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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | November 24, 1999
While "Toy Story 2" and "Princess Mononoke" show audiences that animated features can be just as fluid and expressive as their live-action counterparts, there are live-action movies that seem determined to be as two-dimensional as possible.Enter "End of Days," as idiotic, ugly and ridiculous a case in point as can be imagined.Arnold Schwarzenegger (just what computer animation program created him?) plays a burned-out security guard who foils a plot by Satan (Gabriel Byrne, changing accents more often than Kathleen Turner)
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By Los Angeles Times | June 9, 2008
LOS ANGELES - A pregnant woman approached with three tots in tow. "I am so sorry," she said, one hand on her protruding belly, the other covering her mouth. "I love you. I love you," she gushed as she got closer to Blair Underwood, dining at Clementine, a sidewalk cafe in Los Angeles. "It was the funniest thing when you were on that show, Christine," the woman said. "I was dying. The whole time I was dying." "I was too 'cause I loved it," replied Underwood, who has been toiling in TV and film for two decades and might just get his first Emmy nomination this year, if buzz is a reliable barometer of such things.
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By Desmond Ryan and Desmond Ryan,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | October 17, 1997
In "The End of Violence," German director Wim Wenders ("Paris, Texas") has crafted a provocative work that is at its best in considering those who reap immense profits by purveying images of violence.The movie has its faults -- most notably in bending its plot and the behavior of its characters to support an appeal for radical changes in attitude -- but it is better than its release history suggested. It drew withering scorn at last spring's Cannes Film Festival, and Wenders drastically re-edited it.Bill Pullman plays an enormously successful Hollywood producer known for ultra-violent thrillers who ignores his bored wife (Andie MacDowell)
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | November 24, 1999
While "Toy Story 2" and "Princess Mononoke" show audiences that animated features can be just as fluid and expressive as their live-action counterparts, there are live-action movies that seem determined to be as two-dimensional as possible.Enter "End of Days," as idiotic, ugly and ridiculous a case in point as can be imagined.Arnold Schwarzenegger (just what computer animation program created him?) plays a burned-out security guard who foils a plot by Satan (Gabriel Byrne, changing accents more often than Kathleen Turner)
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By Stephen Wigler | August 15, 1991
The British are obsessed by two things: their aristocracy, with which they enjoy a love/hate relationship, and heterosexuality, with which they seem to enjoy an even worse relationship. Or so "Dark Obsession," which will be shown at the Charles today through Sunday, would have us believe.This is one of those dreadfully kinky little films -- the recent "The Comfort of Strangers" was another -- that treats sex as if it were a sacrament. Add to that director Nick Broomfield's hatred of the ruling class, and you can understand what drives the movie even as you acknowledge that it's a failure.
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By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | March 1, 1991
When the ''gorilla'' appears in ''Shipwrecked,'' everything goes well with the film. Until that time, you may be wondering who made this seemingly simple-minded adventure movie. When the man wearing a gorilla suit appears, however, you know that producers had children in mind when they did it.Taken as such, the new film is enjoyable. You won't believe a minute of it, but the younger children will love it, and they are the patrons for whom the movie was made.''Shipwrecked'' is very old-fashioned escapism.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | March 20, 1993
"Point of No Return" isn't a remake so much as a tracing of another movie, Luc Besson's original "La Femme Nikita" of just three years ago. So in a certain respect it feels dead; it has glitz, glamour and pizazz but no personality or spontaneity; it feels as if it were directed by a robot. Whatever it represented to Besson, I'll tell you what it represented to John Badham: a paycheck.Still . . . it kind of packs a punch. OK, I watched, I rooted, I enjoyed and, toward the end, I was involutarily pulling the trigger along with our heroine.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | September 17, 1993
"Into the West"Starring Gabriel ByrneDirected by Mike NewellReleased by MiramaxRated PG** 1/2You are forgiven if you think the "West" of "Into the . . ." lies somewhere on the nether shore of the Red River as it trickles through far Texas horse country. But no. The "West" we're talking about is the west of Ireland, and it's surprising that that tiny island country is big enough to accommodate such a geographical concept as "the west" .But the West is also metaphorical: the West in the movie is the same as the West in American movies, at least imaginatively -- it's the West of freedom and opportunity and escape from oppression, all themes in the Mike Newell film.
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By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | October 19, 1990
IF YOU thought ''GoodFellas'' was violent, wait until you see ''Miller's Crossing.'' When it comes to bloodshed, this one has the Martin Scorsese film beat a mile.That, however, is about the only area in which the new film beats the Scorsese film. Its trouble is that it isn't able to settle on any particular mood. It wants to be brutal and is. It also wants to be funny and is not.''GoodFellas'' is funny, in part, but the humor is the natural sort. The humor in ''Miller's Crossing'' is self-conscious, contrived and never that successful.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | March 1, 1991
'Shipwrecked'Starring Stian Smestad and Gabriel Byrne.Directed by Nils Gaup.Released by Walt Disney.Rated PG.... ** "Shipwrecked" is like a trip to Disney World, whose towers gleam promisingly in the sun from afar but whose reality turns out to be Tidy Bowl-clean plastic, unthreatening but unchallenging. Kids think they love it, I suppose, and as a place it's a miracle of social and mechanical engineering: but it's dull.And so is this movie. Meant to re-create the kind of romantic boy's fiction of the last century, when Robert Lewis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling and the great O. V. Falck-Ytter wrote muscular yarns of boys' adventures for boys who didn't have adventures, it instead represents the kind of tasteful Disnification that is well-engineered but plasticized.
