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Thornton and Berry Bring Magic to the "Ball": "Monster's Ball" and 2002 Oscars Postmortem PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 March 2002 18:00

Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Boyle, and Heath Ledger in Monster's BallMONSTER'S BALL

In Marc Forster’s sterling drama Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry portrays Leticia Musgrove, the wife of a convicted murderer (Sean Combs), who takes the graveyard shift of an all-night Georgia café to support herself and her pre-teen son (Coronji Calhoun). One of her repeat customers is corrections officer Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), son of an unrepentant racist (Peter Boyle) and father of a damaged, depressed son (Heath Ledger). Through a series of tragedies, Leticia and Hank find spiritual and sexual solace in each other’s company, and Monster’s Ball asks the question that, sadly enough, must still be asked in modern-day America: Can black and white find a middle ground and truly exist in harmony?

 
"Ice Age" a Frozen Family Treat: "Ice Age," "Showtime," "The Time Machine," and 2002 Oscar Predictions PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 March 2002 18:00

Scrat in Ice AgeICE AGE

Movies with charm have been in such short supply this year that the animated Ice Age feels like a shot of pure oxygen. Visually, the film is lacking the detail of a Shrek or a Monsters, Inc., and it’s a bit on the goody-goody side, but it’s a completely enjoyable, amiable good time at the cineplex, particularly if you’ve been looking for a movie to take the family to that’s less saccharine than Return to Neverland and infinitely smarter than the likes of Big Fat Liar and Snow Dogs.

 
"Soldiers"’ Passion Is Its Strength: "We Were Soldiers," "40 Days & 40 Nights," and "Amelie" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 March 2002 18:00

Chris Klein in We Were SoldiersWE WERE SOLDIERS

We Were Soldiers is, in many ways, the oddest war movie I’ve ever seen. It’s set during the Ia Drang battle of the Vietnam War, but it’s performed and directed with such resolute patriotism and heroism that it feels like a product of World War II, or rather, movies about World War II.

 
If I Picked the 2001 Oscars... PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 05 March 2002 18:00
With the Academy Awards a few weeks away – they’re scheduled to air on ABC on Sunday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. – the nominees are currently basking in the publicity, visiting Entertainment Tonight and E! Television, making the requisite statements about how they feel lucky to be in the company of their fellow nominees, and how they feel undeserving of such an honor.

 
Queen of the Guilty Pleasures: "Queen of the Damned," "Hart's War," and "Dragonfly" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 February 2002 18:00

Aaliyah in Queen of the DamnedQUEEN OF THE DAMNED

Granted, the new year is only eight weeks old, but I already have a nominee for Best Guilty Pleasure of 2002: the Anne Rice adaptation Queen of the Damned. I’m not suggesting the movie is great, or even good, but this tacky amalgam of vampire clichés, hard rock, and MTV posturing is a surprisingly deft and confident work, and about a hundred times more fun than the pompous, enervated Interview with the Vampire.

 
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