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Focus On…Movies

In preparation for the start of the summer movie season, which at least in our minds starts with the release of The Punisher and Kill Bill 2 this weekend (or, by the time this gets published, last weekend), we thought we’d clear out the attic of past releases that you shouldn’t let pass you by.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(1 – Baker Scholar)
This is possibly Jim Carrey’s best movie ever. There I said it. Forget about the zany comic character from Ace Ventura. Disregard his first foray into serious acting in The Truman Show. And it would be a good idea to forget about Nurse Betty, just on principle. Eternal Sunshine brings together great writing, solid acting, and a perspective on relationships that makes you think (some thoughts I had were “maybe this is why I don’t remember dating Anna Kournikova!”, “didn’t Garth Brooks cover this already in ‘The Dance’?”, and “these pretzels are making me thirsty”).

The story centers around the relationship between Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet), as well as Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) and his miracle device which allows patients to erase particular memories (in this case, whole relationships). The movie explores the tradeoff between the joy experienced while dating someone and the racking pain that occurs when she dumps you for her personal trainer. There are also some solid bit parts thrown in by Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood. Make sure you see this movie before it leaves the theatres!

Hellboy
(2)
I walked out of the theatre after this movie thinking “what the Hellboy was that?” Although a big fan of comic book movies and sci-fi flicks in general, Hellboy could have benefited from a more creative ending, a few more interesting superheroes and villains, and about a fifteen minute cut in run-time. Ron Perlman does provide the one major bright spot, bringing to life Hellboy in a realistic, funny, and natural manner (or as natural as you can make an enormous teenage devil). In the end though, this movie doesn’t do enough to make itself different from every other comic book movie out there which is disappointing since the plot gave it so much potential.

House of the Dead
(1/2*)
I put an asterisk on this rating because it is only a good movie if you like the zombie genre. If you want to see complex character development, moral dilemmas, or award-winning acting – stay home. If you want to see a bunch of zombies getting killed in funny and unusual ways, then this is the movie for you. While not as good as 28 Days Later, this movie does provide some very memorable scenes and if you just need to turn off your brain for a few hours (see: finals week), this movie is a good way to do it. Just make sure that you keep watching throughout the credits as the fate of our heroes is wrapped up there.

April 20, 2004
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