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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 9, 1999
It says a lot about the high school sex comedy "American Pie" that its producer-director team, brothers Chris and Paul Weitz, aspired to join the ranks of such dull-headed comedies as "Porky's" and "Revenge of the Nerds" when making their movie.Of course, they were also inspired by "Stripes" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," but "American Pie" is not in a league with those classics. Rather, it's an uninteresting take on a tired formula that is only occasionally funny and usually pretty gross.
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By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2011
When Dan Klein was a star quarterback and pitcher at Servite High, he also volunteered as a student mentor for the all-boys Catholic school in Anaheim, Calif. As part of the program, prospective students in seventh and eighth grade would shadow upperclassmen for a day to get a feel for the place. Most upperclassmen were assigned three, maybe four middle-schoolers. Klein, however, had 23 — and all ended up going to Servite. By the final semester of his senior year, the administration and his parents jointly pulled the plug on Klein's volunteerism so he could concentrate on his studies.
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By Chris Hewitt and Chris Hewitt,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | March 24, 2000
I thought Sandra Dee gave an excellent performance in the schmaltzy "Here on Earth," except it isn't Sandra Dee -- it's Leelee Sobieski. And the movie isn't set in 1954, it's 2000. Aside from a few swear words and a reference to the sexual use of handcuffs, "Here on Earth" could have been written and filmed in 1954. Like "Peyton Place" or "A Summer Place," it deals with hot-button issues -- suicide, disease, neglect -- but does it in a superficial, Hallmark Card way. The script is drippy, humor-free and old-fashioned: "He seems exciting to you, different, maybe even a little [dramatic pause]
ENTERTAINMENT
By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,Special to the Sun | March 10, 2002
Old soldiers never die -- they're played by Mel Gibson. "I guess I'm drawn to those stories," he said of his new film, We Were Soldiers, "the whole idea that when your back's against the wall, where do you go?" Gibson said he did not want to stake out any moral ground in this true Vietnam tale. His hero in The Patriot (2000) began as a pacifist. His blue-faced Scotsman in Braveheart was a freedom fighter. In We Were Soldiers, he's a leader just doing his job. Taking a cue from the man he portrayed in We Were Soldiers, Lt. Col. Harold Moore, on whose book the movie is based, Gibson wanted to act in a Vietnam story that would let audiences "hate war but love the warrior."
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 23, 2001
"Say It Isn't So" is a bollixed-up comedy in the Farrelly Brothers manner about pseudo-incest between a lovable boy-man (Chris Klein) and a ditzy golden girl (Heather Graham) who is said to be his sister. I couldn't gauge how terrible it was until the end, when the moviemakers ran outtakes next to the credits. The outtakes are a big mistake. Jackie Chan includes outtakes at the end of his adventures to let viewers in on the risks behind his stunts and jokes. The Pixar animators of "A Bug's Life" invented fake outtakes as a witty capper, adding the illusion of a "fourth wall" to their 3-D animation.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 8, 2002
Norman Jewison's endearingly clunky 1975 cult movie Rollerball was like Brave New World on roller skates. It presented an anti-utopian vision of a corporate future, with Teflon design and architecture, feel-good drugs and a soulless high life straight out of Antonioni movies or Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Jewison's movie is erratic even on a sci-fi pulp level. But it tells a coherent and quasi-adult tale. An omnipotent international corporation invents the sport of Rollerball - combining roller derby, rugby and motorbikes - to demonstrate the superiority of teams to individuals.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2011
When Dan Klein was a star quarterback and pitcher at Servite High, he also volunteered as a student mentor for the all-boys Catholic school in Anaheim, Calif. As part of the program, prospective students in seventh and eighth grade would shadow upperclassmen for a day to get a feel for the place. Most upperclassmen were assigned three, maybe four middle-schoolers. Klein, however, had 23 — and all ended up going to Servite. By the final semester of his senior year, the administration and his parents jointly pulled the plug on Klein's volunteerism so he could concentrate on his studies.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,Special to the Sun | March 10, 2002
Old soldiers never die -- they're played by Mel Gibson. "I guess I'm drawn to those stories," he said of his new film, We Were Soldiers, "the whole idea that when your back's against the wall, where do you go?" Gibson said he did not want to stake out any moral ground in this true Vietnam tale. His hero in The Patriot (2000) began as a pacifist. His blue-faced Scotsman in Braveheart was a freedom fighter. In We Were Soldiers, he's a leader just doing his job. Taking a cue from the man he portrayed in We Were Soldiers, Lt. Col. Harold Moore, on whose book the movie is based, Gibson wanted to act in a Vietnam story that would let audiences "hate war but love the warrior."
