The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

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In the Far East, Alex O’Connell, the son of famed mummy fighters Rick and Evy O’Connell, unearths the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin — a shape-shifting entity cursed by a witch centuries ago. (IMDb)
Looks better than the last one, but the little humour from before is now completely gone (“You guys are like mummy magnets!” *crickets*), the plot is a complete rehash (just substitute a terracotta army for the dog army, and add in some yetis), and the added father-son dramatic thread falls flat on its face just like it did in Die Hard 5 (newcomer Bello isn’t great either). Some good fight choreography and one badass “revenge for the oppressed” speech at the climax are the only positives here.
5/10 (Poor)

 

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

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Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son. (IMDb)
Eckhart’s Nick is a slippery spokesman for smoking that you can’t help but root for in spite of his “flexible morals”, thanks to his charismatic quick-talking. The film follows suit, presenting with wicked wit and entertaining editing (see the film pauses and brief inner narrations) its darkly humourous characters (see the outrageous Merchants of Death and Simmons’ abrasive B.R.) and fresh subject matter. Nick’s more serious father conundrum could have been taken a step further though.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Secret Window (2004)

A writer is accused for plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for “justice.” (IMDb)
A very odd thriller-turned-horror flick. The acting and screenplay are laughably bad at certain points but the creepy slasher ending (as predictable and easy as it is) seems, upon reflection, to justify those moments as intentionally weird (like a cheesy horror movie) and not unintentionally bad. The film starts off bland, underwhelming, and even painful to watch at times, but it builds into something delightfully odd and unnerving and so leaves a surprisingly good impression in the end.
6.5/10 (Alright)