Movie Reviews

I Spy

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Except for the fact that it isn’t set on the moon, I kept thinking I was watching The Adventures of Pluto Nash all over again. I have a piece of advice for Owen Wilson: Go write something with Wes Anderson and stop this nonsense. I have a piece of advice for Eddie Murphy: Sign the […]

I Am Sam

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Rumor has it that the producers of I Am Sam saved themselves $12 million by crafting a soundtrack consisting of some generally white-bread covers of Beatles songs (OK, so The Black Crowes’ version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and Sheryl Crow’s “Mother Nature’s Son” aren’t disgraceful). You wonder why they need to have […]

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

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As one who actually tends to like romantic comedies, I’m moved to confess that I was more or less looking forward to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days — and there were things about the movie that I did indeed like. But in between those things, I found myself with plenty of time […]

How High

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What in the name of all that’s holy is this? Why is Danny DeVito one of the producers of this ill-conceived mess? What are name actors like Fred Willard, Jeffrey Jones, Hector Elizondo and Spalding Gray doing in this film? What made Bob Dylan’s son think he could direct a film? Why is a movie […]

Hollywood Ending

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In what remains his masterpiece — Manhattan — Woody Allen says, “New York was his town and it always would be.” It’s nicely apt, then, to find that Allen’s latest offering may be called Hollywood Ending, but stars Allen in the role of a filmmaker who never sets foot in Tinsel Town for the entire […]

Hollow Man

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In the few days since Hollow Man has been released, I have read 643 reviews proclaiming, “Hollow Man? Hollow movie!” (or words to that effect). What is so annoying about these reviews (other than their authors’ lamentable wit) is the reviewers’ outrage at the film’s hollowness. Wake up, guys! Hollow Man’s director Paul Verhoeven, is […]

Holes

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Holes is as rare as treasure found buried in the desert — a movie made for kids that adults can thoroughly enjoy. Thanks go partly to Andrew Davis, a dynamic director who usually applies his talents to big action flicks (such as 1993′s The Fugitive, one of my favorite movies of all time). The book’s […]

High Crimes

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As drama, this is nothing to get excited about. Its surprises are about as surprising as discovering fruit at a fruit stand. As filmmaking, it’s rarely more than professional. But it works better than it has any right to thanks to the performances of Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, who bring a gravity and conviction […]

Hey Arnold! The Movie

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The cartoon that isn’t really good enough to be on afternoon TV is now a movie that isn’t really good enough to be in theaters. Unfortunately, it is, and it was my lot — along with one hapless friend (no one else would get near it) — to sit through it. Do not let this […]

Heist

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It’s fast, it’s engaging, it’s clever, it’s occasionally suspenseful, it’s often very funny. Writer-director David Mamet’s Heist is nearly everything The Score wanted to be, but never was. In fact, plot-wise, it’s very much like The Score. Substitute Gene Hackman for Robert DeNiro as a master criminal forced into pulling off one last job and […]

Hedwig And The Angry Inch

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Armed with a paltry $6 million budget, John Cameron Mitchell brings his off-Broadway show about “internationally ignored” East German drag-queen rocker Hedwig to the movies. As writer, lyricist, director and star Mitchell faced a daunting task — one that he managed to pull off with all the elan of his title character. Hedwig and the […]

Hearts In Atlantis

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With Anthony Hopkins in the lead, the respected director Scott Hicks at the helm, and a script by the very literate William Goldman, there’s not much chance that Hearts in Atlantis (based on Stephen King’s novel) isn’t going to be good. And it is good. It’s very good. What it isn’t is great. It’s impossible […]

Heartbreakers

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What’s this? An actual comedy made by actual adults for actual adults that is actually fresh and funny? Amazing but true. Even more amazing is the fact that the film’s scripting pedigree is uninspiring to say the least. Top-billed writer Robert Dunn hasn’t had a screenwriting credit since 1988 (Sweet Lies), while his cohorts in […]

Head Over Heels

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Surprisingly funny — and pleasantly human — with a positively glowing cast, Head Over Heels is quite the best suspense-comedy to come along since Colin Higgins’ Foul Play. Like Foul Play, Head Over Heels manages to come off like lightweight Hitchcock, even though neither the film, nor director Mark Waters, is anywhere near being in […]

Head Of State

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Well, it’s no Pootie Tang — but then, what is? Actually, Chris Rock’s directorial debut does bear certain common traits with his earlier producing effort — namely, an amazingly cheap aura, a strange notion of the film’s lead as a role model for children and the injection of gags that play like they crawled out […]

Hart’s War

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The first part of Hart’s War is a good, straight-ahead World War II movie. Filming was done in and around Prague, so we are given a backdrop of the wintry skies and forests of an area near Germany. Starting with these elements, the cinematographer (Alar Kivilo) creates a rich texture, using the steely grays and […]

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

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I saw this most-anticipated movie event with a small, but diverse, group of film fans the night before it opened. Among my companions were at least two bonafide Potter-heads and a 17-year-old non-fan. The admirers of the books were, to say the least, disappointed (“I’ve been looking forward to this for months and when I […]

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

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Yes, it’s actually better than Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but, for me, it still — like its predecessor — misses genuine greatness. Director Chris Columbus comes much nearer this round, but never quite gets there. Still, where his film does get is pretty damned good. Better plotted than the first Potter, packed with […]

Harrison’s Flowers

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While movies such as Ice Age and Resident Evil are holding court among younger viewers, the more adult filmgoer would be well-advised to turn his or her attention to this quasi-art film that has sneaked into town more or less unheralded on the strength of local interest in star Andie MacDowell. The good news is […]

Hardball

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Hardball isn’t pretty. It takes place in the ugly, mean streets of inner-city Chicago. Children live in a fatherless world where the only adult males terrorize them. Being out after dark is tantamount to suicide, since your neighbors will beat you to a pulp just to steal your book bag. At home, everyone sits on […]

Hannibal

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It’s neither as good as you hoped it would be, nor is it as bad as you feared it might be. Hannibal, whatever it is or isn’t, is a film that is both cursed and blessed from the onset. The popularity of Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, not to mention the almost legendary status […]