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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | July 27, 2007
A year ago, Fox Searchlight's celebrated July-August release was Little Miss Sunshine, a blast of humanity powered by the spluttering engine of a battered old VW van. Now the company is rolling out Sunshine, and unlike its predecessor, it's one big miss. Little Miss Sunshine made you feel part of a group quest as you traveled the distance between New Mexico and Southern California with a family of misfits; Sunshine freezes you out as you journey with a handful of scientists and astronauts from Earth to the sun. Set a half-century from now, Danny Boyle's spectacle about a mission to reignite our ailing star and save the planet is one of those high-style, highbrow science-fiction experiments that draws today's top directors the way Westerns did once upon a time.
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NEWS
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | February 20, 2009
Capsules by Michael Sragow unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: **** It starts in 1918, when Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is born with an old face, dilapidated plumbing and wrinkled skin over an infant body, and ends in 2005, when his true love, Daisy (Cate Blanchett), completes the telling of his story. The movie's emotional completeness leaves you poised between sobbing and applauding - it comes from a full comprehension not just of one man's life, but of the intersection of many lives over the course of the 20th century.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 1, 2005
Millions is the essence of "twee" - British slang for "affectedly clever" and "mincingly cute or sweet." It's nothing more than a half-pint of English whimsy about one motherless boy who believes in miracles (Alex Etel) and his older brother (Lewis McGibbon), who believes in money. Their allegiances get tested when a botched robbery drops 265,000 British pounds into their laps at the height of Christmas buying season. It's "use it or lose it," because no bank would take such a large deposit from two tykes, and in a week the United Kingdom will convert to euros.
NEWS
By From Sun news services | January 1, 2009
Woody Harrelson ties knot with longtime girlfriend Woody Harrelson and his longtime love have officially wed. A spokeswoman for Harrelson said the 47-year-old actor married his girlfriend of 20 years, Laura Louie, in Maui on Sunday. The couple have three daughters. The spokeswoman, Ina Treciokas, added that the ceremony was attended by family and friends. Leading the way Cloris Leachman, the 82-year-old Dancing With the Stars contestant, is the grand marshal of today's Rose Bowl parade - but, she says, don't look for her to be dancing in the streets of Pasadena, Calif.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 11, 2000
Some jottings from a critic's notebook regarding "The Beach": "It's `Lord of the Flies' meets `The Love Boat!' " ... "It's `Lord of the Flies' meets `The Farm!' " ... "It's `Lord of the Flies' meets a Phish concert!" "The Beach" is all of that and not much more, but filmgoers who crave escapist adventure in exotic climes can do worse. Adapted from Alex Garland's popular first novel by ultra-hip director Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting," "Shallow Grave"), "The Beach" is already famous for starring a post-"Titanic" Leonardo DiCaprio.
NEWS
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | February 20, 2009
Capsules by Michael Sragow unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: **** It starts in 1918, when Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is born with an old face, dilapidated plumbing and wrinkled skin over an infant body, and ends in 2005, when his true love, Daisy (Cate Blanchett), completes the telling of his story. The movie's emotional completeness leaves you poised between sobbing and applauding - it comes from a full comprehension not just of one man's life, but of the intersection of many lives over the course of the 20th century.
NEWS
By From Sun news services | January 1, 2009
Woody Harrelson ties knot with longtime girlfriend Woody Harrelson and his longtime love have officially wed. A spokeswoman for Harrelson said the 47-year-old actor married his girlfriend of 20 years, Laura Louie, in Maui on Sunday. The couple have three daughters. The spokeswoman, Ina Treciokas, added that the ceremony was attended by family and friends. Leading the way Cloris Leachman, the 82-year-old Dancing With the Stars contestant, is the grand marshal of today's Rose Bowl parade - but, she says, don't look for her to be dancing in the streets of Pasadena, Calif.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | December 26, 2008
Taken in its totality, 2008 was a very good year for movies - and not just because it boasted more excellent films than could be contained on a 10-best list. When movie columnists and media pundits weren't looking, there was a surprising mood-shift on the part of many of the best Anglo-American filmmakers. Undiluted despair was out. Intelligent optimism was in. David Fincher, the man who gave us Se7en and Panic Room, achieved a state of bittersweet exultation in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | November 21, 2008
Slumdog Millionaire is a tinderbox of comedy and drama about a ragamuffin in Mumbai (aka Bombay) who, at age 18, becomes a contender on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It's a movie of kaleidoscopic contradictions and dazzling clarity. In this Dickensian extravaganza, a scrappy underclass hero comes to stand in for all of us. He teaches by example that if you sift through traumas and disappointments and get to the bottom of your own life, you can mine something of value.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 23, 2002
We are only a quarter of the way through 2002, but I guarantee you that BBC America's Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise is going to be one of the 10 best movies you will see on television all year. It has almost everything that television haters claim the medium lacks: originality, edge, daring performance and searing social commentary. I love this jagged, crazy rant of a film from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting). The great performance comes from Timothy Spall (Shooting the Past) as Tommy Rag, an amoral, repellent, turbo-charged madman of a vacuum cleaner salesman working the bleak, gray housing projects of Manchester, England.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | December 26, 2008
Taken in its totality, 2008 was a very good year for movies - and not just because it boasted more excellent films than could be contained on a 10-best list. When movie columnists and media pundits weren't looking, there was a surprising mood-shift on the part of many of the best Anglo-American filmmakers. Undiluted despair was out. Intelligent optimism was in. David Fincher, the man who gave us Se7en and Panic Room, achieved a state of bittersweet exultation in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | November 21, 2008
Slumdog Millionaire is a tinderbox of comedy and drama about a ragamuffin in Mumbai (aka Bombay) who, at age 18, becomes a contender on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It's a movie of kaleidoscopic contradictions and dazzling clarity. In this Dickensian extravaganza, a scrappy underclass hero comes to stand in for all of us. He teaches by example that if you sift through traumas and disappointments and get to the bottom of your own life, you can mine something of value.
