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items tagged with Woody Allen

New Woody Film Marks a Return to Form: "Anything Else," "Secondhand Lions," "Cold Creek Manor," and "Cabin Fever"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-09-24 00:00:00

Jason Biggs and Woody Allen in Anything ElseANYTHING ELSE

As a lifelong fan of Woody Allen’s cinematic oeuvre, the last five years have been rather painful. Sure, Small Time Crooks was a lot of fun and Sean Penn delivered a truly inspired performance in Sweet & Lowdown, but The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, though intermittently amusing, felt pretty stale, and Celebrity and last year’s Hollywood Ending were just plain awful. (Part of being a true fan includes admitting when your heroes fail, and feeling somewhat heartbroken when they do.)


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"Wind" a Mighty Achievement Indeed: "A Mighty Wind" and "Daddy Day Care"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-05-14 00:00:00

Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest in A Mighty WindA MIGHTY WIND

This might sound like an overstatement, but with A Mighty Wind, writer-director Christopher Guest, aided immeasurably by regular co-scenarist Eugene Levy and his cast of brilliant improv artists, has secured his place as the most distinctive voice in American film comedy since the ’70s heyday of Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. (And judging by the applause that greeted the film’s finale at the screening I attended, I’m not alone in thinking this.)


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"Antwone Fisher" Wins – as the Most Overrated Movie of 2002: Also, "Biker Boyz" and "Real Women Have Curves"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-02-12 00:00:00

Derek Luke and Denzel Washington in Antwone FisherANTWONE FISHER

It’s a bit late, but it finally arrived. The closing of each year brings with it at least one touching, inspirational, triumph-of-the-human-spirit movie designed to make audiences weep and Oscar voters genuflect, while certain Midwestern film critics roll their eyes and wish they could throw things at the screen. (Previous examples: I Am Sam, The Hurricane, and Shine.) For a while, it looked like 2002’s might be About Schmidt, but the film barely qualified; it wasn’t incompetently made, and it did provide a few laughs. At last, though, we have a winner.


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"Spider-Man" Takes Flight with Giddy Action: Also, "Hollywood Ending"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-05-08 00:00:00

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in Spider-ManSPIDER-MAN

Your enjoyment of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man adaptation will, I think, boil down to just how realistic you want your special effects to be. I imagine that even those who haven’t yet seen the film – and there must be at least three or four of you out there – will have seen the previews of our hero as he leaps across buildings and whooshes through downtown Manhattan, and they’re all most obviously computer-generated effects; I have friends who refuse to see the film because of how bored they already are of CGI in movies.


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Thornton and Berry Bring Magic to the "Ball": "Monster's Ball" and 2002 Oscars Postmortem
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-03-27 00:00:00

Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Boyle, and Heath Ledger in Monster's BallMONSTER'S BALL

In Marc Forster’s sterling drama Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry portrays Leticia Musgrove, the wife of a convicted murderer (Sean Combs), who takes the graveyard shift of an all-night Georgia café to support herself and her pre-teen son (Coronji Calhoun). One of her repeat customers is corrections officer Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), son of an unrepentant racist (Peter Boyle) and father of a damaged, depressed son (Heath Ledger). Through a series of tragedies, Leticia and Hank find spiritual and sexual solace in each other’s company, and Monster’s Ball asks the question that, sadly enough, must still be asked in modern-day America: Can black and white find a middle ground and truly exist in harmony?


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