"Changing Lanes" 4 Stars When a man loses his children in court, it can easily be said that he's having a bad day. Likewise, a lawyer who loses vital evidence on the way to court also can be labeled as having a bad day. But what do you get when each of the above men are responsible for the other's woes? You get "Changing Lanes," a twisted tale of revenge, full of one-upmanship, conspiracy and the lowest of low blows.
The fifth Hi Mom! Film Festival began with a filmmaking lesson under the measured experience of a cinematic genius. The festival, which ended Saturday after showing 40 short films by 38 different filmmakers, featured filmmaker Albert Maysles as a keynote speaker. For the past 47 years, Maysles has shown viewers the stories of celebrities and ordinary people alike. He spoke on the art of documentary filmmaking following the showing of several short films.
"We Were Soldiers"
Students and faculty will get a rare inside look at the Arab world today, courtesy of a unique presentation by UNC Professor Gorham Kindem. Kindem, a communication studies professor at UNC, has put together a video presentation about al-Jazeera, a little-known Arab television network, and its view of the terrorist attacks, women in the Arab world and the ongoing war in Afghanistan. "Al-Jazeera, An Arab Voice for Freedom or Demagoguery? The UNC Tour," will show at 2 p.m. today in the Carolina Union film auditorium. Al-Jazeera came under intense global scrutiny after Sept. 11.
"The Count of Monte Cristo" Three Stars Is it possible for a film to have too many sword fights? Apparently the answer is no. Not if it's based on an Alexandre Dumas book. Director Kevin Reynolds has taken Dumas' epic tale of revenge and transformed it into a compelling mix of big-screen action and dark psychological twists. And he very nearly pulls it off. In true swashbuckling form, "The Count of Monte Cristo" opens with riveting, well-choreographed swordplay. And the blades aren't sheathed until the finale.
Robert Cray Band Cat's Cradle Sunday, Jan. 13 4 Stars Robert Cray didn't simply walk onto the stage Sunday night -- he sauntered. In front of a packed house, Cray and his band proceeded to wow the audience with dazzling guitar and organ work coupled with a vivacious presence. Cray is a five-time Grammy winner with one double platinum album, two gold albums and guitar that has been a driving force in the R&B world since the '80s. At Cat's Cradle he offered up a mixed bag of rich, soulful blues and driving funk from the small, intimate stage.
The ear-shattering, jaw-dropping power of IMAX is coming to Raleigh. After three years of planning, Raleigh's Exploris museum, located at 201 E. Hargett St., is opening its new IMAX theater Friday. The Exploris facility is the state's second such theater and adds to the more than 225 in the world.