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Gentler Smith Fails to Score with "Jersey Girl": Also, "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," "Home on the Range," and "Shattered Glass" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 06 April 2004 18:00

Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler in Jersey GirlJERSEY GIRL

Theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with Kevin Smith momentarily eschewing his predilection for what he terms “dick and fart jokes” in favor of more honest, heartwarming fare, but good God, don’t we Smith fans deserve better than Jersey Girl? In previous films, Smith presented us with a woman who screws a dead man, the Almighty in the personage of Alanis Morissette, and a lesbian who switches teams for Ben Affleck, yet I found his latest work the least believable in his oeuvre, a movie so brazenly phony and audience-pandering that I wanted to hide my face.

 
"The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another for the Ages by the Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Taking Lives" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 30 March 2004 18:00

Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks in The LadykillersTHE LADYKILLERS

Just about every Coen brothers comedy is more enjoyable on a second or third (or fourth or fifth) viewing than it is on a first; once you adjust to Joel’s and Ethan’s Byzantine plotting, affected wordplay, and in-your-face staging – culminating in a style that can make their works seem, initially, show-offy and too quirky by half – the brothers’ filmmaking exuberance eventually wears down your resistance, and their scripts feature some of the funniest non sequiturs you’ll ever hear. (Nearly every movie fan I know can recite reams of dialogue from Raising Arizona and Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) The Ladykillers, the Coens’ adaptation of a 1955 Alec Guinness comedy, is mostly on the hit side of hit-or-miss, and I’m guessing that it, too, will eventually become a beloved treasure trove of quotable quotes, mostly because, on a first go-around, it takes diligence to decipher exactly what Tom Hanks is saying in it.

 
Depp Makes "Secret Window" a Non-Guilty Pleasure: Also, "Spartan" and "21 Grams" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 23 March 2004 18:00

Johnny Depp in Secret WindowSECRET WINDOW

Even though the movie isn’t all that good, Secret Window is one of those thrillers that you want to watch again immediately after your first viewing. But unlike, say, The Sixth Sense or Fight Club, where you’re curious to see exactly how The Twist was pulled off, your desire to return to this Stephen King adaptation is based solely on one thing: the performance of Johnny Depp.

 
Dull Competency Sinks "Hidalgo": Also, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 16 March 2004 18:00

Viggo Mortensen in HidalgoHIDALGO

As family-friendly adventures go, the Disney-produced western Hidalgo isn’t all that bad, but it sure could have used a feistier directorial spirit, something like what Gore Verbinski brought to last summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean.

 
Stiller and Wilson Shine in "Starsky & Hutch": Also, "Twisted," "Against the Ropes," "Dirty Dancing; Havana Nights," "Eurotrip," and "The Triplets of Belleville" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 09 March 2004 18:00

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Starsky & HutchSTARSKY & HUTCH

In various projects over the years, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have repeatedly proven their talents in writing, directing, and performing, yet if they were to trash all their other aspirations and simply make one deliriously dumbass comedy together per year, I, for one, wouldn’t mind in the slightest.

 
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