig takes the reigns for the freshly revitalized James Bond franchise in the roughest, most action-filled Bond outing yet. Here, Bond has only been newly appointed to his position and is still finding his style. He is assigned to stop the terrorist financier (Mads Mikkelsen) from winning money at a high-stakes poker tournament. The film is full of great action sequences and intrigue, and the franchise finally puts the acting talents of Judi Dench, as M, to use. If they only had known how to end it, this would have been the best Bond ever. Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian. Directed by: Martin Campbell. B+

Cast Away (2000) PG-13 drama

Tom Hanks stars in this entertaining film as a busy FedEx executive getting into an airplane accident in the ocean and becoming stranded on a deserted island. Hanks must survive on this island in hope that somebody will come around to save him. Some scenes are rather gruesome (this isn't Swiss Family Robinson), but they are effective. Starring: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy, Chris Noth, Lari White, Geoffrey Blake, Jennifer Lewis. Directed by: Robert Zemeckis. B+

The Castle of Caligroso (1979) PG animated

Hayao Miyazaki’s first flick is a happy precursor to his later anime staples as “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away.” A pair of world class thieves becomes entangled in the affairs of an imprisoned princess and the evil Count Caligroso. This film is cliché after cliché, but after I was through watching it, I felt like I had just embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Indeed, I get that exact same feeling from all of Miyazaki’s later movies. Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki. A-

Cat Ballou (1965) NR comedy

This entertaining western comedy starring Lee Marvin and Jane Fonda, is cleverly made and is supported by excellent performances by the entire cast. Not only is this a film that adults will enjoy, the kids will get their kicks out of it as well. Mr. Ballou, a washed up rancher is brought to an untimely death by the gun of the silver-nosed gunfighter. Believing that the gunfighter was hired by the sheriff, Cat Ballou, the rancher's daughter, vows revenge. The plot is kind of weak, but nevertheless, Cat Ballou is a great choice for movie night. Lee Marvin deservedly won an Oscar for his dual role as the drunken gunfighter and the silver-nosed desperado. Starring: Lee Marvin, Jane Fonda, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman, Tom Nardini, John Marley, Nat King Cole, Stubby Kaye, Reginald Denny, Jay C. Flippin, Arthur Hunnicutt, Bruce Cabbot. Directed by: Elliot Silverstein. A-

Catch-22 (1970) R comedy

This clever satire is aimed at the Air Force (and military in general). Alan Arkin stars as a WWII airman who wants to go home, but his superiors continue to raise the number of mission airmen must complete before they are discharged. The film continually pokes fun at the military's bureaucracy and is quite funny at it. The mammoth cast makes watching this even more enjoyable. Starring: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Buck Henry, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, Orson Welles, Bob Balaban, Austin Pendleton. Directed by: Mike Nichols. B+

Caveman (1981) PG comedy

Amusing if poorly scripted stone-age comedy starring Ringo Starr about a band of rejects uniting together experiencing many adventures and discovering some very nifty concepts (like creating fire, walking upright, weaponry, music, fried eggs etc.) The most interesting aspect of this film is that virtually no English is spoken yet the viewer can comprehend what these people are babbling about. Surprising cameos along the way may make this worthwhile to film buffs, but Caveman is usually uninspired and overly goofy. Starring: Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, John Matuszak, Shelley Long, Dennis Quaid, Avery Screiber, Jack Gilford. Directed by: Carl Gottlieb. C

Cellular (2004) PG-13 thriller

Trite thriller, but entertaining follows the adventure of a guy (Chris Evans) who gets a phone call on his cell phone from a kidnapped woman (Kim Basinger). It was all done well enough for me to want to stick with the movie, but there are too many plot holes here for taste and obvious plot devises. However, it has a good gimmick. Evans must stay on the cell phone throughout the whole movie! If he doesn’t, it could mean Basinger’s life! (And we don’t want to threaten Basinger’s life, now, do we?) Starring: Chris Evans, Kim Basinger, Eric Christian Olsen, William H. Macy, Jason Statham, Adam Taylor Gordon, Rick Hoffman, Richard Burgi, Eddie Driscoll, Jessica Biel. Directed by: David R. Ellis. C+

Celtic Pride (1996) PG-13 comedy

Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern play highly devoted Boston Celtic fans who end up kidnapping a star player on the opposing team, played by Damon Wayans, so Beantown has a better chance for victory. It's entertaining, but should have been much better. Aykroyd, Stern and Wayans do the best they can despite the lousy script. Starring: Daniel Stern, Dan Aykroyd, Damon Wayans, Gail O'Grady, Adam Hendershott, Paul Guilfoyle, Deion Sanders, Bill Walton, Christopher McDonald, Gus Williams, Ted Rooney. Directed by: Tom De Cerchio. C+

Center of the World (2001) R drama

Basically, this is a low-budget, pornographic tribute to loneliness that had the gall to strive to be moving. A bored millionaire (Peter Sarsgaard) hires a stipper (Molly Parker) to spend the weekend with them when it soon becomes evident that both of them aren't getting all they can in life. This was a horrible film that I ended up fast-forwarding through. This reviewer believes he should look more carefully into the movie he puts on his Netflix queue. Starring: Peter Sarsgaard, Molly Parker, Carla Gugino, Balthazar Getty. Directed by: Wayne Wang. F

Chain Reaction (1996) PG-13 action

Too typical of a Hollywood flick, this film is about a team of scientists who discover a way to generating power from water. A third party becomes interested and tries to take it away at all costs. Keanu Reeves stars as the scientist and Rachel Weisz co-stars as a cute British chick. Together, they run a lot, try to figure out who’s behind this, and run some more. It’s not very exciting, and there’s almost no reason to watch this. The process of figuring out who did it is not much of a thrill either (and it’s OBVIOUS)! Starring: Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, Rachel Weisz, Fred Ward, Kevin Dunn, Brian Cox, Gina Raffin, Benise Price, Krysztof Pieczynski, Juan Ramirez, Chelcie Ross. Directed by: Andrew Davis. C-

Changing Lanes (2002) R drama

A hotshot lawyer (Ben Affleck) hits a former alcoholic's car (Samuel L. Jackson) on the highway. Affleck takes off without Jackson and unintentionally leaves an important document behind. Time for some revenge. However, neither party are saints! Both have extreme faults and contribute to worsening the situation between them. Unfortunately Affleck remains a crappy actor, but Jackson is excellent in his role. Starring: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack, William Hurt, Amanda Peet, Kim Staunton, Richard Jenkins, John Benjamin Hickey. Directed by: Roger Michell. B+

