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      Mark Bourne

      Mark Bourne

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      Seattle, WA

      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      General Della Rovere (1959) Although the film's second half tends to drift toward the stagy and sermonic, Bardone's transformation from a petty chameleon-charlatan to the moral hero and man of conscience is moving and potent, in no small way thanks to De Sica's carefully modulated p -
      Read More | Posted May 20, 2009
      Danton (1982) ...uncompromising and impassioned. [Depardieu's] throat-scraping, rage-against-the-machine speech in court -- "the Revolution is devouring its children!" -- makes Jimmy Stewart's in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington look like a monk's benediction. -
      Read More | Posted May 20, 2009
      The Odd Couple (1968) ...a durable classic, the sort of comedy that doesn't try to yank laughs by cramming its fist down our throats. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2009
      Frozen River (2008) Frozen River let me forget I was watching a movie, something that didn't happen often in 2008. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2009
      Funny Face (1957) ...can clunk like a tin can in the dryer. But hey, we're talking Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, so that's some mighty elegant slack we're willing to cut here. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) ...the final scene, a tender sequence that you can sop up with a sponge, but if you aren't moved by it you probably stick kittens with pins. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      Traffic (1971) the breezy vapor that amounts to the movie's plot, it's not the destination that counts, but the leisurely, amiably aimless travel you take getting there. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      The Fall (2006) ...a movie that not only expected me to pay attention, it assumed that I could. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      Sex and the City (2008) ...'Yes,' she said. 'It's Star Trek for women.'... -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      Snow Angels (2007) So when the film's moment of horror arrives, it's not with suspense but instead the sort of dully anticipatory inevitability that drains as much energy from the story as from the audience. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      Kabluey (2007) ...a low-key comedy perfectly tuned for our times. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2009
      The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989) ...probably the purest expression of Gilliam's Rococo imagination... -
      Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2008
      My Kid Could Paint That (2007) New York Times senior art critic Michael Kimmelman offers sharp insights when he mentions how Marla's painting reflects not just 'innocence' and what our psyches project into them, but also 'the cynicism of the art world.' -
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2008
      Lillie (1979) Annis inhabits Lillie with subtlety and in three dimensions, giving us plenty of room to admire the classy crumpet's self-possession and stick-to-it-iveness in a society that valued conformity and propriety above all else. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 04, 2008
      City Lights (1931) That final scene. Last week, CNN asked -- in "The Screening Room's Top 10 Romantic Moments" -- whether this was the most touching film moment of all time. Could be. Either way, if it doesn't move you, you're beyond human reach. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 04, 2008
      Singin' in the Rain (1952) ...this one's the Taj Mahal, Armstrong's footprint on the moon, the 2001 Arizona-New York World Series, the Clash's London Calling, and the perfect foamy head on an expertly poured Guinness. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 04, 2008
      Shortbus (2006) Shortbus is not, above all, 'dirty.' What it is, in fact, is a nice movie, one of the nicest to come down the pike since March of the Penguins. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 04, 2008
      The Philadelphia Story (1940) Every time Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart connect in a scene, we hear the happy ding! of quality champagne crystal. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 04, 2008
      Death at a Funeral (2007) It's no classic, but it did prompt me to watch those great old Ealing Alec Guinness comedies again. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 04, 2008
      Beatles - Ed Sullivan Presents the Beatles: 4 Complete Shows (1964) Beatles aficionados should leap on these raw performances -- shot live with no studio post-production gloss, only the boys in their rare natural state -- as primary documents from the pre-Revolver, pre-Sgt. Pepper years.... -
      Read More | Posted Feb 09, 2008
      Best in Show (2000)'s always a pleasure to watch this ensemble of gifted talents do what they do best -- be spontaneous and funny and surprising. What we get is a master-class demonstration of the distinction between comic actors and comedians who try to act. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 08, 2008
      2 Days in Paris (2007) impressive, funny urban comedy of manners from a suitably distinctive voice that I hope we'll hear again soon. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 05, 2008
      Petulia (1968) anti-The Graduate ... an essential film from and about America in the dying days of the '60s, yet the modernism of its style and ambitions makes Petulia impressively ahead of that time. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2008
      The President's Analyst (1967) If Philip K. Dick had worked for Mad magazine, he might have come up with The President's Analyst. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2008
      Saving Sarah Cain (2007) ...will probably find a welcome reception among the nominal "family values" audience, but they deserve "nice" and "decent" movies that offer more engaging and challenging fare than this... -
      Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
      Family Guy - Blue Harvest (2008) The duplicated scenes from A New Hope are so shot-for-shot faithful that the whole project feels boxed in by its reverence rather than freed up to cut loose with the fearless bravado that we tune into Family Guy for. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
