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items tagged with Owen Wilson

Acting Duo Elevates "K-PAX": Also, "13 Ghosts"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-31 00:00:00

Kevin Spacey in K-PAXK-PAX

Kevin Spacey has made a career out of being snidely patronizing, of being the smartest person in the room, and that’s what I adore about him; he patently refuses to be lovable, and his wicked intelligence and dry-as-sandpaper line readings give a snap to just about every role he plays. (That’s why his performance as the physically and emotionally scarred teacher in last year’s imbecilic tearjerker Pay It Forward was so disappointing; he’s not built for sentiment, and his presence in that mopey role merely exposed the film’s schmaltziness.) I guess it was inevitable that Spacey, who always comes off as knowing more than we do, would one day play an alien (or is he?) who arrives on Earth to teach us all lessons about life and love that we can’t figure out for ourselves. And so we have K-PAX, which had the potential to be excruciating but, as directed by Iain Softley and performed by a marvelous cast led by Spacey and Jeff Bridges, turns out to be thoroughly engaging; it’s a case study in how the right director and performers can redeem mostly worthless material.


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Stiller Finally Gets His Breakout Comic Role: "Zoolander," "Joy Ride," and "Serendipity"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-10 00:00:00

Ben Stiller in ZoolanderZOOLANDER

Those of us who’ve been waiting, in film after film, for Ben Stiller to hit the comedic peaks he reached on his short-lived TV series The Ben Stiller Show might find Zoolander pretty irresistible.


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In-Laws, Breaking Laws: "Meet the Parents" and "Get Carter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-10-11 00:00:00

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsMEET THE PARENTS

I’m not sure that any movie genre is harder to critique than the Sitcom Disguised as Feature Film. You know the sort: a comedy, usually with faux-dramatic undertones, filled with likable actors playing likable people (even the antagonists are more pesky than dangerous), where the characters’ dilemmas are sorted out neatly in under two hours, and with no serious harm coming to any of them in the end. The dialogue is moderately witty, the physical gags are predictable but amusing, the lighting is overly bright, and the score is bouncy, with moments of sap when the characters show their “souls.” What’s to discuss? You know going in what to expect, and when the film in question is pulled off well, as Jay Roach’s Meet the Parents is, you leave feeling serene and comfortable.


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Goofs: "Big Momma's House," "Shanghai Noon," and "Road Trip"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-06-07 12:00:00

Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's HouseBIG MOMMA'S HOUSE, SHANGHAI NOON, and ROAD TRIP

 

First, the good news: the new Martin Lawrence comedy, Big Momma's House, is nowhere near as terrible as Mrs. Doubtfire, his last film to put its comic star is prosthetic drag for most of its length. The bad news, as you might have expected, is that the movie still isn't very good.


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