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items tagged with dramas

The Jig Is Up: “Saw III,” “Catch a Fire,” “Flicka,” and “Roving Mars”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-01 04:31:53

Shawnee Smith and Bahar Soomekh in Saw IIISAW III

There's a shot in Saw III - one of the less repellent ones, and one of the few that makes any sense whatsoever - that proves pretty emblematic of the movie as a whole. A middle-aged man, attempting to escape the machinations of the serial killer Jigsaw, runs down a dank hallway and vomits, and as he does, the camera pans down for a close-up of the bile. In a nutshell, that's Saw III - having our faces shoved in puke. (Also blood, entrails, and, in one sequence, pureed pig.) Whatever ultra-violent wit the Saw series may have once boasted is nowhere on display here; the film is 105 minutes of solid torture, both for Jigsaw's hapless victims and for the audience.


Read More About The Jig Is Up: “Saw III,” “Catch A Fire,” “Flicka,” And “Roving Mars”...


Imaginary Heroes: “Flags of Our Fathers,” “The Prestige,” and “Marie Antoinette”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-25 04:18:45

Flags of Our FathersFLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is serious and noble, but it isn't resonant - despite some harrowing battle scenes, this World War II drama is surprisingly easy to brush off. Based on the James Bradley book, the film provides the back story to the historic raising of the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima - a moment eternalized in Joe Rosenthal's famed photograph - and then follows the flag-raisers as they cope with their newfound status as American heroes, sent on a nationwide tour promoting war bonds. Yet with the exception of Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), who is seduced by the limelight, the men don't feel heroic - John Bradley (Ryan Phillippe) falls into a jittery depression, and Native American Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) becomes a despondent alcoholic. These men didn't ask to be heroes. They just wanted to stay alive.


Read More About Imaginary Heroes: “Flags Of Our Fathers,” “The Prestige,” And “Marie Antoinette”...


Hail to the Cheat: “Man of the Year,” “One Night with the King,” and “The Grudge 2”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-18 04:24:47

Laura Linney and Robin Williams in Man of the YearMAN OF THE YEAR

The best I can say about Barry Levinson's Man of the Year is that, considering its advertising, it isn't at all the movie I was expecting.


Read More About Hail To The Cheat: “Man Of The Year,” “One Night With The King,” And “The Grudge 2”...


Coasting: “The Guardian,” “Jet Li’s Fearless,” and “Open Season”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-04 04:38:15

Kevin Costner in The GuardianTHE GUARDIAN

If I were trapped in the middle of a violent storm, and drowning, and being rescued by a member of the Coast Guard, I would hope that my savior was just like Kevin Costner in The Guardian - someone stalwart, sincere, and able to convince me that everything was going to be all right, even when he was shouting at me.

If I'm watching a movie involving this exact same scenario, though, I'm sorry - Kevin Costner is just about the last person I want to see, at least given his performance in director Andrew Davis' Coast Guard drama.


Read More About Coasting: “The Guardian,” “Jet Li’S Fearless,” And “Open Season”...


Stark Raving: “All the King’s Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” and “Everyone’s Hero”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-27 04:41:49

Jude Law and Sean Penn in All the King's MenALL THE KING'S MEN

In his role as the initially idealistic, eventually corrupt Louisiana governor Willie Stark in All the King's Men, Sean Penn delivers a series of impassioned orations to Stark's constituency, and every time he does, the movie displays a robust, dramatic fire. A self-described "hick" preaching to those he feels have been similarly politically oppressed, Stark barks out his plans for a better future, and Penn, with a thick drawl and a timbre that rises and falls in waves, attacks these scenes with an egocentric bluster that, at first, veers dangerously close to parody - close your eyes, and he could be Jackie Gleason on a dyspeptic tirade in Smokey & the Bandit. Yet you don't laugh at him. Penn's Stark is such a powerful, daunting presence that he transcends hammy Southern caricature through the legitimate emotion in his outbursts and the intensity of his gaze, and during the governor's stump speeches, King's Men writer/director Steven Zaillian has the good sense to get out of Penn's way and let him run the show.


Read More About Stark Raving: “All The King’S Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” And “Everyone’S Hero”...





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