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By Lou Cedrone | April 5, 1991
ALBERT BROOKS doesn't make many films, but those he does make are always welcome.He's done only nine movies. He's worked as an actor in five. He has written, directed and starred in four.His newest, the fourth ''Albert Brooks film,'' is ''Defending Your Life,'' and Brooks fans won't be disappointed. It is a pleasing mixture of humor and sentimentality.In it, Brooks plays an ad man who dies and finds himself at a kind of halfway station where he must defend his life before he can move on to another level, one presumably closer to heaven.
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NEWS
June 3, 2006
George Allen "Slim" Aarons, 89, a photojournalist who traveled the world to capture the essence of the rich and famous and made a career out of -- in his own words -- "photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places," died Tuesday of a heart attack and stroke at a veterans home in Montrose, N.Y. During a career that spanned more than five decades, Mr. Aarons photographed many famous faces of the 20th century, including Humphrey...
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By New York Times News Service | October 27, 1991
New releases of video cassettes; reviews by New York Times critics."The Silence of the Lambs." 1991. Orion. $99.98. Laser disk, $29.95. 1 hour 58 minutes. Closed captioned. R.On the theory that it takes one to know one, the FBI enlists a jailed serial killer to help track down another one on the loose. From his prison cell the cerebral Hannibal (the Cannibal) Lechter Anthony Hopkins), looking as if he were about to dine on one of his victims, sizes up Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), the naive but very smart young FBI agent assigned to pick his brains on the current case.
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By STEPHEN KIEHL and STEPHEN KIEHL,SUN REPORTER | February 5, 2006
WANDA SYKES, WHO was born in Portsmouth, Va., and raised in the Gambrills section of Anne Arundel County, had a breakout year in 2005. The comedian published her first book (Yeah, I Said It), had her first major role in a Hollywood film (Monster-in-Law), completed voice roles for two animated features, and continued her recurring roles on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and Comedy Central's Crank Yankers. She was a latecomer to comedy, however. After graduating from Hampton University, Sykes worked at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Hecht's and as a contracting specialist at the National Security Agency.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 5, 1991
'Defending Your Life'Starring Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.Directed by Albert Brooks.Released by Warner Bros.Rated PG.** 1/2 An old salesman's adage is: You gotta know the territory. In Defending Your Life," Albert Brooks takes this concept to an ethereal level. The thrust of the film is: You gotta know the purgatory.But Brooks, whose subversive and subtle sensibility turned 1985's "Lost in America" into almost certainly the funniest movie of its decade, isn't quite sure what he's doing here.
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By Lou Cedrone | April 10, 1991
Rip Torn is particularly happy to have done ''Defending Your Life,'' a new comedy in which Albert Brooks, who also wrote and directed the film, dies and finds himself in Judgment City, where he must defend his earthly existence before he can make it to the next celestial level.Torn plays Brooks' heavenly defender, a character who gets more than a few laughs, and Torn likes that.''It was Albert's idea,'' said Torn. ''He said that I have played too many scruffy villains. He said he wanted to clean me up and get me doing some comedy.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | January 29, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Albert Brooks is a very brave man.Not only does his new film, "Mother," gently chide every mother who ever lived, but he took his own mother to see it."She actually said to me, 'Honey, I recognized one or two lines from us,' " Brooks recalls. "I said, 'One or two lines, that's it?'So, what did Mom think?"I think she thinks it will be my most popular film, and she sort of uses my other movies to tell me that. She says, 'You know, honey, in this one, you don't have to drop out, you don't have to die.' It's like praise by default.
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By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 20, 2006
Looking for comedy in Albert Brooks' Looking for Comedy In the Muslim World is a fool's errand. There's hardly any there. Difficult to believe this is the same comedic genius responsible for Lost In America, Modern Romance and Mother. It's as though Brooks stopped trying after coming up with the title, a piece of potentially incendiary mischief that suggests controversy as much as humor. Sony, the film's original distributor, was alarmed enough to back out; the movie was picked up by Warner Independent.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | August 27, 1999
"The Muse," Albert Brooks' fitfully funny comedy of Hollywood manners, is a strange animal. By turns biting and breezy, it also remarkably retrograde, ultimately sacrificing wit to less interesting likability. Even though the movie is full of Brooks's characteristically caustic lines, he winds up pulling his punches, resulting in a toothless series of vignettes rather than an insider satire on a par with, say, "Bowfinger."Not that Brooks hasn't come up with a terrific premise. He plays Steven Phillips, a middle-aged screenwriter who can feel his career sliding into irrelevance.
NEWS
June 3, 2006
George Allen "Slim" Aarons, 89, a photojournalist who traveled the world to capture the essence of the rich and famous and made a career out of -- in his own words -- "photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places," died Tuesday of a heart attack and stroke at a veterans home in Montrose, N.Y. During a career that spanned more than five decades, Mr. Aarons photographed many famous faces of the 20th century, including Humphrey...
