Movie Reviews

Swimfan

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Connoiseurs of Bad Cinema will want to beat a path to this incredible high school knock-off of Fatal Attraction, a movie so awful that it’s little short of mesmerizing. It should be noted, though, that the trailer’s most notoriously funny line — “She’s not good enough for you, Ben!” — must have garnered too many […]

Sweet November

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It’s remake week at the movies with Sweet November and Down to Earth winning no awards in the originality sweepstakes. Sweet November is at least better than Down to Earth, but that’s mostly because it merely retreads a so-so flop (the 1968 Anthony Newley/Sandy Dennis film of the same name). Probably the worst thing that […]

Sweet Home Alabama

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First off, I need to establish my bonafides concerning my southern status: I was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, spent most of my life in a couple of small Florida towns, and came to Asheville about two years ago. With that in mind, I’m more than a little intrigued to see the South as it […]

Super Troopers

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The five-man comedy group known as Broken Lizard, who are responsible for Super Troopers, originally banded together as undergraduates at Colgate University — a fact that shakes one’s faith in higher learning. At the same time, Super Troopers (at least according to the publicity boys) was a surprise hit at the Sundance Film Festival — […]

Summer Catch

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Summer Catch is a movie that some mothers might be hoodwinked into wanting their teenagers to see. It’s cute (almost innocuous, actually), there’s no swearing or drugs or graphic sex, everybody has good hair, and, most importantly, the young people in the move actually want something more than fun. Mothers in the movie, however, are […]

Sugar & Spice

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Australian high schools don’t have cheerleaders — which partially explains why Sugar & Spice‘s first-time Aussie director failed to capture the essence of this American high school mainstay, no matter how many images of the Stars and Stripes she managed to incorporate in almost every scene. The real question is: Why did she choose such […]

Stuart Little 2

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Saying that Stuart Little 2 is the best movie opening this week is definitely in the damning with faint praise department. It’s simply that it’s not as pompous and overbearing as K-19, nor as wrong-headed as Eight Legged Freaks. But I’d hardly call it a genuinely good movie. It’s slick — maybe too slick — […]

Stealing Harvard

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The nicest thing that can be said about Stealing Harvard (which might have been called Freddy Gets Molested by a Dog) is that it’s not as obnoxious as Tom Green’s earlier cinematic foray, Freddie Got Fingered. That’s not only faint praise, it’s not entirely praise. While Stealing Harvard isn’t likely to challenge Freddy as “the […]

State And Main

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Has David Mamet — Pulitzer-prize winning, expletive-addict (and sometimes misogynist) playwright (Sexual Perversity in Chicago) of the ’70s — gone soft and gooey in his middle years? If State and Main — the latest gem from the prolific writer-director dynamo — is any indication, the answer is a resounding “yes!” And a charming, witty, downright […]

Star Trek: Nemesis

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Star Trek isn’t so much a series of movies or TV shows as it is a pop-culture phenomenon — and one that you either get, or you don’t. If you’re a fan of the series, chances are you’re going to be perfectly happy with this latest entry in the Trek-movie canon. If you’re not, you’re […]

Spy Kids

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The Saturday matinee audience I saw Spy Kids with at the Beaucatcher actually burst into applause when the film ended — and with complete justification. Writer-director Robert Rodriguez is one of the masters of ultra-stylish filmmaking, but his material has rarely been in the same league with his stylistic panache. Ironically, he seems to have […]

Spy Game

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It’s a pure pleasure of a popcorn movie that could very easily have opted to slide by on the strength of teaming sex-symbol movie stars of different eras: Redford and Pitt. Instead, the film goes the extra distance to be a first-rate vehicle for the duo. Looked at as anything much more than entertainment, it […]

Spirited Away

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When Spirited Away beat out Disney’s Lilo and Stitch for the Oscar as Best Animated Film of 2002, it no doubt came as a terrific shock to people who hadn’t been following all the awards that the limited-release Japanese import had already received. It certainly came as no surprise to the Disney folks, who promptly […]

Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron

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Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron gallops across the screen in a mesmerizing dreamscape of unforgettable wildness and beauty. It proves, as if any more proof were needed in this new Golden Age of animation, that animation is more than equal to live-action film in its ability to create cinematic magic. Ostensibly an epic tale of […]

Soul Survivors

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In a burst of typical studio wimpdom, Artisan pulled Steve Carpenter’s horror flick, Soul Survivors, back into the studio and recut the once R-rated movie so that it would be easier to book in our PG-13 world. The move may have pleased a few politicians. It may even have made the movie easier to book. […]

Sorority Boys

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I hated the first 10 to 15 minutes of this movie with the kind of passion I usually reserve for Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis retrospectives. It was stupid, gross, sexist and mean-spirited in the extreme. Then something happened to the film as soon as the boys got themselves all dragged up. The movie became more good-natured […]

Songcatcher

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Local interest runs high concerning writer-director Maggie Greenwald’s Songcatcher, owing to the fact that it was filmed around here (indeed, the Fine Arts Theatre is scheduling an extra “late” show throughout the week, rather than just Friday and Saturday, as is their usual practice). For that matter, parts of the film were made on the […]

Someone Like You

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After watching this harmless adaptation of Laura Zigman’s novel, Animal Husbandry, all I could think of was Rex Harrison in Preston Sturges’ Unfaithfully Yours describing a movie he’s just seen “which questioned the necessity of marriage for eight reels and then concluded it was essential in the ninth.” Someone Like You does much the same […]

Solomon And Gaenor

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In terms of both concept and execution, it is hard to fault writer-director Paul Morrisson’s debut film, Solomon and Gaenor. Nor can the film be accused of not being daring in a number of areas. That is both its great strength and its central problem, because — as brilliantly made as it is — Solomon […]