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items tagged with dramas

The Eyes Have It, and an Apology from Hollywood: "Cast Away" and "The Family Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-01-03 00:00:00

Tom Hanks in Cast AwayCAST AWAY

In Cast Away, Robert Zemeckis’ most fully satisfying work in ages, Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx engineer for whom the world can’t move fast enough; he’s obsessed with time-saving, whether it be with associates in Moscow or friends at home. Before boarding a plane for a business conference, he even goes so far as to give his girlfriend (Helen Hunt) a wrapped engagement ring, instructing her to open it when he returns. (He saves lead-in time on its actual presentation.) But somewhere over the Pacific, the plane crashes (in one of cinema’s most terrifying airplane disasters), and Chuck is washed up on a deserted island with little hope of escape or rescue; suddenly, he has all the time in the world, and the film, which had previously been lightning quick, slows down to a crawl.


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No Rescue from These Flawed Films: "Proof of Life" and "Vertical Limit"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-12-14 00:00:00

Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe in Proof of LifePROOF OF LIFE

Proof of Life, the kidnapping drama by director Taylor Hackford, stars David Morse as Peter Bowman, an American engineer living near the Andes who gets abducted by a group of Latin American revolutionaries convinced that Bowman’s dam-building project is an insidious political maneuver.


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The Billy Club: "Billy Elliot" and "Men of Honor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-11-15 00:00:00

Jamie Bell in Billy ElliotBILLY ELLIOT

Billy Elliot, the British coming-of-age comedy/drama that has finally opened wide after a successful art-house run, is for anyone who longs to see a strong, simple story finely detailed and exquisitely performed.


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“Best” and Worst: “Best in Show” and “Pay It Forward”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-11-01 12:00:00

Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara in Best in ShowBEST IN SHOW

The genius of Christopher Guest lies in his belief that nothing is funnier than mediocrity. (He's the antithesis of Peter Shaffer's Salieri in Amadeus, who saw it as a tragic failure.) In his two finest cinematic efforts, This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman, the performers examined in the "mockumentary" format - Tap's hard rockers and Guffman's thespians - were delightful because of their clueless self-satisfaction; they truly thought they were creating Art, or at least really kick-ass entertainment. And the joke blossomed every time we watched them perform their shows before audiences, because it turned out that these well-meaning hacks, while by no means terrific, weren't all that bad. They might have been lacking in talent, but their enthusiasm was infectious, and it made sense that their shows were hits. (God knows I've seen worse community-theatre productions than Guffman's Red, White, & Blaine.) Guest, who co-wrote both films and served as director for Guffman, was thereby able to poke fun at his characters and have you genuinely rooting for them at the same time.


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Entertainment Nothing to Sneer At: "Dr. T and the Women" and "The Contender"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-10-18 00:00:00

Helen Hunt and Richard Gere in Dr. T & the WomenDR. T AND THE WOMEN

Dr. T and the Women shows director Robert Altman in a sunny, happy frame of mind – for almost an hour and a half. Trouble is, the film runs a little over two hours. As the movie nears its conclusion, it starts to go sour, and you get a gnawing feeling that Altman and his screenwriter (Anne Rapp) aren’t going to know how to end their work.


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