Movie Reviews

A Knight’s Tale

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A Knight’s Tale is the first film writer-director Brian Helgeland can completely call his own (though his name appears on Payback, star Mel Gibson had him replaced before filming was finished). It’s a pretty heady accomplishment for the directorial semi-debut of a guy who worked his way up from writing schlock horror (A Nightmare on […]

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

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Well, here it is: the bastard child of Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg. When Kubrick died before making his long-developed project, A.I., Spielberg decided to pick up the pieces and bring Kubrick’s film — or his version of it — to fruition. The results are something of a schizophrenic mess, but an utterly fascinating schizophrenic […]

A Hard Day’s Night

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The first time I saw A Hard Day’s Night, I was 9 years old. The theater I saw it in has now been divided into a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall/Young Republicans’ Club. Fortunately, time has been far kinder to the movie than to the more concrete pieces of my childhood. Richard Lester’s landmark film — […]

A Guy Thing

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There are laws in this country about dumping toxic waste. Unfortunately, they do not extend to theaters, which is where most such lethal bilge ends up at this time of year. (The good movies out there right now are all holdovers from 2002.) On the lame-o-meter, A Guy Thing is marginally better than Just Married, […]

A Beautiful Mind

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Calling A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard’s best film does the picture a disservice, since, his commercial success apart, Howard’s never been the most exciting of filmmakers . And while A Beautiful Mind is most assuredly in tune with Howard’s mainstream Hollywood craftsmanship, it’s also a strikingly complex work that takes its share of risks … […]

8 Women

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This delightful bon-bon of a movie joins hands with two other curios in my personal pantheon — Ernst Lubitsch’s The Smiling Lieutenant and Rouben Mamoulian’s The Gay Desperado — as musicals that I dearly love in spite of their having no very good or even very memorable songs. (Interestingly enough, director Francois Ozon deliberately evokes […]

8 Mile

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If you took the “f” word in its various permutations, “yo,” “man,” “dawg,” “word” and the phrase “my bad” out of Curtis Hanson’s 8 Mile, you’d have a silent movie — and that might be an improvement. Yes, I know, it’s the movie of the week. And yes, I know, the majority of my fellow […]

40 Days And 40 Nights

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In Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jay questions the idea that Miramax would make a film of their lives: “Miramax? I thought they only made classy pictures like The Piano and The Crying Game.” Jason Lee then explains, “Well, after they made She’s All That, everything went to hell.” As if to […]

3000 Miles To Graceland

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Probably the best comment I’ve heard about 3000 Miles to Graceland is that it’s “good for what it is,” which is a little bit like the possibly apocryphal story of Abe Lincoln offering to endorse a product by saying, “For people who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they’ll like.” […]

25th Hour

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Love him or hate him, Spike Lee is undeniably a filmmaker to be reckoned with — both for his good and his bad qualities. And nowhere is this more in evidence than in the often remarkable and ultimately haunting 25th Hour. Make no mistake, Lee is still a filmmaker who has yet to include the […]

15 Minutes

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15 Minutes obviously thinks it’s more than it is. The title (never explained in the film) is, of course, cribbed from Andy Warhol’s famous statement, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” and writer-director-co-producer John Herzfeld tries to drive this home here and there in the movie (even to the point of […]

13 Ghosts

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This is a shlocky reworking of an even shlockier 1960 William Castle picture of the same name – something that a lot of critics seem to be overlooking in their headlong rush to tell everyone how very bad the new 13 Ghosts is. While no one is — blessedly — trying to claim that the […]

102 Dalmations

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Just so you know, I have opinions about 102 Dalmatians, but they’re not the opinions of somebody who knows anything. This movie was made for children, and — like most self-centered 20-somethings — I don’t know anything about children. I don’t know what they like. I don’t know what they want. I don’t know what […]

10 Things I Hate About You

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Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) has a problem. Her older sister, Kat (Stiles), is an ill-tempered social disaster. Normally, this wouldn’t cause self-centered Bianca any sleepless nights, but because of a new rule in the Stratford house, Bianca is forbidden to have a boyfriend before Kat does. In desperation, Bianca’s male suitors begin a frantic search […]