Chaplin (1992) PG-13 drama

A well-crafted biography of comedy great Chaplin that is told in an interesting and entertaining way. Robert Downey Jr. does an impeccable job portraying Chaplin and the rest of the cast, many of which are made of brief appearances by famous movie stars, are likewise. This film will really appeal to Chaplin fans and film buffs in general. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw, Moira Kelly, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Marisa Tomei, Penelope Ann Miller, Kevin Kline, Milla Jovovich, Kevin Dunn, Diane Lane, Nancy Travis, James Woods, David Duchovny, Peter Cook. Directed by: Richard Attenborough. B+

Chariots of Fire (1981) PG drama

This excellent tribute to Olympic runners is a non-fictional account of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell. Abrahams is an English Jew who will accept nothing less but to win and Eric Liddell is a religious man who races in the name of God. It's a winning film that deservedly won the Best Picture Award in 1981. Starring: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers, Nicholas Farrell, Ian Holm, John Gielgud, Lindsay Anderson, Nigel Davenport, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige. Directed by: Hugh Hudson. A+

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) PG comedy

This appropriately peculiar (and utterly delightful) adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel sports a hilariously creepy performance from Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. When young Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) discovers a golden ticket in a Wonka bar, he is among five kids who win a coveted tour the Wonka factory. With director Burton’s weird, wild and twisted vision, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is dazzling eye candy and good for about eight dozen laughs. Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, Missi Pyle, James Fox, Deep Roy, Christopher Lee, Adam Godley, Franziska Troegner, Annasophia Robb, Julia Winter, Jordan Fry, Philip Wiegratz. Directed by: Tim Burton. A-

The Chase (1994) PG-13 comedy

Charlie Sheen stars as an escaped convict who walks casually into a gas station. Little does he know, a pair of unsuspecting policemen walk in soon thereafter and promptly receive a radio call to watch out for a stolen car. As it just so happens, that car is sitting in the parking lot and it was driven there by Sheen! So, he goes absolutely berserk, grabs the nearest bystander, takes her hostage and drives off in the stolen car. He soon discovers that he started an incredible high-speed car chase with a hostage who is the daughter of a very powerful and rich man. It sounds interesting, but it's really just an idiotic and predictable flick not done very well. It's high-speed stupidity. Look for Cary Elwes in a cameo as an anchorman. Starring: Charlie Sheen, Kristy Swanson, Henry Rollins, Josh Mostel, Wayne Grace, Rocky Carroll, Miles Dougall, Cary Elwes. Directed by: Adam Rifkin. D+

Chasing Amy (1997) R comedy

Ben Affleck stars in this comedy, from the very witty Kevin Smith, as a young lad who falls for a woman (Joey Lauren Adams) who he soon discovers is a lesbian. They become good friends even though Affleck would still like to start dating her. Then, Affleck is understandably thrilled to find out that Adams is willing to convert to heterosexuality for him. There are some very funny one-liners, characteristic of all Smith’s films. However, this one has something that was absent from Smith’s films up until this one-an engaging plot. Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ethan Suplee, Brian O’Halloran, Matt Damon. Directed by: Kevin Smith. B

Chasing Holden (2001) R drama

Probably the worst movie ever made. The script, which centers on a character obsessed with J.D. Salinger, made me whine for something less stupid and more satiric. (Really … don’t watch this movie. You’ll find yourself yelling at it.) However, D.J. Qualls, who is usually seen playing inane wimps in comedies, turns in a surprisingly strong performance. Starring: D.J. Qualls, Rachel Blanchard, Colin Fox, Sean Kanan, Tom Rack, Michael Sinelnikoff, Ryan Massey, Gordon Masten. Directed by: Malcolm Clarke. D-

Chicago (2002) PG-13 musical

Bob Fosse's exuberant Broadway musical is brought to the big screen in this exhilarating adaptation. Renee Zellweger stars as Roxy Hart, a woman who wants nothing more than to be a Vaudeville star like her idol (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She engages in an extra-marital affair with someone claiming to have connections, but he lied. Angered, she shoots him dead. That's when she goes to jail and becomes a folk hero. She hires the best lawyer in town (Richard Gere) who never lost a case. The plot is OK, but it's the brilliant songs and spectacular dance sequences that makes the movie great. Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Lucy Liu. Directed by: Rob Marshall. A

Chicken Run (2000) G animated

A very clever stop-motion rendition of "The Great Escape" replacing the POW's with chickens and the Gestapo with a farmer. The chickens of this Stalag 17-like coop try finding new ways to escape and none of them work until Rocky Rhode (voice of Mel Gibson) comes along. Together, these determined chickens deceive the farmer to devise a way out because if they don't, they will be made into a pie. The first feature from Nick Park is a truly winning affair. Voices of: Mel Gibson, Julia Swalha, Miranda Richardson, Jane Horrocks, Lynn Ferguson, Imelda Staunton, Benjamin Whitrow. Directed by: Nick Park and Peter Lord. A-

Children of Paradise (1945) NR drama

I have seen many movies and rarely have I run across a treasure such as this exceptional French film that covers everything from comedy to romance and to drama. Jean-Louis Barrault gives an excellent performance as a mime entertaining in a theater located in Paris who falls tremendously in love with fair maiden Garace, played by Arletty. However, several unfortunate events occur that keep them regrettably apart. This movie has been declared by some to be the best movie ever made; it's certainly up there! This is an unforgettable and highly engaging epic that shouldn't be ignored. Starring: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Marcel Herrand, Pierre Renior, Maria Casares, Etienne Decroux, Fabien Loris, Leon Larive, Pierre Palov, Marcel Peres. Directed by: Marcel Carne. A+

Chinatown (1974) R drama

Jack Nicholson stars as a smart-mouthed private eye hired to spy on a lady's ultra-rich husband in the 1930s. Thinking that this is a super-easy job, he finishes it quickly but soon discovers that he's into more than he bargained for. A tremendous, interesting and plot-filled movie that is so wonderfully written and performed that it earns its place among the greatest films ever made. Jack Nicholson's performance is flawless; Faye Dunaway is superb as well. Don't doze off for a second through this. Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Darrell Zwerling, Diane Ladd, Burt Young, Bruce Glover. Directed by: Roman Polanski. A

Chocolat (2000) PG-13 comedy

It's quite an interesting little tale about a free-spirited single mother, with a knack of guessing what type of chocolate treat is your favorite, who opens a chocolate shop in a small town of France that hates her. The fact that this film received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination remains a choice of controversy among avid moviegoers. Juliette Binoche, however, who received a Best Actress nomination, undoubtedly proves that she earned it. It's touching and even sometimes funny with a strong message. Starring: Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Peter Stormare, Carrie-Ann Moss, Leslie Caron, John Wood, Hugh O'Conor, Victoire Thivisol. Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom. B+

