Movie Reviews

Down to business: X-2 an X-cellent adventure
Published on May 1st, 2003
0 comments We had to endure X-Men so X2 (the subtitle X-Men United was added to the advertising as an afterthought, perhaps a subtle suggestion of patriotism) could happen. There was too much background to...
Grab fast: Foley's style keeps Confidence alive
Published on Apr 24th, 2003
0 comments Watching the average movie about a con game is like someone throws a thousand-dollar bill in the air and ten people grab for it; your chances are one in ten of getting it. Watching Confidence is like...
Dig it! Holes not too deep for kids
Published on Apr 17th, 2003
0 comments In the 1960s, when America emerged from its age of innocence, Walt Disney Pictures lost their grip on what constituted "family viewing." Television began to catch up with reality, but Disney produced...
Robbed! City of God should have won
Published on Apr 10th, 2003
0 comments The "chicken run" sequence that opens Fernando Meirelles' City of God (Cidade de Deus) is almost worth the price of admission. It includes an amazing shot of the bird running under a moving van and...
Too familiar: A man playing a part
Published on Apr 3rd, 2003
0 comments As a man playing a part in A Man Apart, Vin Diesel proves himself the best actor among the current action heroes, arguably the best since Harrison Ford. He manages this within the context of an...
Don't! Don't ask, tell... or see
Published on Mar 27th, 2003
0 comments After all the schedule changes that followed the 9/11 attack, it's incredible that Columbia went ahead and released Basic during the war in Iraq. It's not as if there wasn't plenty of warning this...
Catchy : Formula works again for King
Published on Mar 20th, 2003
0 comments Dreamcatcher sucks. Not the movie, the title. Maybe if Stephen King could make up better titles, he'd sell more books, right? It's catchy, no pun intended, and original, but its meaning is so...
Take Dad: Cody Banks wows big guys, too
Published on Mar 13th, 2003
0 comments Things to Do After School: Find a date for the dance Homework!!! Save the world Obviously inspired by Spy Kids, Agent Cody Banks moves the young secret agent premise a step closer to reality, in part...
Regal romp: Queen brings down the house
Published on Mar 6th, 2003
0 comments If Queen Latifah got an Oscar nomination for her minor role in Chicago, she deserves sainthood for what she does in Bringing down the House. This is an extraordinary entertainer whose singing styles...
Dig it! Cradle 2 Grave rocks
Published on Feb 27th, 2003
0 comments Biker Boyz was expected to be the black version of The Fast and the Furious, but it turned out to be a dud. Now here's the multiracial Cradle 2 the Grave, which is nonstop, fast and furious action...
Obvious Life: If you can't figure it out, well...
Published on Feb 20th, 2003
0 comments Alfred Hitchcock used to tell the audience everything and trust their intelligence and imagination to generate the suspense. In The Life of David Gale, Alan Parker tells the audience almost...
One of the best: Talk isn't cheap
Published on Feb 13th, 2003
0 comments Pedro Almodovar explores uncharted regions of the human mind and heart in Talk to Her (Hable con ella). The writer-director seems to get better with every film, and this one ranks among his best. It'...
How-to movie: 10 minutes and audience is gone
Published on Feb 6th, 2003
0 comments Two cute people with opposing agendas have 10 days to fall in love– or not– in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a comedy so formulaic the structure shows through the trappings hung on it. In...
Too clever by half: "The Recruit" fools everybody
Published on Jan 30th, 2003
0 comments That Colin Farrell will be a major star has never been questioned by the 12 people who saw Tigerland, but no one has been able to answer the When? question. The War Zone and American Outlaws also...
Your Father's "Jackass" : Em-Barris-ment for all concerned
Published on Jan 23rd, 2003
0 comments At first glance you may think Chuck Barris deserves Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Has there ever been a more negative biography of a living person, other than a politician perhaps? Has anyone,...
Hip hop: Kangaroo Jack lost in the Outback
Published on Jan 16th, 2003
0 comments Charlie Carbone and Louis Booker meet at the beach at the age of ten, and moments later Louis saves Charlie from drowning. Twenty years later, they're still the best of friends, but since that first...
Shooting ironic: Bang, bang-- you're dead
Published on Jan 9th, 2003
0 comments The people who say irony is dead probably tried to kill it with a handgun, but the post-ironic age will never arrive while Michael Moore (Roger & Me) draws breath. With a lifetime membership in...
2002 in film: Success from old stars and old styles
Published on Dec 26th, 2002
0 comments It wasn't the best of years at the movies, but some of the best moments came from stars of long standing doing some of their best work, and younger directors emulating the old pros.   Top Ten...
"Two" much: Three hours of Gollum gets old
Published on Dec 18th, 2002
0 comments No way should you begin your journey to Middle Earth with The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. To follow the story, you need more than a passing familiarity with The Fellowship of the Ring, because...
J.Lo at your service: Tip Maid with some chuckles
Published on Dec 12th, 2002
0 comments Pretty Woman almost meets The American President in Maid in Manhattan; but these are the Bush years, so the latest cinematic Cinderella story is about a maid winning the affection of an assemblyman...
Planet of the pirates: Seeking buried treasure in space
Published on Nov 28th, 2002
0 comments In 1950 Walt Disney captured boys' hearts and minds with a live-action film of Treasure Island. In 2002, the Disney organization has decided to take another pass at the story, this time through...
Double-oh-no!
Published on Nov 21st, 2002
0 comments As Die Another Day went on and on, I was worried about two things: 1) It would never end; and 2) There would be a pop quiz about the plot. With 20 films in 40 years, each trying to outdo those that...
Poor imitation: Femme Fatale could be fatal
Published on Nov 14th, 2002
0 comments With thousands of people in the world suffering from constipation, "piece of shit" is not a phrase to be used loosely; but after wasting two hours of my life watching Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale, I...
Great mile: Eminem shouldn't get bad rap
Published on Nov 7th, 2002
0 comments Eminem/Marshall Mathers/Slim Shady brings his macho swagger to the big screen in the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile, a '90s version of Saturday Night Fever. Em may not have the emotional range of John...
Auto Focus: Laboring in the shadow
Published on Oct 31st, 2002
0 comments Not all lives fit neatly into the TV Biography format. The exceptions are the stuff movie biographies like Auto Focus are made of. Don't ask me to name three. The closest comparison I can think of is...
The whole truth: Charade remake delivers the goods
Published on Oct 24th, 2002
0 comments Remakes are tricky things. In many cases, the filmmaker has no concept other than to make pretty much the same movie with a different cast on the theory that the property has proven itself, and...
The Ring: It's the denouement, stupid
Published on Oct 17th, 2002
0 comments The denouement is the scene or the moment at the end of a mystery where everything is explained and with luck the loose ends are tied up. No one who saw The Sixth Sense or The Others is likely to...
Chick flick with grit: Oleander might even please guys
Published on Oct 10th, 2002
0 comments How come Monty Python never thought of it? A gritty prison drama with an all-blonde cast! Start with Michelle Pfeiffer, who showed in Dangerous Minds how tough she could be (not!). She's Ingrid...
Lecter series: Red Dragon has bite
Published on Oct 3rd, 2002
0 comments It's hard to imagine anyone in Hollywood having the imagination to look at the Rush Hour movies and choose director Brett Ratner to helm a first-class thriller, the prequel to The Silence of the...
Sweet Home Alabama
Published on Sep 26th, 2002
0 comments Hollywood thinks nothing of "reinventing" an old property by slapping a new title on it, changing the setting, shooting it with a different cast, then pretending it's something brand new. The message...