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The Skulls

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I loved the first season of Dawson's Creek when Pacey was heady but still adorable. In this film, Joshua Jackson proves he can be a leading man, and not even a little bit adorable.

As Luke McNamara, a rough edged kid who has escaped the orphanage and poverty to find himself at an Ivy League school, Jackson is sexy, cool, and still a little edgy with that signature voice to go along with a toned physique. Luke distinguishes himself as a expert rower. He leads the team to title after title, and the secret societies have taken notice. Luke's best friend, Will, is not typical Ivy League material either. The two are roommates, and the closest of comrades until the Skulls recruit Luke. He believes that "if it's secret and elite, it can't be good". He's right. Chloe, friend of Luke and Will, is very pretty and very wealthy, almost ridiculously wealthy (we learn that her parents own their own jet). She cautions Luke about joining due to rumors of a disappearance of a past member. But the Skulls will pay for grad school, and Luke can't pass that up.

After joining, he becomes soul mates with Caleb Mandrake, played by Paul Walker. Each is responsible for the others actions for the rest of their lives. Caleb has everything: "all-American" good looks, money, and more women than he can remember. What he's lacking is the respect and love of his father. After a mistake made by Mandrake, and a cover-up by his father and the University's Provost, Luke must uncover the truth, and be strong enough to turn his back on the good life.

This film has a great soundtrack, though the songs on the soundtrack vary a little from those in the movie, great acting, and unexpected twists. After watching this film it is no wonder that the government is so good at cover-ups, our future leaders are taught by the best. I found this movie refreshing. Finally a teen-ish film that isn't about high school cliques and bad hair. It's about college cliques and good hair! Seriously, this is great drama with bite. A

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Sliding Doors

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When Helen woke up this morning, she was clearly not on top of her game. She's running late, spills tea on her book, and still must stop off for breakfast and the vodka she borrowed for her birthday party. When she arrives at work she begins her routine of apologizing for her tardiness, only something's wrong. She's accused of stealing the vodka when she has brought back, and she's "sacked" (fired in Brit speak). Starting her return journey home, she gets to the tube station just in time to miss the train. But what if she doesn't miss the train? The movie then rewinds and in the second scenario, the second Helen makes the train. For the rest of the movie, we follow the lives of both Helen's through relationships, job searches, and new hair styles.

While it sounds trivial, this film is the reason why I started to appreciate Gwyneth Paltrow as an actress. She plays both Helen's with a rather perfect British demeanor and accent. It's a funny British comedy with romance and novelty. I know I've often wondered what the outcome would have been had I done something else, and it is very entertaining to see the two lives played out. The acting is outstanding. John Hannah and Jeanne Tripplehorn are highlights. A must-see. A

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