A woman and her daughter are forced to move into a really crummy dump and before you know it weird things start happening, most of them involving water.  Lots of water.  And more really rusty, crummy, dark and danky water.  There's water, water everywhere, and, presumably, even a ghost for no clear reason.  But you won't see that until just before the credits are ready to scroll.  Meanwhile, you get to watch mom (Jennifer Connelly) fritter away her days doing household chores, talking with her divorce lawyer (Tim Roth), and taking care of daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade) who goes to a really cool elementary school nearby.

Feel those chills down your spine?  Did I mention there's lots of water?

Being a creature of the VCR/DVD generation, I've never read an Elmore Leonard novel.  Not because I don't ever read anything, just because I don't tend to read things that get made into movies.  Generally I prefer to just wait for the movie itself and skip the 80,000 word lead-in, because once you translate into film it becomes its own entirely different experience.  So I can only imagine how disappointed Elmore Leonard readers are with Be Cool, especially since the author himself got an executive producer credit.

Ashley Judd is a newly promoted homocide detective who drinks each night until she blacks out, has sex with anonymous strangers, and then starts noticing her boy toys are turning up dead all over the city.  Toss in a backstory that includes a serial killer father and that she was raised by her dad's old cop partner (Samuel Jackson), and you've got Twisted, a story in the same general thriller vein of Gothica (2003) and Saw (2004) only without the thrilling suspense.  Here, let's go ahead and save you 96 minutes: the bad guy is Sam JacksonDead people saw this 7-8 minutes into the picture and you would too.  Save yourself the trouble.

You may have decided to watch Chris Kentis' Open Water because you just found out some terrible news and were looking for something majorly depressing in which to wallow.  Perhaps someone close to you died suddenly, and you're still reeling from the shock and pain.  It may be, perhaps, that you wanted to see what all the buzz was about, as the film was touted as the micro-budget blockbuster successor to 1999's The Blair Witch Project.  Well, in any case, if the prospect of 79 minutes of watching two people who are really, truly screwed appeals to you, then Open Water is just what the scuba instructor ordered, and then totally forgot about.

I had not seen Alexander (2004) until last night. The Oliver Stone epic had, simply, just not made it to my radar screen. I like Stone's films in general. JFK was great at shaking up The ManTM : anything that provokes that much vitriol from the right wing has gotta be good. Nixon was similarly an interesting character study into arguably the most criminal president in history, okay maybe second. The People vs. Larry Flynt (which Stone produced) was as irreverent a look at free speech as Natural Born Killers was at media hype and sensationalism. Then there's Alexander, starring the bizarrely cast Colin Farrell as the eponymous, vaguely homosexual Macedonian conqueror, who seems conflicted between being a nice guy and the pillaging marauder urged by his army.


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