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Movie Reviews
9:13 am
Mon October 28, 2002

Bowling for Columbine

The film is filled with regular people making Asses of themselves about guns.

Michael Moore ("Roger & Me") knows no shame. In this funny, flawed, and ultimately important documentary about guns in America, "Bowling for Columbine," Moore's greatest moment is when he corrals poor Charlton Heston, president of the NRA, into an interview.

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Movie Reviews
11:46 am
Thu October 10, 2002

White Oleander

Pfeiffer does her best work here...

"White Oleander," adapted from Janet Fitch's best-selling novel, is hard and edgy about the bond between single mother and daughter, letting us see the reality of a strong artistic mother (Michelle Pfeiffer) tyrannizing her gifted daughter (Alison Lohman). After murdering her lover, mom goes to prison and daughter goes on an odyssey of self discovery in foster families, reminiscent of Burt Lancaster's episodic journey in John Cheever's "The Swimmer."

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Movie Reviews
10:06 am
Thu October 10, 2002

Knockaround Guys

The story is slow, the dialogue trite, and nothing new has been added to the themes of father/son relationships and Mafia honor.

"Derivative without wit" is what I would call "Knockaround Guys." Blood, yes. Redemption--yes. Caring about anyone in this movie-No.

Four mobster sons descend on a small Montana town to locate a bag of cash meant for one of their fathers. Problem is, corrupt sheriff (Tom Noonan of "Manhunter's" Tooth-Fairy fame) plans to keep the $500K for himself and his deputy.

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Movie Reviews
11:48 am
Mon October 7, 2002

Red Dragon

This "Red Dragon" is a second-rate "Silence" imitation and a poor remake of "Manhunter."

Director Brett Ratner's remake of Michael Mann's "Manhunter" is a vain attempt to capture the wide-eyed horror of the original and marry it to the genius of Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs." Because there is no better serial-killer story than "Lambs" in cinema history, Ratner's version is a lamb sacrificed silently on the altar squarely dominated by Demme and Anthony Hopkins.

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Movie Reviews
4:00 pm
Thu October 3, 2002

Notorious C.H.O.

...I witnessed one of the great comic satirists of our time.

Margaret Cho is a standup comedienne of surpassing talent, an American born to Korean parents. Her first theater release, "I'm the One That I want," treaded relatively softly on her bisexuality and established the imitation of her mother as a signature bit.

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Movie Reviews
1:35 pm
Thu October 3, 2002

Sex and Lucia

"Some Cupids kill with arrows, some with traps, " the poet once said.

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Movie Reviews
9:53 am
Thu October 3, 2002

"11'09'01"

The compilation of the eleven films, then screened, covered the full range of human emotions.

It was a somber evening in Toronto, the air heavy and moist with heat. The voices of those waiting outside Roy Thomson Hall were muted and subdued. The usual buzz of excitement anticipating the arrival of the limos full of world famous directors and stars was conspicuously absent.

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Movie Reviews
4:16 pm
Mon September 23, 2002

"The Last Kiss" ("L'Ultimo Bacio")

Gabriele Muccinio's "The Last Kiss" is a rapidly paced bedroom romp...

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Movie Reviews
2:54 pm
Mon September 23, 2002

Sweet Home Alabama

...when people follow their hearts, much as their heads resist, everything will turn out happily.

Reese Witherspoon does a Meg-Ryan imitation in this typically-American romantic comedy about a successful NY fashion designer who must choose between a glamorous marriage to a handsome patrician or staying married to a charming redneck back home in sweet Alabama.

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Movie Reviews
2:28 pm
Mon September 23, 2002

The Kid Stays in the Picture

See this documentary to find out what the title means...you may never be sure you are getting the true story.

We can talk about Hollywood endlessly from our experience with its movies and the endless gossip in our media. Some of us even have family members in the business, but we haven't completed our education until we've seen the documentary of mogul Robert Evans's life, "The Kid Stays in the Picture."

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Movie Reviews
12:54 pm
Mon September 23, 2002

The Four Feathers

"The Four Feathers" is old-fashioned moviemaking at its best.

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Movie Reviews
12:30 pm
Mon September 23, 2002

Rules of Attraction

"Rules of Attraction" proves romance just isn't what it used to be.

Roger Avery's "Rules of Attraction" has taken Brett Easton Ellis's social satire and not only depicted a degenerated privileged class at a fictional New England college in the '80's, but he has also ironically idealized the students' search for love and identity.

Sex and drugs are rampant while class attendance is rare. The parties are called pre-Saturday night, dressed-to-get-screwed, or the end of the world.

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Movie Reviews
11:02 am
Mon September 23, 2002

Sunshine State

The film's ending will delight social anthropologists, and parents lose their grip on tradition,...

Ever the social realist and humanist, John Sayles ("Lone Star," "Matewan," for example) in "Sunshine State" has his most-balanced treatment today on the impact of time, history, and environment on the evolution of human habitation.

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Movie Reviews
12:09 pm
Tue August 27, 2002

The Fast Runner

...it's not quite Shakespeare but close.

How many times have you heard this philosophy in film: "All I have is memory"? "The Fast Runner" is just such a memory film of the Iglooik people telling a 1000 year-old story of feuding brothers, unfaithful wives, and patricide most foul. The beginning voiceover says, "I can only say this story to someone who understands it."

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Movie Reviews
4:05 pm
Wed August 21, 2002

Serving Sara

Not even her much-watched body and his Chandler-Bing attitude can save this piece of Hollywood junk...

When is a movie worse than last year's David-Duchovny "Evolution"? When it's "Serving Sara," starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley.

Not even her much-watched body and his Chandler-Bing attitude can save this piece of Hollywood junk probably no one but Paramount would take.

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Movie Reviews
1:32 pm
Wed August 21, 2002

Blue Crush

Yes, a surfing movie with some weight easily glides over the lame "Ya Ya."

Could teen flick "Blue Crush" actually crush "Divine Secrets of the YA YA Sisterhood" by saying more about the need of young women to strike out on their own? Yes, a surfing movie with some weight easily glides over the lame "Ya Ya."

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11:36 am
Wed August 21, 2002

The Ghost of Halloween's Past

At the crossroad of new traditions and old superstitions, here's a look at the history of Halloween.

Eye of newt, and toe of frog

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog

Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting

Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing

For a charm of powerful trouble

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

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Movie Reviews
1:38 pm
Tue August 20, 2002

Simone

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

Responding to my recent web review of "The Emperor's New Clothes," in which I praised the cinematographer's shot of a sunrise, a crew member gently wrote to me he and some other special effects people had worked a few weeks to create that shot. I felt like Michael Bay, director of "Pearl Harbor," who allegedly couldn't tell the difference between his original footage and the digital ones.

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Movie Reviews
1:05 pm
Tue August 20, 2002

The Good Girl

"The Good Girl" and Anniston do a remarkable job of depicting the lost life,...

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Movie Reviews
3:59 pm
Sat August 10, 2002

Blood Work

There's a moment when I hoped for a memorable line, but it left without a trace.

In "Blood Work," Clint Eastwood's retired FBI profiler has a new heart from a woman whose murderer he is determined to find. While it is painful to watch an aging Eastwood worry about his heart throughout the film, it is comforting to know his symbolic heart is in great shape as he wins the love of a woman almost half his age.

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