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Enjoyable Junk Triumphs over Dull Intelligence: "Thirteen Days" and "Finding Forrester" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 16 January 2001 18:00

Steven Culp, Kevin Costner, and Bruce Greenwood in Thirteen DaysTHIRTEEN DAYS

Just because a movie is smart doesn’t mean it’ll avoid dullness. Roger Donaldson’s Thirteen Days, which documents the terrifying two weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis, is evidence of this, a well-scripted, well-acted drama that might still cause you to doze off.

 
Gripping "Traffic" Is One for the Ages: Also, "All the Pretty Horses" and "Miss Congeniality" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 09 January 2001 18:00

Catherine Zeta-Jones in TrafficTRAFFIC

Sitting in the audience for Steven Soderbergh’s drug drama Traffic, I heard a sound that had been sorely missing from 12-plus months of moviegoing: rapt, appreciative silence. It was the sort of silence that you only get when a director is in full control of his work, when the actors are working at peak form, and when the storyline is so gripping that you can’t wait to see where it will lead you next. Based on a British mini-series, Traffic is something increasingly rare in modern films: a large-scale epic with a human pulse, in which every character and nuance is sharply defined, and in which your alliances and points of view change with each passing scene. The accolades and awards already bestowed on the film aren’t simply a matter of it being the best of a bum year; it’s one of the best movies released in many years.

 
The Eyes Have It, and an Apology from Hollywood: "Cast Away" and "The Family Man" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 January 2001 18:00

Tom Hanks in Cast AwayCAST AWAY

In Cast Away, Robert Zemeckis’ most fully satisfying work in ages, Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx engineer for whom the world can’t move fast enough; he’s obsessed with time-saving, whether it be with associates in Moscow or friends at home. Before boarding a plane for a business conference, he even goes so far as to give his girlfriend (Helen Hunt) a wrapped engagement ring, instructing her to open it when he returns. (He saves lead-in time on its actual presentation.) But somewhere over the Pacific, the plane crashes (in one of cinema’s most terrifying airplane disasters), and Chuck is washed up on a deserted island with little hope of escape or rescue; suddenly, he has all the time in the world, and the film, which had previously been lightning quick, slows down to a crawl.

 
Making the 10 Best of 2000's Mostly Bad Lot PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 December 2000 18:00
So, compared to last year, just how bad were movies in 2000? Let’s put it this way: Last year, the wonderfully inventive and clever Election narrowly missed making my 10 Best list. I consider it a truly great comedy, and its Oscar-nominated screenplay is superb, but I just couldn’t fit it in following a year that produced such milestones as American Beauty, Toy Story 2, Being John Malkovich, The Straight Story, and even South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (and that’s not even including such works as Magnolia and The Talented Mr.

 
The Perils – and Pleasures – of Self-Involvement: "The Emperor's New Groove" and "What Women Want" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 December 2000 18:00

The Emperor's New GrooveTHE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE

Despite being saddled with a crummy title, Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove turns out to be the studio’s most sheerly pleasurable animated feature in ages. It appears to have been made not only for those of us who were sick to death of the tired old Disney formula, but by people who were sick to death of the tired old Disney formula; it attacks the studio’s shopworn clichés with a vengeance that is both hilarious and utterly deserved.

 
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