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items tagged with Foreign Films

"The Interpreter" a Thriller in Intent Only: Also, "Born Into Brothels," "The Amityville Horror," and "Kung Fu Hustle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-27 00:00:00

Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman in The InterpreterTHE INTERPRETER

Why do Sydney Pollack’s movies so rarely have the snap and directness of his acting? Pollack doesn’t appear onscreen nearly enough, and when he does, it’s usually only for a scene or two. (His intellectual lout in Husbands & Wives was a rare, marvelous exception.) But these extended cameos – in Tootsie (which he also directed), Death Becomes Her, and Changing Lanes, especially – show Pollack the Actor to be a quick-witted utility player with focus and drive; without the slightest apparent effort, he can steal scenes from Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise, and any movie he’s in gains in intensity and sharpness when he’s around. Pollack the Director is another matter entirely. In the years since 1982’s Tootsie, he has churned out one logy, shapeless, middlebrow time-waster after another: Havana, The Firm, Sabrina, Random Hearts … they all wear their “prestige” on their sleeves, mistake inertia for depth, and are painfully overlong. (It’s the Out of Africa Syndrome.)


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Everything About "Sahara" a Beige Bore: Also, "Bride & Prejudice" and "Bad Education"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-20 00:00:00

Penelope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey in SaharaSAHARA

I was probably predisposed to dislike Saraha because of my natural aversion to Sand Movies – seeing that much beige and ochre onscreen generally puts me to sleep within five minutes – but the problems with this action-adventure don’t stop with its lack of a distinctive color palette; nearly everything about the movie is beige.


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"A Very Long Engagement" Is Very, Very Good: Also, "Ice Princess"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-30 00:00:00

Gaspard Ulliel in A Very Long EngagementA VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT

Its love scenes are like Titanic meets The English Patient, its battle scenes suggest what might happen if the Coen brothers remade Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and yet A Very Long Engagement is enormously enjoyable; this mad amalgam of genres and styles seems almost tailor-made for the talents of its director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.


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Smith and James Elevate "Hitch" – a Little: Also, "The Wedding Date" and "The Motorcycle Diaries"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-02-23 00:00:00

Will Smith and Kevin James in HitchHITCH

As Hollywood romantic comedies go, the Will Smith vehicle Hitch isn’t bad, which, unfortunately, isn’t the same as actually being good. But judging by the film’s sensational box-office intake – not to mention the enthusiastic audience response at the screening I attended (people actually applauded throughout) – no one seems much bothered by the movie’s mediocrity; many viewers prefer a romantic comedy that doesn’t challenge or excite them in the least to films such as Before Sunset and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Sideways, works that understand and explore the nature of romance in ways that feel revelatory.


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"House of Flying Daggers" an Intoxicating Action Spectacle: Also, "Elektra" and "Kinsey"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-01-19 00:00:00

House of Flying DaggersHOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS

Like many of us, one of my favorite movie memories will forever remain the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door of her black-and-white world to reveal the dazzling hues of Munchkinland; the impression that left on me as a child – the colors seemed more vibrant than any you’d encounter in real life – was so profound that, seeing the movie again as an adult, the scene still gets me a little misty-eyed.


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