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Impostor (2001)
Great fx, poor plot more suited to tv
4 January 2002
Impostor is an extremely futuristic sci-fi film with great special effects but a plot more suited to the Sci-fi channel or Outer Limits television show. Despite the dazzling effects, this is not a movie the average moviegoer needs to pay full price for to see on the big screen.

Impostor takes place in the year 2079. An evil race of Alpha Centauris have been attacking Earth for over 25 years now and we have been able to put bubbles around our cities to keep them out. Yet the battle continues, and Spencer John Olham (Gary Sinise) has created a defense that promises to help wipe them out. On the day he is to show his device to the Chancellor, the ruler of the surviving nations, he is taken into custody by the ESA (Earth Safety Agency). He is suspected to be an alien adroid that has killed the real Spencer Olham and who's only plot is to explode and kill the chancellor. He is detained by Major Hathaway (Vincent D'Onofrio) who is convinced of his guilt. Spencer's only hope from a sure death is to prove that he is really not an alien android

The acting is okay in this film, which features Madeline Stowe in the role of Olham's wife. It is kind of sad to see Sinise, who shined so brightly in Forrest Gump take yet another cheesy sci-fi role like the one he had in Mission to Mars.

This movie pretty much follows your typical science fiction plot line except for the dramatic conclusion, which still seems like a great episode of the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. Most audiences will not fall for this stuff. The audience that will love this movie is the sci-fi guys, the people who are really into science fiction futuristic thrillers. Other than that, this film is best left for Cable or video rental at best.
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)
My favorite movie of 2001 So Far!
6 December 2001
Moulin Rouge is not just a romantic musical, it is a theatrical experience of the heart, eyes, mind and soul. This film delivers a moving passionate love story amidst cutting edge electric direction and music deliveries that dazzle the senses.

Set at the turn of the century in France's bohemian subculture, this film tells the tale of a man, Christian (Ewan McGregor) who goes there from England to write about the movement. Instead, by a strange twist of fate he is talked into writing for a play at the famed Moulin Rouge. He ends up becoming enchanted by Satine (Nicole Kidman), the main star of the Moulin Rouge who is also a courtesan. Christian falls uncontrollably in love with her.

The movie is cute and charming, very, very romantic. For those who scoff at the high concepts of love, this is movie is definitely not for you. This film also contains singing and dancing in a theatrical manner. But the funny thing is the songs are not all Julie Andrews type songs, most of them are modern hits of the last decade or so, like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or Madonna's "Like A Virgin" (which gets a truly hillarious delivery). Notice how I didn't say it was a musical? To call this film a musical is like calling Mt. Everest a tall mountain. It underscores the greatness. All of the actors in this film do their own singing, even Nicole Kidman, and shock! She sounds good. Both Nicole and Ewan underwent weeks of singing lessons for this movie. Ewan has an incredible voice and is a powerful actor.

The entire production, the costumes, the characters, the musical numbers, it is all very visually captivating. Baz Luhrman's (Romeo & Juliet) production is cutting edge, bringing an animated feel to the movie, and adding much life to it. If you are open to new deliveries of old ideas, and enjoy romantic love stories set amidst pending doom, this will be a movie you should not miss. This film will not be for everyone, but for me it was a pleasant surprise. It will be a shock if it does not pick up an Oscar nod for music and costumes, if not a nomination for Best Film of the Year, which as December 6th, it is for me!
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Fight Club (1999)
Brilliant Direction and Superb Acting
6 December 2001
Fight Club is a brash slap in the face of consumerism and the working dead. It questions reality. It is strikingly thought provoking and visually stimulating. The direction is incredibly brilliant. Director David Fincher (Aliens, Se7en and The Game) is at his finest here warping both space and time, dropping in things here and there to make things clear. Edward Norton is excellent as Jack, the narrator of the movie. He is a nerdy insomniac who catalog shops at Ikea and has a going nowhere job. Brad Pitt is dynamic as Tyler Durden, an anarchistic man who lives in a run-down abandoned house and makes and sells soap for a living. Helen Bonham Carter is also great as Marla Singer, the manic-depressive chain-smoking woman in both their lives. Her role is critical and she plays it well.

There has been some controversy about the violence in this film but it is not gratuitous violence, it is part of the story and serves it well. It is much less than what you would see in your average Hollywood blockbuster. This is actually an insightful film and in many ways similar to American Beauty, although this film is much more in your face about it's message. If you are squeamish, you may not want to see it. There are some very painful bloody scenes, but if you can stomach it, then check it out. There is also a huge twist in this film that almost rivals the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense. And I must admit, it is the twist in this film that made me really love it. The best audience for this film is men in their 20's or 30's, but anyone that can appreciate film as a modern art should like it. One of the best films of 1999.
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