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By Desmond Ryan and Desmond Ryan,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | October 17, 1997
In "The End of Violence," German director Wim Wenders ("Paris, Texas") has crafted a provocative work that is at its best in considering those who reap immense profits by purveying images of violence.The movie has its faults -- most notably in bending its plot and the behavior of its characters to support an appeal for radical changes in attitude -- but it is better than its release history suggested. It drew withering scorn at last spring's Cannes Film Festival, and Wenders drastically re-edited it.Bill Pullman plays an enormously successful Hollywood producer known for ultra-violent thrillers who ignores his bored wife (Andie MacDowell)
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | May 17, 1996
Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man," opening today at the Charles, is a western from the anti-universe, an attempt to take all the values of the most beloved of American genres and invert them so totally that the result is almost like a negative image.The hero is, literally, a dead man walking: He's got a bullet in his heart, and the life is slowly leaking from him as he wanders a zone of exploitation, murder, despair, racism and sick violence called the American frontier.The movie inverts not only the outer values of the genre but the inner rhythms as well: Where the traditional western once meant to be lean, swift and economically told, this one is almost anti-dramatic.
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By Luaine Lee and Luaine Lee,Knight-Ridder News Service | October 12, 1993
For many actors who happen to be married to each other, the idea of working together seems an impossible dream.But careers have a way of spiking and falling faster than the Dow Jones. And one partner may be top banana while the other is the 32nd flavor of the month.Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan are both sailing with their careers, after Mr. Quaid's successful turn at "Undercover Blues" and Ms. Ryan's megahit, "Sleepless in Seattle."The two have finished making their third film together, "Flesh and Bone" (due Nov. 5)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | September 17, 1993
"Into the West"Starring Gabriel ByrneDirected by Mike NewellReleased by MiramaxRated PG** 1/2You are forgiven if you think the "West" of "Into the . . ." lies somewhere on the nether shore of the Red River as it trickles through far Texas horse country. But no. The "West" we're talking about is the west of Ireland, and it's surprising that that tiny island country is big enough to accommodate such a geographical concept as "the west" .But the West is also metaphorical: the West in the movie is the same as the West in American movies, at least imaginatively -- it's the West of freedom and opportunity and escape from oppression, all themes in the Mike Newell film.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | March 20, 1993
"Point of No Return" isn't a remake so much as a tracing of another movie, Luc Besson's original "La Femme Nikita" of just three years ago. So in a certain respect it feels dead; it has glitz, glamour and pizazz but no personality or spontaneity; it feels as if it were directed by a robot. Whatever it represented to Besson, I'll tell you what it represented to John Badham: a paycheck.Still . . . it kind of packs a punch. OK, I watched, I rooted, I enjoyed and, toward the end, I was involutarily pulling the trigger along with our heroine.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler | August 15, 1991
The British are obsessed by two things: their aristocracy, with which they enjoy a love/hate relationship, and heterosexuality, with which they seem to enjoy an even worse relationship. Or so "Dark Obsession," which will be shown at the Charles today through Sunday, would have us believe.This is one of those dreadfully kinky little films -- the recent "The Comfort of Strangers" was another -- that treats sex as if it were a sacrament. Add to that director Nick Broomfield's hatred of the ruling class, and you can understand what drives the movie even as you acknowledge that it's a failure.
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By Stephen Hunter | December 30, 1990
THUMBS UP (Listed in no particular order) "To Sleep With Anger," Charles Burnett's heartfelt fable of thblack middle class struggling with the difficulties and temptations of American culture."
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By Luaine Lee and Luaine Lee,Knight-Ridder News Service | October 12, 1993
For many actors who happen to be married to each other, the idea of working together seems an impossible dream.But careers have a way of spiking and falling faster than the Dow Jones. And one partner may be top banana while the other is the 32nd flavor of the month.Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan are both sailing with their careers, after Mr. Quaid's successful turn at "Undercover Blues" and Ms. Ryan's megahit, "Sleepless in Seattle."The two have finished making their third film together, "Flesh and Bone" (due Nov. 5)
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | March 1, 1991
When the ''gorilla'' appears in ''Shipwrecked,'' everything goes well with the film. Until that time, you may be wondering who made this seemingly simple-minded adventure movie. When the man wearing a gorilla suit appears, however, you know that producers had children in mind when they did it.Taken as such, the new film is enjoyable. You won't believe a minute of it, but the younger children will love it, and they are the patrons for whom the movie was made.''Shipwrecked'' is very old-fashioned escapism.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | March 1, 1991
'Shipwrecked'Starring Stian Smestad and Gabriel Byrne.Directed by Nils Gaup.Released by Walt Disney.Rated PG.... ** "Shipwrecked" is like a trip to Disney World, whose towers gleam promisingly in the sun from afar but whose reality turns out to be Tidy Bowl-clean plastic, unthreatening but unchallenging. Kids think they love it, I suppose, and as a place it's a miracle of social and mechanical engineering: but it's dull.And so is this movie. Meant to re-create the kind of romantic boy's fiction of the last century, when Robert Lewis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling and the great O. V. Falck-Ytter wrote muscular yarns of boys' adventures for boys who didn't have adventures, it instead represents the kind of tasteful Disnification that is well-engineered but plasticized.
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