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items tagged with Philip Seymour Hoffman

Nominees and Wannabes: Eight 2006 DVDs That Received – or Just Missed – Oscar’s Attention
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-02-21 08:38:06

Ryan Gosling in Half NelsonI consider myself an Academy Awards completist: Prior to the annual Oscar telecast, I want to see as many of the nominated films as I can. But I'm also a lazy completist - I want to see these movies so long as I don't have to drive really far. (This is why, to my disappointment and discredit, I'll be watching Sunday's telecast without having viewed Little Children, Venus, and The Good German.)

Thank goodness, then, for DVD.


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Cruise in for a Bruisin’: "Mission: Impossible III"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-10 09:00:17

Tom Cruise and Keri Russell in Mission: Impossible IIIMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

Call it envy, call it sour grapes, call it schadenfreude, but I’ll admit to hugely enjoying the public meltdown of Tom Cruise, mostly because it’s finally making him interesting. Cruise has always been too bland to be true. He’s moderately proficient, and in several of his films – most recently Collateral and Minority Report – he’s even been impressive. But he has too few resources to draw upon as a performer. It would be hard to accuse Cruise of slouching on the job – he’s determined and earnest, and you can sense him trying to suggest interior life. But his line readings have no surprise and his on-screen performances rarely build; whenever a new scene begins, Cruise appears to have forgotten everything his character experienced in his previous scenes. He can’t seem to play more than one emotion, or one thought, at a time.


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DVDs to Watch, and Watch Again: "The Squid & the Whale" and "The Dying Gaul"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-03-29 00:00:00

THE SQUID & THE WHALE and THE DYING GAUL

Before accepting his career-achievement prize at the Academy Awards this year, director Robert Altman – his voice-over accompanying clips from his works – explained his raison d’etre: “Stories don’t interest me,” he said. “Basically, I’m more interested in behavior.” Considering his contributions to film, the admission made perfect sense – how do you adequately describe the story of M*A*S*H or Nashville or Short Cuts? But it also touched on something elemental about the movie-going experience, in terms of the emotional connections we often make with the characters on-screen. When these literally two-dimensional figures reveal themselves to be as complicated and unpredictable, as human, as we are – when we recognize their behavior with a laugh or a nod or a wince – “story” doesn’t really matter a damn; the experience of watching characters just being can be its own spellbinding reward.


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“I’d Like to Thank … ”: 2006 Oscar Aftermath
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2006-03-08 00:00:00
In the minutes following the announcement of this year’s Academy Awards nominations, media outlets were abuzz about the downbeat nature of the major contenders, and it was widely predicted that this year’s Oscar telecast – which aired on Sunday, March 5 – would be the lowest-rated one in ages.
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Oscar-Mire Winners
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2006-02-22 00:00:00
In discussing this year’s Oscar races in the picture, director, and the acting categories, we may as well begin with the nominee area audiences had the least chance of catching, as it was the only major contender yet to get an area release: Duncan Tucker’s Transamerica.
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