The Chosen (1982) G drama

A traditional Jewish kid, Danny, beans a modern Jewish kid, Reuven, on the head with a baseball. Eventually, they befriend each other despite some disapproval from Danny's father, a rabbi, because Reuven's father is a political activist pushing for some particular issues that Danny's father is against. This highly recommendable film proves to be a touching buddy flick that even provides some insight into the Jewish faith. Starring: Robby Benson, Barry Miller, Maximilian Schell, Rod Steiger, Hildy Brooks, Ron Rifkin, Val Avery. Directed by: Jeremy Paul Kagan. A-

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) PG-13 sci-fi

There are a few inspired scenes in the film’s final third, but overall, this is flat. A sequel Pitch Black. This time, Vin Diesel plays an overstuffed anti-hero (ala Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name) to a level of imperfection that he’ll be a Razzie nominee for sure. Utter tripe. Starring: Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton, Judi Dench, Karl Urban, Alexa Davolos, Linus Roache, Yorick Van Wageningen. Directed by: David N. Twohy. D+

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) PG adventure

This extremely well made adaptation of the first of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia book series is very entertaining and the special effects are fantastic. The action is usually exciting and the plot, of course, keeps the audience’s attention to the screen. However, the whole thing gets a bit clunky at times and fails to live up to the epic scale of its influence, The Lord of the Rings, but it is an excellent film in its own right. The cast is fantastic. Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvory, Jim Broadbent, Liam Neeson. Directed by: Andrew Adamson. B+

The Chumscrubber (2005) R comedy

This is an ambitious satire of suburban life; it’s too bad that it wasn’t better realized. Jamie Bell stars as a troubled teen who must cope with the suicide of his friend. The complicated script isn’t difficult to follow, but it contains too many metaphors and surrealistic episodes that it’s difficult to determine what it means. This is a highly visual film, and it is rather fun to watch. First time director Arie Posin, who adapted this from his own short story, also managed to land an attractive cast. Starring: Jamie Bell, Camilla Belle, Justin Chatwin, Glenn Close, Rory Culkin, Thomas Curtis, Ralph Fiennes, John Heard, Carrie-Anne Moss, Rita Wilson, Lauren Holly. Directed by: Arie Posin. C+

Citizen Kane (1941) NR drama

A brilliant classic that travels through the curious life of the wealthy newspaper owner, Kane, as a reporter attempts to figure out why his last word was "Rosebud". Perfectly entertaining material that is able to keep your eyes transfixed onto the screen and your mind focused on the story. The cinematography was revolutionary and it set a new standard for other films to come afterward. Worthily voted the best movie ever made by the American Film Institute. Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, Ruth Warrick. Directed by: Orson Welles. A+

Citizen Ruth (1996) R comedy

This clever comedy parodies the war on abortion and, wisely, attacks both sides of the debate. Laura Dern stars as a self-destructive woman who is addicted to glue-sniffing. When she is arrested for the upteenth time, it is revealed to her that she is pregnant. The judge will lessen her sentence if she agrees to have an abortion. This riles up the pro-life crowd who houses her and tries to keep her from having an abortion. However, the pro-choice crowd wants to "rescue" her so that she can "decide for herself." Dern's character is clueless and self-serving throughout the whole film, and it's quite funny. Scripted and directed by Alexander Payne, this is one of the better satires around. Starring: Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Kurtwood Smith, Mary Kay Place, Kelly Preston, M.C. Gainley, Caveh Zahedi, Alicia Witt, Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Noone, David Graf, Kenneth Mars, Tippi Hedren, Diane Ladd. Directed by: Alexander Payne. A-

Cinderella Man (2005) PG-13 drama

A winning, old-fashioned film effectively portrays the need to never give up. Russel Crowe stars as James Braddock, a downfallen professional boxer in the Depression Era who overcomes the odds and becomes a serious title contender. A highly engaging effort, director Ron Howard is, again, at the top of his game. Renee Zellweger gives one of her better performances as Braddock's frail wife. Starring: Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill, Ron Canada, David Huband. Directed by: Ron Howard. A-

City Heat (1984) PG comedy

This action/comedy starring Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood disappointingly offers little interesting plot, but it proves to be entertaining nonetheless. There are some fairly good laughs and there is lotsa action. It should be left solely to big fans of Reynolds or Eastwood. Starring: Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Jane Alexander, Madeline Kahn, Rip Torn, Irene Cara, Richard Roundtree, Tony Lo Bianco, William Sanderson, Nicholas Worth, Robert Davi, Jude Farese. Directed by: Richard Benjamin. C+

City of God (2002) R drama

This utterly intense Brazilian export expertly tells of the drug wars that plagued Rio De Janiero in the 70s. The character development is rich, the directorial execution is nearly flawless, and it tells a fascinating tale. Great performances by all. This is simply a modern day masterpiece and a must-see for any film connoisseur. Starring: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Jonathan Haagensen, Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge, Jefechander Suplino, Alice Braga, Emerson Gomes, Edson Oliveira, Michel de Souza. Directed by: Fernando Meirrelles and Katia Lund. A+

City Slickers (1991) PG-13 comedy

Three men of the city (Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby) who are going through a mid-life crisis go to the West to take part in a cattle drive. Supposedly, this adventurous escapade will relieve stress and offer something new in their dull deteriorating lives. "City Slickers" can be considered one of the funniest movies of the 90's and it still finds time to be heartwarming without being corny. Jack Palance won a best supporting actor Academy Award for his fine performance as trail boss Curly. Starring: Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Patricia Wettig, Helen Slater, Jack Palance, Noble Willingham, Tracey Walter, Josh Mostel, David Paymer, Bill Henderson, Jeffrey Tambor. Directed by: Ron Underwood. A-

Clerks (1994) R comedy

Kevin Smith decided one day to make a movie on a very limited budget about a guy’s very interesting day working in a convenience store. All it’s about is this convenience store employee’s interactions with a very interesting array of characters. Most notably, his crude but side-splittingly hilarious friend who works in the video rental store next door. This is probably one of the most offensive films I ever saw (therefore, I refuse to award this film anything in the A-range due to the lapses of good taste), but it is also very funny. Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonhauer, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier. Directed by: Kevin Smith. B+

