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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 23, 2003
NEW YORK - Thirty-five years ago, the graffito "Frodo Lives!" was as ubiquitous on college campuses as "Kilroy was here!" used to be on Army bases. Today, Elijah Wood has made "Frodo Lives!" for new generations of J.R.R. Tolkien fans - and he's done it without minimizing the character's heroic complexity. In a Manhattan hotel room a week ago, he eloquently dismissed the too-hip-to-live rap against The Lord of the Rings trilogy - the one that calls it a spectacle of epic simplicity about pure good vs. impure evil.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | September 9, 2009
"9" is not a perfect 10, but its imperfection is what makes it gripping and bewitching. This post-apocalyptic cartoon fable is the rare piece of 3-D animation that feels handmade from cuffs to collar. Shane Acker, the writer-director, doesn't provide us with the riches of a born storyteller. But he just may be a born moviemaker. As a visual artist he sweeps you up in gimcrack panoramas that merge into a desolate beauty. This movie will make young-adult and older viewers alike gasp like toddlers amazed by their first pop-up book.
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December 9, 2006
Critic's Pick-- Elijah Wood is Frodo, one of the hobbits who sets out to destroy an evil ring in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. (8 p.m., TNT).
FEATURES
December 9, 2006
Critic's Pick-- Elijah Wood is Frodo, one of the hobbits who sets out to destroy an evil ring in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. (8 p.m., TNT).
FEATURES
By Carrie Rickey and Carrie Rickey,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | May 17, 1996
While "Flipper" doesn't exactly arrive dead in the water, the latest installment in that saga of America's most beloved bottlenose could be dubbed "Flopper."A limp update of the story about the boy and his dolphin, this one stars Paul Hogan as Uncle Porter, the Barnacle Bill of Beach Boys fans, and Elijah Wood as his grunge nephew, Sandy.In the first of many miscalculations, "Flipper" expects the audience to believe "Crocodile" Dundee as a hippie and The Good Son as a surly teen-ager. But the film's gravest error is in focusing on the bipeds and not giving Flipper a personality.
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By Lou Cedrone | October 4, 1991
It takes courage to do a tear-jerker today, but apparently Mary Agnes Donoghue has that kind of courage. Her ''Paradise'' is a weepie.Donoghue wrote the scripts for ''Beaches'' and ''Deceived,'' but this is her first job as director, and she's done quite well. If you like tear-jerkers, this one has been very tastefully and artfully managed.It has a French feel that comes naturally. ''Paradise'' is an American remake of the 1987 film ''Le Grand Chemin.''The principal character is a 10-year-old boy whose mother is about to have another baby and wants to be free of complications because she already has enough.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Orlando Sentinel | October 4, 1991
This Mary Agnes Donoghue thing is getting out of hand.For those who haven't been alerted yet, Ms. Donoghue is a writer who specializes in screenplays that glorify self-dramatizing and/or self-pitying characters. That was certainly true of the 1988 Bette Midler-Barbara Hershey weeper "Beaches," and it is also true of "Deceived" -- although the recent thriller is so implausible that Goldie Hawn's character is almost the least of its problems.In "Paradise," the Mary Agnes Donoghue formula is very pure because she not only wrote the film, she also directed it. What's more, two of its stars are children, which means that they were particularly dependent on the filmmaker to shape their performances.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 19, 2001
The Fellowship of the Ring is a movie masterpiece thrilling, passionate and wise. From the spine-tingling stentorian tone of the opening, which introduces us to the mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien's antique Middle-earth and "The One Ring to Rule Them All," the 40-year-old director, Peter Jackson, engulfs us in the pristine and awful beauties of an alternate universe. This is one spectacle that is emotional and kinetic at the same time. It rouses all the senses; it never shifts into sensory overload and shuts them down.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 2, 1993
Ernest Hemingway once said that all American literature derived from a book called "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," but you'd never know it from the new Disney "Adventures of Huck Finn." If all literature came from it, our great novelist would be ...Robert James Waller.The Disney Huck Finn, earnest and bumbling, is as bland as the National Geographic photographer in Waller's "The Bridges of Madison County." He completely lacks that radical grace and darkness of the original boy, who was mean and real, just as the movie lacks the radical style of the book, which was the first novel to hear the true poetry of the American colloquial voice, and to begin to liberate our literature from the pretentious Latinate notions of refinement it had obtained in the academy.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | September 9, 2009
"9" is not a perfect 10, but its imperfection is what makes it gripping and bewitching. This post-apocalyptic cartoon fable is the rare piece of 3-D animation that feels handmade from cuffs to collar. Shane Acker, the writer-director, doesn't provide us with the riches of a born storyteller. But he just may be a born moviemaker. As a visual artist he sweeps you up in gimcrack panoramas that merge into a desolate beauty. This movie will make young-adult and older viewers alike gasp like toddlers amazed by their first pop-up book.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun movie Critic | November 17, 2006
