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items tagged with Thrillers

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.


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"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"...


"The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another for the Ages by the Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Taking Lives"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-31 00:00:00

Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks in The LadykillersTHE LADYKILLERS

Just about every Coen brothers comedy is more enjoyable on a second or third (or fourth or fifth) viewing than it is on a first; once you adjust to Joel’s and Ethan’s Byzantine plotting, affected wordplay, and in-your-face staging – culminating in a style that can make their works seem, initially, show-offy and too quirky by half – the brothers’ filmmaking exuberance eventually wears down your resistance, and their scripts feature some of the funniest non sequiturs you’ll ever hear. (Nearly every movie fan I know can recite reams of dialogue from Raising Arizona and Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) The Ladykillers, the Coens’ adaptation of a 1955 Alec Guinness comedy, is mostly on the hit side of hit-or-miss, and I’m guessing that it, too, will eventually become a beloved treasure trove of quotable quotes, mostly because, on a first go-around, it takes diligence to decipher exactly what Tom Hanks is saying in it.


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