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Unexpected Moments Enliven "The Pacifier": Also, "Stage Beauty" and "Robots" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 March 2005 18:00

Vin Diesel in The PacifierTHE PACIFIER

There’s a moment in the Vin Diesel family comedy The Pacifier that should have really pissed me off, but instead it made me almost unaccountably happy: About midway through the film, Diesel, playing a former Navy SEAL entrusted with the safety of five fatherless youths (you’ve seen the trailers, you get the idea), enters their suburban digs covered in raw sewage, the victim of a practical joke pulled by the family’s oldest siblings.

 
"Be Cool" a Maddening Waste of Time and Talent: Also, "The Jacket" and "Cursed" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 07 March 2005 18:00

Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Be CoolBE COOL

Granted, I’ve missed a few of the year’s more high-profile flicks – Are We There Yet?, White Noise, Son of the Mask, that thing with the Heffalumps – but, in general, the releases I have viewed have been so crummy as to be some kind of joke. (The Citizen Kane of the group would actually be the remake of Assault on Precinct 13, which should tell you everything you need to know about Hollywood’s output in early 2005.) But, with the arrival of Be Cool, the joke is no longer funny. Be Cool is worse than Elektra. Hell, it’s worse than Alone in the Dark. I literally can’t remember the last time I left a screening feeling so angered by the waste of time and talent onscreen; it’s the sort of smug, lazy Bad Movie that puts you in a foul mood for the rest of the day.

 
"Constantine"’s Moments of Inspiration Can’t Save It: Also, "P.S." PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 01 March 2005 18:00

Keanu Reeves in ConstantineCONSTANTINE

At one point in Bryan Singer’s original X-Men film, Wolverine stares at the fetishistic black-leather duds he and his teammates are wearing and asks, incredulously, “You actually go outside in these things?” To which Cyclops, in-joking on the character’s original Marvel-comic attire, replies, “What, would you prefer yellow Spandex?” God, yes.

 
Smith and James Elevate "Hitch" – a Little: Also, "The Wedding Date" and "The Motorcycle Diaries" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 22 February 2005 18:00

Will Smith and Kevin James in HitchHITCH

As Hollywood romantic comedies go, the Will Smith vehicle Hitch isn’t bad, which, unfortunately, isn’t the same as actually being good. But judging by the film’s sensational box-office intake – not to mention the enthusiastic audience response at the screening I attended (people actually applauded throughout) – no one seems much bothered by the movie’s mediocrity; many viewers prefer a romantic comedy that doesn’t challenge or excite them in the least to films such as Before Sunset and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Sideways, works that understand and explore the nature of romance in ways that feel revelatory.

 
2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 February 2005 18:00
After the announcement of last year’s Oscar nominations, in which the Academy made almost shockingly inspired choices across the board, this year’s slate of nominees was bound to be a more predictable lot; barring a few minor surprises – the director and screenplay nods for Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake (still unseen by me) chief among them – voters opted for traditional, safe choices in 2004, especially among the squarer-than-usual Best Picture contenders.

 
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