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"Cloud Ten moves beyond end-times fare, and The Count of Monte Cristo brings swashbuckling into a new millennium"

The Count of Monte Cristo (Touchstone), according to promotional materials, strives to be "the first major swashbuckling movie of the new millennium." The film, based on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, tells the story of Edmond Dantés (Jim Caviezel), who is framed as a traitor by his duplicitous friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce). Dantés spends 13 torturous years on the island prison of Chateau d'If, learns life lessons from an imprisoned priest, Abbe Faria (Richard Harris), then designs an elaborate scheme to seek revenge on Mondego and others who betrayed him. In his cell, Dantés finds a wall carving that says GOD WILL GIVE ME JUSTICE, and he deepens the carving in his years of imprisonment. Faria, the most engaging character in the film, pleads with DantÉs not to seek revenge, but to no avail. After more than two hours of new-millennium swashbuckling, the film's resolution is so abrupt that it seems like a non sequitur. The cinematography is rich, the acting is competent all around, but a nagging question remains: Why now?

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The Miracle of the Cards and Waterproof are the two latest films from Cloud Ten, which until now has concentrated more on end-times pictures (Apocalypse, Left Behind, Revelation). Both films are refreshing departures from the exploding cars and other pyrotechnics of the apocalyptic genre.

The Miracle of the Cards is based on the true story of Craig Shergold (Thomas Sangster), a boy who seems doomed to an early death by a brain tumor. Young Craig expresses his wish to win a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by receiving the greatest number of get-well cards. His wish will be familiar to the millions of people who have received dated e-mails suggesting that his challenge remains urgent. ...

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Posted:
June
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