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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | May 11, 2007
The Ex doesn't have a ghost of a chance: It plays like an ex-movie. Maybe in some early stage, it was alive. But now it clanks on screen like Marley's Ghost. When the script sold, it must have contained some exploration of the farcical premise: A married couple reaching crisis-point after the birth of their first child. That clicked comedically in Flirting With Disaster (1996). And this movie takes it in potentially fresh directions only to dead-end in lame-o jokes. The Ex (MGM) Starring Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, Jason Bateman, Charles Grodin, Mia Farrow.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | May 11, 2007
The Ex doesn't have a ghost of a chance: It plays like an ex-movie. Maybe in some early stage, it was alive. But now it clanks on screen like Marley's Ghost. When the script sold, it must have contained some exploration of the farcical premise: A married couple reaching crisis-point after the birth of their first child. That clicked comedically in Flirting With Disaster (1996). And this movie takes it in potentially fresh directions only to dead-end in lame-o jokes. The Ex (MGM) Starring Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, Jason Bateman, Charles Grodin, Mia Farrow.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | December 17, 1993
Pity the poor sequel director. It's a can't-win job. If the movie hits, it's because the original was great; if it fails, it's because the new director's a jerk. Worse, he's got to walk the dangerous and narrow line between more-of-the-same and it's- too-different."Beethoven's 2nd" checks in on the it's-too-different side of the ledger. Rod Daniel has made certain changes, almost none of which work. Conspicuously, neither he nor anyone affiliated with the project appear to have sat down and rigorously analyzed the appeal of the first film.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | January 9, 1995
Tom Snyder is back, and CBS has him. Charles Grodin is back, from wherever he was, and CNBC has him. And in a new sitcom on ABC, Corbin Bernsen is back, but who wants him?* "A Whole New Ballgame" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 2) -- Last week, Mr. Bernsen played a reprehensible misogynist in a Donna Mills made-for-TV movie about a wife-beater. The script was horrible, and so was Mr. Bernsen. Now the former "L.A. Law" star plays his second chauvinist jerk of 1995, starring as a baseball player turned TV sportscaster in this astoundingly unfunny sitcom.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 6, 1992
"Beethoven" divides the world into two elementary, unbridgeable halves: those who are owned by dogs and those who are not.If you've never spent the night with a fat beagle rammed up against you, and listened sleeplessly as he snores like a drunken old man, felt him beam rancid breath in your ear, radiate body heat like pure steam, slurp, urp, burp, stretch, yawn, yap and yip, and of course, announce with a throaty aria at 3 a.m. his desire to "go out," then this probably isn't the movie for you.For the rest of us, it's a dream of pure dog love, its manifold flaws somewhat finessed by the good humor and adoration it slathers upon the true rulers of the planet.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 3, 1992
"Beethoven" divides the world into two elementary, unbridgeable halves: those who are owned by dogs and those who are not.If you've never spent the night with a fat beagle rammed up against you, and listened sleeplessly as he snores like a drunken old man, felt him beam rancid breath in your ear, radiate body heat like pure steam, slurp, urp, burp, stretch, yawn, yap and yip, and of course, announce with a throaty aria at 3 a.m. his desire to "go out," then this probably isn't the movie for you.For the rest of us, it's a dream of pure doglove, its manifold flaws somewhat finessed by the good humor and adoration it slathers upon the true rulers of the planet.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | January 9, 1995
Tom Snyder is back, and CBS has him. Charles Grodin is back, from wherever he was, and CNBC has him. And in a new sitcom on ABC, Corbin Bernsen is back, but who wants him?* "A Whole New Ballgame" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 2) -- Last week, Mr. Bernsen played a reprehensible misogynist in a Donna Mills made-for-TV movie about a wife-beater. The script was horrible, and so was Mr. Bernsen. Now the former "L.A. Law" star plays his second chauvinist jerk of 1995, starring as a baseball player turned TV sportscaster in this astoundingly unfunny sitcom.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Hewitt and Chris Hewitt,Knight-Ridder News Service | April 1, 1994
No matter how cute child stars such as Shirley Temple and the Olsen twins are, a lot of the time you just want to smack them.Something about the ease with which they summon phony emotions makes them seem inhuman -- we sense that many of these dimpled angels are really monsters. They're certainly ripe for being targets of satire, and the movie "Clifford" knows it. But the people who made this bizarre comedy didn't have the guts to follow through.The title character is an unusually smart, unusually rotten kid who is obsessed with visiting California's fictitious Dinosaurworld.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | September 23, 1994
Run from "It Runs in The Family."Derived from the folksy, avuncular works of Jean Shepherd, it's a movie in search of a story, characters and a reason to exist. In this quest, it goes 0 for 3. It's like watching Jell-O harden, then melt, only not quite so much fun.Shepherd, declared a "humorist" essentially by Playboy magazine, which alone among American publications would print his meandering, pretentious and banal recollections of life in an idealized early '50s small Indiana city, actually narrates this film in a plummy radio voice that overstates everything and soon comes to feel as if a very strong man is applying extreme thumb pressure to the base of your brain.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | August 13, 1993
