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Remakes Beg One Question - Why?: "Down to Earth," "Sweet November," and "Saving Silverman" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 20 February 2001 18:00

Chris Rock in Down to EarthDOWN TO EARTH and SWEET NOVEMBER

Is it a coincidence, or a frightening sign of flicks to come, that the two most high-profile movie releases this past weekend were remakes of movies that no one could have reasonably wanted remakes of at all? Sure, it’s commonly accepted that Hollywood has all but run out of fresh ideas, but to be subjected to both Down to Earth and Sweet November in the same weekend seems a little harsh.

 
"Hannibal" Stays True to Trash: Also, "Left Behind: The Movie" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 13 February 2001 18:00

Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore in HannibalHANNIBAL

About halfway through Hannibal, the long-awaited sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, our good Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is in mid-vivisection of his latest prey when the victim’s cell phone rings. On the other end is FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), who has called to give the soon-to-be-deceased warning about Lecter’s grislier instincts. And then, with a thrilling, inevitable perfection, Hannibal picks up the phone and says with his patented, seductive purr, “Hello, Clarice.” It ranks with one of the all-time-great moments in sequel history – the first reunion of these indelible characters in 10 years – and it produced an audibly electric sensation in the audience, where everyone simultaneously released a deep-throated chortle mixed with a shudder. It might be worth sitting through the film, at least in a packed movie house, just to get to that moment. But be warned: It’ll probably be the only time during the movie when you’ll have that feeling.

 
Two and a Half Cheers: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", and "The Wedding Planner" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 06 February 2001 18:00

Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonCROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON

You may have heard that Ang Lee’s latest work, the historical-drama/romance/martial-arts/action pic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is in Chinese with English subtitles. It's true. Yet no filmgoer with a subtitle phobia should be dissuaded from seeing the movie, because it’s such a thrilling, intoxicating, heady ride that its subtitles are absolutely superfluous. Ang Lee has created something rather amazing – an accessible, American-audience-friendly foreign work – that will leave you gasping at its audacity and superior visuals while finding yourself completely enraptured by its two sets of heartbreaking romances; it’s a Chinese Titanic with a better script.

 
It Must Be January: Collapsing Drama ("The Pledge"), Clichéd Gothic ("The Gift"), and Tired Teen Farce ("Sugar & Spice") PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 30 January 2001 18:00

Helen Mirren and Jack Nicholson in The PledgeTHE PLEDGE

Sean Penn is one of the few dependably downbeat figures in American film, and those who like their dramas moody, atmospheric, and richly detailed will get some initial pleasure with The Pledge, Mr. Penn’s third directorial outing.

 
It Ain't Good for You, but It Ain't Bad: "Snatch," "Chocolat," and "Save the Last Dance" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 23 January 2001 18:00

Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, and Alan Ford in SnatchSNATCH

First, the bad news: Guy Ritchie’s latest crime thriller, Snatch, is nearly a carbon copy of his sizzling 1998 debut film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. The good news: Who cares? Those who like their thrills fast, bloody, twisty, and awfully funny will be in B-movie paradise here; we’re only three weeks into January, and we already have a movie that’s more enjoyable than 90 percent of what was released last year.

 
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