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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.

 
"Hide & Seek" Can’t Bear Its Cheap Twist: Also, "Boogeyman" and "Alone in the Dark" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 07 February 2005 18:00

Dakota Fanning in Hide & SeekHIDE & SEEK

(Warning: Potential spoilers – for both Hide & Seek and Million Dollar Baby – ahead. Proceed with caution.) If you haven’t yet seen Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, it might be too late to do so without prejudice, since numerous critics, pundits, and op-ed writers have probably already ruined the film for you.

 
"Baby" Tops in 2004 – and Eastwood’s Career: "Million Dollar Baby," "Hotel Rwanda," and "In Good Company" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 01 February 2005 18:00

Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar BabyMILLION DOLLAR BABY

Despite featuring a few peripheral figures, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby is essentially a three-character mood piece, yet Eastwood, co-stars Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, and screenwriter Paul Haggis invest the material with so much emotional and intellectual accuracy that the results border on the overwhelming.

 
"What the Bleep Do We Know?" Undermined by Messiness: Also, "Assault on Precinct 13" and "Coach Carter" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 25 January 2005 18:00

Marlee Matlin in What the Bleep Do We Know?WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW?

The ideas expressed in the New Age-y pseudo-doc What the Bleep Do We Know? are inherently intriguing and endlessly debatable. What a shame that the movie itself is such a spectacular mess.

 
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