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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | August 21, 2004
Congratulations, Renny Harlin. You've successfully exorcised all the horror out of The Exorcist. Exorcist: The Beginning, a prequel to William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece of horror both psychological and physical, fills in the backstory - as if that were really necessary! - of Father Merrin and how he first encountered the demon Pazuzu. The first film, you'll recall, opens in East Africa with Merrin (Max von Sydow) at an archaeological dig, searching for something mysterious and nefarious.
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By Rene Rodriguez and Rene Rodriguez,McClatchy-Tribune | May 25, 2007
Bug is being marketed as a horror movie, but it isn't a horror movie per se, although it has a number of horrific moments, and it burrows under your skin the way genuinely disturbing art sometimes does. Based on Tracy Letts' 2004 off-Broadway play, Bug was directed by William Friedkin, who made The Exorcist (and The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A.) but more recently brought us The Hunted and Rules of Engagement and The Guardian, which was about an evil tree that eats babies.
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By Joe Neumaier and Joe Neumaier,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | August 17, 2004
If it were possible for a movie to go through a long dark night of the soul, Exorcist: The Beginning would still be suffering. The latest film in the demonic-possession series has had four directors, three credited screenwriters and was made not once but twice. That last, historic event occurred because Morgan Creek Productions, which financed the project, fired director Paul Schrader after he completed his version and hired Renny Harlin to start again with a new script and a mostly new cast.
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | June 9, 2006
The separation of church and state has grown ever-fuzzier in our civic life. Before things get even further out of hand, I'd like to propose a separation of church and state in our horror movies. I don't mean religion; good and evil, heaven and hell, souls saved and savaged are at the core of horror fiction. But when moviemakers exploit church traditions to give their ghouls and goblins higher tone, the holiness rings hollow. And few combinations are as unsavory as sanctimony and sensationalism.
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | June 9, 2006
The separation of church and state has grown ever-fuzzier in our civic life. Before things get even further out of hand, I'd like to propose a separation of church and state in our horror movies. I don't mean religion; good and evil, heaven and hell, souls saved and savaged are at the core of horror fiction. But when moviemakers exploit church traditions to give their ghouls and goblins higher tone, the holiness rings hollow. And few combinations are as unsavory as sanctimony and sensationalism.
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By Desmond Ryan and Desmond Ryan,KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE | November 29, 2000
For anyone who remembers the shrieks and hysteria that greeted "The Exorcist" in movie theaters in 1973, the biggest shock registered by the recent rerelease of William Friedkin's horror landmark wasn't on the screen. In the darkness of the multiplexes, there was a good deal of snickering among younger moviegoers who were raised on satanic legions of "Exorcist" clones, a bloody tide of slasher movies, and the more sly, hip and self-referential horror pictures and parodies of the '90s. They were plainly not disposed to cower under the seats at the sight of Linda Blair launching salvos of green pea soup at the priests trying to dispossess her. For Hollywood studios and filmmakers, the question of just how - or even whether - you can scare a contemporary audience is itself becoming increasingly scary and elusive.
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By Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach and Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITICS | September 22, 2000
Director William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," hits theaters today, with improved sound and 11 minutes of footage trimmed from its original 1973 release. And while the film has lost little of its psyche-jarring impact - there's a reason it frequently turns up atop lists of the most frightening movies ever made - this new, 132-minute version proves that restored scenes make for fine curiosities, but rarely add much to the movie. Of the scenes that have been restored, only one didn't deserve to be cut - the infamous spider-walk scene, in which Linda Blair's Regan, the little girl harboring a demon, scurries down a flight of stairs on all fours, running backward, with her hands and feet behind her back.
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By Rene Rodriguez and Rene Rodriguez,McClatchy-Tribune | May 25, 2007
Bug is being marketed as a horror movie, but it isn't a horror movie per se, although it has a number of horrific moments, and it burrows under your skin the way genuinely disturbing art sometimes does. Based on Tracy Letts' 2004 off-Broadway play, Bug was directed by William Friedkin, who made The Exorcist (and The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A.) but more recently brought us The Hunted and Rules of Engagement and The Guardian, which was about an evil tree that eats babies.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | February 4, 1997
The president will be telling us how things are, and how he thinks he can make them better, in tonight's State of the Union address, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. on just about all the noncable and news networks. Afterward, the Republicans will tell us why he's all wet. Other than that, what's on?"Mad About You" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Ah, the guest stars are lining up for this one: Carol Burnett shows up as Jamie's mom, who's asked to explain some things about Jamie's birth certificate.
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By The Hartford Courant | October 19, 2003
Thankfully, most of us will never know what it's like to get struck by lightning or attacked by a grizzly bear. Odds are we won't get shot in the head, undergo an exorcism or contract leprosy. Nor will we have someone on hand to ask, "So, what was that like?" But now there's the next best thing, a thin book that answers this question dozens of times over. What it Feels Like (Three Rivers Press; $12.95) is an oral history of extreme experiences. The table of contents reads like a program from a lecture circuit for survivors.
