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items tagged with Saving Private Ryan

Spielberg Takes a Riveting Trip to "Munich": Also, "The Family Stone"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-28 00:00:00

Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush in MunichMUNICH

He may be revered – and often reviled – for his sense of childlike wonder, but no Hollywood director shoots scenes of violence with the no-frills grimness of Steven Spielberg. In the helmer’s taut, ambitious Munich – which focuses on Israeli retribution for the murders of nine of their athletes at the 1972 Olympics – Spielberg, as he did in Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, doesn’t distance himself from the carnage on the screen, and doesn’t let us distance ourselves, either. There’s nothing self-consciously “artistic” about the numerous killings we’re shown here; bullets tear through flesh with terrifying force, bombs rip limbs apart, and most of these atrocities are portrayed with an almost shocking matter-of-factness – we recoil from the violence because Spielberg’s presentation of it is so intentionally artless. (The murders in Munich come off as almost painfully realistic.) Yet although Munich is a brutal work, it isn’t brutalizing; Spielberg is too much of a natural showman – and natural entertainer – for that. The film is a riveting and intelligent political thriller, and although the director can’t fully rein in his expectedly sentimental impulses, Munich is probably Spielberg’s strongest directorial accomplishment in more than a decade. It’s a gripping and, for Spielberg especially, refreshingly tough-minded piece of work.


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When the Spielberg Touch Goes Deeply Wrong: "War of the Worlds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-07-06 00:00:00

Tim Robbins, Tom Cruise, and Dakota Fanning in War of the WorldsWAR OF THE WORLDS

My first thought after seeing Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds was: Thank God for the aliens, because although the creatures themselves aren’t particularly memorable – a gooey blend of the director’s beatific Close Encounters visitors and H. R. Giger’s 1979 Alien design – their spacecrafts certainly are. The ships’ enormous tripod legs, crushing everything in their paths, exude a wriggling, snakelike suggestiveness, and they have vicious talents besides; these tentacles have the ability to either incinerate their victims instantly – making the human race resemble ants at the mercy of a magnifying glass – or toss them into the spaceships’ grotesque “mouths,” producing more grisly, prolonged executions. (A couple of killings are reminiscent of Steve Buscemi’s demise in Fargo.) To the War of the Worlds aliens, humans are a combination of entertainment, nuisance, and snack, and whenever Spielberg gives us evidence of just how queasily horrifying an attack of this nature might be, his movie is gripping and evocative.

My second thought was: Steven Spielberg has lost his mind.


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Another Ron Howard Fairy Tale: "Cinderella Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-06-08 00:00:00

Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti in Cinderella ManCINDERELLA MAN

Every time Hollywood releases a prestigious drama between June and August – Saving Private Ryan, The Road to Perdition, Seabiscuit – a big deal is made about whether audiences are “ready” for weightier fare in the summer months, as if the movie-going public, en masse, annually says, “But it’s summer vacation! I don’t want to think!” To my mind, this question of “Will audiences show up?” is a mostly pointless one, because (1) these movies don’t expect you to think much, and (2) they generally go on to earn a bundle, having cornered the market on cineplex heft.


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"Rabbit-Proof Fence" the Best of a Sorry Crop: Also, "Bringing Down the House," "Tears of the Sun," "Willard," "Cradle 2 the Grave," and 2003 Oscar Predictions
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-03-19 00:00:00

Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, and Eugene Levy in Bringing Down the HouseBRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE

Since she executive-produced the film, I shouldn’t feel too badly for Queen Latifah in Bringing Down the House; she obviously knew what she was getting into.


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"Ice Age" a Frozen Family Treat: "Ice Age," "Showtime," "The Time Machine," and 2002 Oscar Predictions
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-03-20 00:00:00

Scrat in Ice AgeICE AGE

Movies with charm have been in such short supply this year that the animated Ice Age feels like a shot of pure oxygen. Visually, the film is lacking the detail of a Shrek or a Monsters, Inc., and it’s a bit on the goody-goody side, but it’s a completely enjoyable, amiable good time at the cineplex, particularly if you’ve been looking for a movie to take the family to that’s less saccharine than Return to Neverland and infinitely smarter than the likes of Big Fat Liar and Snow Dogs.


Read More About "Ice Age" A Frozen Family Treat: "Ice Age," "Showtime," "The Time Machine," And 2002 Oscar Predictions...





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