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items tagged with Hugh Grant

Bridget Jones Looks Desperate for a "Reason": "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," "The Polar Express," and "Alfie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-11-17 00:00:00

Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonBRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON

I have a friend who does a bit based on a seminal Laverne & Shirley gag. In nearly every episode of that sitcom, one of the titular characters would say, “There’s no way this situation could get worse!” or “What’s that smell?” and Lenny and Squiggy would cluelessly burst through Laverne’s and Shirley’s door; if someone around us says something like “That’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen!” my friend will mime a door opening and exclaim, with perfect greaser-nerd cadence, “Hello!” That gag is pure sitcom-honed irony – that is, obvious irony – and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the follow-up to 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, is like a continuous loop of that Lenny and Squiggy routine.


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"Love Actually" Is a Glorious Mess: Also, "Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-11-19 00:00:00

Emma Thompson in Love ActuallyLOVE ACTUALLY

If you are to believe the (mostly) glowing responses to Love Actually, writer-director Richard Curtis has compressed material for a half-dozen romantic comedies into one, creating, in the words of one reviewer, “an epic romantic comedy.” But that’s not exactly accurate. For his first directorial outing, Curtis – the clever, funny screenwriter of Four Weddings & A Funeral and Notting Hill – has apparently decided to take every idea he’s ever had, every last one, and blend them into a frothy, holiday-themed confection; it’s less an epic romantic comedy than a romantic comedy shaped as an epic (which isn’t the same).


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"Bowling for Columbine" and "Adaptation" Challenge, but Don’t Let That Scare You: Also, "Maid in Manhattan" and "Two Weeks Notice"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-01-15 00:00:00

Michael Moore in Bowling for ColumbineBOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

Michael Moore’s latest, the astounding documentary Bowling for Columbine, has finally made it to our area (it’s currently playing at the Quad Cities Brew & View), and although I spent a couple hundred words extolling its merits last month in the Reader – where I named it my favorite movie of 2002 – the film is so good that a few hundred more seem necessary.


Read More About "Bowling For Columbine" And "Adaptation" Challenge, But Don’T Let That Scare You: Also, "Maid In Manhattan" And "Two Weeks Notice"...


Alaska Elevates "Insomnia": Also, "About a Boy" and "Enough"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-05-29 00:00:00

Al Pacino and Robin Williams in InsomniaINSOMNIA

In Christopher Nolan’s moody, atmospheric thriller Insomnia, based on a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, Al Pacino plays Will Dormer, a famed Californian detective now under investigation by Internal Affairs. To escape the surrounding publicity, he and his partner (Martin Donovan) are sent to a remote Alaskan town to investigate the murder of a teenage girl, found beaten to death by a killer who apparently went to great lengths – washing her hair, trimming her fingernails – to maintain the dead girl’s beauty. Dormer finds his suspect relatively early, but after he becomes the catalyst in a tragic shooting accident, Dormer is increasingly haunted by feelings of guilt and remorse – egged on by the endless Alaskan sun, which shines even at night – and finds the tables turned on him; the suspected killer (Robin Williams) has witnessed the shooting, and threatens to end Dormer’s career if he is fingered as the girl’s killer.


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"The Tailor of Panama" Shows Its Seams: Also, "Town & Country"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-05-09 00:00:00

Geoffrey Rush and Pierce Brosnan in The Tailor of PanamaTHE TAILOR OF PANAMA

It’s been a very long time since a movie was released in our area that wasn’t abjectly stupid, so it’s easy to get some initial enjoyment from John Boorman’s The Tailor of Panama, an adaptation of John LeCarré’s 1996 bestseller. It’s partially a spy thriller, but unlike the James Bond installments or the recent smash Spy Kids, the goofiness is kept to a minimum. Beyond that, the plot is smartly established, the cast is promising, the locations are exotic, and director Boorman shows from the start that he’s in a frisky, playful mood; this is easily his most lighthearted work since 1987’s Hope & Glory. So with all this going for it, and considering the undisputed wretchedness of the year’s cinematic output, I have to admit that I feel like an ungrateful jerk for finding The Tailor of Panama itself rather disappointing.


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