"Heart and Souls"Starring Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin and Alfre WoodardDirected by Ron UnderwoodReleased by UniversalRated PG-13** 1/25/8 There are some great movie moments in "Heart and Souls," but not enough of them to matter. This is another one of those epiphany machines that's calculated to grind on gears so fine they con your eyes and sinuses into producing copious amounts of fluid. You're not supposed to walk out of the theater so much as surf out, on a banzai pipeline of mucus, fake grief and cheesy triumph.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | September 23, 1994
Run from "It Runs in The Family."Derived from the folksy, avuncular works of Jean Shepherd, it's a movie in search of a story, characters and a reason to exist. In this quest, it goes 0 for 3. It's like watching Jell-O harden, then melt, only not quite so much fun.Shepherd, declared a "humorist" essentially by Playboy magazine, which alone among American publications would print his meandering, pretentious and banal recollections of life in an idealized early '50s small Indiana city, actually narrates this film in a plummy radio voice that overstates everything and soon comes to feel as if a very strong man is applying extreme thumb pressure to the base of your brain.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Hewitt and Chris Hewitt,Knight-Ridder News Service | April 1, 1994
No matter how cute child stars such as Shirley Temple and the Olsen twins are, a lot of the time you just want to smack them.Something about the ease with which they summon phony emotions makes them seem inhuman -- we sense that many of these dimpled angels are really monsters. They're certainly ripe for being targets of satire, and the movie "Clifford" knows it. But the people who made this bizarre comedy didn't have the guts to follow through.The title character is an unusually smart, unusually rotten kid who is obsessed with visiting California's fictitious Dinosaurworld.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | December 17, 1993
Pity the poor sequel director. It's a can't-win job. If the movie hits, it's because the original was great; if it fails, it's because the new director's a jerk. Worse, he's got to walk the dangerous and narrow line between more-of-the-same and it's- too-different."Beethoven's 2nd" checks in on the it's-too-different side of the ledger. Rod Daniel has made certain changes, almost none of which work. Conspicuously, neither he nor anyone affiliated with the project appear to have sat down and rigorously analyzed the appeal of the first film.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | August 13, 1993
"Heart and Souls"Starring Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin and Alfre WoodardDirected by Ron UnderwoodReleased by UniversalRated PG-13** 1/25/8 There are some great movie moments in "Heart and Souls," but not enough of them to matter. This is another one of those epiphany machines that's calculated to grind on gears so fine they con your eyes and sinuses into producing copious amounts of fluid. You're not supposed to walk out of the theater so much as surf out, on a banzai pipeline of mucus, fake grief and cheesy triumph.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 6, 1992
"Beethoven" divides the world into two elementary, unbridgeable halves: those who are owned by dogs and those who are not.If you've never spent the night with a fat beagle rammed up against you, and listened sleeplessly as he snores like a drunken old man, felt him beam rancid breath in your ear, radiate body heat like pure steam, slurp, urp, burp, stretch, yawn, yap and yip, and of course, announce with a throaty aria at 3 a.m. his desire to "go out," then this probably isn't the movie for you.For the rest of us, it's a dream of pure dog love, its manifold flaws somewhat finessed by the good humor and adoration it slathers upon the true rulers of the planet.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 3, 1992
"Beethoven" divides the world into two elementary, unbridgeable halves: those who are owned by dogs and those who are not.If you've never spent the night with a fat beagle rammed up against you, and listened sleeplessly as he snores like a drunken old man, felt him beam rancid breath in your ear, radiate body heat like pure steam, slurp, urp, burp, stretch, yawn, yap and yip, and of course, announce with a throaty aria at 3 a.m. his desire to "go out," then this probably isn't the movie for you.For the rest of us, it's a dream of pure doglove, its manifold flaws somewhat finessed by the good humor and adoration it slathers upon the true rulers of the planet.
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By Stephen Hunter | April 2, 1992
"Beethoven" is the big dog movie, in which Charles Grodin, Mr. Fussy, does battle with the title creature, a 200-pound St. Bernard. Cute, anyone? Rated PG."Thunderheart" puts Val Kilmer on an Indian reservation as an FBI agent in search of a killer, set against the militancy of an A.I.M.-like group called A.R.M. Graham Greene of "Dances With Wolves" also stars. Rated R."Where Angels Fear To Tread" is a consummately produced version of the E.M. Forester novel about an imperious British family which tries to enforce its code of behavior on some unruly Italian relatives, and the chaos and tragedy that follows.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | February 5, 2000
Putting off for now the decision on whether to use guest hosts, CBS will get by another Letterman-less week with a little help from Dave's friends. Beginning Monday, "The Late Show with David Letterman" will feature a week of interviews with some of Letterman's favorite guests, sprinkled among snippets of their past visits to the show. The new interviews, which could account for as much as one-third of the hourlong shows, will be conducted by Paul Shaffer, Charles Grodin or Regis Philbin.
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