Movie Reviews

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 […]

Double Take

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“Let’s go sit down front and make fools of ourselves!” a wannabe prankster shouted to his cohorts as they raced ahead of me into the theater for opening night of Double Take. Seems they, too, had believed the trailers and assumed the movie was going to be a love-in of foolish fun. Oh, well. Conned […]

Don’t Say A Word

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Don’t Say A Word is a first-rate thriller of the old-fashioned kind (think Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window) with homage to recent hits (think Ron Howard’s Ransom). From the moment the film’s kidnapping starts, and an ordinary man (Michael Douglas Traffic) is forced into extraordinary acts, Word races on a relentless single-minded track of terror. Don’t […]

Domestic Disturbance

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What’s most disturbing about Domestic Disturbance is that it has all the right ingredients to be a terrific thriller, but misses the boat so completely it ends up in ho-hum dry dock. On paper the plot probably looked pretty good. Newcomer 12-year-old Matthew O’Leary plays Danny, a troubled adolescent who is so distraught over his […]

Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood

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Yes, it’s uneven. Yes, it’s fragmented (although that doesn’t always work against it). Yes, it boasts a “conclusion” that would embarrass a first-year psych student. But Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is also one of the more adventurous exercises in filmmaking to come out of mainstream Hollywood (it’s still essentially a Hollywood production, even […]

Die Another Day

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Yep, it has all the emotional depth of 007’s martini glass. There are bone-jarring, teeth-rattling Dolby Digital Surround Sound explosions of various sizes on the average of every three minutes. There’s a dreadful Madonna theme song upon which Bond ought to use his license to kill. The dialogue bristles with bad puns (“Mr. Kil? Now […]

Deuces Wild

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It’s amazing how lone cowards imagine themselves to be heroes when they join with other cowards and become a pack. The pack mentality among teenage boys has created its own cinematic genre: the gang movie. Dueces Wild is the latest entry in the genre, a curious ’50s-retro film that is both depressing and pointless, but […]

Deliver Us From Eva

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Yet another in the seemingly endless stream of romantic comedies flooding movie screens of late, Deliver Us From Eva is nowhere near as good as Two Weeks Notice or as bad as A Guy Thing. It’s more or less on the level of Maid in Manhattan, even sharing that film’s central flaw in that it […]

Death To Smoochy

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Any movie with a main character who spends several moments expounding on the parallels between Captain Kangaroo and Jesus Christ clearly isn’t afraid to take risks. And Danny DeVito’s Death to Smoochy — the blackest, nastiest, most over the top black comedy to come along in ages — is full of such risks. It’s most […]

Darkness Falls

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Darkness Falls? And well it should. The first new horror film of the new year is the sort of unmitigated donkey crap that makes even a hardcore horror fan like myself understand why the genre is held in such disdain by non-fans. It probably didn’t help that I saw this atrocity within a half hour […]

Dark Blue

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The incomprehensible mystery in Dark Blue isn’t who is the most crooked cop, but how could a movie blessed with so much proven talent and potential turn out to be such a dud? With a story by famous crime writer James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) and a screenplay by David Ayer (who wrote last year’s brilliant […]

Daredevil

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Probably the nicest thing I can think to say about Daredevil is that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It generally held my interest. The dubiously cast Ben Affleck didn’t disgrace himself. A lot of the film is nice to look at in a kind of elaborate music-video fashion. […]

Crush

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Into this dismal movie year comes the charming and more-deep-than-it-appears film from first time writer-director John McKay, Crush. It’s the first 2002 release that captivated me from start to finish — the first to achieve the badge of honor for any title in the modern era: the knowledge that I will buy the DVD of […]

Crossroads

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If Paramount is in dire need of a break-out quote for Britney Spears’ combined feature-film debut and big-screen product-placement campaign (bored viewers can distract themselves by counting the number of times Clairol Herbal Essence and Pepsi products find their way into the frame), I offer them this: “It’s better than Glitter!” Beyond that I’m not […]

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles

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Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles –an unashamedly old-fashioned and surprisingly entertaining comedy-thriller from Paul Hogan — is by no means a great movie, but neither is it the unqualified disaster it might so easily have been. Though Hogan’s non-Crocodile Dundee career has been less than spectacular, you have to give the guy credit for being […]

Crazy/Beautiful

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The main problem with Crazy/Beautiful is that it’s neither. Too bad. If the filmmakers had allowed it to go all-out crazy, the movie might have soared. There’s stand-out performances by all the actors, fantastic cinematography of Los Angeles’ highly divergent cultures, and a sizzling soundtrack. But with pat solutions, illogical character leaps, and a formulaic […]

Cradle 2 The Grave

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To enjoy Cradle 2 the Grave, you have to leave your intellect in the theater parking lot. During the turbo-charged 100 minutes of the film, all you can think (if you can think at all with the riveting sights and sounds on the screen) is: Wow, this is one fantastic action movie! So what if […]

Corky Romano

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In Corky Romano, Chris Kattan (TV’s Saturday Night Live) careens onto the feature-film scene in a mindless, maniacal comedy that is funny enough to distract anyone from today’s real news headlines. The title character is the goofy youngest son of a low-level Mafia don who hasn’t seen the family in years. Away from them, Corky […]

Conspiracy Theory

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There is more than what (or whom) meets the eye to the obviously talented Mountain Xpress staffers — one of them, production artist Jean Williams, turns out to be a hobbling (she recently broke her ankle) encyclopedia of information about film. I had been bugging her to critique a movie, but she was too shy […]

Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind

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According to TV producer Chuck Barris — the man who foisted The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game and The Gong Show on a distressingly willing American public — there was more to his life than met the eye. Granted, it would be hard to imagine that there could be less than met the eye. It’s […]