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Summer 2001 Looks . . . Distressingly Familiar PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 May 2001 18:00
For the past five years, I’ve written an annual coming-attractions article, detailing 10 summer movies that I was most anticipating. With roughly 50 major relases scheduled for the next 12 weeks, does it say more about me, or the current state of Hollywood films, that this year I can only muster up proper enthusiasm for eight of them? Sure, everyone’s curious about Pearl Harbor, and most are at least vaguely interested in seeing what Moulin Rouge is all about (both of which I’ll analyze in the next issue of The Reader).

 
"Shrek" Is For Kids: Also, "Angel Eyes" and "A Knight's Tale" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 22 May 2001 18:00

ShrekSHREK

Let’s face it: Kids are gonna love Shrek, Dreamworks’ comedic, computer-animated fairy tale. They’ll get a kick out of the loud, outsize characters and superb visuals, and they’ll probably laugh a lot. No one under 12 will want to miss it.

As for the rest of us ... .

 
Forget "The Mummy Returns"; "Memento" Spellbinds PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 May 2001 18:00

Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss in MementoMEMENTO

It has taken quite a while, and an especially long while here in the Quad Cities, but the first unequivocally great movie of 2001 has finally appeared: writer-director Christopher Nolan’s crime thriller Memento. And its greatness is of a very particular kind – you want all of your friends to see it immediately, so you can share your excitement with them and work out passages of the film that you’re almost sure you understood. (Getting to review works like Memento is the absolute best thing about being a published film critic.) Like The Truman Show, Memento is so clever, so smart, so full-to-brimming with detail and wit and filmmaking passion that it feels miraculous, and within its genre, it just might be a new classic.

 
"The Tailor of Panama" Shows Its Seams: Also, "Town & Country" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 08 May 2001 18:00

Geoffrey Rush and Pierce Brosnan in The Tailor of PanamaTHE TAILOR OF PANAMA

It’s been a very long time since a movie was released in our area that wasn’t abjectly stupid, so it’s easy to get some initial enjoyment from John Boorman’s The Tailor of Panama, an adaptation of John LeCarré’s 1996 bestseller. It’s partially a spy thriller, but unlike the James Bond installments or the recent smash Spy Kids, the goofiness is kept to a minimum. Beyond that, the plot is smartly established, the cast is promising, the locations are exotic, and director Boorman shows from the start that he’s in a frisky, playful mood; this is easily his most lighthearted work since 1987’s Hope & Glory. So with all this going for it, and considering the undisputed wretchedness of the year’s cinematic output, I have to admit that I feel like an ungrateful jerk for finding The Tailor of Panama itself rather disappointing.

 
Affronts to Good Cinema: "One Night at McCool's" and "Freddy Got Fingered" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 01 May 2001 18:00

Liv Tyler in One Night at McCool'sONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL'S

One Night at McCool’s, the noir-esque comedy by debuting director Harald Zwart, begins promisingly enough: Three men – a good-natured bartender (Matt Dillon), a snaky lawyer (Paul Reiser), and a hangdog detective (John Goodman) – visit three separate confessors (hit-man Michael Douglas, incredulous shrink Reba McEntire, and randy priest Richard Jenkins), each detailing their obsession with the mysterious, definitely dangerous Jewel (Liv Tyler), the beauty who ruined their lives. Physically, emotionally, financially, this trio of saps couldn’t be more disparate, and we’re initially curious to see how their stories connect, how Jewel wound up seducing them, and what, exactly, her intentions are.

 
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