Click (2006) PG-13 comedy

The opening 10 minutes are full of jokes that don't work, but the film soon evolves into an interesting fantasy about a middle-aged man (Adam Sandler) who is given a remote control by a department store employee (Christopher Walken). He uses this remote control to skip the mundane parts of his life but quickly realizes that he's skipped most of it. Unfortunately, in the end, this movie is nothing but a contrived remake of It's a Wonderful Life, and the screenwriters' sense of humor is broken. Pity. Starring: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, Henry Winkler, David Hasselhoff, Julie Kavner, Jennifer Coolidge, Sean Astin, Jake Hoffman, Sophie Monk, Rachel Dratch. Directed by: Frank Coraci. C

Cliffhanger (1993) R action

Despite the fact that this film's story line is absurd, Cliffhanger is action-filled, suspenseful and exciting. Sylvester Stallone plays a Rocky Mountain Rescue employee, who previously withdrew himself from the business, briefly returns for one last rescue. Little does he know, the group of travelers in distress are really violent terrorists who just lost millions of dollars in briefcases that are scattered across the terrain. It makes fine entertainment for action lovers, but the inept plot is unforgivable. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, Rex Linn, Caroline Goodall, Leon, Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite, Graig Fairbrass, Denis Forest, Michelle Joyner, Max Perlich. Directed by: Renny Harlin. B-

Clifford (1994) PG comedy

Blacch! If you're going to put Martin Short, Charles Grodin, Mary Steenburgen and Dabney Coleman together in a movie, you could at least make it funny! Martin Short stars as a 10 year old boy who temporarily moves into his uncle's house and ends up wreaking havoc on his love life, job, house, etc. all because he won't take him to Dinosaur Land ---- the only place a kid like him can be happy. At best, it's only amusing, but most of the time it's brainless stupidity. Starring: Martin Short, Charles Grodin, Mary Steenburgen, Dabney Coleman, G.D. Spradlin, Anne Jeffreys, Richard Kind, Jennifer Savidge, Ben Savage. Directed by: Paul Flaherty. D

The Clock (1945) NR romance

This dated and boring wartime drama stars Judy Garland as a secretary who meets a soldier on shore-leave. The soldier is not accustomed to the city and he gets Garland to show him the ropes. Well, the two fall in love and they get married. Whoop-de-do. Starring: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleeson, Keenan Wynn, Marshall Thompson, Lucille Gleason, Ruth Brady, Arthur Space. Directed by: Vincente Minnelli. C-

A Clockwork Orange (1971) R comedy

This extremely heavy hitting and disturbing black comedy set in Britain’s future traces the exploits of a violent gang of baddies who beat up the homeless and rape people in their homes, among other things. Headed by the demented Beethoven fan Alex (Malcolm McDowell in an excellent performance) he is finally caught and becomes subject to an almost equally demented plan to rehabilitate him. It’s a deeply funny film that’s also deeply shocking and, all in all, a highly effective film. It stirred plenty of controversy when it was released in 1971, this continues to be a film not to be taken lightly. Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Adrienne Corri, Warren Clarke, Aubrey Morris, Virginia Wetherell, Neil Wilson. Directed by: Stanley Kubrick. A

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) PG sci-fi

A perfect science fiction picture, Steven Spielberg directs this stirring film about a string of strange UFO sightings, abductions and other "happenings." Terrific acting and a fascinating plot that holds your interest until the closing credits. A science fiction classic and I will never grow tired of it. Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Cary Guffey, Bab Balaban, J. Patrick McNamara, Warren Kemmerling. Directed by: Steven Spielberg. A+

Closer (2004) R drama

This leisurely-paced film from director Mike Nichols stars Jude Law as a British obituary-writer who meets and falls in love with a colorful ex-stripper (Natalie Portman). Only a bit later, Law becomes entranced with Julia Roberts. And, Roberts’ jerk husband (Clive Owen) gets P.O.’d. I could’ve cared less about the plot, but the compelling directrion from Nichols and the top-notch performances by the cast not only makes Closer worth watching, but recommendable. Starring: Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Nick Hobbs, Colin Stinton. Directed by: Mike Nichols. B

Clue (1985) PG comedy

Okay, there are some things to like about this dumb comedy. A familiar and fun cast, headed up by the energetic Tim Curry makes this film somewhat enjoyable, and the fact that this film has, indeed, three different endings. Apparently, this would hopefully lure audiences back to the theater when this was originally released, but it lessens the credibility of "Clue" being a true mystery. It's a more comedy than mystery anyway. The cast is great, but the script is horrendous. Starring: Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Lesley Ann Warren, Martin Mull, Colleen Camp, Lee Ving. Directed by: Jonathan Lynn. C+

Clueless (1995) PG-13 comedy

A fairly decent teen comedy starring Alicia Silverstone (who fits perfectly into this role) as a snobby rich California high school student. She decides to set out and do good for the world by treating her new Brooklyn buddy a "fashion emergency" a makeover and finding her a boyfriend. It's entertaining and sometimes funny, but it's bite is too weak. Based on Jane Austen's Emma. Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacy Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Dan Hedaya, Donald Adeosun Faison, Elisa Donovan, Brekin Meyer, Jeremy Sisto, Aida Lindares, Wallace Shawn. Directed by: Amy Heckerling. B

Coach Carter (2005) PG-13 sports

Samuel L. Jackson stars as the title character, a coach of a public, inner-city basketball team who turns around a losing basketball team. However, in the middle of the season, he finds out that his players haven’t been keeping up with his demand to maintain a 2.3 grade point average. He locks them out of the gym until they can bring it up much to the dismay of the players, their parents, and about everybody else. This is a nice film that champions hard work and academic drive. It’s not extraordinary, but it’s good. Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Ri’chard, Rob Brown, Ashanti, Debbi Morgan, Rick Gonzalez, Antwon Tanner, Nana Gbewonyo, Channing Tatum. Directed by: Thomas Carter. B

Cocktail (1988) R comedy

Tom Cruise stars in this sinker as a showy, ex-business school bartender who gets involved in a little romance with Elisabeth Shue. The jokes are almost entirely unfunny and the romance is uninteresting. The fancy bartender tricks (i.e. flipping bottles around and making drinks) from Cruise and his other co-star, Bryan Brown, I'm sure would be a blast to see live, but on the screen, they're just unremarkable. (Which is sad because they, I assume, were to provide you with some excitement.) Also, if I wanted to hear bad poetry, I would have written it myself. In the film's defense, it's not painful to watch, really. Try to find something better. Starring: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue, Lisa Banes, Laurence Luckinbill, Kelly Lynch, Gina Gershon, Ron Dean, Robert Donley, Ellen Foley, Andrea Morse, Chris Owens, Justin Louis. Directed by: Roger Donaldson. C-

