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Friday September 16, 2005 8:25 am

The Final Cut: A Closer Look At Just Like Heaven, Lord Of War

Posted by Devin Categories: Features, Movies

This week, The Final Cut takes a closer look at Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon, and Lord of War with Nicolas Cage.  Also out this weekend in nationwide release are Cry Wolf, a film about two kids who create a story about a serial killer which turns real;  and Venom, another movie starring teenagers, this time being chased through Louisiana by a man possessed with 13 evil spirits.  In limited release, look for The Thing About My Folks, HellBent, G, Everything Is Illuminated and Thumbsucker.  As always, if you’ve seen any of this weekends’ releases, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.  More after the jump…


Just Like Heaven

Starring:  Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Jon Heder, Donal Logue

Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) is a hardworking and dedicated medical resident who, after 20 hours on duty, is heading home when she falls asleep at the wheel of her car and is involved in a fatal auto accident. Several weeks later, a man named David (Mark Ruffalo) takes over the lease on Elizabeth’s apartment, but he discovers that she hasn’t quite vacated the building. Elizabeth’s body may be dead, but her spirit is still quite lively, and her ghost is insisting that the apartment is still hers…and that she wants him to move out. David brings in Darryl (Jon Heder), an eccentric man who claims to have psychic powers, to help sweep Elizabeth’s spirit out of the apartment, but she refuses to budge, certain that she can’t be completely dead, despite all evidence to the contrary. As Elizabeth and David try to share the flat, they discover that their differences aren’t as great as they once imagined, and they become attracted to one another. But will Elizabeth’s spirit stay in the land of the living long enough for their romance to go somewhere?

This movie sounds cheesy to me.  I mean, come on now, a man falls in love with a ghost?  I would think that a film like this would end up being a waste of time and money, but after perusing a few reviews, the movie might be quite the opposite.  While there are a few far-fetched pieces in the movie (like the aforementioned), it is smart and cute and plays out well on the screen.  While this isn’t the type of movie you’d want to go see with all your guy friends, it’s a great film to see with your girlfriend, and will even be a great first date film to see with that girl you’ve had your eye on.  In general, if you don’t like romantic comedies, you won’t like this film because, well, it is a romantic comedy.  But if you’re in the mood for a sweet, light-hearted comedy, check this movie out.

Lord Of War

Starring:  Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ian Holm

Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) is an opportunistic businessman who stumbled into a gold mine after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Huge caches of Soviet weapons became available at bargain prices (and even for free if one wasn’t above stealing), and as literally billions of dollars’ worth of Soviet military technology disappeared, it began finding its way into the hands of weapons dealers eager to sell it to the highest bidder. Orlov was one such dealer who found plenty of buyers for guns and military gear in unstable Third World nations, who paid cash and didn’t appreciate too many questions. Orlov’s exploits in the arms business quickly made him a very rich man, but they’ve also led to some unwanted attention from Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke), an Interpol agent who is convinced Orlov isn’t playing by the rules.

This movie, directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca), is a quite intelligent film, combining good writing and acting to tell the story of a Soviet arms dealer.  It most likely won’t be as funny as it appears to be in its previews, but it does have it’s humorous moments.  This bleak comedy is fast paced, and will probably leave you thinking, both during and after the film.  It might just have worked better as a documentary, but instead we have a full length feature that is full of entertainment.  The film has gotten mixed reviews, so view at your own risk, but I think i’ll be checking this one out.  If you’ve seen the previews for this film and weren’t interested, stay home, but if you enjoyed the previews and thought it might be something you’d enjoy, give it a shot. 

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