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Joe Video's 5 Banana Movies!


Armageddon


Year: 1998
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Bily Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson

Despite scientific inaccuracies and improbable incidents, this film delivers a multitude of huge stars spitting catchy lines, with over-the-top visual effects that blow your mind.

Reviewed by Conor M
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Bad News Bears (1976)


Year: 1976
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Director: Michael Ritchie
Starring: Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Jackie Earle Haley, Vic Morrow

This could seem to be standard rags-to-riches fare, except that "riches" is satirized scathingly. Walter Matthau is the boozed, disgruntled ex-pro ballplayer whose only reason for coaching is the check. But when he sees his ragtag team begin to accept failure, like he had, he jaws them back and assumes a more responsible and motivational role. Can he avoid getting carried away with pride in winning, as some other coaches in this competive Southern California league do?

The relationship between Matthau and his ace-pitcher, a girl, who would like the uncertain Matthau to be her father, is particularly touching.

Reviewed by Jeremy B
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Bagdad Cafe


Year: 1988
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Director: Percy Adoin
Starring:
Marianne Sagebrecht, Jack Palance

What happens when a German tourist befriends a hotel proprietor in the middle of the desert is pure magic. Literally. Friendship blossoms between women from entirely different worlds in this quirky, quiet, heartwarming piece about creating happiness wherever you are.

Reviewed by Joe G
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But I'm a Cheerleader


Year: 1999
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Jamie Babbitt
Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Clea Duvall, Cathy Moriarty

"But...I'm a cheerleader...I can't be GAY", proclaims the heroine of this wonderful gem. The stakes are raised at a straight conversion camp led by a borderline dyke, who herself is the only loser in a bunch of gay roses. Laughter abounds as a group of young people discover you can't hide from who you are, despite how much everyone wants you to.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Camp


Year: 2003
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Todd Graff
Starring:
Daniel Letterle, Joanna Chilcoat, Robin De Jesus

100% fun in movie form! Gay and straight kids converge at a theater camp where everyone has their own universal sized ego. Hilarious, inspiring, yet honest, this film presents multiple coming of age stories at once, as each student realizes both their potential and worth. Notable for several very camp-y musical scenes to boot.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Chasing Amy


Year: 1997
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Kevin Smith
Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Kevin Smith, Casey Affleck

Containing some of the most blunt relationship advice in a century, Kevin Smith's masterpiece follows the development and decline of an east coast affair between a straight man with a best friend who may or may not be too close for comfort and a woman whose sexual orientation has yet to be fully developed. "I identify with this film in ways you'll never understand." - Kevin Smith's mother

Reviewed by Isabelle G
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Chinatown


Year: 1974
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Diane Ladd

One of the greatest "noir" films ever lensed, Roman Polanski's look at corruption and murder in 1930's Los Angeles is a dark classic that is considered to be one of the best films of all time. Nominated for 11 Oscars, it won for Robert Towne's perfectly structured and nuanced script.

Reviewed by Fido B
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Chocolat


Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Director: Lasse Halstrom
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp

This film is about a small town amidst change. Themes of intolerance, loss, and passion all mix together as well as the best of confections. Everyone is a treat to watch in this truly delicious film.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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The Cider House Rules


Year: 1999
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Michael Caine

While most topics are open in today's society, many were hush hush in the past. The movie tackles subjects such as abortion and morality. Emotions are captured brilliantly in this film and touches the spirit as it is still an ongoing struggle.

Reviewed by Deepa R
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The Color Purple


Year: 1986
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's best-selling novel was nominated for 11 Oscars, and lost every one. Yet "The Color Purple" has stood the test of time and remains a moving portrait of one woman's triumph against oppression in the post-slavery south.

Reviewed by Fido B
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Cry Baby


Year: 1990
Rating: NR
Genre: Comedy
Director: John Waters
Starring: Johnny Depp, Traci Lords, Ricki Lake, Polly Bergen, Iggy Pop

With lines like "You may be a square, but you're still a tramp!" this movie rockets into every kind of wonderful. Squares and Drapes go head to head and skewer everything about the 50's in sight. With musical numbers at drag races and jail cells, musicals have never been this cool. If you're so tired of being good, run to this movie now!

