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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 20, 2002
SUN SCORE *** Resembling a realistic version of a fractured fairy tale, Adaptation is by far the funniest movie from Being John Malkovich screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. On paper it sounds hopelessly solipsistic and "inside." After all, Kaufman bases his story - about a screenwriter named Charlie Kaufman, who's in a death-struggle to adapt Susan Orlean's nonfiction best seller The Orchid Thief - on his own efforts to adapt Orlean's The Orchid Thief. But when Kaufman plops Nicolas Cage as a slapstick version of himself in the middle of the action, he forges connections with audiences stronger than any he hammers out in this year's earlier Human Nature, his forthcoming Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and even the intermittently uproarious Malkovich.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | November 14, 2008
The hotbed of anxiety and ego that can underlie a theater rehearsal or a routine visit to a doctor's office - that's one of several emotional textures that writer-director Charlie Kaufman (the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) captures with low-key humor and precision in Synecdoche, New York. Sadly, as the movie rambles along with its own brand of quasi-magical surrealism, the links to real experience grow scarcer and more frayed. In terms of how the scenes move and fit together, everything is a little off, and not in the good way we associate with Kaufman when he is in top form.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 3, 2003
1. Rabbit-Proof Fence: Under Phillip Noyce's starkly poetic (and wonderfully unforced) direction, this tale of three Aboriginal girls walking across 1,200 miles of the Australian Outback simply to go home was everything a classic movie should be. Beautifully acted by a largely amateur cast, with a haunting score by Peter Gabriel, it served as a reminder that there's no substitute for a good story well told. 2. Chicago: Director Rob Marshall doesn't so much reimagine the movie musical (as Baz Luhrmann did in 2001 in Moulin Rouge)
NEWS
By SUSAN DUNNE and SUSAN DUNNE,HARTFORD COURANT | July 9, 2006
Lights! Camera! Fiction! The Movie Lover's Guide to Writing a Novel Alfie Thompson Running Press / 254 pages / $12.95 There is a great scene in the movie Adaptation in which the character Donald Kaufman drones on about the unbreakable rules of screenwriting to his twin brother, Charlie Kaufman, a brilliant iconoclast who can't disguise his revulsion. One thinks of that film often when reading Lights! Camera! Fiction! The Movie Lover's Guide to Writing a Novel. Alfie Thompson's advice book teaches fledgling fiction writers how to structure a narrative by scrutinizing the screenplays of successful films.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 19, 2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind wants to be a bittersweet comedy about erotic loss and memory loss. But it doesn't have the heart or brain. It does have an idea with so many clever compartments that audiences can unload their emotional baggage into it. And that may be enough to make it a critical and financial hit. At the movie's core is a company, Lacuna, that wipes selected memories from its customers. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) has no knowledge of Lacuna's existence until he stumbles upon a card that reads "Clementine Kruczynski has had Joel Barish erased from her memory.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 15, 2002
Charlie Kaufman is a parasite, in the best - and most cinematic - sense of the word. Hired to adapt Susan Orlean's nonfiction best seller, The Orchid Thief, for the screen, Kaufman - the writer responsible for the irrepressible Being John Malkovich - took the road decidedly less traveled. After agonizing over how to bring Orlean's book to the screen (no easy task, given its disjointed narrative, unstructured structure and knack for veering off in whatever direction tickled the author's fancy)
NEWS
By SUSAN DUNNE and SUSAN DUNNE,HARTFORD COURANT | July 9, 2006
Lights! Camera! Fiction! The Movie Lover's Guide to Writing a Novel Alfie Thompson Running Press / 254 pages / $12.95 There is a great scene in the movie Adaptation in which the character Donald Kaufman drones on about the unbreakable rules of screenwriting to his twin brother, Charlie Kaufman, a brilliant iconoclast who can't disguise his revulsion. One thinks of that film often when reading Lights! Camera! Fiction! The Movie Lover's Guide to Writing a Novel. Alfie Thompson's advice book teaches fledgling fiction writers how to structure a narrative by scrutinizing the screenplays of successful films.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | November 14, 2008
The hotbed of anxiety and ego that can underlie a theater rehearsal or a routine visit to a doctor's office - that's one of several emotional textures that writer-director Charlie Kaufman (the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) captures with low-key humor and precision in Synecdoche, New York. Sadly, as the movie rambles along with its own brand of quasi-magical surrealism, the links to real experience grow scarcer and more frayed. In terms of how the scenes move and fit together, everything is a little off, and not in the good way we associate with Kaufman when he is in top form.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 24, 2003
*1/2 Based on game-show king Chuck Barris' "unauthorized autobiography," Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the latest self-pleased script from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), offers repetitions, not variations, on a single idea. The movie, like the book, contends that just as Barris the impresario was killing people with embarrassment on reality-TV precursors like The Dating Game and The Gong Show, Barris the secret CIA agent was killing enemies of the American state for real.
