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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 David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun television critic | June 12, 2007
Most morning-after critiques of The Sopranos' finale have rightfully focused on the abrupt and ambiguously maddening ending. But quite a few moments, pop-culture references and images beg to be deconstructed - or, at least, questioned as to whether they really have any deeper meaning. Stray cat A stray cat takes up residence in the backroom of the Bada Bing strip club. Tony (James Gandolfini) mentions that it had killed a mouse in the safe house he had holed up in - as if that earned it a home for life.
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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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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | March 4, 1994
"Angie," I says, shaddup awreaddy.The trials and tribulations of an unmarried woman in Brooklyn, "Angie" showcases Geena Davis in a convincingly against-type performance in a story that is unconvincingly with-type.To get into it, you have to love the Hollywood version of the working-class New York thing, which begins with the concept, derived from Damon Runyon stories of so long ago, that the Italian-Americans of Bensonhurst are quaint, amusing subtypes, FTC not human beings at all. You've got to love that hard yammer of Brooklynese as filtered through a sentimental Hollywood ear, where every th transmutes into a d and the standard form of rhetoric is verbal hostility.
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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 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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