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items tagged with action movies

"Ice Age" a Frozen Family Treat: "Ice Age," "Showtime," "The Time Machine," and 2002 Oscar Predictions
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-03-20 00:00:00

Scrat in Ice AgeICE AGE

Movies with charm have been in such short supply this year that the animated Ice Age feels like a shot of pure oxygen. Visually, the film is lacking the detail of a Shrek or a Monsters, Inc., and it’s a bit on the goody-goody side, but it’s a completely enjoyable, amiable good time at the cineplex, particularly if you’ve been looking for a movie to take the family to that’s less saccharine than Return to Neverland and infinitely smarter than the likes of Big Fat Liar and Snow Dogs.


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Washington Can’t Save the Witless "John Q.": Also, "Collateral Damage"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-02-20 00:00:00

Denzel Washington in John Q.JOHN Q.

In Nick Cassavetes’ soapbox-lecture-cum-thriller John Q., Denzel Washington stars as blue-collar worker John Archibald, a middle-aged Chicagoan struggling with tight finances but deeply in love with his wife, Denise (Kimberly Elise), and a great father to their only son, Mike (Daniel E. Smith). While rounding the bases at a little-league game, Mike collapses, and it’s revealed that Mike’s heart is three times the size it should be; unless the Archibalds can come up with the enormous fee required for a heart transplant, Mike will die. The Archibalds do have health insurance, but because their insurance company recently switched to an HMO (cue the duh-duh-dun music), their coverage is no longer sufficient for Mike’s operation, and when all of their other money-raising options have been eliminated, John arms himself, takes the hospital’s emergency room hostage, and announces that, yes, Mike will be getting that transplant.


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"Spy Game" Trips on Logic: Also, "Behind Enemy Lines"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-12-05 00:00:00

Robert Redford and Brad Pitt in Spy GameSPY GAME

Tony Scott’s Spy Game opens with one of those enjoyably implausible preludes we’re used to seeing in the James Bond series: It’s 1991, and American CIA agent Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) is attempting to free a female captive (Catherine McCormack) from a Chinese prison. How will he accomplish this task? Why, by masquerading as a doctor called in to give vaccinations to the inmates, feigning fatal electrocution after touching a wired prison fence – which results in the momentary shut-down of the prison’s electrical power, including its surveillance cameras – lying “dead” on a hospital gurney, fleeing the scene when no one’s looking, scrambling down ratty corridors in search of the captive, bribing a mentally defunct witness with a piece of gum, and accompanying the prisoner back to the “dead” man’s gurney, where prison guards will unknowingly escort the duo to an ambulance and then to freedom. And what trips up the plan? The gum.


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Pixar’s Latest Is Its Least ... and Still Great: "Monsters, Inc.", "Domestic Distrubance," and "The One"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-11-07 00:00:00

Sulley in Monsters, Inc.MONSTERS, INC.

Saying that Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. is the weakest of its quartet of computer-animated feature films is like bitching that you got a Jaguar for Christmas when you really wanted a Porsche; instead of achieving the genius-level greatness of the Toy Story films and A Bug’s Life, the studio’s new work is just brilliantly designed, cleverly plotted, and funny as all get-out. What’s to complain about?


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Washington’s "Training Day" Is Mostly Act: Also, "Bandits"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-19 00:00:00

Denzel Washington in Training DayTRAINING DAY

In Training Day, Denzel Washington plays a character so far against type – a ruthless, volatile inner-city detective who just might be a sociopath – that the movie’s opening 30 minutes give you a bit of a charge; you’re willing to give this umpteenth good-cop/bad-cop tale the benefit of the doubt for the chance to see Washington showboat in a larger-than-life villain role.


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