Movie Reviews

The Warrior’s Way

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The Story: A swordsman must flee to the Wild West from his former clan in the far East when he refuses to kill an infant, who just so happens to be the last of his clan's sworn enemies. The Lowdown: An incredibly stylized, fanciful take on the action film that's pure moviemaking.

Pelada

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The Story: Two college grads travel the world looking for pickup soccer games. The Lowdown: A nice little documentary, whose appeal is probably more dependent on your feelings towards the game of soccer and the documentary form than anything else.

Monsters

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The Story: Two Americans make their way through the "infected zone" -- infected with aliens -- of northern Mexico to get back to the U.S. The Lowdown: An interesting mixed bag of pretty good science fiction and an intriguing subtext that is dragged down by two unlikable leads and dull dialogue.

What’s Up, Doc?

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The Asheville Film Society will screen What's Up, Doc? Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville. Hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther. Hanke is the artistic director of the Asheville Film Society.

127 Hours

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The Story: A fact-based story about Aron Ralston, who chose to cut off his arm rather than die when he was trapped by a boulder in the walls of a narrow canyon. The Lowdown: A harrowing, brutal, yet ultimately life-affirming film from Danny Boyle. It's virtually a two-man show -- director and star James Franco -- and one of the movies of the year.

Love and Other Drugs

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The Story: A shallow young man and a relationship-shy young woman find themselves in love despite their best efforts not to be. The Lowdown: Uneven, contrived and brimming over with its own importance, the supposedly satirical romantic comedy offered by Love and Other Drugs is mostly glossy soap.

Cool It

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The Story: A documentary examining alternatives to the popularly held solutions to global warming. The Lowdown: A worthy -- though one-sided -- voice in the global-warming debate. Your enjoyment of the film will depend on how much the topic interests you to begin with.

Faster

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The Story: An ex-con sets out for revenge against the people responsible for murdering his brother. The Lowdown: A humorless take on exploitation revivalism (à la Tarantino or Rodriguez) that's simply not fun -- or consistently stylish -- enough to work.

Burlesque

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The Story: Girl from Iowa makes her way to the big city to seek fame and fortune in show business. The Lowdown: Burlesque hasn't a single original idea in its cheesy head, and manages to load on the clichés with a shovel. Somehow it just misses being so bad it's good, and only attains the level of modestly awful.

One Hour With You

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The Asheville Film Society will screen One Hour With You Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville. Hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther. Hanke is the artistic director of the Asheville Film Society.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

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The Story: With Dumbledore dead and Hogwarts no longer a haven, Harry Potter and his friends find themselves on the run from Lord Voldemort while preparing for the final confrontation with him. The Lowdown: A darker, more horrific Harry Potter movie that may not work entirely on its own -- but it is, after all, only part one of two. Still, the film continues and expands upon the creativity and quality of the series.