So let’s move on.
So walk, don’t run, to your favorite video store to find:
Hard Candy (2005)
You don’t expect much from a movie called “Hard Candy” that features cover art featuring a 14-year-old girl standing on a bear trap. But don’t be fooled. “Hard Candy” is one of the best written and acted films of 2005. It’s about a 14-year-old girl who turns the tables on a 32-year-old pedophile that she meets on the internet. The plot – which has more twists than a
The Descent (2005)
“The Descent” is a rarity -- a horror movie with acting. Director Neil Marshall is becoming the king of intelligent horror films (his 2002 “Dog Soldiers” is the best werewolf movie ever made). “The Descent” takes place one year after a tragic car accident has killed Sarah’s husband and child. The crash – which is the movie’s opening sequence -- is one of the most soul-wrenching car accidents ever put to film. Her friends take her on a cave expedition in
The Oh in
After chomping through scenes like a comedic Hulk in “The 40-year-old Virgin,” Paul Rudd returns in this absolutely ridiculous comedy by director Billy Kent. The premise is a familiar one – middle-aged angst (this time in
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
From the warped imagination of writer Charlie Kaufman comes this hidden gem of a flick. Admittedly, Kaufman can be damn annoying at times (“Adaptation” was so overwrought that it could induce vomiting). But Kaufman hits the mark – and then some here. The lead performances by Jim Carrey and the always good Kate Winslet are top-notched and the chemistry between the two is infectious. The basic premise of the movie is that Winslet erases her memories of Carrey from her mind and he decides to follow suit. But at the last minute, he decides he can’t lose her – even from his mind. So he tries to strategically hide his most cherished thoughts of her from the “mind lasers.” The movies is an emotional rush – and often love-out-loud funny. Great date movie.
The Contender (2000)
Joan Allen hands in her finest performance in this overlooked and underrated thriller about the nomination of a woman as vice president. The movie hinges on the question of Allen’s past sexual practices. She’s pitted against another candidate played by William Petersen. But the real beauty is the filmmaking and director Rod Lurie’s masterful character study. Lurie presents us with the worst of Allen and the best of Petersen at the beginning and then slowly turns the tables on the viewer’s first impressions of the characters. It’s not until the end that we get the full, unfiltered look at both candidates that we realize that we’ve been wrong about Allen and about Petersen.
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