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"The Interpreter" a Thriller in Intent Only: Also, "Born Into Brothels," "The Amityville Horror," and "Kung Fu Hustle" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 April 2005 18:00

Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman in The InterpreterTHE INTERPRETER

Why do Sydney Pollack’s movies so rarely have the snap and directness of his acting? Pollack doesn’t appear onscreen nearly enough, and when he does, it’s usually only for a scene or two. (His intellectual lout in Husbands & Wives was a rare, marvelous exception.) But these extended cameos – in Tootsie (which he also directed), Death Becomes Her, and Changing Lanes, especially – show Pollack the Actor to be a quick-witted utility player with focus and drive; without the slightest apparent effort, he can steal scenes from Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise, and any movie he’s in gains in intensity and sharpness when he’s around. Pollack the Director is another matter entirely. In the years since 1982’s Tootsie, he has churned out one logy, shapeless, middlebrow time-waster after another: Havana, The Firm, Sabrina, Random Hearts … they all wear their “prestige” on their sleeves, mistake inertia for depth, and are painfully overlong. (It’s the Out of Africa Syndrome.)

 
Everything About "Sahara" a Beige Bore: Also, "Bride & Prejudice" and "Bad Education" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 April 2005 18:00

Penelope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey in SaharaSAHARA

I was probably predisposed to dislike Saraha because of my natural aversion to Sand Movies – seeing that much beige and ochre onscreen generally puts me to sleep within five minutes – but the problems with this action-adventure don’t stop with its lack of a distinctive color palette; nearly everything about the movie is beige.

 
"Fever Pitch" Wins Despite Its Directors: Also, "The Upside of Anger" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 18:00

Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in Fever PitchFEVER PITCH

As long as there’s a Hollywood, there will be a surfeit of romantic comedies, but when was the last time you saw one that was as charming and magical as it pretended to be? Granted, Hitch made oodles of money, but the platonic love between Will Smith and Kevin James was more engaging than either of their characters’ eventual hook-ups, and The Wedding Date, in which Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney made flirtation look like an act of desperation, was just slightly less romantic than any given episode of Will & Grace.

 
Graphic Novel Comes to Life in Stunning "Sin City": Also, "Beauty Shop" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 05 April 2005 18:00

Mickey Rourke in Sin CitySIN CITY

Sin City, which is based on three graphic novels by comic-book legend Frank Miller, might not be Pulp Fiction, but it is most definitely pulp fiction, and dazzlingly entertaining pulp fiction, to boot.

 
"A Very Long Engagement" Is Very, Very Good: Also, "Ice Princess" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 March 2005 18:00

Gaspard Ulliel in A Very Long EngagementA VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT

Its love scenes are like Titanic meets The English Patient, its battle scenes suggest what might happen if the Coen brothers remade Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and yet A Very Long Engagement is enormously enjoyable; this mad amalgam of genres and styles seems almost tailor-made for the talents of its director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

 
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