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Moose and Squalls: "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle" and "The Perfect Storm" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 12 July 2000 06:00

Rene Russo, Jason Alexander, Robert De Niro, Rocky, and Bullwinkle in The Adventures of Rocky & BullwinkleTHE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY & BULLWINKLE

One of the happier surprises of last summer was the release of South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut, a marvelously written musical comedy that transcended its source material and shot off into a madcap animated universe all its own, raising the bar for all future TV-show-turned-feature-film projects. And while it would be great to report that the film version of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle approached South Park's level of cinematic exuberance, the filmmakers are facing an uphill battle: The animated series this one is based on is already such a whirligig of action, cliffhangers, and verbal and visual puns that raising the ante on it as a movie seems kinda pointless. (Clever and funny though it often is, the South Park TV series has nothing on the brilliance of the original R & B series.)

 
Revolutions: "The Patriot" and "Titan A.E." PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 05 July 2000 06:00

Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger in The PatriotTHE PATRIOT

In this analysis of The Patriot, the Revolutionary War saga starring Mel Gibson, let's begin by addressing that which is mostly blameless - Caleb Deschanel's cinematography. Whether lensing a battle scene, featuring what appear to be thousands of extras in red and blue coats, or a romantic tableau in the moonlight, Mr. Deschanel's work is impeccable; he's one of the best in the business. Ditto the folks behind the set design and costumes, which look marvelously right in their period detail and lend the film more than an air of authenticity.

 
Funny Business: "Chicken Run," "Me, Myself, & Irene," and "Boys & Girls" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 28 June 2000 06:00

Chicken RunCHICKEN RUN

To discuss the numerous, simple joys of Chicken Run is to risk ruining what's great about the film; how beautifully it's underplayed, and how sly and gentle its considerable streak of humor is. Using Nick Park's miraculous Claymation, the film tells the story of a group of miserable, caged English chickens who are trying, in vain, to escape from their evil human captor (voiced by Miranda Richardson). Their days appear numbered until the arrival of Rocky (Mel Gibson), an American circus-escapee known for his "Flying Rooster" act. The chickens' hope is that he'll teach them to fly away to safety; Rocky's hope is that they won't discover he's a fraud.

 
Fun Flicks at Last!: "Shaft" and "Fantasia 2000" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 21 June 2000 06:00

Samuel L. Jackson and Toni Collette in Shaft

SHAFT and FANTASIA 2000

For about a month now, when friends have asked me what new movies they should see, I've come dangerously close to drawing a blank. I'd mention Gladiator (which, naturally, most of them had already seen) and Small Time Crooks (which, sadly, most were uninterested in). Then I'd generally guide them in a different direction altogether, like Paul Thomas Anderson's magnificent Magnolia, which recently returned to Moline's discount cineplex. Or video and DVD, with the recent release of two extraordinary documentaries: Chris Smith's hilarious and touching American Movie, probably the best film of 1999 that wasn't seen locally, and Errol Morris' disturbing but brilliant Mr. Death: The Rise & Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

 
Typical Cage-iness: "Gone in 60 Seconds" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 14 June 2000 06:00

Robert Duvall and Nicolas Cage in Gone in 60 SecondsGONE IN 60 SECONDS

 

When, exactly, did Nicolas Cage sell his soul to Jerry Bruckheimer? And is it at all possible for him to get it back?

 
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