Reviewed by Joe G
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Dark City


Year: 1998
Rating: R
Genre: Sci-Fi
Director: Alex Proyas
Starring: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O'Brien

The penultimate weird scif-i film. It combines intense noir style, maniacal aliens experimenting on the human soul, and an amnesia victim. Possibly the best ending to a movie, ever.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Dead Again


Year: 1991
Rating: R
Genre: Kenneth Brannagh
Director: Alex Proyas
Starring:
Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi, Hanna Schygulla, Robin Williams

This is at the top of my list for suspense movies. Never falling into cliche and gorgeously shot in half b/w, half color, it also gets my vote for best twist ending of all time. Jumbled memories, a murder mystery, and past lives are just the beginning. Emma Thompson and Ken Brannaugh are never safe in this movie where danger is around every corner.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Dogma


Year: 1999
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Kevin Smith
Starring : Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, George Carlin, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Alan Rickman, Jason Lee, Bud Cort, Alanis Morissette

Religious comedy has no equal in this divinely inspired Kevin Smith entry, with all of the blanks filled in on Heaven, Christ, angels, and everything in between.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Drop Dead Gorgeous


Year: 1999
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Michael Patrick Jann
Starring: Kirstie Aley, Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Denise Richards

Oh boy, this movie is number one A-OK, doncha know! Insane people will go to insane ends to win a teen beauty pageant, and no one is safe from satire or flying debris. Kirstie Alley is especially memorable for portraying a mother off the deep end of evening gown.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Earth Girls Are Easy


Year: 1989
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Director: Julien Temple
Starring: Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Julie Brown

If you are in any way interested in what made the 80s totally wicked cool then you should watch this radical film. With an all star cast of celebrities you're very unlikely to see in such bodaciously 80s costume and 'tude ever again. Not to mention that Jeff Goldblum looks absolutely delectable the whole way through. This movie is totally tubular fer sure!

Reviewed by Isabelle G.
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Enemy Mine


Year: 1985
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Sci-Fi
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett

In this sci-fi adventure two warriors are engaged in a battle between humans and dracks. When both pilots are shot down and land on the same deserted planet, they will both stop at nothing to destroy each other. After battling the harsh environment they both realize they need to stick together in order to survive.

Reviewed by Alan Smithy
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Far From Heaven


Year: 2002
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Director: Todd Haynes
Starring: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson

Filmed in a way that mimics 50's cinematography, Far From Heaven concerns everything that made the 50's a horror covered by a constructed and elaborate shell of beauty. A woman's perfect life shatters when her husband confesses to homosexual "perversion" and she finds herself in love with a black man. Their social crimes are contrasted, both learning to navigate their pain in an unforgiving world that shows us how lucky we are to live in today's.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Father and Son


Year: 2002
Rating: R
Genre: Foreign/Drama
Director: Alexander Sokurov
Starring:
Andrey Schetinin, Aleksey Neymyshev

Russia's great film-poet, Alexander Sokurov, followed up his meditative film on the bond between Mother and Son with this sweeping, virile poem on the Father and Son bond. A son on leave visits his father. Through soft lenses, editing and camera angles that manipulate the relationship between characters and space, and the nearly constant use of Tchaikovsky music used as subtly as a breeze through treetops (as seen in Mother and Son), Sokurov fosters their affection so that we may participate in the experience of the essence of the father and son bond - which is lively.

Reviewed by Jeremy B
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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


Year: 1998
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Johhny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Christini Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Cameron Diaz,Gary Busey, Lyle Lovett

This must-see comedy follows the drugged out and hilarious misadventures of author Hunter S. Thompson and his possibly Samoan attorney.

Reviewed by Mario
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Firefly


Year: 2002
Rating: NR
Genre: TV/Sci-Fi
Creator: Josh Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

This amazing show lasted only 15 episodes, but packed more action, adventure, romance, and tragedy than most shows do in years. Joss Whedon's epic revolves around a ragtag group of exiles in the far future, where mankind faces its greatest threats in a corporation government, cannibal mutants, ninja assassins, and the rarity of farmable worlds.

