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items tagged with Ben Stiller

"Black Hawk Down" a Massive Misfire: Also, "Orange County"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-23 00:00:00

Black Hawk DownBLACK HAWK DOWN

It has been widely reported that Ridley Scott’s war drama Black Hawk Down, originally due later this year, had its release bumped up to qualify for year-end awards consideration and, in theory, serve as a balm for a country forever damaged by the tragic events of September 11. There’s no reason to refute this, and there might even be a kind of self-serving nobility in Columbia Studios’ decision, yet the film in question is a technically impressive atrocity, one that’s perhaps even more heinous in light of last fall’s terrorist attacks. Although based on true events and Mark Bowden’s well-regarded book, Black Hawk Down is jingoistic, dramatically inert, and sometimes shockingly racist; expect nominations and awards to follow.


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The Oscar-Bait Parade Continues...: "Gosford Park," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "In the Bedroom," and "Impostor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-16 00:00:00

Gosford ParkGOSFORD PARK

In Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, set in 1932 England, a group of well-to-do guests is invited to a country estate for a shooting party, with their numerous servants in tow, and find their weekend disrupted by the murder of their host.


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In-Laws, Breaking Laws: "Meet the Parents" and "Get Carter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-10-11 00:00:00

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsMEET THE PARENTS

I’m not sure that any movie genre is harder to critique than the Sitcom Disguised as Feature Film. You know the sort: a comedy, usually with faux-dramatic undertones, filled with likable actors playing likable people (even the antagonists are more pesky than dangerous), where the characters’ dilemmas are sorted out neatly in under two hours, and with no serious harm coming to any of them in the end. The dialogue is moderately witty, the physical gags are predictable but amusing, the lighting is overly bright, and the score is bouncy, with moments of sap when the characters show their “souls.” What’s to discuss? You know going in what to expect, and when the film in question is pulled off well, as Jay Roach’s Meet the Parents is, you leave feeling serene and comfortable.


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War and Priest: "Keeping the Faith" and "U-571"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-04-26 12:00:00

Ben Stiller and Edward Norton in Keeping the FaithKEEPING THE FAITH

If you've seen the trailer for Keeping the Faith – a slapsticky montage featuring the sight of Edward Norton, as a priest, setting his clerical robe on fire (which he extinguishes by leaping into holy water), and Ben Stiller, as a rabbi, punching a woman in the stomach – you might be shocked at the sweetness and earnestness of the movie itself. The film's trailer is one of the biggest pieces of false advertising in recent movies.


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