Suscribe to Weekly RiverCitiesReader.com Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

items tagged with dramas

Killer Instincts: "Jarhead," "Good Night, & Good Lunck.", "Chicken Little," and "The Weather Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-09 00:00:00

Jake Gyllenhaal in JarheadJARHEAD

In movies, nothing is harder to define than tone, and the tone of Sam Mendes’ Jarhead, based on Tony Swofford’s Gulf War memoir, is so elusive that, hours after it ends, you might still not know what to make of it. In many ways, the movie is like a two-hour expansion of Full Metal Jacket’s first 40 minutes, as the 20-year-old Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his fellow Marine recruits, pumped up to an almost insane degree, train for their mission in the unbearable desert heat and prepare for battle. In Mendes’ film, however, there is no battle for his protagonists to respond to; the war ends while the Marines’ bloodlust is still reaching a boil. The film is, in many ways, about the maddening banality of service, and it has resulted in an occasionally maddening movie, but its shifting tones and air of unpredictability make it impossible to shake off; at the finale, you might not know exactly what you’ve seen, but you certainly know you’ve seen something.
Read More About Killer Instincts: "Jarhead," "Good Night, & Good Lunck.", "Chicken Little," And "The Weather Man"...


"North Country" - For the Easily Outraged: Also, "Domino"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-10-26 00:00:00

Frances McDormand and Charlize Theron in North CountryNORTH COUNTRY

At a serious, well-intentioned “issue movie,” you will periodically hear from a sect of the audience whom I refer to as the tsk-ers. Tsk-ers are especially vocal at works in which the leading figure – always righteous and noble, and prone to suffering in silence – finds him- or (generally) herself experiencing painful hardships in the cause of Doing the Right Thing, while their families, friends, and the world at large all turn against them.


Read More About "North Country" - For The Easily Outraged: Also, "Domino"...


Almost Heinous: "Elizabethtown" and "Two for the Money"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-10-19 00:00:00

Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom in ElizabethtownELIZABETHTOWN

After a reportedly disastrous screening at the Toronto Film Festival in September, Cameron Crowe trimmed some 18 minutes from his latest project, Elizabethtown, before its national release on October 14. Of course, I never saw Crowe’s Toronto cut, so I can’t venture a guess as to what scenes wound up getting the boot. But having seen the finished project, I’m thinking that the loss of those 18 minutes was in no way satisfactory – to be honest, I’m not sure which scenes Crowe should have left in. For Elizabethtown is, in almost every respect, shockingly weak, so tonally incorrect and irrationally pleased with itself that it left me a little dazed. How could Crowe, who has made such wonderfully humane, marvelously detailed comedies, have gone so far afield?


Read More About Almost Heinous: "Elizabethtown" And "Two For The Money"...


Acting Trumps Presentation, and Here’s the "Proof": Also, "In Her Shoes," "The Greatest Game Ever Played," and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-10-12 00:00:00

Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal in ProofPROOF

Most cinephiles detest filmed versions of plays, with their awkward exposition, stagy dialogue, and functional, assembly-line characters who serve their purpose within the author’s conceit and exit just in time for another character to show up and do the same; oftentimes, you can all but see the proscenium arch hovering overhead.


Read More About Acting Trumps Presentation, And Here’S The "Proof": Also, "In Her Shoes," "The Greatest Game Ever Played," And "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit"...


Pulp Friction: "A History of Violence," "Oliver Twist," and "Serenity"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-10-05 00:00:00

Viggo Mortensen in A History of ViolenceA HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

I was completely rapt by the austerity and dread of David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence – for the first five minutes. In the film’s beautifully sustained opening sequence, we watch as two men – one middle-aged, in a black suit, and another, younger and sporting a T-shirt and jeans – exit their motel room. They load up their car, and the older gentleman drops off the room key while the other – slowly, slowly – pulls the car up to meet him. Moments later, the older man returns, having had, he says, “a little trouble with the maid.” But before they leave, they need water. The younger man enters the motel office to replenish their supply, and as he does, we finally see the image that Cronenberg has thus far denied us, and that we in the audience have properly anticipated – the motel manager and maid lying dead in pools of blood. A frightened little girl, gently stroking the hair of her doll, enters the scene and makes eye contact with the younger killer. And the man, smiling gently, tells her not to be afraid, slowly aims his revolver at the girl’s head, and fires.


Read More About Pulp Friction: "A History Of Violence," "Oliver Twist," And "Serenity"...





There are 307 items tagged with dramas. You can view all our tags in the Tag Cloud