Reviewed by
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Gattaca


Year: 1997
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Director: Andrew M. Niccol
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Loren Dean

What if society was divided by ability and predicted mortality as revealed by each person's genes at birth? Overcoming great odds to literally reach the stars makes Gattaca a great sci-fi story beautifully shot and blended with a moving score.

Reviewed by Joe K.
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Hairspray


Year: 1988
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Director: John Waters
Starring: Divine, Ricki Lake, Jerry Stiller, Deborah Harry, Josh Charles, Mink Stole

Only John Waters could present in comic fashion 1960's Baltimore mired in debate over racial segregation. Add the lively soundtrack and you've got "gravy on your mashed potatoes."

Reviewed by Joe K
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Hedwig & the Angry Inch


Year: 2001
Rating: PG
Genre: Musical
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Starring: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shore, Stephen Trask, Andrea Martin, Michael Pitt

A rock musical with both laughter and tragic moments of loss, Hedwig covers the life of a transsexual East German who escaped communist Berlin only to encounter obstacles at every corner. This doesn't stop her, though, from writing kickass music and going after the boy who stole her heart and music away. Grand and epic, it's the story of an underdog struggling to be recognized, and a biting refusal to give up. That is relatable enough for anyone to enjoy.

Reviewed by Joe G
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High Fidelity


Year: 2000
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring:
John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Lilli Taylor, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Beverly D'Angelo, Sara Gilbert

Although it started as Nick Hornby novel, this movie is quite basically the definitive "John Cusack in love" film. It holds all of the classic tendencies of talking to the camera, random neuroses, healthy interest in music and the scene, a friend who is too single to care and a healthy dose of angst. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll identify.

Reviewed by Isabelle G
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I Heart Huckabees


Year: 2004
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: David O. Russell
Starring:
Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Naomi Watts

Brimming with frustration, this quirky film is about an existential mystery. One man searches for meaning in coincidence, and along the way one of the strangest comedies ever made displays both wit, social satire, and subculture clash in modern LA. Hilarious and engrossing.

Reviewed by Joe G
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The Incredibles


Year: 2004
Rating: PG
Genre: Animated/Comedy
Director: Brad Bird
Voices: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee

By deconstructing the typical superhero lifestyle and rebuilding it in the form of a family unit, Pixar achieves Academy credibility once again through a unique story and spectacular visual effects with wonderfully voiced and grounded characters.

Reviewed by Conor M
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Iron Giant


Year: 1999
Rating: PG
Genre: Animated/Sci-Fi
Director: Brad Bird
Voices: Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel, Harry Connick Jr.

I like Iron Giant because it's subversive. It is a kids film that says the government doesn't always know what its doing, and sometimes adults do violent things because they're idiots. One young boy experiences an incredible friendship that no one else understands until its too late. Notable also for its attention to 50's paranoia.

Reviewed by Joe G
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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World


Year: 1963
Rating: G
Genre: Comedy
Director: Stanley Kramer
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, Buddy Hackett, Sid Caeser, Milton Berle, Jimmy Durante, Carl Reiner, Phil Silvers, ZaSu Pitts, Buster Keaton, Jonathan Winters

Everyone who was anyone in Hollywood was in this film. One of the best comedies ever made, it surrounds a group of strangers who witness a dying man declare the place he buried a hidden treasure; total chaos ensues as they split up to find it, in any way at any cost. Look for the scenes filmed in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County Airport!

Reviewed by Joe G
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Just Friends


Year: 2005
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Roger Kumble
Starring:
Anna Faris, Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Chris Klein

Remember high school, that special time in life when everyone treated each other like dogs? Ryan Reynolds does, and he becomes obsessed with reinventing himself. This magical holiday film proves that going home again can only lead to embarrassment and humiliation! Totally hilarious, because it's not you.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


Year: 2005
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy/Thriller
Director: Shane Black
Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan

