Movie Reviews

Exit Wounds

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It’s big. It’s loud. It’s dumb. People are shot, bludgeoned, blown-up, hurled through space, impaled and generally subjected to indignities that are inimical to good fellowship. Good guys and bad guys alike boast weapons that only need reloading after about 500 shots. Characters are harder to kill than a New York City cockroach — until […]

Evolution

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After the disappointing box-office of Six Days Seven Nights, the so-called (by publicity departments, anyway) “King of Comedy,” Ivan Reitman, returns to the sort of thing he does best with the utterly formulaic Evolution. If Reitman’s film feels a little too by-the-numbers, that’s probably because he’s made the thing at least twice before — Ghostbusters, […]

Enough

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One of the taglines for Enough is, “Everyone has their limit,” and Enough sure as hell tested mine. This absolute fiasco is a shoo-in for a top slot on my 10 Worst of 2002 list — and that’s no mean feat, considering what the first five months of 2002 have brought us. It’s a lot […]

Enigma

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I’m not sure that Michael Apted’s Enigma — the first film from Mick Jagger’s Jagged Productions — quite exonerates him for Enough (which was actually made later), but it at least proves he hasn’t forgotten how to make a movie with wit, intelligence and solid craftsmanship. With a strong screenplay by Tom Stoppard, a first-rate […]

Enemy At The Gates

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Enemy at the Gates is that rarest of things — an intelligent epic. This isn’t to say that Jean-Jacques Annaud’s film concerning the battle of Stalingrad in World War II is a masterpiece, but it is at once thoughtful, involving and sweeping, which is an unusual combination. Not so surprisingly — even at this point […]

Empire

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When a movie has a trailer containing a line that invariably draws chuckles — if not outright laughter — from audiences, it’s generally considered a good idea to remove the offending line before the film’s release (think: “She’s not good enough for you, Ben!” in Swimfan). Well, Universal didn’t bother removing John Leguizamo’s crowd-pleaser, “I’m […]

Eight Legged Freaks

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Eight Legged Freaks (yes, the filmmakers left out the hyphen) is sometimes enjoyable, sometimes clever, sometimes effective, but ultimately not really successful. It either tries too hard, or it doesn’t try hard enough. The major problem is that it’s a movie that tries to be an affectionate parody of a type of film from half […]

E.T.

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Two decades after it first did so, can the story of a lonely boy and a bug-eyed extraterrestrial still melt the hearts of kids and grown-ups everywhere? Yes, it sure can. Nothing that was wrong with the original E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial has been improved with its 20th-anniversary reissue. The gaps in logic are still as […]

Dysfunktional Family

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The first time I took note of Eddie Griffin was in John Q. Then there was the generally unfunny The New Guy. At the time I wrote: “And then there’s Eddie Griffin, a performer of sufficient charm and magnetism that he manages to seem funny, even when the material is wanting — and here it’s […]

Dungeons And Dragons

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Adapted from the famous — or infamous — “role-playing” game, Dungeons and Dragons is the first effort from director Courtney Solomon, with the help of equally fledgling screenwriters Topper Lilien and Carroll Cartwright. Glancing at most of the reviews that have come this film’s way, one would think that the three amount to the unholy […]

Dude, Where’s My Car?

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Anyone paying good money to see a movie called Dude, Where’s My Car? deserves what they get. The obvious idea of the film is to propel That ’70s Show TV star Ashton Kutcher to big-screen stardom. The obvious result is a stupefyingly lame comedy that subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge every time […]

Drumline

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“I’m here to hear the drumming, man,” one teenager announced to the packed audience for Drumline. I’m sure he left the theater satisfied. If there were an Oscar for rousing, heart-pounding, soul-kicking, we-are-one drumming, Drumline would win it, sticks down. It doesn’t really matter that the script is absolutely awful and the lead character is […]

Driven

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Driven careens with gut-wrenching, wheel-gripping 24 mph auto-racing footage, shot during the course of nine races spanning five countries. Combining real footage with fantastic digital imagery, director Renny Harlin’s (Die Hard 2: Die Harder) technical tour de force keeps you on the edge of your seat when its on the track. But when it’s off […]

Dreamcatcher

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A long, long time ago a fellow by the name of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, wrote a very famous poem about a mythical place called Xanadu (“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree …” — yes, it really was Coleridge and not the rock band Rush). We now know that he penned this […]

Dragonfly

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No, it’s not very good. It’s frequently pretty cheesy. The screenplay has some of the worst — and most transparent — writing imaginable. Kevin Costner continues to display the kind of career sense that once condemned actors like Bela Lugosi and John Carradine to poverty-row movies (just exactly what keeps Costner from ending up in […]

Dracula 2000

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Horrormeister Wes Craven executive-produced this surprisingly stylish, frequently clever, always watchable modern-day extension of the Dracula story from director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Joel Soisson. This first effort at a Dracula film since Francis Ford Coppola’s bloated, overlong, pretentious and ultimately vacuous Bram Stoker’s Dracula doesn’t always work, but it’s blessedly free of self-importance and […]

Dr. T And The Women

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Somewhere inside Dr. T and the Women, a gentle new social satire from director Robert Altman, there’s an engaging character study of a fundamentally nice man drowning in a sea of women. It’s just very hard to find amid the clutter of Altman’s idiosyncrasies. Everything we’ve come to expect from this misanthropic auteur is here: […]

Dr. Dolittle 2

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This sequel to the 1998 blockbuster Dr. Dolittle isn’t a great film, but it is very much a fun one — and a cute (but not cloying) and sweet (but not saccharine) one. There are lots of good, solid laughs to be had. Eddie Murphy is at his most appealing, the rest of the cast […]

Dr. Dolittle

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The demanding lives of working actresses can be hell sometimes, but 14-year-old Amanda Levesque (ACT’s The Miracle Worker) and 15-year-old Lauren Ford (ACT’s Diary of Anne Frank) have accepted their fame graciously. We caught up with the girls only hours before Lauren was to appear in an In The Park Shakespeare production, and before Amanda […]

Down To Earth

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Down to Earth is a remake, but — and this must be clearly understood — it is not a remake of the 1947 film, Down to Earth. Rather, it is a remake of the 1978 Warren Beatty film, Heaven Can Wait, which is not a remake of the 1943 Ernst Lubitsch film Heaven Can Wait, […]

Down From The Mountain

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D. A. Pennebaker virtually created, defined and refined the cinema verite style of the documentary film, so what more natural than finding he and his partners, Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus, at the helm of just such a documentary about the staging of the concert performance of the music from the Coen Brothers’ film, O […]