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"Hazzard"-ous to Your Health: "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Sky High," and "Must Love Dogs" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 09 August 2005 18:00

Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, and Seann William Scott in The Dukes of HazzardTHE DUKES OF HAZZARD

Since there’s exactly one entertaining scene (preceded by one entertaining cutaway) in the entire film version of The Dukes of Hazzard – one sequence in this shockingly wrong-headed comedy that’s the least bit amusing – let me just save you the $10 and describe it now: For reasons I’ve gone to great lengths to forget, Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) decide to make a pilgrimage to Atlanta, so they hop in the General Lee and high-tail it out of Hazzard County, speeding along their dirt road with “Yee-haaaaw”s a-blazin’. Cut to the freeway in Atlanta, with the General Lee stuck in traffic. (A nice moment.) As they wait, vehicles pass them on both sides; half of the drivers and passengers greet the boys with hearty “Way to go! The South will rise again!” admiration, and the other half sneer at them with “You’re gonna be late for your Klan meeting, rednecks!” revulsion. It’s unclear whether the boys ever realize that the source of the travellers’ contention is the trademark Confederate flag on the General Lee’s roof.

 
"Stealth" Bomb: Also, "Bad News Bears," "Mad Hot Ballroom," and "The Devil's Rejects" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 August 2005 18:00

Jamie Fozz, Jessica Biel, and Josh Lucas in StealthSTEALTH

If you can love a movie, and hate a movie, I guess there’s no reason you can’t feel sorry for a movie, and boy, does my heart go out to Stealth. It’s the kind of dear, sad little flick that makes you want to pat it on the head and whisper, “It’s okay, it’ll all be over soon … They’ll make fun of you for two weeks and then no one will even remember your name.”

 
Bay’s Latest a Personal Best – and an OK Movie: "The Island," "Hustle & Flow," "Wedding Crashers," and "March of the Penguins" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 July 2005 18:00

Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor in The IslandTHE ISLAND

If we absolutely must endure movies by Michael Bay, we could do a lot worse – we have done a lot worse – than The Island. As usual, there isn’t a plot point or turn of character here that Bay doesn’t make wincingly obvious, and, apparently, there’s no getting rid of either his tiresome sentimental streak or his sniggering, insulting stabs at “humor.” (When Bay attempts to be serious I giggle, and when he tries to make jokes, I go numb.) But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being reasonably entertained by The Island. Bay has hold of an intriguing story idea, and even if the movie eventually turns into routine action-thriller nonsense, at least that nonsense is delivered with speed, a few memorable images, and even something resembling humanity. Like all Michael Bay movies, The Island runs a good bit over two hours. Unlike the others, I barely noticed.

 
Burton’s "Chocolate Factory" Less Treat Than Toothache: "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" and "Howl's Moving Castle" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 July 2005 18:00

Johnny Depp in Charlie & the Chocolate FactoryCHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what director Tim Burton was trying to accomplish with Charlie & the Chocolate Factory that wasn’t previously accomplished by Roald Dahl’s book or the beloved 1971 film.

 
A Surprisingly "Fantastic Four": Also, "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "Rebound" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 July 2005 18:00

Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, and Michael Chiklis in Fantastic FourFANTASTIC FOUR

Fantastic Four is the first comic-book adaptation in ages that doesn’t seem ashamed to be a comic-book adaptation, for which I applaud it. No one could possibly argue that the film is better-made than something such as Batman Begins, but I, for one, certainly preferred it; given the choice between this obvious, goofy time-waster or Christopher Nolan’s dour mope-fest, I’d go with Fantastic Four every time. What we might lose in subtext, technical precision, and performance quality is more than made up for in inspiration and good humor, and the film has a true sense of playfulness. Finally – screen superheroes who are actually enjoying themselves!

 
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