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items tagged with Thrillers

A Sinking Heart Over "Atlantis": "Hearts in Atlantis" and "Don't Say a Word"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-03 00:00:00

Anton Yelchin and Hope Davis in Hearts in AtlantisHEARTS IN ATLANTIS

Given current events, are audiences now so hungry for nostalgic, nonthreatening entertainment that they’ll happily accept something as profoundly awful as Hearts in Atlantis? If so, you certainly can’t blame them, but Lord knows they deserve better than this mawkish Stephen King adaptation, a gooey and incoherent fable that gets more maddening as it progresses. I have friends who swear by the greatness of King’s novel (unread by me), but the film version comes off as a mixture of the feyest aspects of the mostly terrific Stand by Me (based on King’s novella The Body) and the metaphysical hokiness of King’s The Green Mile. It proves to be a nearly unbearable combination, and yet something tells me that this wimpy, unfocused film could turn into a big hit among those who believe, as its author apparently does, that America died right about the time King turned 13.


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In Praise of Guilty Pleasures: "The Glass House," "Hardball," and "Two Can Play That Game"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-09-19 00:00:00

Leelee Sobieski in The Glass HouseTHE GLASS HOUSE

The domestic thriller The Glass House is obvious and over-the-top from the word go, and that’s what I liked about it. It takes true chutzpah to pull off a movie with visuals this baroque and plotting this convoluted; it might be the most trashily enjoyable work of its kind since 1997’s The Devil’s Advocate. Like that Al Pacino craptacular, The Glass House has no higher agenda than showing audiences, in horror-flick form, the luridness behind ultra-rich “perfection,” and it’s so up-front about its limited ambitions, and so earnestly performed by its top-tier cast, that you can easily lean back and enjoy it for the stylish dreck it is. Is it a good movie? Nah. An entertaining one? Hell, yes.


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"The Others" Adds Complexity to Summer: "American Pie 2," "Rat Race," and "Osmosis Jones"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-08-22 00:00:00

Nicole Kidman in The OthersTHE OTHERS

Alejandro Amenabar’s ghostly The Others feels like the film version of some beautifully chilling short story by Lovecraft or Shirley Jackson, where “Boo!”-style thrills take a back seat to dread and psychological complexity; it’s a savvy, entertaining piece.


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The Dog Days of August: "Rush Hour 2," "The Princess Diaries," and "Original Sin"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-08-08 00:00:00

Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 2RUSH HOUR 2

I didn’t care for the smash hit Rush Hour when it came out in 1998, and so the arrival of Rush Hour 2, needless to say, didn’t fill me with excitement. But the prospect of seeing the great John Lone and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s Zhang Ziyi in supporting roles piqued my interest, and you never know when star Jackie Chan is going to pull off some miraculous stunts, so an open mind seemed appropriate.


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"The Score" Hits Its Mark Amid Summer Dregs: Also, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," "Kiss of the Dragon," and "Cats & Dogs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-07-18 00:00:00

Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinFINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN

I can’t imagine who could make sense of the gobbledygook plotting of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, yet I can’t imagine who will fail to be wowed by the movie’s effects; it might be the most visually extraordinary, intellectually banal sci-fi work since 2001: A Space Odyssey. There isn’t a moment in the film that isn’t amazing to watch, and that includes the moments when the heroine (voiced by Ming-Na) simply walks alone with her hair blowing lightly past her cheeks; Final Fantasy stands as the current standard-bearer in computerized realism.


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