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items tagged with Thrillers

No Rescue from These Flawed Films: "Proof of Life" and "Vertical Limit"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-12-14 00:00:00

Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe in Proof of LifePROOF OF LIFE

Proof of Life, the kidnapping drama by director Taylor Hackford, stars David Morse as Peter Bowman, an American engineer living near the Andes who gets abducted by a group of Latin American revolutionaries convinced that Bowman’s dam-building project is an insidious political maneuver.


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"Unbreakable" Fails to Build on Promise -- or Premise
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-11-29 00:00:00

Samuel L. Jackson in UnbreakableUNBREAKABLE

You gotta give M. Night Shymalan credit: The man gives great preview. Though it’s impossible to determine just how much of a hand he had in creating the theatrical trailer for his new thriller Unbreakable, by the time the words “from the writer/director of The Sixth Sense” hit the screen, they’re completely superfluous; a mere 30 seconds in, you know it couldn’t possibly be the work of anyone else.


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In-Laws, Breaking Laws: "Meet the Parents" and "Get Carter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-10-11 00:00:00

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsMEET THE PARENTS

I’m not sure that any movie genre is harder to critique than the Sitcom Disguised as Feature Film. You know the sort: a comedy, usually with faux-dramatic undertones, filled with likable actors playing likable people (even the antagonists are more pesky than dangerous), where the characters’ dilemmas are sorted out neatly in under two hours, and with no serious harm coming to any of them in the end. The dialogue is moderately witty, the physical gags are predictable but amusing, the lighting is overly bright, and the score is bouncy, with moments of sap when the characters show their “souls.” What’s to discuss? You know going in what to expect, and when the film in question is pulled off well, as Jay Roach’s Meet the Parents is, you leave feeling serene and comfortable.


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Cheerleader Rivals and Other Maniacs: "Bring It On," "The Way of the Gun," and "The Watcher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-09-22 00:00:00

Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union in Bring It OnBRING IT ON

It took me quite a while to catch up with the battling-cheerleader hit Bring It On because, quite frankly, most teen flicks these days make me feel about a hundred years old. It’s not just that the casts of these films seem obscenely young, or that adults are completely marginalized – those qualities have been staples of the genre at least since Rebel Without a Cause.


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Finally! A Great Movie! (And Two More Crummy Ones...): "The Original Kings of Comedy," "The Cell," and "Bless the Child"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-08-30 00:00:00

D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, and Bernie Mac in The Original Kings of ComedyTHE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY

If The Original Kings of Comedy, the filmed preservation of the wildly popular comedy revue, were merely as funny as it is, it would probably stand as the best American movie of the year so far. But director Spike Lee has done something incredibly savvy with the project. Aided by the terrific editor Barry Alexander Brown, Lee has given the material true cinematic fluidity. The editing rhythms are all right on, the camera is always right where it should be to give the performers their biggest laughs (and it seems that Lee has about a hundred different cameras at his disposal), and there are just enough segments with the performers joshing and relaxing off-stage to give the film true dimension; we’re aware that their stand-up personas only hint at who they are.


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