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By Steve Dollar and By Steve Dollar,Newsday | January 20, 2005
A symbol of all-American hot-shot virility in adventures such as The Right Stuff and romantic capers such as The Big Easy, Dennis Quaid has always been underappreciated as an actor, as someone with more going on than dimpled cheeks and the lady-killer charm of a big, flashy grin. Of late, he's acquired some true gravitas. He outlasted a much publicized divorce from former wife Meg Ryan in 2001 and bounced right back, delivering meaty portrayals in Oscar-happy projects such as Traffic. His batting average isn't consistent (Flight of the Phoenix, yikes!
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | October 10, 2008
If you can get past several scenes that resemble Mean Joe Greene's classic Coke commercial, The Express provides a stirring and surprisingly contemplative version of the life of gridiron hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), who was known as "the Elmira Express" in his high school years in Elmira, N.Y., and became a legendary star at Syracuse University. Many inspirational sports movies provide only junk food for thought; this one contains some authentic reflections of sport in the civil rights era, as well as flesh-thwacking game footage that for once conveys what a coach means when he looks at a runner and declares him "a thoroughbred."
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 21, 2006
Events have thoroughly outstripped the would-be outrageous new burlesque of politics and show biz, American Dreamz, in which a dunderheaded president (Dennis Quaid) wakes up after his re-election, decides to read a newspaper and gets so depressed that he doesn't leave his bedroom for three weeks. It's mildly amusing to see his chief of staff (Willem Dafoe), a lean and hungry version of Dick Cheney, dictating whatever his boss should say via a cuff-link transmitter to an earpiece. But what's supposed to lift the movie beyond banal parody to wild satire is the chief of staff's attempt to raise the president's sagging poll numbers.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | April 11, 2008
A third of the way through Smart People, I channeled Randy Newman's "Short People" and thought, "Smart people got no reason to live." In this sometimes droll but often just pleasantly literate movie, screenwriter Mark Jude Poirier's smart people -- depressed English prof Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) and his go-getter daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page) -- walk around Pittsburgh and the campus of Carnegie-Mellon "tellin' great big lies" like Newman's short ones, albeit mostly to themselves.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | April 11, 2008
A third of the way through Smart People, I channeled Randy Newman's "Short People" and thought, "Smart people got no reason to live." In this sometimes droll but often just pleasantly literate movie, screenwriter Mark Jude Poirier's smart people -- depressed English prof Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) and his go-getter daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page) -- walk around Pittsburgh and the campus of Carnegie-Mellon "tellin' great big lies" like Newman's short ones, albeit mostly to themselves.
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By Chris Hewitt and Chris Hewitt,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | October 31, 1997
One of those works-while- you're-watching-it/doesn't-when-you-think-about-it movies, "SwitchBack" is an entertaining thriller with too many coincidences.Writer/director Jeb Stuart keeps us off balance as we follow a bunch of creepy people whose stories seem unrelated: jolly Danny Glover, joy-riding in a car covered with photos of naked babes; Jared Leto as a sullen drifter; Dennis Quaid as a brilliant, enigmatic cop; and R. Lee Ermey ("Full Metal Jacket") as a small-town sheriff investigating a murder.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 14, 2005
In Good Company thinks it's brimming with compassion for middle-aged workers squeezed out of their jobs by tactless, heartless, visionless corporate muckety-mucks who regard the bottom line as sacrosanct and care little about anything else. Too bad writer-director Paul Weitz (About a Boy) mistakes compassion for insight. Too bad he doesn't think a film about such issues can stand on its own, but instead forces on a subplot in which his hero's daughter falls for the corporate hatchet man. And too bad he doesn't have enough faith in his material to see it through to the bitter end, but rather grafts on a feel-good conclusion that doesn't satisfy.
