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items tagged with Thrillers

Don’t Believe the Hype on "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open WaterOPEN WATER

We all know that shoestring-budgeted independent works aren’t necessarily going to have the professional sheen of Hollywood output, but after reading the rave reviews for Open Water, I feel compelled to ask: Just how much amateurishness are we expected to endure in the name of cinematic political-correctness (i.e., loving an indie solely for being an indie)? Barring an ingeniously edited sequence during a thunderstorm and a few stomach-tightening moments when sharks make surprise appearances, I didn’t find Open Water the least bit scary, let alone “Riveting!”, “Electrifying!”, and all the other superlatives currently being lavished on it (and this from someone who still gets freaked out watching The Blair Witch Project). Worse still, the movie is so badly performed and overwritten that it has the unintentional effect of coming off as totally phony, and since the film was notoriously shot with the leading actors surrounded by real sharks, realism is Open Water’s only true draw. Are we film critics now so openly hateful toward CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbusters that we’ll happily convince ourselves that tedious, flatly staged thrillers such as Open Water are actually great?


Read More About Don’T Believe The Hype On "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien Vs. Predator" And "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"...


Despite Contrivances, "Collateral" Is Spectacular Summertime Fare: Also, "Little Black Book," "De-Lovely," and "Coffee & Cigarettes"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-18 00:00:00

Tom Cruise in CollateralCOLLATERAL

Collateral’s plot is so High Concept you can barely believe it hasn’t been filmed before: A cab driver (Jamie Foxx) unknowingly picks up a hired assassin (Tom Cruise) as a fare, and spends a long, strange evening chauffeuring him from one execution site to another, all the while trying to prevent the killer from performing his rounds without, of course, getting himself killed in the process.


Read More About Despite Contrivances, "Collateral" Is Spectacular Summertime Fare: Also, "Little Black Book," "De-Lovely," And "Coffee & Cigarettes"...


"Harold & Kumar" No Masterpiece, But It’s Smart and Fun: "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," "The Manchurian Candidate"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-11 00:00:00

How strange that, of the two movies I recently caught as a double-feature – Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, directed by Dude, Where’s My Car? auteur Danny Leiner – not only is Harold & Kumar the better of the two, it’s the only one really worth discussing in any detail.


Read More About "Harold & Kumar" No Masterpiece, But It’S Smart And Fun: "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle," "The Manchurian Candidate"...


"The Village" Proves Shyamalan Needs a New Formula: Also, "Catwoman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-04 00:00:00

Bryce Dallas Howard in The VillageTHE VILLAGE

Nobody likes a know-it-all, so I have nothing to gain by admitting that I figured out The Big Twist in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village after about 15 minutes. But I’ll venture that this popular writer-director has everything to lose by continuing to make his cinematic spook shows so repetitively, predictably “surprising." If you find yourself less than enthralled by The Village’s narrative, you have far too much time to ruminate on how Shyamalan will attempt, yet again, to pull the rug out from under you; he’s undermining his talent – and the man does have some – with his implied “Bet ya didn’t see that coming!” finales. (It’s becoming easy to respond with, “Oh yeah I did.”)


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Make a Date with "Mean Girls": Also, "Man on Fire," "Godsend," and "The Barbarian Invasions"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-05 00:00:00

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Rachel McAdams in Mean GirlsMEAN GIRLS

Recently, some friends introduced me to the considerable pleasures of Freaks & Geeks on DVD, and I understood why the show barely lasted a season; it was a nearly pitch-perfect rendering of high school’s everyday horrors and comic humiliations, and what mass audience, hoping for mindless entertainment, wants to subject themselves to that? And just like that sublime TV series, Mean Girls, the new teen comedy directed by Mark Waters and written by Tina Fey, is so wickedly sharp and achingly funny that its target audience probably won’t know what to make of it.(At the screening I attended, everyone laughed like hell at the overt physical comedy, but the movie’s most hilarious dialogue fell on deaf ears.)


Read More About Make A Date With "Mean Girls": Also, "Man On Fire," "Godsend," And "The Barbarian Invasions"...





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