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"Scary Movie 3" an Improvement, but Not Clever Enough: Also, "Runaway Jury" and "Radio" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 28 October 2003 18:00

Anna Faris and Drew Mikusa in Scary Movie 3SCARY MOVIE 3

With Scary Movie 3, the assignment of directing has been passed from Keenen Ivory Wayans to Airplane!’s David Zucker, which is a big step forward right there. (Zucker isn’t much of a director, either, but at least he has ideas on how to shape a scene, and is actually pretty adept at making his film parodies look like the films they’re parodying.) Plus, any time Zucker and company are satirizing the outrageous pomposity of M. Night Shymalan, whose Signs receives – and deserves – particularly harsh treatment here, Scary Movie 3 is everything you want a movie spoof to be: smart, funny, and more than a little mean. (And heartening – until now, I thought I was the only one who detested Shymalan’s “Hitchcockian” appearance as the vet who accidentally kills Mel Gibson’s wife in Signs.) The wide-eyed, appealing Anna Faris returns as the lead, ably satirizing Naomi Watts’ reporter from The Ring, and comic actors such as Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim, and legendary spoofster Leslie Nielsen all score some laughs. So why is Scary Movie 3 still so disappointing?

 
"Mystic River" Stands as Eastwood’s and Penn’s Best Work: Also, "The Magdalene Sisters" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 21 October 2003 18:00

Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn in Mystic RiverMYSTIC RIVER

It’s tempting to say that in Mystic River, Clint Eastwood’s complex, heartbreaking adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s terrific murder mystery, Sean Penn gives the most nuanced approximation of grief to be found anywhere in modern movies.

 
Tarantino and Coens Stumble with Latest Flicks: "Kill Bill Volume 1," "Intolerable Cruelty," "Out of Time," and "Balseros" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 14 October 2003 18:00

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Volume IKILL BILL: VOLUME I

Miramax’s decision to release Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill in two installments was probably smart, as it’ll inevitably boost the film’s collective box-office intake and doesn’t require audiences to commit, all at once, to a three-and-a-half-hour homage to Japanese samurai flicks.

 
"The School of Rock" One of the Year’s Biggest and Best Surprises: Also, "Never Get Outta the Boat," "Lost in Translation," "Under the Tuscan Sun," and "Luther" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 07 October 2003 18:00

Jack Black in The School of RockTHE SCHOOL OF ROCK

I’ve seen Sidney Poitier do it. I’ve seen Robin Williams do it. I’ve seen Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Edward James Olmos ... hell, I’ve seen Dame Maggie Smith do it. But I have never seen an actor playing The Inspirational Teacher connect with his students as believably, and oddly beautifully, as Jack Black does in The School of Rock.

 
"Spellbound" Reminds How Fun Documentaries Can Be: Also, "The Rundown," "Duplex," and "Underworld" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 30 September 2003 18:00

Harry Altman in SpellboundSPELLBOUND

I have always considered it a personal mission to convince people that documentaries can actually be fun – recently, I enjoyed a hard-won victory when my mother (who, as she is wont to say, “gets enough drama in life”) acceded to watch Bowling for Columbine and found herself liking it – and, bless their hearts, the folks at the Brew & View appear to as well.

 
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