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By ORLANDO SENTINEL | April 21, 2006
AMERICAN DREAMZ Rating -- PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual references. What it's about -- Conniving bumpkin and Middle Eastern terrorist vie for top prize in an American Idol clone TV show, with the American president as a judge. The Kid Attractor Factor -- Mandy Moore and Chris Klein are two of the leads. Good lessons/bad lessons -- Some prizes aren't worth doing anything to win. And satire is too tricky for some filmmakers. Violence -- Mostly played for comic effect, but terrorists are involved.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,Sun Film Critic | May 7, 1999
With wicked, blackhearted glee, "Election" rescues social satire from the icy remove of irony and slams it straight into the solar plexus, where it belongs.A stinging commentary on democracy, sexual mores and hypocrisy, the film pokes fun at nearly everyone in its path, and its exacting scalpel penetrates all the way to the bone.Directed by Alexander Payne with an appealing mix of tartness and sincerity, "Election" stars Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister, an Omaha high school civics teacher whose dedication to his profession is equaled only by the adoration of his students.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 8, 2002
Norman Jewison's endearingly clunky 1975 cult movie Rollerball was like Brave New World on roller skates. It presented an anti-utopian vision of a corporate future, with Teflon design and architecture, feel-good drugs and a soulless high life straight out of Antonioni movies or Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Jewison's movie is erratic even on a sci-fi pulp level. But it tells a coherent and quasi-adult tale. An omnipotent international corporation invents the sport of Rollerball - combining roller derby, rugby and motorbikes - to demonstrate the superiority of teams to individuals.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 23, 2001
"Say It Isn't So" is a bollixed-up comedy in the Farrelly Brothers manner about pseudo-incest between a lovable boy-man (Chris Klein) and a ditzy golden girl (Heather Graham) who is said to be his sister. I couldn't gauge how terrible it was until the end, when the moviemakers ran outtakes next to the credits. The outtakes are a big mistake. Jackie Chan includes outtakes at the end of his adventures to let viewers in on the risks behind his stunts and jokes. The Pixar animators of "A Bug's Life" invented fake outtakes as a witty capper, adding the illusion of a "fourth wall" to their 3-D animation.
FEATURES
By Chris Hewitt and Chris Hewitt,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | March 24, 2000
I thought Sandra Dee gave an excellent performance in the schmaltzy "Here on Earth," except it isn't Sandra Dee -- it's Leelee Sobieski. And the movie isn't set in 1954, it's 2000. Aside from a few swear words and a reference to the sexual use of handcuffs, "Here on Earth" could have been written and filmed in 1954. Like "Peyton Place" or "A Summer Place," it deals with hot-button issues -- suicide, disease, neglect -- but does it in a superficial, Hallmark Card way. The script is drippy, humor-free and old-fashioned: "He seems exciting to you, different, maybe even a little [dramatic pause]
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 9, 1999
It says a lot about the high school sex comedy "American Pie" that its producer-director team, brothers Chris and Paul Weitz, aspired to join the ranks of such dull-headed comedies as "Porky's" and "Revenge of the Nerds" when making their movie.Of course, they were also inspired by "Stripes" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," but "American Pie" is not in a league with those classics. Rather, it's an uninteresting take on a tired formula that is only occasionally funny and usually pretty gross.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | August 10, 2001
American Pie was a sleeper hit that owed its success to showing attractive young people make bawdy jokes (though "bawdy" badly understates the case), do bawdy things (ditto) and obsess about sex (which Hollywood executives believe is all teens have on their minds). Plus, it featured the first filmed sexual tryst between a teen-ager and an apple pie. American Pie 2 is much the same, but without the pie, so there's little to differentiate it from all the teen sex comedies that have come before.
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