The Cocoanuts (1929) NR comedy

The Marx Brothers’ first film proves that their magic had a few kinks at first. An early talkie had a lot of technical problems, and the musical numbers stink despite Irving Berlin claims their authorship. At any rate, when the Marx Brothers are up to their usual slapstick in this film, it is golden. Starring: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx, Oscar Shaw, Mary Eaton, Cyril Ring, Margaret Dumont. Directed by: Robert Florey and Joseph Santley. B

Cocoon: The Return (1988) PG sci-fi/comedy

As most sequels are, this is not nearly as good as the predecessor, but there are several things about this film that makes it worth watching. Firstly, while the plot certainly isn't the most creative thing I've ever seen, it's still emotionally evoking. Secondly, and most importantly of all, is the cast consisting of such noteworthy actors as Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen "I gotta have my lo mein" Stapleton, and Jessica Tandy. I won't fully endorse this film, but if you enjoyed the original "Cocoon," then you may want to see this sequel. Starring: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Courtney Cox, Hume Crown, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Barrey Oliver, Maureen Stapleton, Elaine Stritch, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, Tahnee Welch. Directed by: Daniel Petrie. B-

Cold Comfort Farm (1995) PG comedy

This film was originally produced for BBC television, but it was released theatrically in the U.S. It's an utterly delightful film about a city girl (Kate Beckinsale) who goes to live with his relatives at the title location. It's a "doomed" place where the inhabitants are clearly unhappy. They are trapped in a neverending rut of misery, but they've been at it for so long, they resist change. Beckinsale, however, uses her city know-how to stir things up. This is a heartily recommended film, because it is charming and the cast is colorful. Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Shelia Burrell, Eileen Atkins, Ian McKellen, Ivan Kaye, Rufus Sewell, Stephen Fry, Angela Thorne, Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes, Maria Miles, Freddie Jones. Directed by: John Schlisinger. A-

Cold Turkey (1971) PG comedy

Dick Van Dyke stars as an outspoken pastor of Rock Springs, a small town in Iowa that is having serious financial and population problems. And then an opportunity comes along: a big-shot cigarette company offers $25 million to any town whose inhabitant's can seize smoking for 30 days straight. Even though Rock Springs, Iowa is reluctant to do so, the town's inhabitants agree to the deal when the cigarette company thought that no one would. When looking at what Rock Springs Iowa is doing, the United State's citizens realize that giving up smoking is indeed possible and they use this town's almost heroic actions as a role model for their own personal benefit. The cigarette company soon realizes that this isn't good for business, so they try their hardest to make the town lose. In the mean time, Rock Springs is becoming a phenomenal tourist attraction; great for prosperity. Cold Turkey is witty and entertaining but it runs out of steam toward the end. Starring: Dick Van Dyke, Pippa Scott, Tom Poston, Bob Newhart, Vincent Gardenia, Barnard Hughes, Edward Everett Gordon, Jean Stapleton, Graham Jarvis. Directed by: Norman Lear. A-

Collateral (2004) R action

Tom Cruise stars in this intriguing concept thriller as a hit man who forces a taxicab driver (Jaime Foxx) to assist him in his endeavors. The characters are very well developed (and very well acted) and the action scenes are involving. The plot is also wildly unpredictable making this a highly recommended film for action lovers. Celebrated director Michael Mann defends his high reputation! Starring: Tom Cruise, Jaime Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall, Barry “Shabaka” Henley, Richard T. Jones, Klea Scott. Directed by: Michael Mann. A-

The Color of Money (1986) R drama

Scorsese directs this update of The Hustler. Newman returns as Fast Eddie Felson, who gave up pool long ago to become a liquor salesman. When he crosses paths with a budding pool genius (Tom Cruise), he offers to become his manager. This eventually inspires him to take up pool again! It’s expertly shot by Scorsese, though I never felt immersed in this film like I have in so many of his films preceding and succeeding this. Hardly a film classic, but it’s worth a viewing or two. Starring: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John Turturro, Bill Cobbs, Helen Shaver, Iggy Pop. Directed by: Martin Scorsese. B+

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) PG sci-fi

The film’s budget must have been akin to producing two episodes of Gilligan’s Island, but the filmmakers turned this into a delightfully entertaining and edge-of-your-seat picture. Eric Braeden stars as a scientist who develops a supercomputer that can think for itself. It’s all fine and dandy, but pretty soon, the computer begins mingling in human affairs … The film was released ahead of its time; this is the predecessor to the 1983 movie War Games. A great film for every sci-fi lover. Starring: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent, William Schallert, Leonid Rostoff, Georg Stanford Brown, Willard Sage, Alex Rodine. Directed by: Joseph Sargent. A-

Coma (1978) PG thriller

This suspenseful film directed by Michael Crichton is about two medical doctors (Michael Douglas and Genevieve Bujold) who witness a number of very unusual and unexpected deaths. They don’t think it’s a coincidence. This is the kind of intelligent film with an intriguing plot that most mainstream suspense films today are lacking, and it is also more exciting and captivating. The performances of the two leads, however, are only above average. I give it my full recommendation, but I gave it only a B+ because it should have been more intense. Starring: Genevieve Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley, Rip Torn, Richard Widmark, Lance Le Gault, Lois Chiles, Harry Rhodes, Gary Baron, Frank Downing, Richard Doyle. Directed by: Michael Crichton. B+

Comedian (2002) R documentary

This is a pointless documentary that is nevertheless fun. The film tracks one of stand-up comedy’s biggest names (Jerry Seinfeld) and an up-and-coming comic (Orny Adams) as they travel and do their routines. The stand-up comedy footage is excellent, and it’s interesting to hear what the comics themselves have to say afterward. Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Orny Adams, Colin Quinn, Bill Cosby, Robert Klein, Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Jay Leno, Kevin Nealon, Ray Romano. Directed by: Christian Charles. B

The Commitments (1991) R comedy

This is a highly entertaining comedy about the beginning of a promising Irish R&B band. It consists of a powerful egomaniac vocalist, a bunch of top-notched players and an enterprising manager. Their brash personalities clash, but can they at least hold it together before they get big? This is a fun and energetic film with tactful direction from Alan Parker. And don't be stingy on the volume when watching this; crank it up as high as it goes. Starring: Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Johnny Murhpy, Dave Finnegan, Andrew Strong, Bronagh Gallagher, Felim Gormley, Glen Hansard, Kenneth McCluskey, Colm Meaney, Mick Nolan, Eamon O'Connor, Eanna Mac Liam, Dick Massey. Directed by: Alan Parker. A

Con Air (1997) R action

This is an average action thriller starring Nicolas Cage as a newly paroled inmate on a flight home. Unfortunately for him, the high profile inmates headed by John Malkovich commandeer the plane. Cage must try to help the authorities (headed by the miscast John Cusack) to bring it down safely. It contains nicely done action sequences and explosions and stuff, but too much of the story line is silly and contrived. Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Danny Trejo, Renoly Santiago, Angela Featherstone, Mario Roberts, Landry Allbright, Pete Antico, Monica Potter, Mongo Brownlee, Dave Chappelle. Directed by: Simon West. C+

