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items tagged with Tom Cruise

Idle "American": "American Dreamz," "The Wild," and "Scary Movie 4"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-04-26 00:00:00

Mandy Moore in American DreamzAMERICAN DREAMZ

American Dreamz is like a middling Saturday Night Live skit that never ends. In writer/director Paul Weitz’s conception, the president is a slow-witted dolt being puppeteered by his staff, the participants on an American Idol-type mega-hit are a combination of talentless sweeties and fame-hungry monsters, and the American public happily buys every piece of pop-fueled mediocrity placed before it, especially when it’s swathed in the sentimental, jingoistic guise of “patriotism.” Wherever did Weisz come up with such fresh objects of ridicule?


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When the Spielberg Touch Goes Deeply Wrong: "War of the Worlds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-07-06 00:00:00

Tim Robbins, Tom Cruise, and Dakota Fanning in War of the WorldsWAR OF THE WORLDS

My first thought after seeing Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds was: Thank God for the aliens, because although the creatures themselves aren’t particularly memorable – a gooey blend of the director’s beatific Close Encounters visitors and H. R. Giger’s 1979 Alien design – their spacecrafts certainly are. The ships’ enormous tripod legs, crushing everything in their paths, exude a wriggling, snakelike suggestiveness, and they have vicious talents besides; these tentacles have the ability to either incinerate their victims instantly – making the human race resemble ants at the mercy of a magnifying glass – or toss them into the spaceships’ grotesque “mouths,” producing more grisly, prolonged executions. (A couple of killings are reminiscent of Steve Buscemi’s demise in Fargo.) To the War of the Worlds aliens, humans are a combination of entertainment, nuisance, and snack, and whenever Spielberg gives us evidence of just how queasily horrifying an attack of this nature might be, his movie is gripping and evocative.

My second thought was: Steven Spielberg has lost his mind.


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"The Interpreter" a Thriller in Intent Only: Also, "Born Into Brothels," "The Amityville Horror," and "Kung Fu Hustle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-27 00:00:00

Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman in The InterpreterTHE INTERPRETER

Why do Sydney Pollack’s movies so rarely have the snap and directness of his acting? Pollack doesn’t appear onscreen nearly enough, and when he does, it’s usually only for a scene or two. (His intellectual lout in Husbands & Wives was a rare, marvelous exception.) But these extended cameos – in Tootsie (which he also directed), Death Becomes Her, and Changing Lanes, especially – show Pollack the Actor to be a quick-witted utility player with focus and drive; without the slightest apparent effort, he can steal scenes from Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise, and any movie he’s in gains in intensity and sharpness when he’s around. Pollack the Director is another matter entirely. In the years since 1982’s Tootsie, he has churned out one logy, shapeless, middlebrow time-waster after another: Havana, The Firm, Sabrina, Random Hearts … they all wear their “prestige” on their sleeves, mistake inertia for depth, and are painfully overlong. (It’s the Out of Africa Syndrome.)


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Everything About "Sahara" a Beige Bore: Also, "Bride & Prejudice" and "Bad Education"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-20 00:00:00

Penelope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey in SaharaSAHARA

I was probably predisposed to dislike Saraha because of my natural aversion to Sand Movies – seeing that much beige and ochre onscreen generally puts me to sleep within five minutes – but the problems with this action-adventure don’t stop with its lack of a distinctive color palette; nearly everything about the movie is beige.


Read More About Everything About "Sahara" A Beige Bore: Also, "Bride & Prejudice" And "Bad Education"...


"Sky Captain" Brings Surprise and Fun: "Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow" and "Cellular"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-09-22 00:00:00

Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sky Captain & the World of TomorrowSKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow might be the movie year’s most refreshing surprise, especially when you consider how disastrous the results could have been.


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