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items tagged with action movies

"Unleashed" Starts Out Fun but Ends Up a Dog: Also, "Kingdom of Heaven" and "House of Wax"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-18 00:00:00

Jet Li in UnleashedUNLEASHED

After its opening credits, Unleashed gets right down to business. Even if you haven’t seen the trailers, the first five minutes of director Louis Leterrier’s thriller will have you up to speed: Set in Glasgow, the film stars Jet Li as Danny, a young man raised by the malevolent crime boss Bart (Bob Hoskins) to be a human pit bull. If any of Bart’s associates owe him money and refuse to pay, Bart introduces them to Danny, removes the Tiffany dog collar, and the welshers find themselves in a world of hurt.


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Explosive "Crash" an Early Contender for Best of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" and "XXX: State of the Union"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-11 00:00:00

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in CrashCRASH

Crash, the magnificent drama by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, fits alongside such sprawling, ensemble-driven works as Grand Canyon, Short Cuts, and Magnolia, movies in which plotlines dovetail within one another and themes enmesh, and where bitter, dissatisfied characters might not wind up more content than before – some might not even wind up alive – but they will definitely have shared, for better or worse, An Experience. (These characters might not receive traditional happy endings, yet they almost invariably find degrees of solace and a measure of hope.) Moviegoers who crave a clearly delineated moral to their stories can be driven batty by films of this ilk; more than once I’ve heard someone ask, apropos of one of these works, “But what was its point?” Crash, like its predecessors, explores characters so hungry for contact and meaning and understanding in a chaotic universe that they’re ready to explode, and oftentimes do. That hunger becomes the point.


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"The Interpreter" a Thriller in Intent Only: Also, "Born Into Brothels," "The Amityville Horror," and "Kung Fu Hustle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-27 00:00:00

Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman in The InterpreterTHE INTERPRETER

Why do Sydney Pollack’s movies so rarely have the snap and directness of his acting? Pollack doesn’t appear onscreen nearly enough, and when he does, it’s usually only for a scene or two. (His intellectual lout in Husbands & Wives was a rare, marvelous exception.) But these extended cameos – in Tootsie (which he also directed), Death Becomes Her, and Changing Lanes, especially – show Pollack the Actor to be a quick-witted utility player with focus and drive; without the slightest apparent effort, he can steal scenes from Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise, and any movie he’s in gains in intensity and sharpness when he’s around. Pollack the Director is another matter entirely. In the years since 1982’s Tootsie, he has churned out one logy, shapeless, middlebrow time-waster after another: Havana, The Firm, Sabrina, Random Hearts … they all wear their “prestige” on their sleeves, mistake inertia for depth, and are painfully overlong. (It’s the Out of Africa Syndrome.)


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"The Ring Two" All Wet: Also, "Hostage" and "Aliens of the Deep"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-23 00:00:00

Naomi Watts in The Ring TwoTHE RING TWO

After sitting through the lifeless horror sequel The Ring Two, the only thing I wanted – besides a major jolt of caffeine to wake me up – was a towel. What is up with all the freakin’ water in this movie? With the exceptions of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Esther Williams in anything, I can’t think of a leading actress who spends as much screen time soaked as Naomi Watts does in this half-hearted follow-up to 2002’s The Ring.


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"House of Flying Daggers" an Intoxicating Action Spectacle: Also, "Elektra" and "Kinsey"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-01-19 00:00:00

House of Flying DaggersHOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS

Like many of us, one of my favorite movie memories will forever remain the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door of her black-and-white world to reveal the dazzling hues of Munchkinland; the impression that left on me as a child – the colors seemed more vibrant than any you’d encounter in real life – was so profound that, seeing the movie again as an adult, the scene still gets me a little misty-eyed.


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