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items tagged with F. Gary Gray

Pilot Lite: “Amelia,” “Saw VI,” “Law-Abiding Citizen,” and “Good Hair”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-25 21:39:21

Hilary Swank and Richard Gere in AmeliaAMELIA

As barrier-breaking aviatrix Amelia Earhart in director Mira Nair's Amelia, Hilary Swank is stylized yet approachable - exactly the kind of down-to-earth, pre-feminist spitfire that a squarely reverential bio-pic calls for. Her Katharine Hepburn cadences take some getting used to, but Swank charges through her scenes with natural authority and winning gumption, and when she smiles, the whole of Earhart's glorious aerial experiences seems to shine through her toothy grin. It's a lovely, sincere Earhart impression, and might've really been something if the actress wasn't being continually undermined by the direction, the script, the score, and most of her co-stars.


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"Be Cool" a Maddening Waste of Time and Talent: Also, "The Jacket" and "Cursed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-08 00:00:00

Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Be CoolBE COOL

Granted, I’ve missed a few of the year’s more high-profile flicks – Are We There Yet?, White Noise, Son of the Mask, that thing with the Heffalumps – but, in general, the releases I have viewed have been so crummy as to be some kind of joke. (The Citizen Kane of the group would actually be the remake of Assault on Precinct 13, which should tell you everything you need to know about Hollywood’s output in early 2005.) But, with the arrival of Be Cool, the joke is no longer funny. Be Cool is worse than Elektra. Hell, it’s worse than Alone in the Dark. I literally can’t remember the last time I left a screening feeling so angered by the waste of time and talent onscreen; it’s the sort of smug, lazy Bad Movie that puts you in a foul mood for the rest of the day.


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"Finding Nemo" Close to Miraculous: Also, "The Italian Job" and "Lost in La Mancha"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-06-04 00:00:00

Finding NemoFINDING NEMO

Fish, by nature, aren’t the most expressive of species, but try telling that to the loopy geniuses at Pixar. In the studio’s latest computer-animated adventure, Finding Nemo, director Andrew Stanton, his wizardly animators, and the vocal talent contribute such breathtaking life and range of emotion to sea dwellers that you leave the movie dizzy with happiness.


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Lee’s Latest Should Not Be Missed: "25th Hour," "A Man Apart," "Dysfunktional Family," and "Anger Management"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-04-16 00:00:00

Barry Pepper, Edward Norton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 25th Hour25TH HOUR

I wish my schedule had allowed me to catch Spike Lee’s 25th Hour sooner, as I would have happily spent the last two weeks extolling its merits to everyone I saw. (It ends its run at the Quad Cities Brew & View on April 17.) The film, wherein a convicted drug dealer (Edward Norton) spends his last free day in New York tying up loose ends among family and friends, is probably Lee’s most passionate, exemplary work since 1989’s Do the Right Thing. Though the movie showcases Lee’s trademark anger, profane humor, and uncommon vibrancy, what sets the film apart from his usual fare is its sadness; it has an aura of melancholy that keeps the director’s more bombastic impulses in check. (He even pulls off a beauty of a lullaby ending, one which, in lesser lands, could have been disastrous.)


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