NEWS
November 21, 1997
Ingvar Johansson, 67, a Swedish pianist who played with some of jazz's biggest names before losing his right hand in an accident, died in his hometown of Ostersund, 250 miles northwest of Stockholm, the Swedish news agency TT reported Tuesday. It did not give the date or cause of death. After losing his hand, Mr. Johansson learned to play trombone.Robert Kane, 72, a travel writer who created the "A to Z" and "World at Its Best" series of guides, died of a heart attack Nov. 10 in New York.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 17, 2004
You know it the moment Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson appear onscreen as a tough-guy pilot and his equally tough partner, barking orders at everyone and referring to the men they have to transport as "you girls." Yep, it's cliche city, and Flight of the Phoenix plays to roughly a dozen of them - equal, curiously enough, to the number of people who end up on the plane. Beginning with the expendable guy who's only around long enough to die first, continuing through the wacky cook and encompassing the lone woman (Miranda Otto)
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By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 21, 2002
Dennis Quaid in full lip-lock with another man? Macho Dennis Quaid? Featured jock of Everybody's All-American and The Rookie Dennis Quaid? It was all in a day's work for the actor, who more than ever has come to appreciate a day's work. After a love affair with cocaine went sour, a marriage to Meg Ryan dissolved in tabloid hell, and a career in distress, what's a little homosexual on-screen kiss for a movie he believes in? "You're nervous, as you are for any love scene," he said recently of his Far From Heaven departure.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW AND CHRIS KALTENBACH and MICHAEL SRAGOW AND CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITICS | May 5, 2006
Capsules by Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach, except where noted. Full reviews at baltimoresun.com/movies. Akeelah and the Bee -- follows a formula, one of the oldest in all of fiction: an underdog, struggling against the odds, seeks fame, fortune and -- most importantly -- self-respect. Sure, we've seen it all before, but what makes this one of the most winning movies of 2006 is its abundance of great intentions. Twelve-year-old Keke Palmer plays a young girl living in a tough L.A. neighborhood who has a talent rarely celebrated in mainstream American films.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 21, 2006
Events have thoroughly outstripped the would-be outrageous new burlesque of politics and show biz, American Dreamz, in which a dunderheaded president (Dennis Quaid) wakes up after his re-election, decides to read a newspaper and gets so depressed that he doesn't leave his bedroom for three weeks. It's mildly amusing to see his chief of staff (Willem Dafoe), a lean and hungry version of Dick Cheney, dictating whatever his boss should say via a cuff-link transmitter to an earpiece. But what's supposed to lift the movie beyond banal parody to wild satire is the chief of staff's attempt to raise the president's sagging poll numbers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Steve Dollar and By Steve Dollar,Newsday | January 20, 2005
A symbol of all-American hot-shot virility in adventures such as The Right Stuff and romantic capers such as The Big Easy, Dennis Quaid has always been underappreciated as an actor, as someone with more going on than dimpled cheeks and the lady-killer charm of a big, flashy grin. Of late, he's acquired some true gravitas. He outlasted a much publicized divorce from former wife Meg Ryan in 2001 and bounced right back, delivering meaty portrayals in Oscar-happy projects such as Traffic. His batting average isn't consistent (Flight of the Phoenix, yikes!
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 14, 2005
In Good Company thinks it's brimming with compassion for middle-aged workers squeezed out of their jobs by tactless, heartless, visionless corporate muckety-mucks who regard the bottom line as sacrosanct and care little about anything else. Too bad writer-director Paul Weitz (About a Boy) mistakes compassion for insight. Too bad he doesn't think a film about such issues can stand on its own, but instead forces on a subplot in which his hero's daughter falls for the corporate hatchet man. And too bad he doesn't have enough faith in his material to see it through to the bitter end, but rather grafts on a feel-good conclusion that doesn't satisfy.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 17, 2004
You know it the moment Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson appear onscreen as a tough-guy pilot and his equally tough partner, barking orders at everyone and referring to the men they have to transport as "you girls." Yep, it's cliche city, and Flight of the Phoenix plays to roughly a dozen of them - equal, curiously enough, to the number of people who end up on the plane. Beginning with the expendable guy who's only around long enough to die first, continuing through the wacky cook and encompassing the lone woman (Miranda Otto)
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 22, 2002
Far From Heaven arrives in Baltimore today on cascades of critical praise. It's the oddest case yet of the Emperor's New Clothes. After all, the Emperor in the fairy tale was naked. This movie has tons of fabulous clothing. The people disappear within their wardrobes. The story, set in suburban Connecticut in 1957-58, couldn't be simpler. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, a housewife whose "ideal marriage" to a corporate hot shot (Dennis Quaid) falls apart because he is gay. She turns for understanding to her noble, sympathetic black gardener (Dennis Haysbert)
FEATURES
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | March 30, 2002
Any sports movie has a dual task: to simulate the game of choice (football, hockey, golf) and to unfurl its characters' journeys against that backdrop. Ex-ballplayer and first-time director Ron Shelton pulled it off in Bull Durham (1988), a film whose world was so steeped in authentic detail we could care about the characters. But hockey fans cringed at the sight of Rob Lowe's efforts to skate in Youngblood (1986), and seamheads winced at the double debacle of William Bendix (1948) and John Goodman (1992)
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | October 10, 2008
If you can get past several scenes that resemble Mean Joe Greene's classic Coke commercial, The Express provides a stirring and surprisingly contemplative version of the life of gridiron hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), who was known as "the Elmira Express" in his high school years in Elmira, N.Y., and became a legendary star at Syracuse University. Many inspirational sports movies provide only junk food for thought; this one contains some authentic reflections of sport in the civil rights era, as well as flesh-thwacking game footage that for once conveys what a coach means when he looks at a runner and declares him "a thoroughbred."
FEATURES
By Ron Dicker and Ron Dicker,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 21, 2002
Dennis Quaid in full lip-lock with another man? Macho Dennis Quaid? Featured jock of Everybody's All-American and The Rookie Dennis Quaid? It was all in a day's work for the actor, who more than ever has come to appreciate a day's work. After a love affair with cocaine went sour, a marriage to Meg Ryan dissolved in tabloid hell, and a career in distress, what's a little homosexual on-screen kiss for a movie he believes in? "You're nervous, as you are for any love scene," he said recently of his Far From Heaven departure.
FEATURES
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | March 30, 2002
Any sports movie has a dual task: to simulate the game of choice (football, hockey, golf) and to unfurl its characters' journeys against that backdrop. Ex-ballplayer and first-time director Ron Shelton pulled it off in Bull Durham (1988), a film whose world was so steeped in authentic detail we could care about the characters. But hockey fans cringed at the sight of Rob Lowe's efforts to skate in Youngblood (1986), and seamheads winced at the double debacle of William Bendix (1948) and John Goodman (1992)
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