“When a Stranger Calls”
Director: Simon West
Starring: Camilla Belle
In this remake of a 1979 horror flick, a young babysitter, Jill Johnson (Belle), falls victim to a killer’s sick game of cat-and-mouse. After receiving several disturbing phone calls, Jill comes face-to-face with her stalker. She is then thrown into a 15-minute bout where she kicks, runs and screams her way through an overly elaborate house, which leads up to an ultimately disappointing climax.
It seems that remaking old horror movies has become the cool thing to do in Hollywood. The problem is that remakes often don’t live up to the classics that inspired them. Without a sense of originality, most of these films feel bland and tiresome.
If you’ve seen any of the “Scream” or “I Know What You Did Last Summer” films, you’ve basically already watched “When a Stranger Calls.”
If you haven’t, then feel free to join the masses of preteens who are sure to cram the theater, and prepare to yawn.
– Josh Page
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler and Geoffrey Rush
In 1972, the world watched as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. In response to the attack, the Israeli government recruited a group of Mossad agents (led in the film by Bana) to track down and execute those responsible.
Based on the true story of the Black September, Spielberg’s latest film is a moving masterpiece.
It chronicles the struggles of being loyal to your country and protecting your “home.”
Bana gives a powerful performance as the leader of the pack who must decide how and when to assassinate. His character undergoes a drastic change from beginning to end, showing that home is not just a piece of land.
The film is gory at times, and sometimes it is difficult to understand what the characters are saying through their accents.
But these are the only flaws in an otherwise strong, yet somewhat depressing, film. Finishing at two hours and 44 minutes, the story carries so well that time flies.
One of the many themes Spielberg presents is that murder causes more murder.
He suggests that the fight for “home” will never cease as long as retaliation continues. In this battle, revenge is always desired.
Already nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Spielberg has strayed away from his sci-fi/fantasy genre with success.
– Danielle Tararuj
“Tristan & Isolde”
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Starring: James Franco and Sophia Myles
“Tristan and Isolde” is the story of a forbidden love that puts the fate of two nations at risk during the Middle Ages.
Tristan (Franco) is a nobleman from England who falls in love with Isolde (Myles), an Irish princess.
As if things weren’t complicated enough there, Isolde is promised to England’s new king, Lord Marke, and he happens to be the man who raised Tristan to be his second in command.
Both Tristan and Isolde question whether their love should go above duty and honor, creating a tumultuous relationship that always puts more than their own hearts at risk.
Franco and Myles are on the mark portraying star-crossed lovers. Myles does an excellent job of showing Isolde’s idealized commitment to love.
Franco, for his part, shows the struggle between living a life of love or duty that Tristan faces. The movie also gains some depth through Rufus Sewell’s portrayal of troubled Lord Marke.
The movie is interspersed with battle scenes, but the war aspects are outweighed by the film’s romance.
“Tristan and Isolde” doesn’t compare to “Romeo and Juliet” as its makers hoped that it would, but still gives you enough to leave the theater questioning what we do for love.
– Daniela Flores