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By Chris Hewitt and Chris Hewitt,Knight-Ridder News Service | July 22, 1994
You want to go to the movies. So you turn to the newspaper, where movie ads trumpet the current films. The "Wyatt Earp" ad proclaims, "Not bad, but you'll probably wish you'd waited for video." "I Love Trouble" brags, "Terrible! Don't waste your money!" And the ads for "Baby's Day Out" suggest, "What, are you kidding? Wash your hair instead!"OK, so the idea of newspaper ads that actually help you decide what to see is a fantasy. But there are ways to sniff out stinkers before you find yourself seven bucks and two hours poorer.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | August 6, 2008
Movie openings ... they're not just for Fridays anymore. With new movies tripping over each other every week as they struggle to maximize buzz and bring in more box-office bucks than the competition, studios are looking to exploit every possible edge. Increasingly, that involves pushing at the boundaries of the traditional Friday opening - either by debuting the film just after midnight Friday (as The Dark Knight did last month) or, as is happening today with Columbia's Pineapple Express and Warner Bros.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | July 18, 1992
Everyone connected with "Man Trouble" is 100 percent culturally validated: Jack Nicholson, of course, is the leading film actor of his generation; Ellen Barkin, after a series of vivid, passionate performances, is the first genuine actress since Meryl Streep to poise on the edge of movie stardom; Bob Rafelson, the director, is a legendary enfant terrible of Hollywood, having helmed the classic "Five Easy Pieces," as well as "Mountains of the Moon" and...
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By Anne Tallent and Anne Tallent,Sun reporter | December 21, 2007
"The best action picture in decades!" The Bourne Ultimatum box exclaimed. Wow! Really? I mean, I knew it was supposed to be good. ... Then I peered at the flea-sized name beneath the blurb. "Pete Hammond, Maxim." Oh. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie. It just means that the praise is probably way, way overrated. You see, Hammond, like Rolling Stone's Peter Travers, NBC's Jeffrey Lyons and CNN's Larry King, is, in industry parlance, a "soft touch." They appear to like everything - a lot. And film publicists like them - a lot - because their names are attached to large, national media.
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By Anne Tallent and Anne Tallent,Sun reporter | December 21, 2007
"The best action picture in decades!" The Bourne Ultimatum box exclaimed. Wow! Really? I mean, I knew it was supposed to be good. ... Then I peered at the flea-sized name beneath the blurb. "Pete Hammond, Maxim." Oh. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie. It just means that the praise is probably way, way overrated. You see, Hammond, like Rolling Stone's Peter Travers, NBC's Jeffrey Lyons and CNN's Larry King, is, in industry parlance, a "soft touch." They appear to like everything - a lot. And film publicists like them - a lot - because their names are attached to large, national media.
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By STEPHEN KIEHL and STEPHEN KIEHL,SUN REPORTER | August 17, 2006
For Freeman Williams, there's nothing better than a bad movie. The flat acting, poor lighting, cheap sets, fake blood, inane plots - what's not to love? So Williams founded a Web site to review bad movies and extol their virtues at length. The best bad movies, he said, are entertaining in spite of themselves. They make you feel superior and give you something to laugh at. They are, he said, "the stuff of classical tragedy." But as moviemaking gets more expensive, and studios test market films to death, good bad movies are disappearing, say their fans.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | August 6, 2008
Movie openings ... they're not just for Fridays anymore. With new movies tripping over each other every week as they struggle to maximize buzz and bring in more box-office bucks than the competition, studios are looking to exploit every possible edge. Increasingly, that involves pushing at the boundaries of the traditional Friday opening - either by debuting the film just after midnight Friday (as The Dark Knight did last month) or, as is happening today with Columbia's Pineapple Express and Warner Bros.
NEWS
By RICHARD REEVES | March 18, 1993
Los Angeles.--The city of the future is having a nervous breakdown.The symptom of the end of California dreamin' is, appropriately, a bad movie.''Falling Down'' stars Michael Douglas as a recently fired defense worker who cracks up on the freeway in South Pasadena and decides to walk 20 miles across Los Angeles to the home of his ex-wife in Venice. Then, in an unfortunate phrase in a Los Angeles Times commentary, ''He does everything you've always wanted to do.''What he does is break up a Korean grocery store because the owner can't pronounce ''five,'' win a street war with a couple of guys from a Hispanic gang, terrorize a hamburger stand with automatic weapons because they don't serve breakfast after 11:30 a.m., kill the nasty owner of an Army-surplus store and a rich old golfer who gives him a hard time, go after a construction crew with a heat-seeking missile.
NEWS
By ROGER SIMON | August 16, 1993
Simon Says:I don't get it: If violent TV shows are supposed to make kids more violent, how come comedies don't make them any funnier?*When did turquoise become teal?*You read it here first: With so many partners now owning the team, the Orioles are going to have to add thousands of prime location "owners seats" at Camden Yards, forcing out longtime fans and creating riots next opening day.*Two reasons to own a television set: Ed Feldman and Joe L'Erario of "Furniture on the Mend."*If you ever get a watch that tells you the day of the week, you can never go back to a watch that doesn't.