Coneheads (1993) PG comedy

Saturday Night Live's famous duo of Beldar and Prymaat Conehead comes to the big screen with success! Trying to escape from the evil clutches of the border control, these illegal aliens with giant cones for heads (from the planet Remulac), try to adapt on Planet Earth while waiting for a rescue crew to take them home. Not only do they have to adapt to the strange earthly ways, they have to raise their kid on this ungodly planet. A very entertaining film with many hilarious and memorable scenes. Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain reprise their roles and are better at it than ever. Also mixed in with the cast are many other notable cast members of Saturday Night Live and other stars of comedy. Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtain, Michelle Burke, Michael McKean, Jason Alexander, Lisa Jane Persky, Chris Farley, David Spade, Phil Hartman, Dave Thomas, Sinbad, Jan Hooks, Jon Lovitz, Adam Sandler, Tim Meadows. Directed by: Steve Barron. B+

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) R comedy

George Clooney (of all people) directs this surprisingly effective and delightful biopic of Gong Show host Chuck Barris (portrayed by Sam Rockwell). It’s hardly a flattering portrayal of the man, and it plays with a lot of the myth (or maybe truths) surrounding him, but it’s quite fun. Starring: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Rutger Hauer. Directed by: George Clooney. B+

The Conspiracy Theory (1997) R thriller

A good suspenseful action flick starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts is about an obsessively paranoid man, who thinks that "everything" is a conspiracy, finally stumbles upon a real one. He must protect himself as well as Julia Roberts from "them" who are out to ruin their lives. I don't want to give anything else away because the plot unravels as the film progresses, but I didn't particularly care for what the film unraveled to. Nevertheless, the film will keep you yearning to see what happens next. A very interesting film, but not great; the acting is only adequate considering the talents involved. Worth seeing. Starring: Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart, Cylk Cozart, Stephen Kahan, Terry Alexander, Alex McArthur. Directed by: Richard Donner. B

Constant Gardener (2005) R action

This effective political thriller stars Ralph Fiennes in a fantastic performance as a British diplomat who investigates the death of his activist wife (Rachel Weisz). The film is exciting, tense and intriguing. This marks the English language debut of director Fernando Meirelles, who previously directed the brilliant Brazilian film City of God. Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Bill Nighly, Pete Postlethwaite. Directed by: Fernando Meirelles. B+

Constantine (2005) R thriller

The plot is very silly, but this is nevertheless an effective horror/thriller film starring Keanu Reeves as a man who can see evil spirits who must help save the world from demons taking over with the help of a police detective (Rachel Weisz). The action sequences, special effects and scenery are Grade-A, but there's really no reason other than that to see this picture ... even though they are all that's needed to make this film exciting. Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LeBeouf, Djimon Honsou, Max Baker, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Gavin Rossdale, Tilda Swinton, Peter Stormare. Directed by: Francis Lawrence. B-

Contact (1997) PG sci-fi

This is a remarkably effective and engaging adaptation of Carl Sagan’s science fiction book about one woman (Jodie Foster) and her lifelong pursuit and success of finding extraterrestrial beings. It’s what all science fiction pictures should be: thoughtful, intelligent, and captivating. Foster, as always, is excellent. Starring: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, David Morse, Angela Bassett, Geoffrey Blake, Maximillian Martini. Directed by: Robert Zemeckis. A

The Conversation (1974) PG thriller

Dated and occasionally exciting thriller starring Gene Hackman as a professional eavesdropper who is hired to tape a conversation of two suspicious individuals. Hackman, being a religious man, suspects that the tapes of this conversation will lead to a vicious murder and soon tries to stop it. A disturbing film that obviously needs an acquired taste to appreciate. Many of the scenes are gripping and electrifying, yet much of the film seems to drag. Starring: Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart, Cylk Cozart, Stephen Kahan, Terry Alexander, Alex McArthur. Directed by: Francis Ford Coppala. B+

Cookie (1989) R comedy

Dull comedy about a gangster, recently released from the slammer, out in society with problems arising from his abandon daughter, his colleges and enemies. It's vastly uninteresting only being slightly redeemed by a descent cast. Don't waste your time with it. Starring: Peter Falk, Dianne Wiest, Emily Lloyd, Michael V. Gazzo, Brenda Vaccaro, Adrian Pasdar, Lionel Stander, Jerry Lewis, Ricki Lake. Directed by: Susan Seidelman. C-

Cool Hand Luke (1967) NR drama

Paul Newman stars in this excellent prison drama as a drunk who was arrested for cutting the heads off of parking meters and sentenced to serving two years in a seemingly harsh and irrational prison. One of the best prison films ever made. Paul Newman and George Kennedy (the big honcho of inmates) turn out very fine performances. Cool Hand Luke is highly enjoyable and memorable; a must-see! Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Clifton James, Morgan Woodward, Luke Askew, Marc Cavell. Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg. A

Cops and Robbersons (1994) PG comedy

Chevy Chase stars in this moderately entertaining film as a middle-aged man, who fantasizes of being a cop, when unexpectedly a pair of them arrives at his house to stakeout the guy next-door. The well-meaning Chase can't help but to cause ample problems as he attempts to assist this pair in their work. Chase does a decent job carrying this usually lame comedy. Starring: Chevy Chase, Jack Palance, Dianne Wiest, Robert Davi, David Barry Gray, Jason James Richter, Fay Masterson, Mike Hughes, Richard Romanus. Directed by: Michael Richie. C

Corky Romano (2001) PG-13 comedy

An energetic performance from Chris Kattan and an entire script of bad jokes headlines this dumb comedy. Kattan plays clumsy vetrinarian who is asked by his Mafia-like family to go undercover in the FBI to steal their incriminating evidence on his father (Peter Falk). Not only is this mission improbable for a normal person, but it's even worse for a klutz like Kattan. Much of the supporting cast is awful. Starring: Chris Kattan, Vinessa Shaw, Peter Falk, Peter Berg, Chris Penn, Fred Ward, Richard Roundtree, Matthew Glave, Roger Fan, David Sheridan. Directed by: Rob Pritts. C-