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By Tracy Wilkinson and Tracy Wilkinson,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 18, 2005
ROME - The Roman Catholic Church is facing a shortage that you might not have heard about: qualified exorcists. Yesterday, about 100 priests rose in prayer, asked St. Mary for protection, then sat down to an eight-week study of exorcism and how to distinguish and fight true demonic possession. The course at Rome's Regina Apostolorum, a prestigious pontifical university, represents the first time a Vatican-sanctioned study at this level has been dedicated to exorcism. In Italy, the number of official exorcists has soared over the past 20 years to between 300 and 400, church officials say. But they aren't enough to handle the avalanche of requests for help from hundreds of tormented people who believe they are possessed.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | August 21, 2004
Congratulations, Renny Harlin. You've successfully exorcised all the horror out of The Exorcist. Exorcist: The Beginning, a prequel to William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece of horror both psychological and physical, fills in the backstory - as if that were really necessary! - of Father Merrin and how he first encountered the demon Pazuzu. The first film, you'll recall, opens in East Africa with Merrin (Max von Sydow) at an archaeological dig, searching for something mysterious and nefarious.
FEATURES
By Joe Neumaier and Joe Neumaier,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | August 17, 2004
If it were possible for a movie to go through a long dark night of the soul, Exorcist: The Beginning would still be suffering. The latest film in the demonic-possession series has had four directors, three credited screenwriters and was made not once but twice. That last, historic event occurred because Morgan Creek Productions, which financed the project, fired director Paul Schrader after he completed his version and hired Renny Harlin to start again with a new script and a mostly new cast.
ENTERTAINMENT
By The Hartford Courant | October 19, 2003
Thankfully, most of us will never know what it's like to get struck by lightning or attacked by a grizzly bear. Odds are we won't get shot in the head, undergo an exorcism or contract leprosy. Nor will we have someone on hand to ask, "So, what was that like?" But now there's the next best thing, a thin book that answers this question dozens of times over. What it Feels Like (Three Rivers Press; $12.95) is an oral history of extreme experiences. The table of contents reads like a program from a lecture circuit for survivors.
FEATURES
By Desmond Ryan and Desmond Ryan,KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE | November 29, 2000
For anyone who remembers the shrieks and hysteria that greeted "The Exorcist" in movie theaters in 1973, the biggest shock registered by the recent rerelease of William Friedkin's horror landmark wasn't on the screen. In the darkness of the multiplexes, there was a good deal of snickering among younger moviegoers who were raised on satanic legions of "Exorcist" clones, a bloody tide of slasher movies, and the more sly, hip and self-referential horror pictures and parodies of the '90s. They were plainly not disposed to cower under the seats at the sight of Linda Blair launching salvos of green pea soup at the priests trying to dispossess her. For Hollywood studios and filmmakers, the question of just how - or even whether - you can scare a contemporary audience is itself becoming increasingly scary and elusive.
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By Gary Dorsey and Gary Dorsey,SUN STAFF | September 26, 2000
MOUNT RAINIER, Prince George's County - Autumn leaves speckle the ground at 3210 Bunker Hill Road. Sparrows sweep across the grass. A dog barks. Children have left chalk drawings of hearts and sweet messages scrawled on posts and beams of the gazebo: JESUS RULES, PEACE & LOVE, ROSE & JEFF. For almost 30 years, this tranquil place was known as "the devil's house," the dark portal where a fallen spirit penetrated the psyche of a fragile 13-year-old. "I passed that house every day on the way to school," said 53-year-old Vernon Sears, a lifelong resident of Mount Rainier.
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By SYLVIA BADGER | October 2, 1994
It's not every day that local musicians perform at the White House, so you can imagine the excitement when an invitation from Bill and Hillary Clinton arrived inviting Jr. Cline and the Recliners to provide their brand of '60s rhythm and blues for dancing under the stars.They were to follow a program titled "A Celebration of American Music" that would feature Ashford and Simpson, Patti Austin, Michael Bolton, Booker T & the MGs, Ruth Brown, Jon Hendricks, the Pointer Sisters and Lyle Lovett, who would be in ** attendance with his "Pretty Woman" wife, Julia Roberts.
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By James D. Davis and James D. Davis,Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | April 5, 1991
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The girl retches, writhes, yowls and bares her teeth. "Get outta here, me not wanna leave," she shrieks at the priest, as one hand snaps the gauze bonds tying her to the chair.No, it's not a rerun of "The Exorcist." It's a segment on "20/20" to be aired tonight that shows an actual Roman Catholic ritual of casting out demons. And, except for the lack of levitation and white-face, the exorcism closely resembles the 1973 movie starring Linda Blair.Videotaped at a nun's home in suburban Palm Beach County last October, the segment shows perhaps the only church-authorized recording of the Rite of Exorcism.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach and Ann Hornaday and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITICS | September 22, 2000
Director William Friedkin's "The Exorcist," hits theaters today, with improved sound and 11 minutes of footage trimmed from its original 1973 release. And while the film has lost little of its psyche-jarring impact - there's a reason it frequently turns up atop lists of the most frightening movies ever made - this new, 132-minute version proves that restored scenes make for fine curiosities, but rarely add much to the movie. Of the scenes that have been restored, only one didn't deserve to be cut - the infamous spider-walk scene, in which Linda Blair's Regan, the little girl harboring a demon, scurries down a flight of stairs on all fours, running backward, with her hands and feet behind her back.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | February 4, 1997
The president will be telling us how things are, and how he thinks he can make them better, in tonight's State of the Union address, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. on just about all the noncable and news networks. Afterward, the Republicans will tell us why he's all wet. Other than that, what's on?"Mad About You" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Ah, the guest stars are lining up for this one: Carol Burnett shows up as Jamie's mom, who's asked to explain some things about Jamie's birth certificate.
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