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items tagged with Syriana

Culture Clashes: “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” and “Babel”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-15 08:17:25

Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of KazakhstanBORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

How could any film live up to the hype that preceded Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan? Even before the movie's national release - which occurred a week before its appearance in our area - everyone, it seems, was abuzz. Borat made early splashes at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, critics were searching high and low for superlatives, and for its October 20 issue, Entertainment Weekly put star Sacha Baron Cohen on the cover, accompanied by the teaser "Has this man made the funniest movie ever, or simply the most outrageous, offensive one?" Following Borat's opening weekend, box-office records were shattered while the displeasure of many - Kazakh officials, the Anti-Defamation League, a pair of litigious frat guys - was duly recorded, and by the time it opened here on Friday, desire to see the movie was replaced by desire to be in on the event. Could this 85-minute, low-budget endeavor possibly be as great as our expectations of it?

Well, it is and it isn't.


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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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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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For the Children, or Merely Childish?: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe" and "Syriana"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-14 00:00:00

Tilda Swinton and Skandar Keynes in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson’s imagining of the first book in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, is almost childishly clunky, but it’s nearly impossible to dislike. Geared, as it appears, toward a very young audience – I’d say seven or eight – the movie is sweet, and it’s sincere, and it displays a welcome touch of fairy-tale simplicity. Despite the rather prosaic nature of its presentation, Narnia is one of those movies that, if it catches children at the right age, might linger in their memories for some time to come; it’s just magical enough to suggest how magical it should have been. For kids who are finally seeing their beloved Narnia novel translated to the big screen, Adamson’s Narnia will be good enough. It just doesn’t have much to offer the rest of us. Adamson is co-director of the Shrek movies, and he does a fair enough job with the movie’s CGI wonders; the lion Messiah Aslan (voiced, to the surprise of no one, by Liam Neeson) moves with regal grace, and the beavers who accompany the Pevensie children on their quest seem to be, for kids in the audience, enjoyably frisky characters. But all throughout the film, I had the nagging feeling that, if he was allowed, Adamson would have happily computer-generated his humans, too.


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