Tom Norton

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Tom Norton Posted: May 18, 2006 0 comments

And now for something entirely different. Film critics and theater audiences had a mixed reaction to this computer-animated release. So mixed, in fact, that it moved in and out of theaters last fall before it had a chance to develop any word of mouth.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 17, 2006 0 comments

Start with a look at Marine boot camp not much different than what we've seen in countless war movies. Move on to a boring look at bored Marines killing time in the desert in the buildup to the 1991 Gulf War. They're depicted as dumb, disorganized, rowdy, and undisciplined. The promotional copy for the movie, included in the cover art, says that the troops are "in a country they don't understand, against an enemy they can't see, for a cause they don't fully grasp. Believe me, the troops in the first Gulf War were fully briefed on the country they were going to, could usually see the enemy (his back, typically), and understood that they were fighting to free a country occupied by the forces of an expansionist dictator. That promotional copy was clearly written as a not-too-subtle analogy to the <I>current</I> Iraq war.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 28, 2006 0 comments

A bored, rich widow, Laura Henderson (Judi Dench) buys a failed London theater on the eve of World War II. But she soon discovers she has no idea what to do with it. After she hires an experienced producer (Bob Hoskins) the theater is briefly successful running music hall reviews. But soon reality sets in and the competition drives them into the red.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 30, 2006 Published: May 31, 2006 0 comments

I have mixed feeling about the Bourne films. This one is the sequel to the first, <I>The Bourne Identity</I>. The two movies feature a rogue, on-the-run, amnesiac CIA hit man trying to discover who he really is, and in the process discovering "talents" that he didn't know he had.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 28, 2006 0 comments

Yes, I know. This film was received by critics as if it was the sequel to <I>Battlefield Earth</I> instead of the follow-up to the cult favorite, <I>Pitch Black</I>. Riddick, you may recall, was once a dangerous, sociopathic villain. Here, like a gravel-voiced Captain Kirk, he arrives just in time to save the universe from the Underverse.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 30, 2006 Published: May 31, 2006 0 comments

As noted in another blog, I've been having fun lately with unexpectedly good movies that fell through the critical and audience cracks during their theatrical releases. And <I> The Greatest Game Ever Played</I> certainly surprised me as much as any of them.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jun 17, 2006 0 comments

<I>Training Day</I> is about a bad cop. A very bad cop who has convinced himself that if he can do good in questionable ways and get a little action on the side for himself (not to mention for a few bad cop buddies), that’s the name of the game. When it comes to breaking in a rookie, however, he gets more than he bargained for.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 30, 2006 Published: May 31, 2006 0 comments

As submarine movies go, <I>U-571</I> is far from a classic. It includes scenes we've seen in countless other submarine films, and its history is warped (implying that the U.S. Navy and not the Royal Navy captured the Nazi Enigma machine and broke the German naval codes&mdash;though the end titles do correct the record).

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Tom Norton Posted: Jun 17, 2006 0 comments

Stephen Sommers, director of a fun ride in <I>The Mummy</I> and an unnecessary, overblown sequel in <I>The Mummy Returns</I>, brings us a whole bevy of uglies in <I>Van Helsing</I>. It's a monster mash, with Dracula getting together with his vampire brides, the Frankenstein monster, Mr. Hyde, wherewolves, and various other hangers on.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2008 0 comments

JVC also showed a prototype of its first Blu-ray player, the XV-BD. A tentative release date of September 2008 was announced, but we would not be surprised if certain recent events made it so much sooner. It will be a Profile 1.1 machine (as all models launched from now on must be).

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