Reinventing the detective mystery genre and turning it on its heels, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang drives along with an unrelentingly entertaining narration, unexpected plots involving a pair of childhood pals, and the extent people will go to cover things up and move on with their lives. Taking material that in any other hands would wind up depressing, you'll laugh when you aren't too busy wincing at Robert Downey going through hell for the woman of his dreams.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Labyrinth


Year: 1986
Rating: PG
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Director: Jim Henson
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Toby Froud
,

What could possibly be more uplifting than David Bowie and muppets? The answer: nothing. Jennifer Connelly grows up in this fantasy that proves there are many lessons to learn in life, and many mazes to figure out along the way. Surprising and charming, Labyrinth soars on wings of delight, along with a metaphor or two about taking good advice.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Latter Days


Year: 2004
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Director: C. Jay Cox
Starring: Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Joseph-Gordon Levitt

A simple gay love story mixed up in a religious world. Believing being called on a Mormon mission is the next right thing to do, young 19 year old Aaron finds what he was taught in life isnt actually what he feels. After meeting Christian, a cute boy next door, his life is flipped upside down. Does he follow what he was told to believe or finally follow his heart? Once being a Mormon and finally realizing who I am is why I give this 5 bananas!

Reviewed by Ryan M
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Life is Beautiful


Year: 1998
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Director: Roberto Begnini
Starring: Roberto Begnini

Touching, breathtaking, and courageous, this movie dares to shed laughter during the most horrifying period of the Holocaust. A man strains to protect his young son's innocence. Despite its unrealistic end, the film captures what it sets out to: parental devotion at its most desperate and total.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Little Miss Sunshine


Year: 2006
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Starring: Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Paul Danoi

Each member of a family is going through crisis and bands together in non-vocal support for the youngest daughter. The film is a testament to overpowering life's greatest miseries, and embracing who you are, all while holding up a mirror to American society. Relatable, touching, charming and shocking, Little Miss Sunshine gets my vote for best film of 2006.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Lucky # Slevin


Year: 2006
Rating: R
Genre: Thriller
Director: Paul McGuigan
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Lucy Lui

A riveting plotline filled with more than a few surprises makes this film a must-see for anyone who enjoys gangster and/or hit-man flicks. The amazing sets are another great reason you'll feel lucky you gave it a go.

Reviewed by Joe K.
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Me and You and Everyone We Know


Year: 2005
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Miranda July
Starring: Miranda July, John Hawkes, Brad Henke

To say this film is unique is an understatement. A gorgeous, funny, touching series of interlocking stories concerning a father and his biracial children and the performance artist who falls for him. Humor comes in the most unexpected scenes imaginable, never has the everyday seemed so alien yet relatable.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Millions


Year: 2005
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: James Nesbitt, Lewis McGibbons

A true blend of fantastic imagination and good story about two British brothers and the large sack of cash literally dropped onto them from the sky make this a film the whole family can enjoy!

Reviewed by Joe K.
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Mr. Holland's Opus


Year: 1995
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama
Director: Stephen Herek
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Gleanne Hedley, Jay Thomas, William H. Macy, Olympia Dukakis

This is the story of one man's quest to fulfill his dreams while life takes him in other directions. In the course of everything, he profoundly touches the lives of thousands. A great historical snapshot of the 60's and 70's with a sound message about life's trials and great rewards.

Reviewed by Joe K.
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Monsoon Wedding


Year: 2002
Rating: R
Genre: Foreign/Comedy
Director: Mira Nair
Starring:
Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Vasundhara Das

From acclaimed director Mira Nair comes this vibrant film about a colorful family preparing for a four day wedding that is sure to be as volatile as the weather. Which will be more unpredictable, the incoming storm or the incoming in-laws?

