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items tagged with Saving Private Ryan

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.


Read More About "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...


"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.


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"Black Hawk Down" a Massive Misfire: Also, "Orange County"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-23 00:00:00

Black Hawk DownBLACK HAWK DOWN

It has been widely reported that Ridley Scott’s war drama Black Hawk Down, originally due later this year, had its release bumped up to qualify for year-end awards consideration and, in theory, serve as a balm for a country forever damaged by the tragic events of September 11. There’s no reason to refute this, and there might even be a kind of self-serving nobility in Columbia Studios’ decision, yet the film in question is a technically impressive atrocity, one that’s perhaps even more heinous in light of last fall’s terrorist attacks. Although based on true events and Mark Bowden’s well-regarded book, Black Hawk Down is jingoistic, dramatically inert, and sometimes shockingly racist; expect nominations and awards to follow.


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