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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 19, 2001
The Last Castle is a pea-brained dinosaur of a movie, big and stupid and lumbering. It's a mishmash of The Bridge on the River Kwai, From Here to Eternity and The Great Escape, with everything complex and entertaining siphoned off. Robert Redford stars as a three-star Army general who embodies all military virtues except obedience. His disregard for orders and his leadership of a disastrous overseas raid land him in a military prison run by a colonel, James Gandolfini. This warden is the general's opposite: a martinet who demands total control of his inmates and achieves it by any means necessary, including murder.
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By Susan King and Susan King,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 11, 2003
HOLLYWOOD - In the last of the major ceremonial awards in Hollywood's run-up to the Oscars, Daniel Day-Lewis was chosen best male actor for his wicked turn as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York, and Renee Zellweger was named best female actor as the merry murderess in the musical Chicago on Sunday night at the ninth annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Chicago also took the award for best movie ensemble, and Catherine Zeta-Jones was named best supporting female actor. The remaining movie honor went to Christopher Walken, who received the supporting male actor prize for his emotional turn as the down-on-his-luck father of a teen-age con artist in the caper film Catch Me If You Can. Although competition this year is strong, with its additional awards Chicago would appear to be the film to beat at the Academy Awards.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | July 23, 1999
NBC received the most Emmy nominations yesterday with 82, but the big story was the continuing climb of cable channel HBO, which finished second with 74.HBO has dominated movies and mini-series for several years, but yesterday one of its dramas, "The Sopranos," a critically acclaimed look at Mafia life in New Jersey, topped all shows with 16 nominations and joined the ranks of NBC's "ER" and "Law & Order" and ABC's "NYPD Blue" and "The Practice" as nominee...
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By Michael Sragow | August 7, 2009
Bandslam: (Summit Entertainment) A new kid in town assembles a fledgling rock band to play in a huge battle of the bands competition. With Gaelan Connell and Vanessa Hudgens. The Cove : (Roadside Attractions) In this real-life expose, activists and documentary-makers uncover the merciless slaughter of dolphins outside a Japanese town. District 9: (TriStar) A government agent comes to the aid of an alien race forced to live in slumlike conditions on Earth. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard: (Paramount Pictures)
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December 14, 2007
Next Friday CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR -- (Universal Pictures) Mike Nichols directs this fact-based tale about a playboy congressman (Tom Hanks), a beautiful socialite (Julia Roberts) and a CIA agent (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who secretly pulled off one of the largest covert operations in U.S. history. JUNO -- (Fox Searchlight) Ellen Page is a pregnant teenager looking for the perfect parents to adopt her unborn child. She finds them in an affluent couple (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman).
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By Michael Sragow | October 2, 2009
Bright Star *** 1/2 (3 1/2 ) It's a delicate but also robust and funny portrait of the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. This film about a poet who never lived beyond his youth and the plucky seamstress who became his final muse captures the essential allure of poetry: its ability to express the ineffable. Thanks to the performances of Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, and the moviemaking of Jane Campion, there's nothing affected about "Bright Star": It conveys the manly - and womanly - qualities of erotic and aesthetic reverie.
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December 13, 2006
Lindsay Lohan says she's been going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for a year, but hasn't talked about it because "it's no one's business." "I just left an AA meeting," People magazine quotes the 20-year-old actress on its Web site yesterday. "I haven't had a drink in seven days. Or anything," she says. "I'm not even legal to, so why would I? Her publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnik, respond yesterday to a message from the Associated Press seeking comment. The king of New Orleans Sopranos' star James Gandolfini will reign as celebrity monarch Bacchus during the 2007 Carnival season.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | September 16, 2007
HOT ON THE HEELS OF A SUM-mer that saw audience levels sink to an all-time low, the broadcast networks could be in for more pain yet tonight at the 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. The Emmy telecast is designed to promote the start of the new fall season on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW. But tonight's program on Fox could wind up celebrating the cable industry instead -- all those regulation-free channels that have been thrashing the networks in the ratings in recent months.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 11, 2001
After Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, I was starting to believe that HBO couldn't make a bad series if it tried. Then I saw The Mind of the Married Man, a sitcom about Mickey Barnes, a 39-year-old Chicago newspaper columnist trying to balance his life as father and husband with the sexual fantasies that play nonstop in his brain. Actually, I'm giving the series created by and starring Mike Binder more of a focus than it actually displays - it stumbles aimlessly through the first several episodes.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Susan King and Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 16, 2005
Doing audio commentary requires a real knack, and more often than not directors, writers, producers and even actors seem at a loss for words when they are called upon to discuss the film or TV series in question. But that certainly isn't the case with the commentaries on The Sopranos - The Complete Fifth Season (HBO, $100). The three-disc set features four superlative and diverse commentaries from the directors of the Emmy Award-winning mob series and a fifth with actress Drea de Matteo, who talks about the episode in which her character, Adriana, meets her maker.
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