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items tagged with Heath Ledger

The "Road" Always Traveled: "Glory Road," "Hostel," and "Casanova"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-01-18 00:00:00

Josh Lucas in Glory RoadGLORY ROAD

Is it just a coincidence, or do you think there’s an annual meeting wherein Disney shareholders tell the studio’s executives, “Bring us this year’s feel-good, triumph-of-the-underdog sports flick, and if you can find one that’s more formulaic, clichéd, and shameless than last year’s, all the better!” A couple of years back, we endured Kurt Russell guiding a bunch of interchangeable skaters to Olympic victory in the hockey drama Miracle, and my head is still reeling from the moribund sentimentality – and beyond-obnoxious miniature caddie – of The Greatest Game Ever Played, which managed to make golf look about five times less exciting than the sport’s reputation would suggest.


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Western Union: "Brokeback Mountain"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-01-11 00:00:00

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback MountainBROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

In Ang Lee’s agonizingly fine romantic western Brokeback Mountain, two taciturn young men – Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) – are hired, in the summer of 1963, to tend flocks of sheep on a Wyoming expanse. During the early days of their tenure, the men barely speak. Yet as the months pass, they form a solid friendship, and on one particularly cold night atop the mountain, Ennis and Jack share a bottle of whiskey and a sleeping bag, and – experiencing wordless, nearly aggressive desire – have sex. Despite the inevitability of the encounter, the sheer, naked hunger of the scene is startling, but a greater surprise comes some 20 minutes (and four years of screen time) later, in a scene so powerfully, emotionally true that – like much of Lee’s transcendently moving work – it hits like a slap in the face.


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Gilliam’s "The Brothers Grimm" Not Grimm Enough
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-09-07 00:00:00

Heath Ledger and Matt Damon in The Brothers GrimmTHE BROTHERS GRIMM

Fairy tales, at their core, exert a powerful emotional pull, and at rare moments in Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, the director finds a visual equivalent to their hypnotic, wicked appeal. In this typically unclassifiable Gilliam excursion, the first glimpse of Little Red Hiding Hood traipsing through the gloomy forest is enough to give any adult viewer a shiver. Gilliam frames her entrance, and the later arrival of Hansel and Gretel, with ominous portent, the colors – that cape and hood especially – are enticing, and the forest sets have a creepy, storybook elegance. For the briefest of moments, you’re a kid again, enraptured by the haunting, suggestive simplicity of these stories; our first sightings of Little Red, Hansel, and Gretel bring with them a spark of tingly joy.


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"Matchstick Men" Feels Like a Con: Also, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Owning Mahowny," and "The Order"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-09-17 00:00:00

Nicolas Cage and Alison Lohman in Matchstick MenMATCHSTICK MEN

Ostensibly, Ridley Scott’s dramatic comedy Matchstick Men deals with Roy (Nicolas Cage), a professional con artist, connecting with Angela (Alison Lohman), the 14-year-old daughter he never knew he had, and trying to better himself as a father figure.


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Hawn and Sarandon Miraculous as "The Banger Sisters": Also, "The Four Feathers" and "Trapped"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-09-25 00:00:00

Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn in The Banger SistersTHE BANGER SISTERS

The Banger Sisters is a textbook example of the alchemy that can occur when two movie stars, stuck in a rather worthless vehicle, say, “What the hell, let’s run with it.”


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