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items tagged with Antonio Banderas

Take Me Out of the Ball Game: "The Benchwarmers," "Take the Lead," and "ATL"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-04-12 00:00:00

Jon Heder, Rob Schneider, and David Spade in The BenchwarmersTHE BENCHWARMERS

The audience laughter at The Benchwarmers chilled me to the marrow. What in God’s name are we allowing to pass for “children’s entertainment” these days? Dennis Dugan’s “comedy” is about a trio of aging dweebs (Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder) who – seeking retribution for their childhood humiliations – arrange to play in a Little League tournament, and it’s better for everyone’s mental health that I ignore the logistics of the plotting.Suffice it to say that the film is an empowerment fantasy for middle-aged booger-eaters everywhere. But it isn’t geared toward adults. (At least, not adults with IQs in the triple digits.) The Benchwarmers is a diversion aimed squarely at kids, and as such, it’s almost unspeakably repellent – the movie is so hateful that you want to file a restraining order against it.


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"Lemony Snicket" Not Quite an Unfortunate Event: "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Phantom of the Opera," "Meet the Fockers," and "Spanglish"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-12-29 00:00:00

Emily Browning, Jim Carrey, and Liam Aiken in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsLEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

A friend recently introduced me to the considerable joys of Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket novels, the first three of which have been adapted for the new Jim Carrey vehicle Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.Handler rivals Roald Dahl in his talent for concocting exquisitely macabre and funny children’s stories, and the Unfortunate Events series is almost embarrassingly enjoyable reading. (I’m currently on book nine of, thus far, 11.) The novels follow three orphans – Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny – as they’re whisked from relative to relative while evading their evil uncle, Count Olaf, a demented character actor attempting to murder them for their inheritance, and the surprising intricacy of the books’ plotting is matched by their wit and humor; after reading them you feel jazzed and alert, like waking from an oddly funny nightmare.


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"Shrek 2" Won’t Win New Converts: Also, "Breakin' All the Rules"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-26 00:00:00

Shrek 2SHREK 2

If a sequel manages to make any improvements on the original, it’s usually cause for at least minor celebration, so I was pleased to see a few changes for the better in Dreamworks’ computer-animated Shrek 2.


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"Matchstick Men" Feels Like a Con: Also, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Owning Mahowny," and "The Order"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-09-17 00:00:00

Nicolas Cage and Alison Lohman in Matchstick MenMATCHSTICK MEN

Ostensibly, Ridley Scott’s dramatic comedy Matchstick Men deals with Roy (Nicolas Cage), a professional con artist, connecting with Angela (Alison Lohman), the 14-year-old daughter he never knew he had, and trying to better himself as a father figure.


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"Winged Migration" a Miracle of Filmmaking: Also, "American Wedding" and "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-08-06 00:00:00

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.


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