Suscribe to Weekly RiverCitiesReader.com Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

items tagged with Fargo

When the Spielberg Touch Goes Deeply Wrong: "War of the Worlds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-07-06 00:00:00

Tim Robbins, Tom Cruise, and Dakota Fanning in War of the WorldsWAR OF THE WORLDS

My first thought after seeing Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds was: Thank God for the aliens, because although the creatures themselves aren’t particularly memorable – a gooey blend of the director’s beatific Close Encounters visitors and H. R. Giger’s 1979 Alien design – their spacecrafts certainly are. The ships’ enormous tripod legs, crushing everything in their paths, exude a wriggling, snakelike suggestiveness, and they have vicious talents besides; these tentacles have the ability to either incinerate their victims instantly – making the human race resemble ants at the mercy of a magnifying glass – or toss them into the spaceships’ grotesque “mouths,” producing more grisly, prolonged executions. (A couple of killings are reminiscent of Steve Buscemi’s demise in Fargo.) To the War of the Worlds aliens, humans are a combination of entertainment, nuisance, and snack, and whenever Spielberg gives us evidence of just how queasily horrifying an attack of this nature might be, his movie is gripping and evocative.

My second thought was: Steven Spielberg has lost his mind.


Read More About When The Spielberg Touch Goes Deeply Wrong: "War Of The Worlds"...


"The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another for the Ages by the Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Taking Lives"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-31 00:00:00

Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks in The LadykillersTHE LADYKILLERS

Just about every Coen brothers comedy is more enjoyable on a second or third (or fourth or fifth) viewing than it is on a first; once you adjust to Joel’s and Ethan’s Byzantine plotting, affected wordplay, and in-your-face staging – culminating in a style that can make their works seem, initially, show-offy and too quirky by half – the brothers’ filmmaking exuberance eventually wears down your resistance, and their scripts feature some of the funniest non sequiturs you’ll ever hear. (Nearly every movie fan I know can recite reams of dialogue from Raising Arizona and Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) The Ladykillers, the Coens’ adaptation of a 1955 Alec Guinness comedy, is mostly on the hit side of hit-or-miss, and I’m guessing that it, too, will eventually become a beloved treasure trove of quotable quotes, mostly because, on a first go-around, it takes diligence to decipher exactly what Tom Hanks is saying in it.


Read More About "The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another For The Ages By The Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind," "Dawn Of The Dead," And "Taking Lives"...


Playing with a Different Set of "Rules": "The Rules of Attraction," "White Oleander," and "Knockaround Guys"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-10-16 00:00:00

Ian Somerhalder in The Rules of AttractionTHE RULES OF ATTRACTION

Roger Avary’s The Rules of Attraction, based on yet another Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho) novel about soulless, loathsome yuppie scumbags of the ’80s, is vile, venal, and sometimes shockingly distasteful. I loved it.


Read More About Playing With A Different Set Of "Rules": "The Rules Of Attraction," "White Oleander," And "Knockaround Guys"...


Acting Duo Elevates "K-PAX": Also, "13 Ghosts"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-31 00:00:00

Kevin Spacey in K-PAXK-PAX

Kevin Spacey has made a career out of being snidely patronizing, of being the smartest person in the room, and that’s what I adore about him; he patently refuses to be lovable, and his wicked intelligence and dry-as-sandpaper line readings give a snap to just about every role he plays. (That’s why his performance as the physically and emotionally scarred teacher in last year’s imbecilic tearjerker Pay It Forward was so disappointing; he’s not built for sentiment, and his presence in that mopey role merely exposed the film’s schmaltziness.) I guess it was inevitable that Spacey, who always comes off as knowing more than we do, would one day play an alien (or is he?) who arrives on Earth to teach us all lessons about life and love that we can’t figure out for ourselves. And so we have K-PAX, which had the potential to be excruciating but, as directed by Iain Softley and performed by a marvelous cast led by Spacey and Jeff Bridges, turns out to be thoroughly engaging; it’s a case study in how the right director and performers can redeem mostly worthless material.


Read More About Acting Duo Elevates "K-PAX": Also, "13 Ghosts"...


Two and a Half Cheers: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", and "The Wedding Planner"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-02-07 00:00:00

Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonCROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON

You may have heard that Ang Lee’s latest work, the historical-drama/romance/martial-arts/action pic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is in Chinese with English subtitles. It's true. Yet no filmgoer with a subtitle phobia should be dissuaded from seeing the movie, because it’s such a thrilling, intoxicating, heady ride that its subtitles are absolutely superfluous. Ang Lee has created something rather amazing – an accessible, American-audience-friendly foreign work – that will leave you gasping at its audacity and superior visuals while finding yourself completely enraptured by its two sets of heartbreaking romances; it’s a Chinese Titanic with a better script.


Read More About Two And A Half Cheers: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", And "The Wedding Planner"...





There are 11 items tagged with Fargo. You can view all our tags in the Tag Cloud