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items tagged with Catherine Keener

The Summer’s Best Surprise Is a "40-Year-Old Virgin": Also, "A League of Ordinary Gentlemen"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-08-24 00:00:00

Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, and Seth Rogen in The 40-Year-Old VirginTHE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

Considering the film’s title, this might sound ludicrous. But in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell, playing our hapless hero Andrew, gives what might become a legendary comedic screen performance.


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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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Best Bets This Week Are in the Video Store: Also "Analyze That" and "Empire"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-12-11 00:00:00

Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro in Analyze ThatANALYZE THAT and EMPIRE

It’s enough to make a grown movie-critic weep: You rave about Solaris, a science-fiction work that’s psychologically rich, challenging, and incredibly unusual, and you read in the paper that the audience-tracking firm Cinemascore has ranked it the most universally loathed major release in 20 years. You check out the top-10 list from the National Board of Review, the first organization to hand out year-end kudos, and realize that only one of those 10 films has (as yet) made it to the Quad Cities, and that one only stayed for a week at Moline’s Nova 6 Cinemas. And you eagerly look forward to a December weekend of new releases – surely some of those terrific-looking titles will finally appear? – and your only options are Analyze That and Empire.


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"Punch-Drunk Love" Is a Sandler Movie for Nobody: Also, "Tuck Everlasting," "Full Frontal," and "Igby Goes Down"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-10-30 00:00:00

Emily Watson and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk LovePUNCH-DRUNK LOVE

Punch-Drunk Love is exactly what its writer-director, Paul Thomas Anderson, claims it to be – “an art-house Adam Sandler movie” – yet I can’t be alone in thinking: What’s the point of that? Is Anderson merely trying to show up the hacks who’ve directed Sandler in other films? (Again: What’s the point?) All throughout, the movie is beautifully filmed, exquisitely composed, and filled with Anderson’s uncanny knack for stretching a scene out longer than it should humanly run and making you hang on every delirious second of it.


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Ideas Salvage "Simone": Also, "Serving Sara"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-08-28 00:00:00

Al Pacino and Rachel Roberts in SimoneSIMONE

Andrew Niccol appears to be obsessed with a theme that, in all likelihood, he can spend his entire filmmaking career exploring: What is the nature of reality? In 1997’s vastly underrated Gattaca, which Niccol wrote and directed, he investigated the perils of genetic engineering, as his biologically “natural” protagonist Vincent assumed the identity of the genetically “perfect” Jerome to further his space-exploration career; the film, which on paper might seem a cerebral sci-fi comedy of mistaken identity, dramatized what it meant to be “real” in an unreal world, and was a heady, thrilling experience.


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