      Good Luck Chuck (2007) What isn't forgivable, though, is being boring, and Good Luck Chuck has all the engaging magnetism of an unflushed toilet. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
      The Ten (2007) ...brings to mind the fondly remembered Kentucky Fried Movie/Amazon Women on the Moon anthos from the '70s and '80s. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
      Death Sentence (2007) Bacon, as usual, is very good even when he's slumming, and as a trashy B-movie redo of Death Wish the movie works well enough for a Saturday afternoon with a case of brewskies. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 08, 2008
      Joshua (2007) ...a bewildering extension rather than a retread of this played-out subgenre. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 08, 2008
      Zodiac (2007) Fincher, more subdued ... and aching for a return to smart suspense films from the likes of Sidney Lumet and Alan J. Pakula, pulls us by the collar into the frame and cranks the sense of menace taut without cheap tricks or cop-out gimmicks. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 08, 2008
      3:10 to Yuma (2007) Mangold's film is more than sufficiently subtexty and cynical for our modern sensibilities while simultaneously embracing Mangold's obvious pleasure in the Westerns' time-honored swinging saloon doors and stern masculine traditions. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 08, 2008
      Shoot 'Em Up (2007) affectionate, often very funny Simpsons parody of its whole eponymous genre. It's a live-action McBane as co-directed by Quentin Tarantino and Chuck Jones.... Shoot 'Em Up is Hot Fuzz gone to the Dark Side. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 02, 2008
      The Lion in Winter (1968) Director Anthony Harvey opened up Goldman's play into authentic spaces far from any proscenium, and remained faithful to an energetic drama propelled by its performances and dialogue. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2007
      Once (2006) Once doesn't plop its emotions on its characters' sleeves, and it trusts us enough to leave some of the best stuff unstated. In other words, it trusts us to know that half the music lies between the notes. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2007
      Stardust (2007) Like the star that falls to Earth near the beginning of the movie, Stardust is glittery and pretty and possesses its own pleasing-enough personality, but it won't set the world on fire. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2007
      The Last Legion (2007) There are, after all, aimed at young audiences plenty of movies more mean-spirited, indiscriminate and obnoxious than The Last Legion. But at the same time there are plenty that are, alas, less frustrating. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2007
      Junebug (2005) of many reasons to love Junebug is how often it offers us spaces to fill in ourselves, the faith it shows in handing us small puzzles -- Eugene's hand-carved bird, for instance -- to chuckle over or think on afterward. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2007
      Waitress (2007) Waitress is not a perfectly cut, factory-line Safeway-brand slice. It does, though, serve up a generous deep-dish portion, homemade and heartfelt, that leaves a sweet taste goes down. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2007
      Colma: The Musical (2006) It's not a great film, but we sure enjoyed it more than many bigger films that try harder to convince us they're great. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2007
      Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party (2005) Think of Stephen as a softer, rounder, more existentially content Spalding Gray, or the film as a My Dinner with Andre in a pullover sweater and sensible shoes. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2007
      Help! (1965) For casual viewers, the whole thing has a retro charm. For Beatles fans, it's a flawed but essential film. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2007
      Outsourced (2006) ...even if we aren't pumping our fists in the air, we're rooting for the characters with an agreeable 'namaste' vibe that feels earned rather than forced upon us. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2007
      The Wasp Woman (1960) It's poorly written, cheesily acted, low-budget, and completely camp, but because it's Corman it's a touch ahead of its ilk thanks to some clever lines and flavorful directing. Utterly ridiculous but lovable. -
      Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2007
      The Giant Gila Monster (1959) Camp value is provided by a truckload of 1950s B-movie cliches and dreadful song breaks -- "The Gila Monster Crawl" among other "rock & roll hits" -- by its lead, Don Sullivan, who through this movie rose from nothing to complete obscurity. -
      Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2007
      Alfie (1966) What makes it work is charismatic Caine and the witty, intelligent script. Both work together to keep this remorseless bastard who uses and hurts women from being completely unlikable or unsympathetic. -
      Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2007
      Fantastic Voyage (1966) ...our own human interior was revealed, like a Jacques Cousteau travelogue, in screen-filling vistas of surreal canals and chambers filled with floating psychedelia and the amorphous Jell-O colors of a Jimi Hendrix concert. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 03, 2007
      The Third Man (1949) It's a suspense-thriller-romance steeped in Hollywood's best influences and 'gimmicks,' yet it's crafted with enough looming European 'art-house' style to topple Fritz Lang into an existential funk. -
      Read More | Posted May 29, 2007
      Bedazzled (1967) ...the duo's best film, Bedazzled brought the spirit of Swinging London plus impudent pokes at religion, politics, and pop culture itself to their new audiences. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 08, 2007
      Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951) ...holds its own against Russell Crowe's CGI expeditions from topsail to yardarm, and this one has more plot. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 05, 2007
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