Movie Reviews

Cryin' time: Notebook brings out the hankies
Published on Jun 24th, 2004
0 comments I've got to get in touch with my feminine side for this one because we "real men" don't like romantic tearjerkers– unless there's a football involved. The Notebook could be one of those classic...
Time warp: Keeping mama in the dark
Published on Jun 17th, 2004
0 comments If ever a movie was meant to be seen on Mother's Day, it's Good Bye Lenin! Germany's submission for this year's Academy Awards. (It didn't get an Oscar nomination, but it was nominated for a Golden...
McMovie: Bulking up with Ronald
Published on Jun 10th, 2004
0 comments Everything's super in the summer: superstars playing superheroes in superbudgeted supermovies that often turn out to be superdisappointments. The most super movie of Summer 2004 may turn out to be a...
<I>HP3</I>: Darker, more Sirius
Published on Jun 3rd, 2004
0 comments The big news about HP3, or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is that its "13-year-old wizards" have managed to avoid the onset of adolescence one more time, even as the world around them...
Kiddin' with Kate: <I>Raising Helen </I>raises laughs
Published on May 27th, 2004
0 comments She was good in Almost Famous, but Kate Hudson is rapidly becoming my least favorite offspring of a most favorite parent. When she has to choose between acting and being cute, acting almost...
Station master: Agent's backer speaks at Jefferson
Published on May 27th, 2004
0 comments A man who helped make possible the surprise indie hit The Station Agent will speak between screenings of the show at the Jefferson Theater. Barry Sisson, who gave up his career in the security...
Happily ever... Follow-up is Shrektacular
Published on May 20th, 2004
0 comments There's nothing like your first time. One reason for the Shrektacular success of the original Shrek was that it came out of left field and surprised everyone with its hilarious twisting of fairy...
Troy-mendous: Make movies, not war
Published on May 13th, 2004
0 comments In terms of historical accuracy, Troy, inspired by Homer's The Iliad, is probably on a par with Van Helsing. In terms of balancing intimate stories with spectacular battles in an old-school-sized...
Balled up: Hard to tell good from bad
Published on May 13th, 2004
0 comments "I lied and cheated," a contrite dad tells his pitching prodigy son late in Mickey, "and I taught you how to lie and cheat." His Little League son's answer is supposed to console us– the music...
Transylvania Jones: Drac, Frank swing into action
Published on May 6th, 2004
0 comments The movie hog stuck his head in a theater and saw Van Helsing, which means four more months of summer movies. On the premise that nothing succeeds like excess, Universal let that infernal showoff...
Mean Girls: Teen-y meanies could be worse
Published on Apr 29th, 2004
0 comments You'd think everything there is to say about teenage girls and the perils of high school had already been said. And you'd be right. But that doesn't mean it can't be said again when someone surveys...
Aging: 13 to 30 gets old fast
Published on Apr 22nd, 2004
0 comments If you could see yourself through 13-year-old eyes, would you like the person you've become? That's the question posed by 13 Going on 30, a comedy most notable for proving Alias star Jennifer Garner...
Satisfying: Uma's the man!
Published on Apr 15th, 2004
0 comments Some say Uma Thurman was robbed by not getting an Oscar nomination for Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Not really, but she'll be robbed if she doesn't get one for Kill Bill, Vol. 2. This superior continuation of...
Forget this Alamo: Viewers surrender to boredom
Published on Apr 8th, 2004
0 comments At last the truth can be told about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. Although the 185 defenders of the mission-fortress were hopelessly outnumbered by the forces of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (...
The next Tango: Two men in a tub
Published on Apr 1st, 2004
0 comments From The Conformist to The Sheltering Sky and 1900 to The Last Emperor, Bernardo Bertolucci has never been about the pursuit of trivia. He even made sex seem weighty in Last Tango in Paris.  ...
Busting a cap: Coens shooting blanks
Published on Mar 25th, 2004
0 comments If you're familiar with the 1955 English comedy The Ladykillers, you'll think it an unlikely vehicle to be remade as a gospel musical. That's why Joel and Ethan are the Coen Brothers and you're not....
To err is human? Fog of War makes its case
Published on Mar 18th, 2004
0 comments There's an interesting juxtaposition on Sony Pictures Classics' release schedule. The Statement and The Fog of War both opened in December for award consideration before rolling out to the rest of...
Back to the '70s: Along came polyester
Published on Mar 11th, 2004
0 comments After the torture shown in The Passion of the Christ, the next worst thing I can think of is having to relive the '70s without the drugs that got us through the first time. That's how it is watching...
Mustang salvo: Horsing around with Frank of Arabia
Published on Mar 4th, 2004
0 comments Not the least of Hidalgo's accomplishments is reducing U.S. involvement in the Middle East to a horse race. Raising entertainment to an art form, director Joe Johnston imbues this fact-based tall...
Excruciating: The Gospel according to Mel
Published on Feb 26th, 2004
0 comments Christ, you know it ain't easy.– John Lennon When seeing The Passion of the Christ it's crucial to understand that "crucifixion" and "excruciating" (and "crucial") come from the same root. It's...
Maine event: Retiring president v. plumber
Published on Feb 19th, 2004
0 comments Maine is famous for two things: Stephen King and everything else. Welcome to Mooseport isn't likely to change that. This election-year comedy about an election would have been run-of-the-mill...
Forget it: 50 first dates too many
Published on Feb 12th, 2004
0 comments Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore had enough chemistry in The Wedding Singer that a re-teaming was inevitable in an industry where anything that works well is worked to death. It works again in 50...
Mighty pucks: Pumping up America's morale
Published on Feb 5th, 2004
0 comments We may know the answer by the time you read this, but I wonder which presidential candidate will co-opt Miracle as his personal vision, the way Ronald Reagan did Bruce Springsteen's song, "Born in...
Brush with Greitness: Nobody home at the Vermeers'
Published on Jan 29th, 2004
0 comments Subtlety can be a virtue in movies, especially since it's such a rare commodity in Hollywood. But like anything else in cinema, it can be overused. Girl with a Pearl Earring is about people who lived...
Things fall apart: One flutter, lots of waves
Published on Jan 22nd, 2004
0 comments The title and Chaos Theory are both explained by the opening title card in The Butterfly Effect. It informs us the flapping of a butterfly's wings sets in motion a chain of events that can ultimately...
Risk assessment: Polly needs a wisecrack
Published on Jan 15th, 2004
0 comments If I were an insurance risk assessment expert like Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller), I could feed the positive and negative factors of a movie like Along Came Polly into a computer, hit "Enter" and have...
Nice enough: No hooks in Big Fish
Published on Jan 8th, 2004
0 comments Tall tales are Tim Burton's stock in trade, so a movie about tall tales isn't too big a departure as he tries to bounce back from Planet of the Apes by showing his two hands can handle a whopper. The...
In review: the great work ends in 2003
Published on Dec 25th, 2003
0 comments At the end of the first part of Angels in America, which would be high on the list of the year's best films if it had had a qualifying theatrical run, the Angel says, "The great work begins." The big...
Big little man: Big little movie
Published on Dec 18th, 2003
0 comments If you find anyone who doesn't love The Station Agent, it's time to reactivate the X-Files, because they're not human. Writer-director Tom McCarthy shot much of his film from low angles to help us...
Ring worms, Rejoice! Third time's a charm
Published on Dec 11th, 2003
0 comments Ringworms have reason to rejoice. As expected, since the trilogy was filmed all at once, director Peter Jackson hasn't blown it in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Although it's the...