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items tagged with Ryan Phillippe

Mike Schulz Toasts 2005's Great Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-12-28 00:00:00
My annual challenge in composing a list of the year’s best movies almost never lies in deciding what to list. It lies in deciding when to list. As every movie fan knows, film studios – both majors and independents – generally unleash their most prominent Academy Award hopefuls (and, oftentimes, most interesting works) at the end of December, giving these films their best chance at being remembered, and potentially embraced, by the notoriously forgetful Academy.
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Explosive "Crash" an Early Contender for Best of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" and "XXX: State of the Union"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-11 00:00:00

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in CrashCRASH

Crash, the magnificent drama by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, fits alongside such sprawling, ensemble-driven works as Grand Canyon, Short Cuts, and Magnolia, movies in which plotlines dovetail within one another and themes enmesh, and where bitter, dissatisfied characters might not wind up more content than before – some might not even wind up alive – but they will definitely have shared, for better or worse, An Experience. (These characters might not receive traditional happy endings, yet they almost invariably find degrees of solace and a measure of hope.) Moviegoers who crave a clearly delineated moral to their stories can be driven batty by films of this ilk; more than once I’ve heard someone ask, apropos of one of these works, “But what was its point?” Crash, like its predecessors, explores characters so hungry for contact and meaning and understanding in a chaotic universe that they’re ready to explode, and oftentimes do. That hunger becomes the point.


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"Punch-Drunk Love" Is a Sandler Movie for Nobody: Also, "Tuck Everlasting," "Full Frontal," and "Igby Goes Down"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-10-30 00:00:00

Emily Watson and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk LovePUNCH-DRUNK LOVE

Punch-Drunk Love is exactly what its writer-director, Paul Thomas Anderson, claims it to be – “an art-house Adam Sandler movie” – yet I can’t be alone in thinking: What’s the point of that? Is Anderson merely trying to show up the hacks who’ve directed Sandler in other films? (Again: What’s the point?) All throughout, the movie is beautifully filmed, exquisitely composed, and filled with Anderson’s uncanny knack for stretching a scene out longer than it should humanly run and making you hang on every delirious second of it.


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Thornton and Berry Bring Magic to the "Ball": "Monster's Ball" and 2002 Oscars Postmortem
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-03-27 00:00:00

Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Boyle, and Heath Ledger in Monster's BallMONSTER'S BALL

In Marc Forster’s sterling drama Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry portrays Leticia Musgrove, the wife of a convicted murderer (Sean Combs), who takes the graveyard shift of an all-night Georgia café to support herself and her pre-teen son (Coronji Calhoun). One of her repeat customers is corrections officer Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), son of an unrepentant racist (Peter Boyle) and father of a damaged, depressed son (Heath Ledger). Through a series of tragedies, Leticia and Hank find spiritual and sexual solace in each other’s company, and Monster’s Ball asks the question that, sadly enough, must still be asked in modern-day America: Can black and white find a middle ground and truly exist in harmony?


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"O" Why Did They Bother?: Also, "Jeepers Creepers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-09-05 00:00:00

Mekhi Phifer in OO

We’ve had so many reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s classics in recent years, and so many that have been surprisingly fine (I’m thinking of 10 Things I Hate About You, the Ethan Hawke Hamlet, and the genre’s standard-bearer, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet), that you’re inclined to give O, which sets Othello in the world of high-school basketball, the benefit of the doubt.


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