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Where’s the Love? – Summer Movies 2006 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 05 September 2006 22:16

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in "Clerks II"It's awkwardly paced. It's often indifferently acted. The composition is remedial, the humor is juvenile, and for every scene that soars, another one crashes.

When all is said and done, though, you know which summer movie was my favorite? Clerks II. And do you know why? Because it isn't cynical.

 
Open Cities Goes DVD: Local Film Buffs Attempt to Rejuvenate the Movie Experience PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 August 2006 22:41

JunebugTed Priester, the new president of Open Cities Cinema - formerly the Open Cities Film Society - knows he has a fight on his hands.

He admits that Open Cities, as it nears its 30th anniversary, is widely considered "rather a grandfatherly organization."

He's aware of the difficulty in marketing a weekly film series - one featuring titles readily available to home viewers - to a modern audience, saying, "Anymore, in our society, people work themselves into a frazzle. They want to go home at night and maybe watch a little TV and then lights out."

And he understands that when the organization opens its new season on September 22 - beginning with the Oscar-winning Danish film Babette's Feast - cinephiles may balk at the group's decision to screen DVDs as opposed to 16- or 35-millimeter prints, ceding that "there's a certain richness of sound that can't be replicated" with DVD.

Priester knows all of this.

 
The Cotton Flub: “Idlewild” and “Accepted” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 August 2006 22:29

Andre Benjamin in IdlewildIDLEWILD

It's pretty clear that a musical doesn't know what it's doing when Ben Vereen and Patti LaBelle appear in supporting roles and the movie doesn't let them sing. But writer/director Bryan Barber's Idlewild isn't all that concerned with being a musical. It's concerned with being a music video. This tune-laden, period gangster/show-biz drama - fronted by OutKast's Andre Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton (a.k.a. Andre 3000 and Big Boi) - is all touches and visual motifs, and while it's earnest, it's also devoid of emotional connection; we admire the pretty images but don't necessarily feel anything for it. Idlewild is a fascinating failure. It's a movie you really want to like - especially if you're a fan of musicals - but one that only comes alive in fits and spurts.

 
Schlock Appeal: “Snakes on a Plane,” “Step Up,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Pulse” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 22 August 2006 22:18

Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a PlaneSNAKES ON A PLANE

Incessant buildup for a potential Hollywood blockbuster is nothing new, of course. But in the case of Snakes on a Plane, it was the nature of the buildup that proved fascinating; everything hyped about this cheesy scare flick - the hysterically candid title, the presence of Samuel L. Jackson in bellowing motherf---er mode, the re-tooling to secure an R rating from its original PG-13 - seemed to promise, "This movie is gonna suck, and you're gonna love it." Offhand, I can't think of another movie that was so aggressively - one might say honestly - marketed as the schlock it was almost certain to be. By the time the movie opened last Friday, the anticipation among connoisseurs of cinematic crap had reached such a fever pitch that nothing less than the Best Bad Movie of All Time would do.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Snakes on a Plane isn't the best bad movie of all time. But it'll still do.

 
A Less Than Fair "Trade": "World Trade Center" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 August 2006 22:43

Nicolas Cage in World Trade CenterWORLD TRADE CENTER

Following Paul Greengrass' United 93, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center is the second 9/11-themed movie to arrive in the past four months - including A&E's Flight 93 and the Discovery Channel's The Flight That Fought Back, the fourth in the last year - and make no mistake: There will be more. There are so many tales to be told and so many elements of this national tragedy to focus on that, as cinematic subject matter, 9/11 is practically inexhaustible.

 
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