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items tagged with James Cagney

War Bonds: "Miracle at St. Anna"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-01 08:14:57

Matteo Sciabordi, Omar Benson Miller, and Michael Ealy in Miracle at St. AnnaMIRACLE AT ST. ANNA

With credits including Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Get on the Bus, 4 Little Girls, 25th Hour, and the landmark documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Spike Lee has made more great films over the past 20 years, perhaps, than any other American director. (And that list doesn't include the Spike Lee joints that are merely very good, among them Jungle Fever, The Original Kings of Comedy, and Inside Man.) But when Lee's movies go wrong, they tend to go shockingly, stunningly wrong, and for at least its opening half hour, the director's new Miracle at St. Anna seems poised to topple Girl 6, Bamboozled, and the execrable Summer of Sam as the most misguided and embarrassing work of the director's career.


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Pall in the Family: "Smart People," "Street Kings," and "Prom Night"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-04-16 08:08:47

Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker in Smart PeopleSMART PEOPLE

This past Friday, a couple of friends and I were discussing the long-delayed return of new episodes of NBC's Thursday-night comedies - the unfailingly hysterical 30 Rock and The Office, the shrill, irritating My Name Is Earl, and Scrubs, a show I've occasionally endured when I was feeling too lazy to change the channel. One of my friends admitted that Scrubs has been off its game for quite a while, but said he sticks with it because, after seven seasons, he's become too invested in the actors and their characters to stop watching. I felt the same way during director Noam Murro's Smart People.


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The Cotton Flub: “Idlewild” and “Accepted”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-30 04:29:53

Andre Benjamin in IdlewildIDLEWILD

It's pretty clear that a musical doesn't know what it's doing when Ben Vereen and Patti LaBelle appear in supporting roles and the movie doesn't let them sing. But writer/director Bryan Barber's Idlewild isn't all that concerned with being a musical. It's concerned with being a music video. This tune-laden, period gangster/show-biz drama - fronted by OutKast's Andre Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton (a.k.a. Andre 3000 and Big Boi) - is all touches and visual motifs, and while it's earnest, it's also devoid of emotional connection; we admire the pretty images but don't necessarily feel anything for it. Idlewild is a fascinating failure. It's a movie you really want to like - especially if you're a fan of musicals - but one that only comes alive in fits and spurts.


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