Countdown (1968) NR drama

Before they put Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969, they made this realistic science fiction picture about it. James Caan stars as the astronaut chosen to be the first man on the moon much to the dismay of Robert Duvall. In the mean time, the Russians are threatening to beat the Americans to the moon, so the Americans have to really pick up the pace. I'll tell you what, if this movie was drawn out ten minutes longer, I would have conked out! You'll really have to love sci-fi style films like 2001: a Space Odyssey, or The Andromeda Strain except without much of the suspense to enjoy this. It's tediousness can be too overwhelming for many viewers. Robert Altman fans should note that this is his first feature film. Starring: James Caan, Joanna Moore, Robert Duvall, Barbara Baxley, Charles Aidman, Steve Ihnat, Michael Murphy, Ted Knight, Steve Coit, John Rayner, Charles Irving, Bobby Riha. Directed by: Robert Altman. C+

Country (1984) PG drama

An engaging slow-paced story about a hardworking farming family who soon learns that the bank suddenly decided to foreclose on their property. It amply generates interest at the beginning but toward the end, it loses much of its spunk. Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard are both surprisingly good in their roles. Starring: Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, Wilford Brimley, Matt Clark, Therese Graham, Levi L. Knebel, Jim Haynie, Sandra Seacat, Alex Harvey. Directed by: Richard Pearce. B

The Cowboy Way (1994) PG-13 comedy

Oh bugger what a mess! It starts out pleasant enough... a pair of country cowboys go to New York looking for their friend and daughter … and they have a Crocodile Dundian time trying to survive in New York. This is ultimately not worth wasting your time on. The two stars, Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland, are merely passable, and the script is full of holes. Starring: Woody Harrelson, Keifer Sutherland, Dylan McDermott, Ernie Hudson, Cara Buono, Tomas Miliam, Marg Helgenberger, Harsh Nayyar, Ira Newborn, Christopher Murray. Directed by: Gregg Champion. D+

The Cowboys (1972) PG western

Here's an excellent and exciting western starring an aged John Wayne who hires a bunch of children to man a cattle drive because all the adults were caught up in the gold rush. This group of children starts off as little boys but comes out as men. Memorable characters, wonderful performances and a first-rate script makes this one of the best modern(er) westerns available. Starring: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst, Slim Pickens, Lonny Chapman, Charles Tyner, A. Martinez, Alfred Barker, Nicolas Beauvy, Steve Benedict. Directed by: Mark Rydell. A-

Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) PG-13 martial arts

There's nothing we haven't seen before in this Jet Li action film. Li stars as an agent from Taiwan who sets out to recover black diamonds, which are synthetically produced sources of extreme energy. The original band of criminals took it without realizing that there was a vast worldwide demand for them. This is a passable and enjoyable film, but it relies too strongly on cliches. Starring: Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos, Anthony Anderson, Kelly Hu, Tom Arnold, Gabrielle Union, Michael Jace, Drag-On, Paige Hurd. Directed by: Andrzej Barthkowiak. C+

Crash (2005) R drama

This pretentious but thought-provoking film follows a line of Los Angeles strangers who become entangled in issues involving race relations. Good dialogue and even better acting keeps the film enjoyable even though the its string of heavy coincidences might be overbearing for some. Starring: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Shaun Toub, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, William Fichter, Ryan Phillippe, Larentz Tate. Directed by: Paul Haggis. B+

Crazy People (1990) R comedy

It’s not really funny (and not politically correct whatsoever), but it has Dudley Moore in it. He plays an overstressed advertisement executive who comes up with a series of insane advertisements, and his boss sends him to a mental institute. However, through a series of mishaps, these ads get published and become big hits. Meanwhile, Moore becomes a friend to the loonies at the institute. Instead of going back to the agency, he has the lunatics write some ads. It’s slight entertainment; take it or leave it. Starring: Dudley Moore, Daryl Hannah, Paul Reiser, Mercedes Ruehl, J.T. Walsh, Ben Hammer, David Paymer, Dick Cusack, Alan North, Danton Stone, Doug Yasuda. Directed by: Tony Bill. C

Creature Comforts (1990) NR comedy

This is a collection of four shorts from Aardman Animations, the studio that also produced such clayanimation hits such as the television series Wallace and Grombit and the hit 2000 film Chicken Run. The first two shorts on the disc were priceless in my book. The first is the Oscar-winning 1989 short “Creature Comforts,” which is basically a series of interviews with animals in a zoo. A highly creative concept (with some great voice work) made for sheer hilarity! The second, “Wat’s Pig” is a heartwarming tale that takes us back to the Medieval Ages following the exploits of separated twins. One was a king, and the other was a peasant. More awesome than the plot, even, was the highly creative execution of it! … You’ve simply got to see it. It’s unique and highly entertaining. The third short isn’t quite as amazing but still a thoroughly entertaining (and utterly twisted) short titled “Not Without My Handbag.” An unfortunate woman is late on the payment of her washing machine and is subject to the consequences specified in her contract: she goes to Hell. The devil comes up to claim her soul, she dies, and descends into Hell. But, soon enough, she realizes that she forgot to bring her handbag with her. ... The story even gets weirder after that! The final short, “Adam,” is easily the least of the four. I didn’t really like it much … it failed to incite a mere laugh in me. Nevertheless, it’s a quirky tale about Adam, the God-created human being who is on a very small planet made out of Play-Do. Directed by: Nick Park, Peter Lord, Boris Kossmehl. “Creature Comforts” A+; “Wat’s Pig” A+; “Not Without My Handbag” A-; “Adam” B- A-

Creature Comforts (2003) NR television series

Taking Nick Park’s 1990 Oscar Winning short (which involved interviewing animals speaking candidly about their living conditions) and expanding it into an entire television series of shorts was certainly an idea that produced winning results. This time, the animals discuss things such as the circus, the doctor’s office, and Christmas. Sometimes the humor gets thin, but it is remarkable how entertaining it is to hear animals speak candidly about what’s on their mind. Recurring characters and starkly different personality types (including a depressed hamster) adds to the fun. Directed by: Richard Goleszowski and Nick Park. A-

The Crew (2000) PG-13 comedy

Four washed-up elderly detectives who were in their prime back in the 60's decide to liven things up in life. So they randomly choose a corpse from the morgue, bring it to their apartment and shoot it in the head. However, they made one huge mistake. The old man they chose was the father of an ultra-powerful drug lord who wasn't aware this death! Not a great comedy by any standard; most jokes are unfunny. However, it's redeemable through the merits of its appealing cast (especially Richard Dreyfuss and Burt Reynolds). Much of the supporting cast, however, have pretty faces but cannot act. Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya, Seymour Cassel, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jennifer Tilly, Lainie Kazan, Miguel Sandoval, Jeremy Piven. Directed by: Michael Dinner. C