Reviewed by Fido B
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Mothman Prophecies


Year: 2002
Rating: R
Genre: Sci-Fi
Director: Mark Pellington
Starring:
Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton, Debra Messing, Alan Bates

Muted colors and quiet pace give this film a very eerie feel. Less is more has never been more true, for each encounter with the entity known as Mothman brings people into bizarre twists of fate. Cringe inducing much more than slasher or monster films because of its true-life basis, Mothman is truly terrifying for the idea of the unknown.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Muriel's Wedding


Year: 1985
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: P.J. Hogan
Starring: Toni Collette,
Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter

Muriel is a girl who seeks approval from a clique that gives her anything but. What follows is a maniacal quest for a marraige, but after tragedy strikes she gains self confidence beyond expectations, proving that nothing is more rewarding than being yourself. You'll want to jump up and cheer, but then the ABBA soundtrack might have something to do with that as well.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Neon Genesis Evangelion


Year: 1995
Rating: NR
Genre: Anime
Director: Hideaki Anno
Starring: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara

Anime is typically about self indulgent, escapist fantasies. EVA breaks the mold by exploring themes of whether there's a God, why war exists, self-hatred, parental hatred, self destruction, sacrifice, and one boy's refusal to see reality. Eva progresses with layers of secrets and a philosophically intense plot, and is truly, atypically heartwrenching.

Reviewed by Joe G
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The New World


Year: 2005
Rating: R
Genre: Adventure/Drama
Director: Terrance Mallick
Starring: Colin Farrell,
Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer

What might it have been like to be an explorer from 1600s europe seeking a route through North America to India? What if you were a "natural" (Native American) involved in these light-skinned foreigners' struggles? Terrence Mallick's dream film pays particular attention to how they communicate with one another and to the opposite manners in which they relate to nature. The title also refers to the theme of adaptation that is at the heart of this eliptical and ecstatic film. Q'orianka Kilcher, who plays Pocahontas (although this name is never spoken once), is the perfect bridge between cultures. Very relevant to our times -- to all times. And unspeakably beautiful.

Reviewed by Jeremy B
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Notting Hill


Year: 1999
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Roger Mitchell
Starring: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant

There's nothing quite as satisfying as watching your every-day British guy spill orange juice on and fall in love with America's biggest actress. The cast delivers this romantic comedy with a touching flair of realism and heart.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Pee-Wee's Big Adventure


Year: 1985
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Pee-Wee, Elizabeth Daily, James Brolin, Phil Hartman, Danny Elfman, Morgan Fairchild

Pee Wee Herman takes a trip across the country to find his infamous bicycle. After watching this film you will agree that nothing could be better in terms of hilarity. Also, the life lessons are abundant. Like if you ever are confronted with a bar of angry bikers you should just dance until they accept you for the fun-loving spirit that you are. Or that we all have to come to terms with the fact that there is not a basement in the Alamo. Watch the movie, you'll get it.

Reviewed by Isabelle G
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Pleasantville


Year: 1998
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, Don Knotts

When a brother and sister are magically transported to the fictious 1950's TV world of Pleasantville they begin to corrupt the black and
white town with their radical new age thinking. This film takes on prejudices on all levels and really makes you think.

Reviewed by Jeremy J
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Ran


Year: 1985
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Foreign/Action
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao

This is King Lear adapted to samurai era Japan from legendary director Kurosawa. Totally shocking and never boring, it brings madness, war, and seduction into full swing, with some of the best cinematography ever filmed.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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Rebel Without a Cause


Year: 1955
Rating: NR
Genre: Drama
Director: Nicholas Ray
Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Dennis Hopper

A timeless film about teen angst, REBEL takes on all that teens faced in 1955 as well as today, from hating your parents to the acceptance of your peers and possibly one that you love. James Dean's second of only three film roles in REBEL was, arguably, his best and made him a major star. It also gave us him most memorable line: "You're tearing me apart!"

Reviewed by Jeremy J
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Rome


Year: 2005
Rating: NR
Genre: Television/Drama
Creator: Bruno Heller
Starring:
Kevin McKidd ,Ray Stevenson, Ciaran Hinds, Polly Walker

One of the most exciting, addictive series ever conceived, Rome is epic, and above all things, brutal. Wars are fought in and outside of the Empire, and everyone has an agenda. Incest, murder, betrayal, religious fervor, and families tearing each other apart in blood feuds is just another day in Rome. On top of that, the characters manage to be sympathetic in a world that is anything but.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Run Lola Run


Year: 1999
Rating: R
Genre: Foreign/Action
Director: Tom Tykwer
Starring: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu

What if the most important event of your life forced you to run at breakneck pace to save someone from dying? Lola has to, and she will do anything necessary, in one of the most exciting action films ever made. With a pulse pounding soundtrack, Lola explodes with desperate energy, as well as always expanding on the possibilities of what might be...

