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items tagged with dramas

"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" Transcends Metal and the Documentary: Also, "Shark Tale," "Friday Night Lights," and Ladder 49"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-10-13 00:00:00

James Hetfield in Metallica: Some Kind of MonsterMETALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster has the sort of title guaranteed to repel viewers who might love it the most. This warts-and-all documentary, chronicling the two-plus years devoted to creating Metallica’s St. Anger CD, is like the best episode of Behind the Music ever made, offering an intimate look at the relationship between guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and detailing the nightmare involved in getting the group recording again after a five-year hiatus. The movie will be Mecca for metal fans, yet its appeal isn’t totally insular. Audiences who may be loath to sit through a doc on any heavy-metal group might not realize what directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have fashioned here; Some Kind of Monster is one of the finest recordings of the collaborative artistic process ever committed to film, a hard-edged and endlessly fascinating look at the excruciating work that goes into the making of an album. And for those for whom documentaries are even less appealing than heavy metal, it must be said that the film is one of the funniest and most shockingly touching screen works of the year, This Is Spinal Tap with actual human beings at its core. It’s a thrilling experience.


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Newcomer Creates a Beautiful "Garden State": Also, "Vanity Fair" and "Wicker Park"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-09-15 00:00:00

Zach Braff in Garden StateGARDEN STATE

Zach Braff’s indie comedy Garden State is something rare: a homecoming tale told with a clear eye and, more often than not, a refreshing lack of sentimentality.


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"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.


Read More About Gentler Smith Fails To Score With "Jersey Girl": Also, "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," "Home On The Range," And "Shattered Glass"...





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