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items tagged with Westerns

Dull Competency Sinks "Hidalgo": Also, "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-17 00:00:00

Viggo Mortensen in HidalgoHIDALGO

As family-friendly adventures go, the Disney-produced western Hidalgo isn’t all that bad, but it sure could have used a feistier directorial spirit, something like what Gore Verbinski brought to last summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean.


Read More About Dull Competency Sinks "Hidalgo": Also, "Girl With A Pearl Earring"...


"The Last Samurai" Derivative, Dull: Also, "Timeline," "The Haunted Mansion," and "The Missing"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-12-10 00:00:00

Tom Cruise in The Last SamuraiTHE LAST SAMURAI

Occasionally, all it takes is sharp cinematography to get critics all woozy. How else to explain the positive notices for Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai, a period epic so unexceptional and derivative it might as well have been called Dances with Wolves Meets Braveheart? (Barkeep! Oscars for all!)


Read More About "The Last Samurai" Derivative, Dull: Also, "Timeline," "The Haunted Mansion," And "The Missing"...


Costner the Actor Kills Costner the Director: "Open Range," "Freddy Vs. Jason," "Uptown Girls," and "Marci X"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-08-27 00:00:00

Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall in Open RangeOPEN RANGE

What will it take for Kevin Costner to give a performance again? His new movie, the western Open Range, which he also directed, has a lot going for it – beautiful camerawork, impressive editing, a strong, simple storyline, a marvelously cantankerous Robert Duvall – yet smack at the center is sweet, dear, painfully inadequate Kevin Costner, looking and sounding so uninvolved with his surroundings and his fellow actors that he weakens his entire film. (It took great restraint to laugh at him only once, at his hysterically unmotivated reading of the cowpoke classic “Let’s rustle up some grub.”) Some will argue that Costner is actually deeply in character, playing an uncivilized man for whom conversation and companionship offer little comfort, but look at him onscreen: His Zen blankness is indistinguishable from a coma, and his “concentration” resembles nothing so much as a somnambulist struggling to stay awake. As usual, Costner is fine with rare moments of fringe comedy – reminding us why we once liked him in movies like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams and Tin Cup – but he’s positively deadly in Open Range, and not because of his character’s prowess with a gun.


Read More About Costner The Actor Kills Costner The Director: "Open Range," "Freddy Vs. Jason," "Uptown Girls," And "Marci X"...


Gripping "Traffic" Is One for the Ages: Also, "All the Pretty Horses" and "Miss Congeniality"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-01-10 00:00:00

Catherine Zeta-Jones in TrafficTRAFFIC

Sitting in the audience for Steven Soderbergh’s drug drama Traffic, I heard a sound that had been sorely missing from 12-plus months of moviegoing: rapt, appreciative silence. It was the sort of silence that you only get when a director is in full control of his work, when the actors are working at peak form, and when the storyline is so gripping that you can’t wait to see where it will lead you next. Based on a British mini-series, Traffic is something increasingly rare in modern films: a large-scale epic with a human pulse, in which every character and nuance is sharply defined, and in which your alliances and points of view change with each passing scene. The accolades and awards already bestowed on the film aren’t simply a matter of it being the best of a bum year; it’s one of the best movies released in many years.


Read More About Gripping "Traffic" Is One For The Ages: Also, "All The Pretty Horses" And "Miss Congeniality"...





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