Ready for March of the Penguins: The Musical? That, at least, is what Happy Feet aspires to be. But a musical version of last year's surprise documentary hit would need to be far better than this animated effort, a wan, ultimately tedious affair that spends half its time on some heavy-handed moralizing, the other half in the mistaken belief that people can never get enough of singing penguins. Hey, I love singing fowl as much as the next guy, and what better bird to have belting-out tunes than the ones who come with their own ready-made tuxedoes?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2005
STAFF CRITICS GIVE YOU THE LOWDOWN ON TEN TOP MOVIES, POPCORN NOT INCLUDED! The Constant Gardener What It's About: A midlevel British diplomat gets posted to Kenya, where his politically committed wife uncovers a global conspiracy between Western governments and Big Pharma. RATED R The scoop: Ralph Fiennes is at his heartbreaking best as the husband; Rachel Weisz is astonishing as a passionate activist. Grade: A Everything is Illuminated What It's About: A young American (Elijah Wood)
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 23, 2003
NEW YORK - Thirty-five years ago, the graffito "Frodo Lives!" was as ubiquitous on college campuses as "Kilroy was here!" used to be on Army bases. Today, Elijah Wood has made "Frodo Lives!" for new generations of J.R.R. Tolkien fans - and he's done it without minimizing the character's heroic complexity. In a Manhattan hotel room a week ago, he eloquently dismissed the too-hip-to-live rap against The Lord of the Rings trilogy - the one that calls it a spectacle of epic simplicity about pure good vs. impure evil.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 16, 2003
Forget all the talk that The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won't receive the honors it deserves because it will be categorized as a fantasy. It immediately joins the number of immortal movies that transcend labels or genres, such as Greed or The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz. And as the final chapter of, essentially, a single 10-hour movie, it has a narrative beauty and a sublime ensemble performance that put it in a class by itself. The director and co-writer, Peter Jackson, achieves the impact that D.W. Griffith won in the multiple climaxes of Intolerance - what the poet and critic James Agee compared to "the swinging together of tremendous gongs."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Susan King and Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 27, 2003
The extended-edition DVD of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a class act - a veritable "everything you wanted to know" about the film. That shouldn't be a surprise, considering that the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was one of last year's best DVD releases. Not only does this edition of The Two Towers feature 43 extra minutes of the Peter Jackson blockbuster, but there also are four audio commentaries and numerous intelligent documentaries on the film's complicated production.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 18, 2002
Some people would pay to hear actor Ian McKellen read the phone book. I'd pay to see Peter Jackson - who is directing him in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - film anything from the Gilgamesh Epic to Roberts' Rules of Order. In The Two Towers, Jackson paints a world in upheaval and depicts the drastic revamping of its codes and traditions. The result is harrowing and inspiring. As escapist entertainment, it's the movie of the year. This is the rare picture that evokes and revives the spirit of classics from The Wizard of Oz to The Seven Samurai.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2005
STAFF CRITICS GIVE YOU THE LOWDOWN ON TEN TOP MOVIES, POPCORN NOT INCLUDED! The Constant Gardener What It's About: A midlevel British diplomat gets posted to Kenya, where his politically committed wife uncovers a global conspiracy between Western governments and Big Pharma. RATED R The scoop: Ralph Fiennes is at his heartbreaking best as the husband; Rachel Weisz is astonishing as a passionate activist. Grade: A Everything is Illuminated What It's About: A young American (Elijah Wood)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Susan King and Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 27, 2003
The extended-edition DVD of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a class act - a veritable "everything you wanted to know" about the film. That shouldn't be a surprise, considering that the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was one of last year's best DVD releases. Not only does this edition of The Two Towers feature 43 extra minutes of the Peter Jackson blockbuster, but there also are four audio commentaries and numerous intelligent documentaries on the film's complicated production.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 19, 2001
The Fellowship of the Ring is a movie masterpiece thrilling, passionate and wise. From the spine-tingling stentorian tone of the opening, which introduces us to the mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien's antique Middle-earth and "The One Ring to Rule Them All," the 40-year-old director, Peter Jackson, engulfs us in the pristine and awful beauties of an alternate universe. This is one spectacle that is emotional and kinetic at the same time. It rouses all the senses; it never shifts into sensory overload and shuts them down.
FEATURES
By Carrie Rickey and Carrie Rickey,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | May 17, 1996
While "Flipper" doesn't exactly arrive dead in the water, the latest installment in that saga of America's most beloved bottlenose could be dubbed "Flopper."A limp update of the story about the boy and his dolphin, this one stars Paul Hogan as Uncle Porter, the Barnacle Bill of Beach Boys fans, and Elijah Wood as his grunge nephew, Sandy.In the first of many miscalculations, "Flipper" expects the audience to believe "Crocodile" Dundee as a hippie and The Good Son as a surly teen-ager. But the film's gravest error is in focusing on the bipeds and not giving Flipper a personality.
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