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Entries by Marshall Fine from 12/2008

Frost/Nixon: Nixon Comes Alive

| Posted 12.03.2008 | Entertainment

Ron Howard's film doesn't make me wish I'd seen the Broadway play on which it is based. Just the opposite: I was glad to come to it fresh, without a preconception about what it could, should or would be.

Doubt: Dazzling Provocation

| Posted 12.08.2008 | Entertainment

A heavyweight cast performs Shanley's compelling arguments about the nature of faith and certainty in a way that will spark discussions among viewers in the same way it did on Broadway.

Gran Torino: Who's Saving Whom?

| Posted 12.10.2008 | Entertainment

Is Gran Torino a breakthrough -- or the same old same old, tricked out with a potentially Oscar-winning performance by Eastwood?

Day the Earth Stood Still: It Barely Moves

| Posted 12.12.2008 | Entertainment

As it is, this version of The Day the Earth Stood Still feels like a vehicle that's stuck in neutral with the engine revving but no forward -- or backward -- motion to speak of.

Nothing But the Truth: What a Waste

| Posted 12.16.2008 | Entertainment

I've often debated whether a great ending can salvage a mediocre movie. But does a wholly bogus ending negate the positive aspects of an otherwise solid film? In the case of Nothing but the Truth, the answer is "Yes."

My alternative Top 10

| Posted 12.18.2008 | Entertainment

When I assembled my 10-best films of the year, I did so with an eye on mainstream films. The year was so strong in that regard that it was still diffi...

John Patrick Shanley Discusses His Doubt

| Posted 12.22.2008 | Entertainment

The timing may have been fortuitous, with the explosion of complains and lawsuits about sexual abuse against the Catholic Church. But Shanley insists that Doubt, isn't about the scandal.

Review: The Spirit Is Disspiriting

| Posted 12.24.2008 | Entertainment

If you're expecting the dark, wicked humor and dazzlingly gruesome violence of Sin City, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- It Will Make You a Believer

| Posted 12.26.2008 | Entertainment

The good news is that, aside from offering seamless visual effects, David Fincher's new film is nothing like Forrest Gump. It is at once enchanting and emotional, sweeping and intimate.

Review: Good -- Reflecting the Bush years

| Posted 12.30.2008 | Entertainment

"Hitler's a joke," Viggo Mortensen tells a friend in the new film, Good. "He won't last." Gee -- didn't they say that about George W. Bush? I've bee...

An Inauguration Day/Godfather fantasy

| Posted 12.31.2008 | Entertainment

Yes, I know - Barack Obama's election is a fresh start for the country, a time to put old bitterness and recriminations behind us and focus on the fut...