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Costner the Actor Kills Costner the Director: "Open Range," "Freddy Vs. Jason," "Uptown Girls," and "Marci X" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 August 2003 18:00

Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall in Open RangeOPEN RANGE

What will it take for Kevin Costner to give a performance again? His new movie, the western Open Range, which he also directed, has a lot going for it – beautiful camerawork, impressive editing, a strong, simple storyline, a marvelously cantankerous Robert Duvall – yet smack at the center is sweet, dear, painfully inadequate Kevin Costner, looking and sounding so uninvolved with his surroundings and his fellow actors that he weakens his entire film. (It took great restraint to laugh at him only once, at his hysterically unmotivated reading of the cowpoke classic “Let’s rustle up some grub.”) Some will argue that Costner is actually deeply in character, playing an uncivilized man for whom conversation and companionship offer little comfort, but look at him onscreen: His Zen blankness is indistinguishable from a coma, and his “concentration” resembles nothing so much as a somnambulist struggling to stay awake. As usual, Costner is fine with rare moments of fringe comedy – reminding us why we once liked him in movies like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams and Tin Cup – but he’s positively deadly in Open Range, and not because of his character’s prowess with a gun.

 
"Capturing the Friedmans" the Movie Event of the Year PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 August 2003 18:00

Capturing the FriedmansCAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS

In November of 1987, as Thanksgiving dinner was being prepared in the seemingly unexceptional household of the Friedmans – father Arnold, mother Elaine, and sons David, Seth, and Jesse – of Great Neck, Long Island, there was a knock at the door.

 
"Freaky Friday" Overcomes Doubt, Slow Start: Also, "S.W.A.T." and "Gigli" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 August 2003 18:00

Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in Freaky FridayFREAKY FRIDAY

Everyone I know has enormous fondness for the 1976 Disney comedy Freaky Friday, wherein mother Barbara Harris and daughter Jodie Foster switched bodies and discovered, on one very strange day, how the other half lived.

 
"Winged Migration" a Miracle of Filmmaking: Also, "American Wedding" and "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 05 August 2003 18:00

Winged MigrationWINGED M IGRATION

At the beginning of Jacques Perrin’s documentary Winged Migration, even before the title has appeared, we are informed that the film took more than four years to complete, that it required near-global group participation, and that “no special-effects shots were employed in the making of this film.” It seems like an overly grandiose introduction until you actually see the movie. For Winged Migration, currently playing at the Brew & View, is an absolutely astounding experience, a visually breathtaking work that is also more pure fun than just about anything in current release.

 
"Seabiscuit" Too Calculated to Be Great: Also, "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life," "Laurel Canyon," and "Spun" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 July 2003 18:00

SeabiscuitSEABISCUIT

Seabiscuit arrives as such a breath of fresh air – an inspirational period piece in a sea of noisy, formulaic action drivel – that you wish to God the movie was better than it actually is.

 
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