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Surprising "Holes" Great Family Fun: Also, "The Quiet American," "Comedian," "House of 1000 Corpses," and "Ghosts of the Abyss" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 22 April 2003 18:00

Shia LaBeouf and Khleo Thomas in HolesHOLES

Here’s something I never thought I’d write about a live-action family movie from Disney: I hope it makes tons of money and spawns sequels galore. The movie in question is Holes, and here’s something else I never thought I’d write: Thus far, it’s easily the finest movie of the year.

 
Lee’s Latest Should Not Be Missed: "25th Hour," "A Man Apart," "Dysfunktional Family," and "Anger Management" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 April 2003 18:00

Barry Pepper, Edward Norton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 25th Hour25TH HOUR

I wish my schedule had allowed me to catch Spike Lee’s 25th Hour sooner, as I would have happily spent the last two weeks extolling its merits to everyone I saw. (It ends its run at the Quad Cities Brew & View on April 17.) The film, wherein a convicted drug dealer (Edward Norton) spends his last free day in New York tying up loose ends among family and friends, is probably Lee’s most passionate, exemplary work since 1989’s Do the Right Thing. Though the movie showcases Lee’s trademark anger, profane humor, and uncommon vibrancy, what sets the film apart from his usual fare is its sadness; it has an aura of melancholy that keeps the director’s more bombastic impulses in check. (He even pulls off a beauty of a lullaby ending, one which, in lesser lands, could have been disastrous.)

 
"Phone Booth" the Class of 2003 So Far: Also, "Basic" and "Head of State" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 08 April 2003 18:00

Colin Farrell in Phone BoothPHONE BOOTH

Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth starts off so poorly that it’s a major surprise – a shock, really – when the movie winds up being thrilling, even exhilarating; it proves that a great, meaty premise can overcome almost all obstacles.

 
Latest King Adaptation an Incoherent Nightmare: "Dreamcatcher," "The Core," "View from the Top," and "Talk to Her" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 01 April 2003 18:00

Morgan Freeman in DreamcatcherDREAMCATCHER

Just how unspeakably bad is the Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher? Allow me to present a few examples of opening sentences I was considering for this review:

 
Jones and Del Toro Elevate "The Hunted": Also, "Agent Cody Banks" and "Boat Trip" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 25 March 2003 18:00

Benicio del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones in The HuntedTHE HUNTED

Offhand, I can’t think of an acting team more oddly matched, and strangely inspired, than Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro. Talk about your odd couples: Jones, with his clipped, no-bullshit gruffness that gives way to a kind of mellow humor, and Del Toro, with his loopy line readings and eloquent silences (you’re always wondering what, exactly, is going on in his head). When both men are at the top of their game – Jones in Lonesome Dove or The Fugitive, Del Toro in Traffic or his brief, brilliant turns in The Pledge and Fearless – they’re marvelously vibrant performers, so even if you’re dreading yet another routine action picture, the chance to see this duo play opposite one another might be reason enough to sit through The Hunted. The movie, directed by thriller veteran William Friedkin, winds up being little more than a violent screen adaptation of “Where’s Waldo?”, but Jones and Del Toro, at least, give it some punch.

 
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