Reviewed by Joe G
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Rushmore


Year: 1998
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Brian Cox, Luke Wilson

One of the greatest and most underrated comedies of all time. Bill Murray and 16 year old Jason Schwartzman compete for the same teacher. Wes Anderson always lets his characters reveal themselves as very crazy, very slowly. The result is the appearance of normal which comes crashing to a head. Whoever said high school wasn't war?

Reviewed by Joe G
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Saint Ralph


Year: 2005
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Director: Michael McGowan
Starring: Adam Butcher, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Tilly

Great character development, good humor and a strong "believe and it can happen" story make this film, about a earnest Catholic schoolboy Ralph attempting to win the Boston marathon in the 1950's, worth every frame.

Reviewed by Joe K
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Scoop


Year: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Woody Allen
Starring:
Julian Glover, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Woody Allen

This movie just throws everything at you: ghosts, murder, betrayal, deceit, and most importantly, wacky hijinks! What to do to prove a serial killer's identity? Date him, of course! Woody Allen plays the magician sidekick in this runaway train of a comedy, which only stops when the final trick of the show is done and the murderer revealed.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Shadow of a Doubt


Year: 1943
Rating: NR
Genre: Thriller
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Teresa Wright, Joesph Cotten

Hitchcock's masterpiece thriller in which young Charlie (Teresa Wright) suspects that her uncle (Joseph Cotten), for whom she was named, may be the infamous "Merry Widow Killer." Shot
entirely on location in Santa Rosa in 1943 and said to be Hitch's favorite of the many , many films he directed.

Reviewed by Fido B
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Shaun of the Dead


Year: 2004
Rating: R
Genre: Horror/Comedy
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Gavis, Nick Frost

A witty, funny and at times frighteningly clever horror-comedy. If you like laughs with your gore this is definitely your movie. A clever combo of one half Dawn of the Dead and one half tongue- in-cheek British humor.

Reviewed by Mario
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The Shawshank Redemption


Year: 1994
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows

An innocent man is found guilty and is forced to serve his sentence in prison. He learns to make the best of his situation by using his heart and mind to make his final escape and to live the rest of his elderly life as a free and innocent man. Amazing movie to watch!

Reviewed by Deepa R
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Shortbus


Year: 2006
Rating: NR
Genre: Drama
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Starring: Raphael Barker, Lindsay Beamish, Justin Bond, Paul Dawson

It is rare for a film centered on sex to be so relevant, but in this Shortbus excels, as it tackles subjects of sexual dysfunction, desire, and self-consciousness. Through their best and worst, the people of Shortbus discover the costs of control and the rewards of simply allowing yourself to feel loved. One lesson is clear: love is selfless.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Slither


Year: 2006
Rating: R
Genre: Horror
Director: James Gunn
Starring:
Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker

A neat little film in which slimy, soul possessing alien spawn teach us an important lesson about how to treat your significant other. A touching story with a feminist core, with disgusting gut busting scenes to retch by. You won't know whether to reach for a hanky or a barf bucket.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Strangers With Candy


Year: 2006
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Paul Dinello
Starring: Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Matthew Broderick, Phillp Seymour Hoffman, Sarah Jessica Parker

The oddest sort of comedy, Strangers with Candy is a farcical romp through the corridors of weird. A 40something woman goes back to high school after twenty years in prison, to revive her comatose father. Yes, you read that right. Absurd, but satirical, with everything from a gay Creationist science teacher to a running of the bulls in gym class, and an ending so strange it has to be seen to be believed.

Reviewed by Joe G
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Tank Girl


Year: 1995
Rating: R
Genre: Sci-Fi
Director: Rachel Talalay
Starring:
Lori Petty, Ice-T, Malcolm McDowell, Naomi Watts, Iggy Pop

What to do when the world ends and civilization explodes? Play loud music and party down! This fun film says that the end of the world should never be an excuse to get depressed. Tank Girl traipses about her world with tongue always in cheek and never takes no, or even maybe for an answer. Plus it has a musical number for NO good reason. You can't beat that.

