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items tagged with horror movies

Don’t Believe the Hype on "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open WaterOPEN WATER

We all know that shoestring-budgeted independent works aren’t necessarily going to have the professional sheen of Hollywood output, but after reading the rave reviews for Open Water, I feel compelled to ask: Just how much amateurishness are we expected to endure in the name of cinematic political-correctness (i.e., loving an indie solely for being an indie)? Barring an ingeniously edited sequence during a thunderstorm and a few stomach-tightening moments when sharks make surprise appearances, I didn’t find Open Water the least bit scary, let alone “Riveting!”, “Electrifying!”, and all the other superlatives currently being lavished on it (and this from someone who still gets freaked out watching The Blair Witch Project). Worse still, the movie is so badly performed and overwritten that it has the unintentional effect of coming off as totally phony, and since the film was notoriously shot with the leading actors surrounded by real sharks, realism is Open Water’s only true draw. Are we film critics now so openly hateful toward CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbusters that we’ll happily convince ourselves that tedious, flatly staged thrillers such as Open Water are actually great?


Read More About Don’T Believe The Hype On "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien Vs. Predator" And "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"...


"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"...


"Mystic River" Stands as Eastwood’s and Penn’s Best Work: Also, "The Magdalene Sisters" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-10-22 00:00:00

Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn in Mystic RiverMYSTIC RIVER

It’s tempting to say that in Mystic River, Clint Eastwood’s complex, heartbreaking adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s terrific murder mystery, Sean Penn gives the most nuanced approximation of grief to be found anywhere in modern movies.


Read More About "Mystic River" Stands As Eastwood’S And Penn’S Best Work: Also, "The Magdalene Sisters" And "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"...


New Woody Film Marks a Return to Form: "Anything Else," "Secondhand Lions," "Cold Creek Manor," and "Cabin Fever"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-09-24 00:00:00

Jason Biggs and Woody Allen in Anything ElseANYTHING ELSE

As a lifelong fan of Woody Allen’s cinematic oeuvre, the last five years have been rather painful. Sure, Small Time Crooks was a lot of fun and Sean Penn delivered a truly inspired performance in Sweet & Lowdown, but The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, though intermittently amusing, felt pretty stale, and Celebrity and last year’s Hollywood Ending were just plain awful. (Part of being a true fan includes admitting when your heroes fail, and feeling somewhat heartbroken when they do.)


Read More About New Woody Film Marks A Return To Form: "Anything Else," "Secondhand Lions," "Cold Creek Manor," And "Cabin Fever"...


"Whale Rider" Surprises as One of the Year’s Best: Also, "Jeepers Creepers 2" and "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-09-10 00:00:00

Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale RiderWHALE RIDER

Among its many, many virtues, what I loved most about Niki Caro’s Whale Rider is its toughness. In the past year, we’ve seen so many variants on the ethnic-female-overcoming-her-family’s-prejudices theme – My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Real Women Have Curves, Bend It Like Beckham – that the idea of sitting through another one, even one set on a staggeringly gorgeous New Zealand seaside, filled me with more ennui than expectation.


Read More About "Whale Rider" Surprises As One Of The Year’S Best: Also, "Jeepers Creepers 2" And "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star"...





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