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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | August 17, 1992
Washington--Most movie stars travel with an entourage. There's the advance man, the publicity coordinator, someone to keep the imported mineral water cold, two or three guys who just stand around and look dangerous in $800 suits, the studio rep and his assistant and the local advertising rep. The message is control, control, control.James Woods showed up in a Washington hotel bar with his mother and his stepfather. There's no control, control, control.But that's Woods: he does it his way, and somehow he makes it pay. It doesn't bother him that in mid-interview, Mom leans into the alcove, and begins to go through an envelope that has just been given him, and uncovers his face on the cover of the Washington Post's TV magazine for an upcoming HBO movie on Roy Cohn.
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By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2014
There's plenty of inspiration to be found in "Jamesy Boy," the based-on-a-true-story tale of a jailed street tough who, after much trial and error, finds redemption and a productive life inside the margins of society. But that's an old warhorse of a story, and there's simply not enough up on the screen to make this take on it appreciably different from so many that have come before. Watching it, there's the nagging suspicion that there should be more to all this, and the occasional scene hints at what makes the story of James Burns distinctive enough to warrant big-screen treatment.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 3, 1997
You'd have to be a complete idiot to ruin a story as good as the one told in "Ghosts of Mississippi," which means that director Rob Reiner is only a partial idiot.The movie, which recounts how a reluctant but ultimately courageous Mississippi prosecutor went after and finally convicted Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers, ought to be a lot better than it is. After all, Bobby DeLaughter proved that it ain't over till the fat lady sings, and somewhere in a dank Mississippi penitentiary, the old slimebag De La Beckwith gets to listen to the fat lady all by himself for the rest of his life.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2014
Chances are you've never heard of Spencer Lofranco. But chances are that's going to change this year. At 21, the Toronto native is about to have what promises to be a pretty impressive rookie season. In addition to his first film, Trevor White's "Jamesy Boy," which was filmed on location throughout the Baltimore area and opens today, he's also in Adam Rodgers' "At Middleton," opening Jan. 31. And this past Monday in Australia, he started working on his third feature, "Unbroken," a biopic of Olympic runner and World War II POW Louis Zamperini.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | October 30, 1998
"John Carpenter's Vampires" is more about attitude than it is about horror. And man, does it have attitude!It also has some powerful visuals (director Carpenter hasn't let his imagination run this unchecked since "The Thing") and a wickedly over-the-top performance from James Woods -- pluses that go a long way toward compensating for a silly script so crammed with macho posturing that even Sam Peckinpah might have found it all a bit much. The world as envisioned by Carpenter and writer Don Jakoby consists of warriors and whores and people waiting to be killed.
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By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | March 8, 1991
THE HARD Way'' is a buddy-cop movie, but it isn't just another in the genre. This is one of the better ones, maybe the best we have seen since the cycle began.Michael J. Fox and James Woods star. Woods plays an explosive, seasoned New York cop, and Fox is Nick Lang, a movie actor who is planning to play a cop on the screen and, before he does, wants to live the life of a cop.Moss (Woods), however, doesn't think this a good idea. He considers the movie actor something less than human and doesn't want him anywhere around.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 19, 2001
Things were never easy for Beverly Donofrio - and that may explain why she never made things easy for anyone else. Her inability to play the hand fate dealt her is the crux of the engaging, over-long Riding In Cars With Boys. Based on the real-life Donofrio's memoirs, the movie tracks Beverly (Drew Barrymore) over 15 years, interspersing the narrative with scenes of her grown son. It's immediately clear that Beverly controls this relationship, much to her son's frustration. We first meet Beverly as a pre-teen, bonding lovingly with her father (James Woods)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | August 14, 1992
"Diggstown" is a perfect example of a bad thing done well, or well enough. Derivative and completely predictable, the movie still enjoys being a movie so much that joy is contagious.Like "The Sting," it's the story of a con, and its pleasures come from watching the amoral scamp at its center choreograph a monstrously big conspiracy that leaves a truly bad man busted flat broke.What is it that's appealing about a con man? Well, as James Woods, that hyperkinetic live wire, plays him, it's the unflappable sense of command, that utter refusal to rattle, that deep, sure craftiness and aplomb.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | March 8, 1991
