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items tagged with dramas

"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"...


Murderball: The Best of Eight – and of the Year: Also, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," "Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees," "Lord of War," "An Unfinished Life," "The Constant Gardener," "Cry Wolf," and "The Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-09-21 00:00:00

MurderballMURDERBALL

I’ve seen a lot of sublimely satisfying documentaries this year, but none with the scope and passion of Murderball. Like last year’s brilliant Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, the film’s title and ostensible subject matter – quadriplegic rugby – are probably enough to frighten off the audiences who would love it the most, which I pray won’t happen; Murderball, currently playing at the Brew & View Rocket, is, thus far, the most invigorating, fascinating, surprising, and deeply human movie of 2005.


Read More About Murderball: The Best Of Eight – And Of The Year: Also, "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose," "Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees," "Lord Of War," "An Unfinished Life," "The Constant Gardener," "Cry Wolf," And "The Man"...





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