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items tagged with Ella Enchanted

Don’t Believe the Hype on "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open WaterOPEN WATER

We all know that shoestring-budgeted independent works aren’t necessarily going to have the professional sheen of Hollywood output, but after reading the rave reviews for Open Water, I feel compelled to ask: Just how much amateurishness are we expected to endure in the name of cinematic political-correctness (i.e., loving an indie solely for being an indie)? Barring an ingeniously edited sequence during a thunderstorm and a few stomach-tightening moments when sharks make surprise appearances, I didn’t find Open Water the least bit scary, let alone “Riveting!”, “Electrifying!”, and all the other superlatives currently being lavished on it (and this from someone who still gets freaked out watching The Blair Witch Project). Worse still, the movie is so badly performed and overwritten that it has the unintentional effect of coming off as totally phony, and since the film was notoriously shot with the leading actors surrounded by real sharks, realism is Open Water’s only true draw. Are we film critics now so openly hateful toward CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbusters that we’ll happily convince ourselves that tedious, flatly staged thrillers such as Open Water are actually great?


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"I, Robot" Soulless and Hollow: Also, "A Cinderella Story"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-07-21 00:00:00

Shia LaBeouf and Will Smith in I, RobotI, ROBOT

I, Robot is perfectly titled, because it’s about as mechanical and impersonal as Hollywood entertainment gets. That’s not to say it’s completely unenjoyable – Alex Proyas’ sci-fi work, inspired by a series of Isaac Asimov stories, features some nifty set pieces, including an exciting mid-film sequence involving a hundred ’bots doing considerable damage on an underground freeway – but the film progresses with so little inventiveness that you’ll have better luck tallying up the film’s numerous influences (Blade Runner, A. I., Minority Report ... ) than finding an original idea.


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