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) PG-13 comedy/drama

This is definitely one of Woody Allen's best films; it's not a laugh-a-minute comedy like we're used to seeing from him, but it's interesting and extremely enjoyable. Most of the credit goes to the excellent acting abilities and the charisma of Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Martin Landau and Mia Farrow who turn in some of the best performances of their career. Martin Landau plays a rich man whose well being is threatened by his former mistress and Woody Allen plays a documentary filmmaker who is afraid that his love, Mia Farrow, may be taken away by the incredibly egotistical Alan Alda. Starring: Woody Allen, Martin Landau, Alan Alda, Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Sam Waterston, Caroline Aaron, Claire Bloom, Joanna Gleason, Jenny Nichols, Jerry Orbach. Directed by: Woody Allen. A-

Crocodile Dundee (1986) PG-13 comedy

Paul Hogan stars as Michael J "Crocodile" Dundee, a rugged man of the Australian Outback, who is fabled to have personally wrestled some of the world's meanest crocodiles. Newspaper reporter, Sue Charlton, travels to the Australian Outback to write a human interest story on this colorful man. Being completely captivated and absorbed by his skills at surviving in the rugged Australian frontier, she brings him to New York; the wilderness of the other extreme. Thus, the fish-out-of-water comedy ensues. It's hardly great cinema, but it's a fun and endearing comedy. Hogan is quite charasmatic. Starring: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, David Gulpilil, Mark Blum, Michael Lombard, Irving Meltzman. Directed by: Peter Faiman. B+

Crocodile Dundee II (1988) PG comedy

Paul Hogan returns in this nice sequel. This time, Sue Charlton's ex-husband is caught taking pictures of a drug lord's dirty business and sends the negatives straight to her. The drug lord figures out where it's sent thus putting their lives at risk. While this film doesn't quite live up to the original, it remains a fun-to-watch movie. Recommended only if you enjoyed the predecessor. Starring: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Mellion, Ernie Dingo, Hechter Ubarry, Juan Fernandez, Charles Dutton, Kenneth Welsh. Directed by: John Cornell. B

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001) PG comedy

Paul Hogan is as charming as ever, but this most recent resurrection of the 80s film series drowns in its own formula. This time, Dundee, his wife, and their child move to Los Angeles. Dundee seems to fit in with the environment well with the usual cultural cock-ups. The contrived script contains merely a minimal amount of laughs and thrills. Still, that Hogan is irrisistable. Starring: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Jere Burns, Jonathan Banks, Alec Wilson, Gerry Skilton, Steve Rackman, Serge Cockburn, Aida Tuturro. Directed by: Simon Wincer. C+

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) PG-13 martial arts

Certainly a unique martial arts film that is full of fantastic fantasy action that will most certainly catch your attention. It's in Chinese (with subtitles for us non-Chinese speakers) but don't let that hold you back because this is one major thrill-ride! It has enough kung fu for the action lover, enough passion and love for the romance lover, and it has enough intelligence for the smart-types. In short, this is a film for everyone. The special effects are gloriously over-the-top. Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lung Sihung, Cheng Pei Pei, LiFa Zeng, Gao Xian, Hai Yan, Wang Deming, Li Li. Directed by: Ang Lee. A

The Crucible (1996) PG-13 drama

There are witches about in Salem, Massachusetts! Well, that's what a group of girls lead the Court of Salem to believe when they are caught dancing in the forest and performing questionable rituals. Based on a true story, and adapted from Arthur Miller's play, this film dramatizes the infamous witch-hunts. It's generally a good story with fine acting, but the characters seem somewhat artificial. The emotions of the film are poorly developed, and this film is really just a walkthrough of Miller's play. Starring: Winona Ryder, Daniel-Day Lewis, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, Bruce Davison, Jeffery Jones, Rob Campbell, Peter Vaughan, Karron Graves, Charlaine Woodard, Frances Conroy, Elizabeth Lawrence, George Gaynes. Directed by: Nicholas Hytner. C+

Cry Baby (1990) PG-13 comedy

This spoof of 50s rock musicals can become quite irritating, but it’s a very unique and sometimes fun flick. Cry-baby (Johnny Depp), the local teenage hoodlum falls for a ‘square’, who is a goody-goody willing to rebel if inspired to. Together, this hoodlum and square run off together trying to get their friends and relatives to accept their relationship. This is yet another Romeo and Juliet film, and it certainly isn’t the best of those I’ve seen. The end of the film is terrible; it’s absolutely, unforgivably and incredibly cheesy. The highlight is Depp's rendition of‘Jailhouse Rock’. The cast is full of bizarre faces who are strikingly photogenic. Starring: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrell, Polly Bergen, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire, Troy Donahue, Mink Stole, Joe Dallesandro, Joey Heatherton. Directed by: John Waters. C

The Cup (1999) G drama

This is a thoroughly enjoyable slice-of-life about a community of young exiled Tibetan monks who track down a television set to watch the World Cup final. This film shows that Tibetan monks might look weird on the outside, but are just like you and me. It might be too uneventful for some, but I loved it. This is a true gem. Starring: Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling, Jamyang Lodro, Lama Chonjor, Godu Lama, Thinley Nudi, Kunsang, Kunsang Nyima, Pema Tshundup, Dzigar Kongtrul. Directed by: Khyentse Norbu. A

The Cutting Edge (1992) PG romance

The wooden acting from the two leads, D.B. Sweeny and Moira Kelly, nearly ruined this otherwise enjoyable film. It’s about a bratty figure skater (Kelly) who can’t seem to keep a partner. Her trainer enlists a washed-up ice hokey player (Sweeny) for the duty. Kelly doesn’t take the novice seriously at first, but he improves and they fall in love. The script was OK, but the execution left much to be desired. Starring: D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly, Roy Dotrice, Terry O’Quinn, Dwier Brown. Directed by: Paul Michael Glaser. B-

Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) NR romance

Jose Ferrer stars as the title character, a man blessed with a wit as sharp as a knife, a stunning intellect and he is a skilled swordsman, but he is cursed with an incredibly long nose. Ferrer is in love with the strikingly beautiful Mala Powers, but she is in love with handsome William Prince, instead. For Prince, this is all fine and dandy except for one thing: he can't speak to his love intelligently for beans. Ferrer offers to write speeches for Prince and he accepts, but Ferrer grows more fond of Powers every day. This film is vastly entertaining with a humorous dialogue and exciting swashbuckling scenes. It was remade better a few times, but this version is worth scouting out, too. Starring: Jose Ferrer, Mala Powers, William Prince, Morris Carnovsky, Ralph Clanton, Lloyd Corrigan, Virginia Farmer, Edgar Barrier, Elena Verdugo, Al Cavens, Arthur Blake. Directed by: Michael Gordon. B+


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