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items tagged with Will Smith

It’s Cryin’ Time: "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Charlotte's Web"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-12-20 08:17:53

Jaden and Will Smith in The Pursuit of HappynessTHE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS and CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A few days ago, in preparation for my forthcoming year-end recap, I was perusing the list of movies I've caught in 2006, and among my favorite cineplex offerings, I noticed several rather surprising themes. Very few family-friendly works, and none that were animated, despite the release of what felt like a new one every other week. An unusual preponderance of sequels and remakes. And, oddly, almost no works that really got to me emotionally - very few that made me cry.


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Superhero Worship: "Superman Returns" and "Poseidon: The IMAX Experience"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-07-05 04:28:14

Brandon Routh in Superman ReturnsSUPERMAN RETURNS

It takes a while - nearly half an hour - to reach the first truly wonderful scene in Superman Returns. In it, a group of reporters (including Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane) are on an airborne jet's P.R. junket when the electronics suddenly fail, causing the plane to hurtle toward the earth. Thankfully, Superman (Brandon Routh), who has been M.I.A. for the past five years, is there to save the day, which he does by catching the jet and gently guiding it to the middle of a major-league ballpark (during game play, no less). He checks on the passengers, makes a comment (echoing a similar line in Richard Donner's 1978 Superman) about how air flight is "still the safest way to travel," and exits the plane to the deafening cheers of the baseball fans in the stands, and the rousing Americana of it all - baseball and Superman! - produces an extraordinary, joyful rush; you're hard-pressed not to cheer along.


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"Fever Pitch" Wins Despite Its Directors: Also, "The Upside of Anger"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-13 00:00:00

Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in Fever PitchFEVER PITCH

As long as there’s a Hollywood, there will be a surfeit of romantic comedies, but when was the last time you saw one that was as charming and magical as it pretended to be? Granted, Hitch made oodles of money, but the platonic love between Will Smith and Kevin James was more engaging than either of their characters’ eventual hook-ups, and The Wedding Date, in which Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney made flirtation look like an act of desperation, was just slightly less romantic than any given episode of Will & Grace.


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Smith and James Elevate "Hitch" – a Little: Also, "The Wedding Date" and "The Motorcycle Diaries"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-02-23 00:00:00

Will Smith and Kevin James in HitchHITCH

As Hollywood romantic comedies go, the Will Smith vehicle Hitch isn’t bad, which, unfortunately, isn’t the same as actually being good. But judging by the film’s sensational box-office intake – not to mention the enthusiastic audience response at the screening I attended (people actually applauded throughout) – no one seems much bothered by the movie’s mediocrity; many viewers prefer a romantic comedy that doesn’t challenge or excite them in the least to films such as Before Sunset and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Sideways, works that understand and explore the nature of romance in ways that feel revelatory.


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"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" Transcends Metal and the Documentary: Also, "Shark Tale," "Friday Night Lights," and Ladder 49"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-10-13 00:00:00

James Hetfield in Metallica: Some Kind of MonsterMETALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster has the sort of title guaranteed to repel viewers who might love it the most. This warts-and-all documentary, chronicling the two-plus years devoted to creating Metallica’s St. Anger CD, is like the best episode of Behind the Music ever made, offering an intimate look at the relationship between guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and detailing the nightmare involved in getting the group recording again after a five-year hiatus. The movie will be Mecca for metal fans, yet its appeal isn’t totally insular. Audiences who may be loath to sit through a doc on any heavy-metal group might not realize what directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have fashioned here; Some Kind of Monster is one of the finest recordings of the collaborative artistic process ever committed to film, a hard-edged and endlessly fascinating look at the excruciating work that goes into the making of an album. And for those for whom documentaries are even less appealing than heavy metal, it must be said that the film is one of the funniest and most shockingly touching screen works of the year, This Is Spinal Tap with actual human beings at its core. It’s a thrilling experience.


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