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Djimon Hounsou

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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | December 11, 1997
Djimon Hounsou's best career move might have been his worst.He had already auditioned for the lead role of "Amistad," Steven Spielberg's movie based on a true-life uprising on a slave ship in 1839. He had even survived a screen test. In fact, it looked like Djimon Hounsou (pronounced ZHI-mon HON-soo), a former fashion model who had so far appeared only fleetingly in forgettable films, might actually stand a chance of playing Sengbe Pieh, the Mende tribesman who led 52 of his fellow Africans in a mutiny against Spanish slave traders.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 14, 2008
As every red-blooded American boy knows, the first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club - and the second rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club. That goes triple for Never Back Down, not because it's a secret worth keeping, but because it's reprehensible. Tom Cruise lookalike Sean Faris stars as a brainy, fight-prone high school football star who moves from Iowa to Orlando, Fla. There he becomes involved with a crowd devoted to practicing mixed-martial arts in their clubs, schools and McMansions.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 26, 2005
WASHINGTON - Djimon Hounsou has the potent focus and poetic intuition to make his directors believe in the supernatural. Hounsou, who co-stars in Michael Bay's current action extravaganza The Island, won an Academy Award nomination two years ago when he played a frustrated African artist befriending an Irish immigrant family in director Jim Sheridan's In America. (It was the first Oscar nod for a black African actor.) While auditioning Hounsou, Sheridan asked the 6-foot-4, powerfully built actor to concentrate all his strength and sensitivity on sussing out the spirit of the Irish family's dead son. "That started out as an improvisation," Sheridan said, "but it led me to believe that in that film, I could, somewhere, on some level, create the invisible."
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By Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach and Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critics | January 12, 2007
Capsules by Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach unless noted. Full reviews at baltimoresun.com/movies. Blood Diamond, -- an adventure film that spotlights the practice of using the trade in precious stones to fund violence in certain African countries, has the unenviable job of serving two masters. It has to be exciting, but not so much that its message is lost. It has to be moralistic without being preachy. It's only in what amounts to the film's epilogue that things fall out of whack.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 14, 2008
As every red-blooded American boy knows, the first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club - and the second rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club. That goes triple for Never Back Down, not because it's a secret worth keeping, but because it's reprehensible. Tom Cruise lookalike Sean Faris stars as a brainy, fight-prone high school football star who moves from Iowa to Orlando, Fla. There he becomes involved with a crowd devoted to practicing mixed-martial arts in their clubs, schools and McMansions.
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By Chris Kaltenbach | March 1, 2004
SANTA MONICA - Lost In Translation found plenty of fans at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards. Director Sofia Coppola's low-budget tale of spiritually adrift loners establishing an unlikely connection not only was named best feature, but it earned a pair of Spirits for Coppola herself, one for writing, one for directing. And in what may have been the afternoon's most popular choice, star Bill Murray walked off with male lead honors. "I think there's a place for false modesty, so I'll drag it out right now," a smiling Murray, struggling to appear cool and detached, said backstage after receiving his award.
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By Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach and Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critics | January 5, 2007
Capsules by Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach unless noted. Full reviews at baltimoresun.com/movies. Blood Diamond, -- an adventure film that spotlights the practice of using the trade in precious stones to fund violence in certain African countries, has the unenviable job of serving two masters. It has to be exciting, but not so much that its message is lost. It has to be moralistic without being preachy. It's only in what amounts to the film's epilogue that things fall out of whack.
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,Sun Movie Critic | September 22, 2002
At the end of December 1962, roughly three weeks after Lawrence of Arabia had its premiere, the screenwriter, Robert Bolt, wrote the director, David Lean, that a Muslim psychoanalyst friend of his had called him up and said, "it was the first picture he has seen in which a Muslim people were accorded absolutely equal status with the whites, being neither sentimentalized nor belittled. On the other hand, you know, I don't think the Zionists could say we'd made a pro-Arab picture. ... It's when you start truckling to this or that expectation that you give offense."
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 26, 2005
WASHINGTON - Djimon Hounsou has the potent focus and poetic intuition to make his directors believe in the supernatural. Hounsou, who co-stars in Michael Bay's current action extravaganza The Island, won an Academy Award nomination two years ago when he played a frustrated African artist befriending an Irish immigrant family in director Jim Sheridan's In America. (It was the first Oscar nod for a black African actor.) While auditioning Hounsou, Sheridan asked the 6-foot-4, powerfully built actor to concentrate all his strength and sensitivity on sussing out the spirit of the Irish family's dead son. "That started out as an improvisation," Sheridan said, "but it led me to believe that in that film, I could, somewhere, on some level, create the invisible."
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | March 1, 2004
SANTA MONICA - Lost In Translation found plenty of fans at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards. Director Sofia Coppola's low-budget tale of spiritually adrift loners establishing an unlikely connection not only was named best feature, but it earned a pair of Spirits for Coppola herself, one for writing, one for directing. And in what may have been the afternoon's most popular choice, star Bill Murray walked off with male lead honors. "I think there's a place for false modesty, so I'll drag it out right now," a smiling Murray, struggling to appear cool and detached, said backstage after receiving his award.
ENTERTAINMENT
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,Sun Movie Critic | September 22, 2002
At the end of December 1962, roughly three weeks after Lawrence of Arabia had its premiere, the screenwriter, Robert Bolt, wrote the director, David Lean, that a Muslim psychoanalyst friend of his had called him up and said, "it was the first picture he has seen in which a Muslim people were accorded absolutely equal status with the whites, being neither sentimentalized nor belittled. On the other hand, you know, I don't think the Zionists could say we'd made a pro-Arab picture. ... It's when you start truckling to this or that expectation that you give offense."
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | December 11, 1997
Djimon Hounsou's best career move might have been his worst.He had already auditioned for the lead role of "Amistad," Steven Spielberg's movie based on a true-life uprising on a slave ship in 1839. He had even survived a screen test. In fact, it looked like Djimon Hounsou (pronounced ZHI-mon HON-soo), a former fashion model who had so far appeared only fleetingly in forgettable films, might actually stand a chance of playing Sengbe Pieh, the Mende tribesman who led 52 of his fellow Africans in a mutiny against Spanish slave traders.
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