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Remember Me, Green Zone 

REMEMBER ME

*

I'm not saying it's impossible for the surprise ending of Remember Me to work (not to worry; no spoilers here); however, it needs to be attached to a project a lot more distinguished than the one on display here. But because the bulk of Remember Me is clumsy, mawkish and marked by some truly heinous dialogue, the conclusion proves to be staggering in its tastelessness, and one gets the impression that scripter Will Fetters came up with this "gotcha!" moment first and then banged out enough drivel leading up to it in order to have a completed screenplay to shop around. Twilight's Robert Pattinson maintains his gloomy 'tude here as well: He's cast as Tyler Hawkins, who loves his precocious little sister (bright Ruby Jerins), runs afoul of his distant dad (Pierce Brosnan), and still misses the older brother who committed suicide six years earlier. Through labored screenwriting, Tyler meets and falls for Ally Craig (Emilie de Ravin), who's also been touched by a death in her immediate family. Most of Remember Me is banal and insipid, conditions brought on as much by director Allen Coulter's inability to stage a scene as by Fetters' cringe-worthy lines. Pattinson and de Ravin are earnest but never quite connect as screen lovers, while Tate Ellington's character of Aidan Hall, Tyler's roomie and best bud, is the most obnoxious sidekick/comic relief seen in many a new moon: The character's description of his penchant for bedding women of all nationalities -- "I've planted my flag in every country!" -- is particularly gag-inducing. Nothing, however, is more retch-worthy than that ill-conceived climax, which will strike the easily manipulated as deep but will cause most discerning viewers to recognize it for a cheap trick that should come with some sort of trigger warning before it unfolds.

GREEN ZONE

**

The popular notion that goldfish only have a memory span of roughly three seconds has long been denounced by many as a myth, but that length of time sounds about right for the significant portion of the American population that hides under the bed fretting over fictional "death panels." To these folks, I present Green Zone, which comes across like a Young Readers version of the superb Iraq War documentary No End In Sight. Unfortunately, these folks are unlikely to expose themselves to anything that doesn't get the Glenn Beck Seal of Approval, meaning that we're left with yet another product that will only preach to the choir. But there's nothing here that will surprise anyone who's been paying the least bit of attention. Set in 2003, this stars Matt Damon as conscientious Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who eventually realizes that there are no WMDs in Iraq -- that the whole war is based on a lie -- and does his best to expose the truth. Damon's intensity and Brian Helgeland's incident-packed script compensate for Paul Greengrass' panicky direction -- the action-packed final half-hour is especially messy, with no clarity of character or situation -- but the whole enterprise is rather simplistic in its moralizing. Green Zone basically plays like Iraq War for Dummies.

 

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