FEATURES
By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,Hartford Courant | July 27, 2007
The characters in a Danny Boyle film are on a bad trip again. Only it's not drugs, as in Trainspotting. It's a voyage to re-ignite the sun, the dying star in Sunshine. "Any space movie ultimately has an almost hallucinogenic flavor," Boyle says. "What you're looking at is so unknowingly powerful, vast and impossible that it stretches the mind." The 50-year-old director has found a comfort zone in science fiction. His shrewd 28 Days Later made it safe for zombies to walk the streets again.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | July 27, 2007
A year ago, Fox Searchlight's celebrated July-August release was Little Miss Sunshine, a blast of humanity powered by the spluttering engine of a battered old VW van. Now the company is rolling out Sunshine, and unlike its predecessor, it's one big miss. Little Miss Sunshine made you feel part of a group quest as you traveled the distance between New Mexico and Southern California with a family of misfits; Sunshine freezes you out as you journey with a handful of scientists and astronauts from Earth to the sun. Set a half-century from now, Danny Boyle's spectacle about a mission to reignite our ailing star and save the planet is one of those high-style, highbrow science-fiction experiments that draws today's top directors the way Westerns did once upon a time.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 1, 2005
Millions is the essence of "twee" - British slang for "affectedly clever" and "mincingly cute or sweet." It's nothing more than a half-pint of English whimsy about one motherless boy who believes in miracles (Alex Etel) and his older brother (Lewis McGibbon), who believes in money. Their allegiances get tested when a botched robbery drops 265,000 British pounds into their laps at the height of Christmas buying season. It's "use it or lose it," because no bank would take such a large deposit from two tykes, and in a week the United Kingdom will convert to euros.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 23, 2002
We are only a quarter of the way through 2002, but I guarantee you that BBC America's Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise is going to be one of the 10 best movies you will see on television all year. It has almost everything that television haters claim the medium lacks: originality, edge, daring performance and searing social commentary. I love this jagged, crazy rant of a film from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting). The great performance comes from Timothy Spall (Shooting the Past) as Tommy Rag, an amoral, repellent, turbo-charged madman of a vacuum cleaner salesman working the bleak, gray housing projects of Manchester, England.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | March 17, 2002
Local filmmakers have been howling for the past few weeks, ever since Comcast rolled out its new cable lineup and pulled the Independent Film Channel off the air in Baltimore. IFC still is unavailable on Comcast here, and the community is the poorer for it. But there is another story that I was struck by while reporting that one: how much even such filmmakers as John Waters and Steve Yeager rely on cable television to see new movies. One of Waters' points was how important cable has become in bringing independent filmmakers and their often outside-the-mainstream voices into American living rooms.
FEATURES
By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,Hartford Courant | July 27, 2007
The characters in a Danny Boyle film are on a bad trip again. Only it's not drugs, as in Trainspotting. It's a voyage to re-ignite the sun, the dying star in Sunshine. "Any space movie ultimately has an almost hallucinogenic flavor," Boyle says. "What you're looking at is so unknowingly powerful, vast and impossible that it stretches the mind." The 50-year-old director has found a comfort zone in science fiction. His shrewd 28 Days Later made it safe for zombies to walk the streets again.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | March 17, 2002
Local filmmakers have been howling for the past few weeks, ever since Comcast rolled out its new cable lineup and pulled the Independent Film Channel off the air in Baltimore. IFC still is unavailable on Comcast here, and the community is the poorer for it. But there is another story that I was struck by while reporting that one: how much even such filmmakers as John Waters and Steve Yeager rely on cable television to see new movies. One of Waters' points was how important cable has become in bringing independent filmmakers and their often outside-the-mainstream voices into American living rooms.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 11, 2000
Some jottings from a critic's notebook regarding "The Beach": "It's `Lord of the Flies' meets `The Love Boat!' " ... "It's `Lord of the Flies' meets `The Farm!' " ... "It's `Lord of the Flies' meets a Phish concert!" "The Beach" is all of that and not much more, but filmgoers who crave escapist adventure in exotic climes can do worse. Adapted from Alex Garland's popular first novel by ultra-hip director Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting," "Shallow Grave"), "The Beach" is already famous for starring a post-"Titanic" Leonardo DiCaprio.
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