NEWS
By Beverly Levitt and Beverly Levitt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 19, 2003
It's that time of year again, when we're bombarded by award ceremonies -- the Golden Globes, the Writers Guild, Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild awards, and finally, this Sunday, the Academy Awards. Now, with all those folks of all those persuasions rushing around voting in a dizzying array of categories, wouldn't you think that just one group would give out that one prize we've been waiting for? Because we know that a great food scene is often worth a thousand words. Let's get out our ballots and vote for Best Use of Food in a Film.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 19, 2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind wants to be a bittersweet comedy about erotic loss and memory loss. But it doesn't have the heart or brain. It does have an idea with so many clever compartments that audiences can unload their emotional baggage into it. And that may be enough to make it a critical and financial hit. At the movie's core is a company, Lacuna, that wipes selected memories from its customers. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) has no knowledge of Lacuna's existence until he stumbles upon a card that reads "Clementine Kruczynski has had Joel Barish erased from her memory.
NEWS
By Beverly Levitt and Beverly Levitt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 19, 2003
It's that time of year again, when we're bombarded by award ceremonies -- the Golden Globes, the Writers Guild, Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild awards, and finally, this Sunday, the Academy Awards. Now, with all those folks of all those persuasions rushing around voting in a dizzying array of categories, wouldn't you think that just one group would give out that one prize we've been waiting for? Because we know that a great food scene is often worth a thousand words. Let's get out our ballots and vote for Best Use of Food in a Film.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 24, 2003
*1/2 Based on game-show king Chuck Barris' "unauthorized autobiography," Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the latest self-pleased script from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), offers repetitions, not variations, on a single idea. The movie, like the book, contends that just as Barris the impresario was killing people with embarrassment on reality-TV precursors like The Dating Game and The Gong Show, Barris the secret CIA agent was killing enemies of the American state for real.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 3, 2003
1. Rabbit-Proof Fence: Under Phillip Noyce's starkly poetic (and wonderfully unforced) direction, this tale of three Aboriginal girls walking across 1,200 miles of the Australian Outback simply to go home was everything a classic movie should be. Beautifully acted by a largely amateur cast, with a haunting score by Peter Gabriel, it served as a reminder that there's no substitute for a good story well told. 2. Chicago: Director Rob Marshall doesn't so much reimagine the movie musical (as Baz Luhrmann did in 2001 in Moulin Rouge)
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 20, 2002
SUN SCORE *** Resembling a realistic version of a fractured fairy tale, Adaptation is by far the funniest movie from Being John Malkovich screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. On paper it sounds hopelessly solipsistic and "inside." After all, Kaufman bases his story - about a screenwriter named Charlie Kaufman, who's in a death-struggle to adapt Susan Orlean's nonfiction best seller The Orchid Thief - on his own efforts to adapt Orlean's The Orchid Thief. But when Kaufman plops Nicolas Cage as a slapstick version of himself in the middle of the action, he forges connections with audiences stronger than any he hammers out in this year's earlier Human Nature, his forthcoming Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and even the intermittently uproarious Malkovich.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 15, 2002
Charlie Kaufman is a parasite, in the best - and most cinematic - sense of the word. Hired to adapt Susan Orlean's nonfiction best seller, The Orchid Thief, for the screen, Kaufman - the writer responsible for the irrepressible Being John Malkovich - took the road decidedly less traveled. After agonizing over how to bring Orlean's book to the screen (no easy task, given its disjointed narrative, unstructured structure and knack for veering off in whatever direction tickled the author's fancy)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2008
Ballast : (Strand Releasi ng) A single mom on the Mississippi Delta copes with a man from her past while struggling to raise her son. With Tarra Riggs and JimMyron Ross. Let the Right One In : (Magnolia Pictures) A bullied 12-year-old boy finds love and revenge through a beautiful but odd girl who turns out to be a vampire. With Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson. In Swedish with English subtitles. My Name is Bruce : (Image Entertainment) Actor Bruce Campbell is mistaken for his character Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy and forced to fight a real monster in a small town in Oregon.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | November 7, 2008
Pride and Glory : *** 1/2 ( 3 1/2 STARS) Even in a year full of outstanding male performances, no 2008 film boasts a fiercer or more passionate male ensemble than this terrific - and terrifically moving - tale of corruption in the NYPD. Edward Norton has a soulfulness and grit that magnify his sensitivity when he plays hard guys like Ray Tierney, a New York cop investigating a shootout that killed four officers. Miraculously, Colin Farrell matches him as his corrupt and deadly brother-in-law.
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