News

Pages

Movie Reviews
1:23 pm
Tue July 8, 2003

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Jade

Look familiar?

Matey, we have the coolest pirate film of the summer!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Jade"


"Shiver me timbers!"

Read more
Movie Reviews
1:22 pm
Tue July 8, 2003

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

A league apart.

"League" is a mess.


When Moriarity, Sherlock Holmes's elusive enemy, shows up in director Stephen Norrington's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," I remember why I like that 19th century detective Holmes so much--he uses his brain. In this film, blow-em-up, not brains, is the operative idea, even if it is a rude but emerging munitions world in 1899.

Read more
Movie Reviews
11:30 am
Tue July 1, 2003

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

\"That's not what I meant at all!\"

"T3" outpaces the narrow genetics of "Hulk," the impersonality of "Xmen," and the inscrutable plot of "The Matrix."

Jonathan Mostow's ("U-571") "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" effectively predicts the near-decimation of the human race by machines through their invincible weapon, computer software.

Read more
Movie Reviews
9:06 am
Wed June 25, 2003

Capturing the Friedmans

They look happy!

Andrew Jarecki's "Capturing the Friedmans" is as real as hidden family dysfunction could be on film.

Read more
Movie Reviews
12:50 pm
Mon June 23, 2003

Whale Rider

Born to captain this ship.

It is a gold standard for audience choices at film festivals.

What is a most popular film at both Sundance and Toronto like? It will always be like 2002's "Whale Rider," a New Zealand tale of a 12-year-old Pai's struggle to become chief of her Maori people in the face of daunting sexism and tradition, largely upheld by her grandfather. It is a gold standard for audience choices at festivals.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:55 pm
Sat June 21, 2003

The Hulk

\"Nick, About that hair . . . .\"

This film should be green with envy of "Spiderman."

Don't even hope Ang Lee's adaptation of the Hulk comic book will be as remotely entertaining or humanistic as "Crouching Tiger." It is not. If my 15-year-old grandson, Cody, gives it a C+, and he goes into the film with the most positive attitude, then you know something is wrong.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:45 pm
Sat June 21, 2003

Raising Victor Vargas

\"The family that prays together, stays together.\"

All a filmmaker needs to do is done in "Raising Victor Vargas."


There is more humanity in Peter Sollett's "Raising Victor Vargas" than most Hollywood films this year. This small slice of Lower East Side Latino life concentrates on people by shooting primarily close-ups, right down to the oily pores of teenage skin.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:41 pm
Thu June 19, 2003

28 Days Later

I think they're angry!

The best horror/zombie film since George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead," and maybe better.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Fri June 13, 2003

Man on the Train (L'Homme du Train)

A French Connection

If you like character studies in essentially a two-handed narrative, you'll not get better than this.

"Man on the Train" was my favorite film at the 2002 Toronto film festival. It has characteristic French sensibility (friendship of 2 middle-aged men) and ironic world-weariness (a bank robbery is just a job)

Read more
Movie Reviews
12:28 pm
Tue June 10, 2003

Spellbound

This is a nerd to love . . .

This film redefines American sports energy.

Jeff Blitz's youthful and positive documentary, "Spellbound," shows eight contestants in the 1999 National Spelling Bee in and outside of competition. The remarkable characteristic of this film is that the young contenders are almost without care about being eliminated (from thousands down to one). Tears, yes, but bitterness and despair are almost absent.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:15 pm
Sun June 1, 2003

Matrix Reloaded

\"I like your sunnies.\"

I am happy the Wachowski brothers think enough of us to challenge our Philosophy 101 memories.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:23 pm
Thu May 29, 2003

The Italian Job

Mighty Minis

As a "re-interpretation" of the 1969 Michael Caine caper film, it stands up well with fast pace, fashion consciousness, and unique score.

Read more
Movie Reviews
12:39 pm
Sat May 24, 2003

The Dancer Upstairs

No, Mr. Malkovich, you can't have my part or my nose!

This is the best slow movie you will see all year.

Read more
Movie Reviews
11:27 am
Fri May 23, 2003

L'Auberge Espagnole

Roomies in a Euro pudding.

The film is alive with change.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:19 pm
Fri May 2, 2003

X2

"X2" is about as perfect a science fiction feast made from comic-book ingredients as I could have hoped for.

Read more
Movie Reviews
10:43 am
Tue April 29, 2003

Lost in La Mancha

Now where is that costume party?

No one who loves film should miss this inside story of a gifted director pursuing a losing cause.

J.K. Rowling said that Director Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits" was the inspiration for the Harry Potter series. Who is better to fail than such a visionary director? He already did with "Adventures of Baron Munchausen." But wait, he fails again with his incomplete "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote."

Read more
Movie Reviews
9:19 am
Fri April 18, 2003

Better Luck Tomorrow

Just don't think "A's" mean "All's well."

Justin Lin, director of "Better Luck Tomorrow," wanted to make a film that "resisted the standard stories and stereotypes prevalent in America." He succeeded because this bold Asian-dominated film is not just about Asian Americans but more about rich Orange County high school seniors who use their credentials of "A's" to scam financial and peer advantages while descending to amorality: "Our straight A's were passports to freedom."

Read more
Movie Reviews
1:54 pm
Thu April 17, 2003

Laurel Canyon

Meet my mother.

I just hope it is not too young in the year for everyone to remember this brilliant actress's Oscar-worthy performance.

Read more
Movie Reviews
1:11 pm
Thu April 17, 2003

Holes

Holistic friendship

What a handful of a movie!

What a handful of a movie! And I don't mean the dirt from the holes the juvenile delinquents dig as their irrational punishment "to build character" at Green Lake Camp detention center. Director Andrew Davis's ("The Fugitive") "Holes" is a pile of themes about loyalty, greed, interracial love, murder, revenge, suicide, and inheritance packed into an "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" desert Disney chaos for the young.

Read more
Movie Reviews
10:56 am
Fri April 11, 2003

The Good Thief

Let's do a heist!

Nolte as a good actor? He is very good.

In ?The Good Thief? Nick Nolte plays Bob Montagnet, a down-but-not-yet-out Bogie, a very bright thief, and a heroin addict. Natsa Kukshianidge's femme fatale, Anne, is a 17-year old Bacall. It's the south of France--Nice and Monaco-- and it's time to relieve Monte Carlo of some precious paintings.

Read more

Pages