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 20, 2006
Looking for comedy in Albert Brooks' Looking for Comedy In the Muslim World is a fool's errand. There's hardly any there. Difficult to believe this is the same comedic genius responsible for Lost In America, Modern Romance and Mother. It's as though Brooks stopped trying after coming up with the title, a piece of potentially incendiary mischief that suggests controversy as much as humor. Sony, the film's original distributor, was alarmed enough to back out; the movie was picked up by Warner Independent.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 23, 2003
The In-Laws is a high-concept remake of a 1979 wild comedy that clicked with fans because of the offbeat chemistry between Alan Arkin as a slow-boiling dentist and Peter Falk as a soft-shoe secret agent - mismatched parents thrown together by the marriage of their kids. The idea seems to have been "let's do it over like a family-film-cum-Bond-movie," but Spy Kids beats it silly on that score. This picture's notion of a Bond parody is to play Paul McCartney songs over an action scene. The odd couple this time is Albert Brooks as a punctilious podiatrist and Michael Douglas as a brasher sort of CIA man enmeshed in a deep-cover operation.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 19, 2001
My First Mister does such a nice job of developing a relationship between two mismatched characters, and features such fine performances from its leads, it's a real shame the film gets mushy at the end. The result is an all too conventional ending on a film that should have been much better. Leelee Sobieski, in her most complex screen role, is Jennifer, a Goth-inspired teen who rails against whatever's handy: parents, school, the world. She even hates her name, preferring the much cooler sobriquet J. A talented wordsmith, she refuses to be happy about even that.
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By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 17, 2001
TORONTO - Director John Dahl thought his Joy Ride star, Leelee Sobieski, was mature beyond her years. But he forgot just how young she was until discovering she missed her high school prom to perform in the movie. "We all felt like such jerks," Dahl said. "I felt terrible. So the grips and the electrics got together and bought her some flowers. She was a real trouper about it." The 19-year-old Sobieski is part of a new crop of actresses whose sophistication belies their age. Fellow New Yorker Julia Stiles (O)
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | August 27, 1999
"The Muse," Albert Brooks' fitfully funny comedy of Hollywood manners, is a strange animal. By turns biting and breezy, it also remarkably retrograde, ultimately sacrificing wit to less interesting likability. Even though the movie is full of Brooks's characteristically caustic lines, he winds up pulling his punches, resulting in a toothless series of vignettes rather than an insider satire on a par with, say, "Bowfinger."Not that Brooks hasn't come up with a terrific premise. He plays Steven Phillips, a middle-aged screenwriter who can feel his career sliding into irrelevance.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | January 29, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Albert Brooks is a very brave man.Not only does his new film, "Mother," gently chide every mother who ever lived, but he took his own mother to see it."She actually said to me, 'Honey, I recognized one or two lines from us,' " Brooks recalls. "I said, 'One or two lines, that's it?'So, what did Mom think?"I think she thinks it will be my most popular film, and she sort of uses my other movies to tell me that. She says, 'You know, honey, in this one, you don't have to drop out, you don't have to die.' It's like praise by default.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 24, 1997
Sooner or later Albert Brooks will make a complete film, and it will be a peach. This ain't it.Superficially funny, "Mother" runs out of gas halfway and struggles to an ending so lame it feels more like a forfeit, a way of quitting without having to put an "Incomplete" on your resume. But that's typical of Brooks; even his best film, "Lost in America," had a bad second-half surrender.The premise is interesting, if, say, you're 12 and haunted by your mother, whom you love, hate, fear and desire all at once.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 23, 2003
The In-Laws is a high-concept remake of a 1979 wild comedy that clicked with fans because of the offbeat chemistry between Alan Arkin as a slow-boiling dentist and Peter Falk as a soft-shoe secret agent - mismatched parents thrown together by the marriage of their kids. The idea seems to have been "let's do it over like a family-film-cum-Bond-movie," but Spy Kids beats it silly on that score. This picture's notion of a Bond parody is to play Paul McCartney songs over an action scene. The odd couple this time is Albert Brooks as a punctilious podiatrist and Michael Douglas as a brasher sort of CIA man enmeshed in a deep-cover operation.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 24, 1997
Sooner or later Albert Brooks will make a complete film, and it will be a peach. This ain't it.Superficially funny, "Mother" runs out of gas halfway and struggles to an ending so lame it feels more like a forfeit, a way of quitting without having to put an "Incomplete" on your resume. But that's typical of Brooks; even his best film, "Lost in America," had a bad second-half surrender.The premise is interesting, if, say, you're 12 and haunted by your mother, whom you love, hate, fear and desire all at once.
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | April 21, 1994
Events, past and future, color many of the repeats offered by TV tonight.* "Mad About You" (8-8:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- A minor TV mystery solved: When this clever "virtual reality" episode of "Mad About You" ran in February, it was somewhat puzzling why guest star Christie Brinkley so enthusiastically threw herself into the role of Paul's fantasy female. Now we know her marriage to Billy Joel was, by that time, several months in the unmaking, and her prime-time guest shot can be seen in retrospect as a high-profile return to (and display of)
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