Reviewed by Joe G.
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The Terminal


Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci

The Terminal is a fun movie that takes place in a busy airport. Tom Hanks is a visitor in pursuit of completing his father's dreams. Due to turmoil in his native land, he is left without a country to call home nor access to the land beyond the doors of the airport. He learns to manipulate his situation in order to survive. The movie is a delight to watch.

Reviewed by Deepa R
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Thank You For Smoking


Year: 2005
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Cameron Bright, Sam Elliott, Katie Holmes, Rob Lowe, Robert Duvall

This satirical comedy provides an impressive look into the subject of big tobacco through an intelligent argument. Although exceptionally thought provoking, this film represents one of the better acted comedies of the year.

Reviewed by Conor M
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This is Spinal Tap


Year: 1984
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Michael McKeaan, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Anjelica Huston, Ed Begley, Howard Hesseman, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey

This British mockumentary delivers a laugh every minute by creating odd situations around the dealings of a has-been Metal band.

Reviewed by Mario
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To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar


Year: 1995
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Beeban Kidron
Starring: Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo , Stockard Channing

A magical film starring Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo as drag queens traveling from New York to Hollywood. When the trio gets stuck in the tiny town of Snydersville the townsfolk don't notice what they are but stand with them in the end as who they are. A great soundtrack and stellar performances.

Reviewed by Jeremy J
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Trainspotting


Year: 1995
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring:
Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

Heroin, Scotland, and Ewan McGregor: you can't go wrong! Shocking visuals may be off-putting for some, but TRAINSPOTTING is a riveting portrayal of Mr. Toad's wild ride of addiction. With a great soundtrack and great acting I give it 5 BANANAS!

Reviewed by Jeremy J
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The Venture Bros


Year: 2003
Rating: NR
Genre: TV/Animation//Action
Creator: Christopher McCulloch
Starring: James Urbaniak, Patrick Wrburton, Michael Sinterniklass, Christopher McCulloch

Inspired by action adventure serials of yesteryear, The Venture Bros does much more than present a simple parody. Instead, it provides some of the sharpest dialogue animation has ever seen, centered on failure and selfishness. The antiheroes are oblivious and preoccupied, yet endearing and unforgettable. Filled with homages and references, and quotes to last you a lifetime, Venture Bros manages to be wholly original and awe inspiring. Go, Team Venture!

Reviewed by Joe G
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Vertigo


Year: 1958
Rating: PG
Genre: Thriller
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Hitchcock and obsession! James Stewart plays a former cop who suffers from vertigo AND an obsession with a mysterious blonde. He begins tracking her strange treks about the streets of San Francisco. Hitchcock's camera and editing dramatically captures Stewart's vertiginous fall into obsession and insanity. Contains a very eerie dream, lots of green and red, another blonde who loves him, and a spirling, Twilight-Zone-esque score by the great Bernard Herrmann.

Reviewed by Jeremy B
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Wah-Wah


Year: 2006
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Director: Richard E. Grant
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson

Set in 1960's Swaziland, this coming of age story presents a young man facing some difficult family dynamics with classic British humor.

Reviewed by Joe K.
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Water


Year: 2005
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Foreign/Drama
Director: Deepa Mehta
Starring: Sarala, Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas

India is known for its long lasting culture and dedication to traditions. Water is a movie that protrays the devotion of a women's faith after the passing of her husband. The country has come a long way after its indenpendence in 1947. This is a definite must watch movie!

Reviewed by Deepa R
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Why We Fight


Year: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Documentary
Director: Eugene Jarecki

A thorough, penetrating look at U.S. foreign policy since WWII doesn't sound captivating, but it is. Why We Fight tells us exactly that, what forces have brought us to the point of war, and they might just surprise you. Deciding not to take political sides, the documentary reveals that fear is exploitable, and so is history, which has much to teach us. Absorbing, accurate, and objective, Why We Fight is well worth seeing.

Reviewed by Joe G
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