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items tagged with Awakenings

Scorsese Falters with the Pandering "The Aviator": Also, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "Beyond the Sea"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-01-05 00:00:00

Leonardo DiCaprio in The AviatorTHE AVIATOR

Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, which covers two decades in the life of entrepreneur Howard Hughes, is a skillful, beautifully designed bio-pic, engaging and occasionally thrilling, and, despite a two-and-three-quarter-hour running time, it’s remarkably easy to sit through.


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"Scary Movie 3" an Improvement, but Not Clever Enough: Also, "Runaway Jury" and "Radio"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-10-29 00:00:00

Anna Faris and Drew Mikusa in Scary Movie 3SCARY MOVIE 3

With Scary Movie 3, the assignment of directing has been passed from Keenen Ivory Wayans to Airplane!’s David Zucker, which is a big step forward right there. (Zucker isn’t much of a director, either, but at least he has ideas on how to shape a scene, and is actually pretty adept at making his film parodies look like the films they’re parodying.) Plus, any time Zucker and company are satirizing the outrageous pomposity of M. Night Shymalan, whose Signs receives – and deserves – particularly harsh treatment here, Scary Movie 3 is everything you want a movie spoof to be: smart, funny, and more than a little mean. (And heartening – until now, I thought I was the only one who detested Shymalan’s “Hitchcockian” appearance as the vet who accidentally kills Mel Gibson’s wife in Signs.) The wide-eyed, appealing Anna Faris returns as the lead, ably satirizing Naomi Watts’ reporter from The Ring, and comic actors such as Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim, and legendary spoofster Leslie Nielsen all score some laughs. So why is Scary Movie 3 still so disappointing?


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"From Hell" Is Heaven-Sent: Also, "Riding in Cars with Boys" and "The Last Castle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-24 00:00:00

Johnny Depp in From HellFROM HELL

You can be forgiven for assuming that From Hell, Allen and Albert Hughes’ re-telling of the Jack the Ripper saga (based on the immensely popular graphic novel), is a follow-up to Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, what with its previews focusing on a shadowy murderer, lots of fog and mist, Johnny Depp’s investigator speaking in a British accent (Cockney this time), and Heather Graham in the Christina Ricci role of the Corseted Love Interest.


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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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