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items tagged with Haley Joel Osment

"The Score" Hits Its Mark Amid Summer Dregs: Also, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," "Kiss of the Dragon," and "Cats & Dogs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-07-18 00:00:00

Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinFINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN

I can’t imagine who could make sense of the gobbledygook plotting of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, yet I can’t imagine who will fail to be wowed by the movie’s effects; it might be the most visually extraordinary, intellectually banal sci-fi work since 2001: A Space Odyssey. There isn’t a moment in the film that isn’t amazing to watch, and that includes the moments when the heroine (voiced by Ming-Na) simply walks alone with her hair blowing lightly past her cheeks; Final Fantasy stands as the current standard-bearer in computerized realism.


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Surprisingly, Spielberg’s "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence" Is Missing Its Heart
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-07-05 00:00:00

Haley Joel Osment and Frances O'Connor in A.I.: Artificial IntelligenceA.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

After all the months of secrecy, of waiting, of wondering, we can finally analyze Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. And “analyze” is the appropriate term, because this is a movie for your brain rather than your heart. Those of us who were leery about how the sensibilities of warm, huggy Spielberg would gel with those of icy, cynical Stanley Kubrick (who initiated the project) might be in for a shock; for much of the film, Spielberg mimics the famously clinical, detached Kubrickian style flawlessly. In fact, he’s almost too good at it; when actual emotion is called for, the movie falters. A.I. is never less than riveting, stunningly well-designed, and technically miraculous. But I’m still not sure that it’s a success.


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"Unbreakable" Fails to Build on Promise -- or Premise
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-11-29 00:00:00

Samuel L. Jackson in UnbreakableUNBREAKABLE

You gotta give M. Night Shymalan credit: The man gives great preview. Though it’s impossible to determine just how much of a hand he had in creating the theatrical trailer for his new thriller Unbreakable, by the time the words “from the writer/director of The Sixth Sense” hit the screen, they’re completely superfluous; a mere 30 seconds in, you know it couldn’t possibly be the work of anyone else.


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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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