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items tagged with Philip Baker Hall

Given Half a Chance: “50/50,” “What’s Your Number?”, “Dream House,” and “Dolphin Tale”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-02 19:17:46

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in 50/5050/50

Director Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man afflicted with a rare form of spinal cancer, and Seth Rogen as his loud, loutish, perpetually stoned best friend. Consequently, I expected the film’s title and my chances of actually enjoying the movie to be one and the same. It’s always great seeing Gordon-Levitt onscreen, but is there anyone left who isn’t longing for a break from Rogen’s braying, one-note shtick, even if, as he is here, the man isn’t just presumably but damn near literally playing himself? (50/50’s script is loosely autobiographical, and Rogen and author Will Reiser are real-life pals and frequent writing partners.)


Read More About Given Half A Chance: “50/50,” “What’S Your Number?”, “Dream House,” And “Dolphin Tale”...


"The Interpreter" a Thriller in Intent Only: Also, "Born Into Brothels," "The Amityville Horror," and "Kung Fu Hustle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-27 00:00:00

Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman in The InterpreterTHE INTERPRETER

Why do Sydney Pollack’s movies so rarely have the snap and directness of his acting? Pollack doesn’t appear onscreen nearly enough, and when he does, it’s usually only for a scene or two. (His intellectual lout in Husbands & Wives was a rare, marvelous exception.) But these extended cameos – in Tootsie (which he also directed), Death Becomes Her, and Changing Lanes, especially – show Pollack the Actor to be a quick-witted utility player with focus and drive; without the slightest apparent effort, he can steal scenes from Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise, and any movie he’s in gains in intensity and sharpness when he’s around. Pollack the Director is another matter entirely. In the years since 1982’s Tootsie, he has churned out one logy, shapeless, middlebrow time-waster after another: Havana, The Firm, Sabrina, Random Hearts … they all wear their “prestige” on their sleeves, mistake inertia for depth, and are painfully overlong. (It’s the Out of Africa Syndrome.)


Read More About "The Interpreter" A Thriller In Intent Only: Also, "Born Into Brothels," "The Amityville Horror," And "Kung Fu Hustle"...


"Baby" Tops in 2004 – and Eastwood’s Career: "Million Dollar Baby," "Hotel Rwanda," and "In Good Company"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-02-02 00:00:00

Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar BabyMILLION DOLLAR BABY

Despite featuring a few peripheral figures, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby is essentially a three-character mood piece, yet Eastwood, co-stars Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, and screenwriter Paul Haggis invest the material with so much emotional and intellectual accuracy that the results border on the overwhelming.


Read More About "Baby" Tops In 2004 – And Eastwood’S Career: "Million Dollar Baby," "Hotel Rwanda," And "In Good Company"...


Affleck Drags Down Latest Clancy Thriller: "The Sum of All Fears" and "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-06-05 00:00:00

Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, and Lev Prygounov in The Sum of All FearsTHE SUM OF ALL FEARS

In The Sum of All Fears, the latest film adaptation of one of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan thrillers – the other movies being The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear & Present Danger – America and Russia are headed for war. In a horrifying scene that, given our national consciousness, might deeply unsettle audiences, a nuclear device has detonated at a football stadium in Baltimore, and all indicators point to the Russians and their new president (Ciaran Hinds) masterminding the attack. Our government, and our mildly befuddled president (James Cromwell), are readying a counter-assault that will inevitably lead to World War III, but Jack Ryan, our one-man CIA, knows that something’s just not right about our leaders’ assumptions, and tries to ... hey, wait a minute, is that Ben Affleck playing Ryan?


Read More About Affleck Drags Down Latest Clancy Thriller: "The Sum Of All Fears" And "Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron"...





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