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2005's best movies

Our fast-Paised take on the Top 10 films of the year.
More Top 10 lists:
Michael Wilmington
Michael Phillips
Robert K. Elder
Allison Benedikt
fast-paised film

Quick reviews of:
• Big Momma's House 2
• When a Stranger Calls
• Something New
• Imagine Me and You
• The World's Fastest Indian
• The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
• Going Shopping
• Annapolis
• Nanny McPhee
• Bubble
• The New World
• Last Holiday
• Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
• The Real Dirt on Farmer John
• Hostel
• Glory Road
• Tristan and Isolde
• Cache
• Rumor Has It...
• Match Point
• The Matador
• Casanova
• Munich
• The Ringer
• Gilles' Wife
• Fun w/Dick and Jane
• Cheaper/Dozen 2
• King Kong
• Brokeback Mountain
• Memoirs of a Geisha
• The Producers
• Syriana
• Chronicles of Narnia
• 39 Pounds of Love
• Aeon Flux
• First Descent
• The Kid & I
• Rent
• The Ice Harvest
• Just Friends
• Harry Potter
• Walk the Line
• Bee Season
• Squid and the Whale
• The Weather Man
• Shopgirl
Plus interviews:
• Sanaa Lathan tries something new
• Albert Brooks looks for comedy
• Hear from the stars of "Glory Road"
• What scares "Hostel" director Eli Roth?
• Our interview with Cameron Crowe
• Celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch turns to acting
• Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman
more movies

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movie reviews
Movies in bold received 4 stars.
39 Pounds Love
A Good Woman
Ballets Russes
Bee Season
Be Here to Love Me
Breakfast on Pluto
Brokeback Mountain
Cafe Lumiere
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
Chicken Little
Christmas in the Clouds
Duane Hopwood
Ellie Parker
Emmanuel's Gift
End of the Spear
Far Side of the Moon
First Descent
Fun with Dick and Jane
Gay Sex in the '70s
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Gilles' Wife
Glory Road
God's Sandbox
Going Shopping
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Imagine Me and You
In Her Shoes
Innocent Voices
Just Friends
King Kong
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Kung Fu Hustle
Last Holiday
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
Match Point
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Nanny McPhee
Never Been Thawed
Nine Lives
North Country
Paradise Now
Pride & Prejudice
Protocols of Zion
Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe
Roving Mars
Rumor Has It...
Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic
Saw 2
Something New
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Dying Gaul
The Family Stone
The Ice Harvest
The Kid & I
The Legend of Zorro
The Matador
The New World
The Passenger
The Producers
The Real Dirt on Farmer John
The Ringer
The Squid and the Whale
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The War Within
The White Countess
The World's Fastest Indian
Tristan and Isolde
Walk the Line
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Where the Truth Lies
Wolf Creek
Yours, Mine and Ours


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Movie review: ‘Roving Mars'

rating (out of four)

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Two stars. While there are some excellent features such as the rocket stage animation, too much time is spent at JPL and not enough time on Mars. When one thinks the movie is just getting into the heart of the matter, it is over with leaving one unfulfilled
Submitted by: Tom Clouser
3:34 PM CST, January 30, 2006

Make a night of it
Recommended dining
Recommended bars

Sound doesn't travel in the void of space, but it can wake the dead in an IMAX theater. When director George Butler's documentary "Roving Mars" gets around to shooting a rover-topped rocket at the red planet, even the soundest sleepers could be startled awake. The sad thing is, even for NASA/space fans, a snooze isn't out of the question despite the film's scant 40-minute running time.

Don't get me wrong, "Mars" is beautiful. It blends animated and actual footage almost seamlessly, often raising doubts as to whether what's on screen is a real picture from a Mars rover or something created on computer chips bound to our little blue marble. Mars looks great. The spaceship launch is explosive (just when you think it's in cruise mode another rocket stage lights off … BANG!). And at times Mission Control looks a bit like a sit-in at Berkeley. (The buzzcut era is so over, dude.)

Most of the story is told by NASA scientists from the rover program, which sometimes makes it seem more like an episode of PBS' "NOVA" than a movie. In fact, that may be why the story seemed so familiar: last-minute parachute problems, an inflated-ball-bundled capsule bouncing around on the Mars surface and the geological background info for what NASA was hoping to find. If you follow the news, you probably know just about everything that shows up here.

There's a bad attempt to give the rovers character. Opportunity is characterized as "Little Miss Perfect" for landing practically atop geological evidence of liquid water, while sibling Spirit is the "Blue Collar Rover," which must travel about 161/2 miles (they were designed to travel just a few hundred yards) to do the same. And let's not forget a hokey attempt at a tearful finish. (Skip to the next paragraph if you want the ending to be a surprise.) There's talk of how Martian dust covering the solar panels means that one day the poor little rovers just won't wake up, as one of them gazes with its electronic eyes at a Martian sunset and dips its camera-filled head … sniff.

Tom Hanks' IMAX effort, "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D," created a "Fly Me to the Moon" exhiliration. "Roving Mars" left me with feet firmly on the ground.


`Roving Mars'

Directed by George Butler; written by Butler and Robert Andrus; cinematography by T.C. Christensen; edited by Nancy Baker; music by Philip Glass; produced by Frank Marshall and Butler. A Walt Disney Pictures release; opens Friday at the Navy Pier IMAX Theatre, 600 E. Grand Ave. Running time: 0:40. MPAA rating: G.

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