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items tagged with dramas

"Van Helsing" Forgets to Add a Funny Bone: Also, "Laws of Attraction" and "Elephant"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-12 00:00:00

Hugh Jackman in Van HelsingVAN HELSING

Stephen Sommers’ action thriller Van Helsing, the first of 2004’s torrent of summer blockbusters, is big, loud, frenetic, and almost no fun at all. For those who’ve missed the omnipresent previews, the film is a special-effects bonanza featuring Hugh Jackman as the titular character, a taciturn growler who spends 130 minutes attempting to rid his corner of Europe from a series of CGI-created monsters, and it’s all treated with such solemnity that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Henrik Ibsen listed as a screenwriter.


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Surprisingly, "The Alamo" Isn’t Instantly Forgettable: Also, "Hellboy," "Walking Tall," "The Fog of War," and "In America"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-04-14 00:00:00

The AlamoTHE ALAMO

The Alamo is surprisingly not-bad. John Lee Hancock’s long-delayed drama is by no means a great movie, but it’s a pretty darned good audience movie, a middlebrow weeper like A Beautiful Mind or Titanic that, despite its flaws (and against your better judgment), you can find yourself really falling for.


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Gentler Smith Fails to Score with "Jersey Girl": Also, "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," "Home on the Range," and "Shattered Glass"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-04-07 00:00:00

Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler in Jersey GirlJERSEY GIRL

Theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with Kevin Smith momentarily eschewing his predilection for what he terms “dick and fart jokes” in favor of more honest, heartwarming fare, but good God, don’t we Smith fans deserve better than Jersey Girl? In previous films, Smith presented us with a woman who screws a dead man, the Almighty in the personage of Alanis Morissette, and a lesbian who switches teams for Ben Affleck, yet I found his latest work the least believable in his oeuvre, a movie so brazenly phony and audience-pandering that I wanted to hide my face.


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Depp Makes "Secret Window" a Non-Guilty Pleasure: Also, "Spartan" and "21 Grams"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-24 00:00:00

Johnny Depp in Secret WindowSECRET WINDOW

Even though the movie isn’t all that good, Secret Window is one of those thrillers that you want to watch again immediately after your first viewing. But unlike, say, The Sixth Sense or Fight Club, where you’re curious to see exactly how The Twist was pulled off, your desire to return to this Stephen King adaptation is based solely on one thing: the performance of Johnny Depp.


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Dull Competency Sinks "Hidalgo": Also, "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-17 00:00:00

Viggo Mortensen in HidalgoHIDALGO

As family-friendly adventures go, the Disney-produced western Hidalgo isn’t all that bad, but it sure could have used a feistier directorial spirit, something like what Gore Verbinski brought to last summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean.


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