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items tagged with Vin Diesel

Explosive "Crash" an Early Contender for Best of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" and "XXX: State of the Union"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-11 00:00:00

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in CrashCRASH

Crash, the magnificent drama by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, fits alongside such sprawling, ensemble-driven works as Grand Canyon, Short Cuts, and Magnolia, movies in which plotlines dovetail within one another and themes enmesh, and where bitter, dissatisfied characters might not wind up more content than before – some might not even wind up alive – but they will definitely have shared, for better or worse, An Experience. (These characters might not receive traditional happy endings, yet they almost invariably find degrees of solace and a measure of hope.) Moviegoers who crave a clearly delineated moral to their stories can be driven batty by films of this ilk; more than once I’ve heard someone ask, apropos of one of these works, “But what was its point?” Crash, like its predecessors, explores characters so hungry for contact and meaning and understanding in a chaotic universe that they’re ready to explode, and oftentimes do. That hunger becomes the point.


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Unexpected Moments Enliven "The Pacifier": Also, "Stage Beauty" and "Robots"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-16 00:00:00

Vin Diesel in The PacifierTHE PACIFIER

There’s a moment in the Vin Diesel family comedy The Pacifier that should have really pissed me off, but instead it made me almost unaccountably happy: About midway through the film, Diesel, playing a former Navy SEAL entrusted with the safety of five fatherless youths (you’ve seen the trailers, you get the idea), enters their suburban digs covered in raw sewage, the victim of a practical joke pulled by the family’s oldest siblings.


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Script, Performers Elevate "Stepford" Remake to Guilty Pleasure: "The Stepford Wives," "The Chronicles of Riddick," and "Garfield: The Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-06-23 00:00:00

Matthew Broderick and Nicole Kidman in The Stepford WivesTHE STEPFORD WIVES

As crummy movies go, Frank Oz’s remake of The Stepford Wives is pretty darned terrific. The film has been plagued by rumors of trouble on the set and post-production nightmares and general confusion throughout, and you can practically see these turmoils on the screen; the movie is bizarrely assembled and terribly edited – characters’ motivations change from scene to scene with little rhyme or reason – and it all falls apart before your eyes. Oz doesn’t seem to have a clue how to treat the material, but one person does: screenwriter Paul Rudnick. He knows exactly what he’s up to – a bitchy, campy tale involving a group of nerdy men who enact revenge on the successful women they feel inferior to – and individual scenes in this Stepford Wives are so hilarious and dead-on smart that you wind up enjoying the movie despite being aware of how awful much of it is. Like last summer’s Rudnick-written Marci X, it’s a perfect example of a comedy in which individual set pieces far exceed the whole, and it can be blissfully enjoyed on its own underwhelming terms.


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Lee’s Latest Should Not Be Missed: "25th Hour," "A Man Apart," "Dysfunktional Family," and "Anger Management"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-04-16 00:00:00

Barry Pepper, Edward Norton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 25th Hour25TH HOUR

I wish my schedule had allowed me to catch Spike Lee’s 25th Hour sooner, as I would have happily spent the last two weeks extolling its merits to everyone I saw. (It ends its run at the Quad Cities Brew & View on April 17.) The film, wherein a convicted drug dealer (Edward Norton) spends his last free day in New York tying up loose ends among family and friends, is probably Lee’s most passionate, exemplary work since 1989’s Do the Right Thing. Though the movie showcases Lee’s trademark anger, profane humor, and uncommon vibrancy, what sets the film apart from his usual fare is its sadness; it has an aura of melancholy that keeps the director’s more bombastic impulses in check. (He even pulls off a beauty of a lullaby ending, one which, in lesser lands, could have been disastrous.)


Read More About Lee’S Latest Should Not Be Missed: "25th Hour," "A Man Apart," "Dysfunktional Family," And "Anger Management"...


Playing with a Different Set of "Rules": "The Rules of Attraction," "White Oleander," and "Knockaround Guys"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-10-16 00:00:00

Ian Somerhalder in The Rules of AttractionTHE RULES OF ATTRACTION

Roger Avary’s The Rules of Attraction, based on yet another Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho) novel about soulless, loathsome yuppie scumbags of the ’80s, is vile, venal, and sometimes shockingly distasteful. I loved it.


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