NEWS
By RICHARD REEVES | February 24, 1994
Los Angeles.--To date myself: I was a sophomore in college in 1958 when the movie ''Gigi'' came out. There was a song in it, sung by Maurice Chevalier, that we all laughed about, called ''I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore.''That still seemed funny to me until Monday when my wife and I went to see ''Reality Bites,'' the film some critics seem to think defines the new generation of post-baby boomers, Generation X. If they are right and this is what it is like to be young and educated in 1994, I am now glad I'm not young anymore.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 9, 2007
Bad ideas seem to skip generations when it comes to making holiday movies. Today's hectic farce-spectacle Fred Claus replicates the key mistake of the 1985 dud, Santa Claus: The Movie. With the potential of Santa's wonderworks at their disposal, all the filmmakers come up with for a plot is the peril of measuring toyshop productivity. In Fred Claus, the villain is Kevin Spacey's efficiency expert, who threatens to shut Santa's operation down if he can't meet children's increasing demands.
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By STEPHEN KIEHL and STEPHEN KIEHL,SUN REPORTER | August 17, 2006
For Freeman Williams, there's nothing better than a bad movie. The flat acting, poor lighting, cheap sets, fake blood, inane plots - what's not to love? So Williams founded a Web site to review bad movies and extol their virtues at length. The best bad movies, he said, are entertaining in spite of themselves. They make you feel superior and give you something to laugh at. They are, he said, "the stuff of classical tragedy." But as moviemaking gets more expensive, and studios test market films to death, good bad movies are disappearing, say their fans.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Glenn Whipp and Glenn Whipp,LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS | July 31, 2003
There are a lot of reasons to approach the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez romance Gigli with trepidation when it opens tomorrow. Initial preview screenings elicited disastrous responses from test audiences. The studio took note, recalled the cast, shot another ending and tested the movie again. Apparently that screening didn't go so well, since director Martin Brest and Revolution Studios head Joe Roth left the theater screaming at each other and had to be separated. "See, we did it your way, we did your Hollywood ending and people hated it!"
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 14, 2003
Cut. Slash. Kill. The Hunted has lots of that, but not much else. An ode to the nobility of killing things with your hands and eschewing such unfair accoutrements as guns (sharp things apparently are OK, so long as they're crafted by hand), the movie makes almost no sense whatsoever and should be seen only by those who have long wondered who would win a knife fight between stars Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro. Director William Friedkin seems to be making some statement here about how violence is OK, maybe even glorious, so long as it's inflicted mano a mano.
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By Roger Catlin and Roger Catlin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 24, 2002
He hasn't been seen much on TV since he was orbiting the Earth with a bunch of wise-guy robots, doomed to watching bad movies. But Joel Hodgson, who made an art form of razzing movies on the cult-favorite TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 for five of its seven seasons, will be back in January - and on network TV to boot. He and his brother Jim Hodgson have been hired for the new Jimmy Kimmel late-night talk show, set to have its premiere on ABC after Nightline next month. "I think my role is writer/producer," Hodgson says from Los Angeles.
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By Susan King and Susan King,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 20, 2002
Two years after completing production, the Eddie Murphy comedy The Adventures of Pluto Nash finally arrived in theaters. The Castle Rock film, in which Murphy plays a nightclub owner on the moon battling the Mafia for control of his establishment, has had a troubled production that included re-shoots; it reportedly cost about $100 million. Critics weren't invited to see the movie before it opened - usually an indication of trouble. Along with his huge hits, Murphy has had some bona fide stinkers over the years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Glenn Whipp and Glenn Whipp,LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS | July 31, 2003
There are a lot of reasons to approach the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez romance Gigli with trepidation when it opens tomorrow. Initial preview screenings elicited disastrous responses from test audiences. The studio took note, recalled the cast, shot another ending and tested the movie again. Apparently that screening didn't go so well, since director Martin Brest and Revolution Studios head Joe Roth left the theater screaming at each other and had to be separated. "See, we did it your way, we did your Hollywood ending and people hated it!"
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | July 19, 1992
No movie I've seen in the past six months has lit me up as much as "Boomerang."It's such a rare feeling, too: the buzz, the increasing excitement, the sense of stepping through the membrane of the screen until you are completely inside the movie, wandering among the characters, desperate to know what happens next. And you know that when it's over, you'll want to hector people about it, try to get them to feel some of the excitement that you felt as it unspooled before your fascinated eyes.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | August 11, 2000
It was bound to happen: Just as "The Silence of the Lambs" spawned a spate of sadistic thrillers based on increasingly bizarre methods of torturing women, the surprise success of last summer's "The Sixth Sense" has spurred all manner of occult hair-raisers with a spookily gifted child. If "Bless the Child" is any indication, this isn't going to be pretty. Kim Basinger plays a harried psychiatric nurse living a modest existence in New York (stop laughing) when her junkie sister shows up one night with an infant daughter.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | October 8, 1999
Superstar" is sweet, a little bit poignant and, in its own slapdash way, even endearing.What it is not is funny.But then, isn't that what we've come to expect from films based on characters from "Saturday Night Live"? When Chris Rock, at last week's big bash celebrating the show's 25th season, noted that the talent assembled there was responsible for some of the worst movies ever made, he wasn't exaggerating."Superstar" brings repressed Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon)
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