Arts + Life

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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Movie Reviews
11:27 am
Fri May 23, 2003

L'Auberge Espagnole

Roomies in a Euro pudding.

The film is alive with change.

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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.

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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."

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Movie Reviews
3:39 pm
Wed April 9, 2003

Nowhere in Africa

Up close and personal in Africa.

"Nowhere" is definitely "somewhere."

"Nowhere in Africa" is not nearly as romantic as the film "Out of Africa" nor as cruel as J.M. Coetzee's novel "Disgrace." Let's just say it is not the melodramatic "The Gods Must Be Crazy" either. It is an absorbing drama of a Jewish family's flight from Germany in 1938 to Africa, where life exacts demands in the fields as well as the hearth, at a pace so finely tuned, it all seems terribly nice even at the worst of times.

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Movie Reviews
2:52 pm
Thu April 3, 2003

Confidence

Let me fix your tie.

Have confidence in these artists to make your day.

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Movie Reviews
10:54 am
Thu April 3, 2003

Bend It Like Beckham

Mother knows best!

It's all so corny, so true, and so beautiful.

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Movie Reviews
1:06 pm
Mon March 31, 2003

Max

"Max" tries vainly to help us understand how a human being with art on his mind could become an unparalleled butcher.

While Einstein was wowing the world with his immortal formula, Adolf Hitler in Menno Meyjes' "Max" creates his own:"Art + Politics = Power." Hubris begins here, in a fiction that tries to posit some foundation for Hitler's malignant genius in his artistic longings.

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Movie Reviews
12:20 pm
Mon March 31, 2003

Gerry

This is one of those films that make a patient man of me and drive my plot-driven friends back to "Ahnold."

"Desert Seinfeld," where it is really about nothing and nothing really happens. It's Gus Van Sant's "Gerry," not for Jerry Seinfeld, but for two young men, both named Gerry, who get lost while taking a hike on the "Wilderness Trail."

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Movie Reviews
10:39 am
Mon March 31, 2003

Phone Booth

You'll never pass a booth or open your cell again without thinking about this slight but engrossing thriller.

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Movie Reviews
11:03 am
Mon March 17, 2003

City of God

The character development of gang leaders is remarkable, given their number and complexity, and cinematographer Cesar Charlones' almost-MTV quick cuts give a vitality necessary to depict the murder and mayhem of the poor but strong.

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