Movie Reviews

Head Of State



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



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



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



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



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



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



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 […]

Hanging Up



Invited to write a movie review for Ashely Siegel’s Short Takes column, this Buddhist agrees to tackle the task at hand. She buys herself a bucket of popcorn and walks into the opening sequence of Hanging Up. She is assaulted by the film’s first 60 seconds, which portrays rampant games of verbal ping-pong volleyed between […]

Halloween Resurrection



It’s so easy to pick a movie like this to pieces. It’s formula rubbish — especially by the time you’ve sliced and diced your way to the eighth series installment — and even at that, the formula isn’t an especially good or creative one. Halloween Resurrection is no exception. It’s addle-brained, obvious, unfocused, predictable, and […]

Half Past Dead



Half Past Dead is full-out stupid. It’s so brainless, however — and full of enough action to cauterize your eyeballs — that it manages to be a good Friday-night veg-out flick. Steven Seagal (Under Siege) is Sascha, a Russian-born FBI mole who goes undercover in a futuristic — and nasty — Alcatraz prison. His mission […]

Gosford Park’



If you come to Gosford Park expecting an exercise in “Altmanism” from the 76-year-old maverick filmmaker, chances are you’ll come away disappointed. Apart from the multiple storyline, the huge ensemble of stars and the occasional zoom shot, the film is not traditionally Altmanesque in look or physical approach, which is a maverick gesture in itself! […]

Gods And Generals



Many, many years ago, Herbert Yates, president of B-picture- and serial-movie-company Republic Pictures, expressed a desire to make a Civil War epic to challenge Gone With the Wind. At the time, some wag inquired, “What are you going to call it? Lavender and Old Stock Shots?” It is in this spirit perhaps that media mogul […]

Glitter



Glitter is every bit as bad as you probably expected — and worse. I knew I was in for it when people kept asking me, “Have you seen it yet?” (as usual in such cases, none of these people were volunteering to go with me), but I had no idea the stupefying degree of tedium […]

Ghosts Of Mars



Since the frequently useful Internet Movie Database is connected with Amazon.com, it’s in their best business interest to suggest other titles that readers might like, if they like the film in question. This often results in some pretty strange recommendations — but I have to say that their recommending last year’s stupefyingly bad Red Planet […]

Ghost Ship



For one reason or another — call it typecasting — people who make horror films tend to specialize in the same. Directors like F.W. Murnau, Tod Browning and James Whale (who, ironically, chose to direct a horror film because he was being typecast as a specialist in war movies) started this trend, which has endured […]

Get Over It



It’s called Get Over It and before the end if the first reel, I definitely was. What we have here is your basic teen comedy (and one apparently aimed at members of remedial adolescence classes) that gamely and lamely tries to reinvent the form by grafting a lot of frighteningly obvious hipness on top of […]

Gangs Of New York



In all honesty — and mindful of Martin Scorsese’s immense reputation — I have never been among greatest his admirers. Frankly, I had been dreading this movie. Nothing about the trailer appealed to me, and the DiCaprio/Scorsese combination just didn’t bode well. It was with some surprise, then, that I found myself loving this film. […]

Full Frontal



Neither as bad as some critics have claimed, nor nearly as important as the film itself thinks it is, Full Frontal is the sort of incredibly self-indulgent work that — in terms of mainstream film — could come from a heavy-hitter filmmaker like Steven Soderbergh. A lesser director would have only received blank looks from […]

From Hell



This is pure, unadulterated, flat-out horror film making at its best — and from an unexpected quarter, the Hughes Brothers (Albert and Allen), who are known for a very different type of movie with Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. Their take on the film seems to be that they approached Whitechapel of Victorian London […]

Friday After Next



If you go to see Friday After Next based on the notion that Barbershop was a pleasant surprise, then you’re probably in for an unpleasant here. If, however, your idea of rib-tickling, knee-slapping fun involves an extended sequence with a character being led around by his genitals, which are clamped in a pair of vise-grips, […]

Frida



For all its undeniable merits, Frida is the most disappointing film of 2002. There are moments in this account of the life of artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) that are among cinema’s finest this year. Unfortunately — and maddeningly — they’re sandwiched in between the most impossibly dry account of Kahlo’s life imaginable. I wish […]