Talk about nerve! "The Hard Way" has the moxie to lambast "typical Hollywood movies," full of phony stunts by bland twits; then, without a look back or a whisper of regret, it blithely turns into a typical Hollywood movie full of phony stunts by bland twits.There's a nugget of a kernel of a core of a good idea here, and when the movie hews to it, it's absolutely brilliant. But far too often, and finally fatally, it loses its concentration.The idea is the opposition between authentic experience and imagined experience and the movie yanks endless yuks out of the clash between them, as a hard-guy homicide cop (James Woods)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 3, 1992
Dolly Parton is so good-hearted and beams with such amiability and country-morning charm that the temptation to sit back, shut up and simply bask in her screen presence is all but overwhelming."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Baltimore Sun reporter | February 24, 2012
"Jamesy Boy," an independent film directed and co-written by Maryland native Trevor White and starring Mary-Louise Parker, Ving Rhames and James Woods, will begin filming in Baltimore March 5, the Maryland Film Office announced today. The film, which will be shot over five weeks, tells the story of James (newcomer Spencer Lofranco), a street-tough gang member who ends up in a maximum security prison. There, he befriends a convicted murderer who becomes his mentor and helps turn his life around.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | October 11, 2011
James "Biddy" Wood, a retired music promoter and well-known personality in Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue jazz scene, died of respiratory failure Friday at Harbor Hospital Center's hospice unit. He was 87 and lived in Bolton Hill. Born in Lexington, Ky., he was the son of Francis M. Wood, an educator who was director of segregated, or "colored," schools in Baltimore, and Nellie Hughes, a home economics teacher. The family lived in Catonsville and "Biddy," as he was known because he was a small child, graduated in 1940 from Frederick Douglass High School.
NEWS
By Maria E. Fernandez and Maria E. Fernandez,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 22, 2006
HOLLYWOOD -- James Woods is the first to admit that his first full-time TV job isn't much of a stretch. On CBS' new hit Shark, he plays the loud and egotistical Sebastian Stark, an ostentatious Los Angeles defense lawyer who switches sides and joins the district attorney's office. Woods, after all, has spent much of his on-screen career playing versions of himself, even spoofing that persona on HBO's Entourage last season, when he guest-starred opposite his real-life 20-year-old girlfriend, Ashley Madison.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 19, 2001
Things were never easy for Beverly Donofrio - and that may explain why she never made things easy for anyone else. Her inability to play the hand fate dealt her is the crux of the engaging, over-long Riding In Cars With Boys. Based on the real-life Donofrio's memoirs, the movie tracks Beverly (Drew Barrymore) over 15 years, interspersing the narrative with scenes of her grown son. It's immediately clear that Beverly controls this relationship, much to her son's frustration. We first meet Beverly as a pre-teen, bonding lovingly with her father (James Woods)
FEATURES
February 16, 2001
`Yiyi' Unrated (adult language, violence) Sun score * * "Yiyi" begins promisingly, with a boisterous wedding that deftly explores the tense, convoluted undercurrents that can rip apart large family gatherings. A-Di has dumped his long-time girlfriend for a young assistant who is pregnant with his child, to the dismay of his family. And on A-Di's wedding day, against the backdrop of a banquet hall cloaked with the Chinese lucky color red, his family quietly unravels: His brother-in-law, NJ, bumps into the high school girlfriend whom he has never forgotten, and embarks on a poignant mid-life crisis.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | October 30, 1998
"John Carpenter's Vampires" is more about attitude than it is about horror. And man, does it have attitude!It also has some powerful visuals (director Carpenter hasn't let his imagination run this unchecked since "The Thing") and a wickedly over-the-top performance from James Woods -- pluses that go a long way toward compensating for a silly script so crammed with macho posturing that even Sam Peckinpah might have found it all a bit much. The world as envisioned by Carpenter and writer Don Jakoby consists of warriors and whores and people waiting to be killed.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 7, 1992
Dolly Parton is so good-hearted and beams with such amiability and country-morning charm that the temptation to sit back, shut up and simply bask in her screen presence is nearly overwhelming."
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | August 14, 1992
"Diggstown" is a perfect example of a bad thing done well, or well enough. Derivative and completely predictable, the movie still enjoys being a movie so much that joy is contagious.Like "The Sting," it's the story of a con, and its pleasures come from watching the amoral scamp at its center choreograph a monstrously big conspiracy that leaves a truly bad man busted flat broke.What is it that's appealing about a con man? Well, as James Woods, that hyperkinetic live wire, plays him, it's the unflappable sense of command, that utter refusal to rattle, that deep, sure craftiness and aplomb.
NEWS
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 23, 1997
May I have the envelope, please? Thank you, my dear. By the way, don't you look lovely tonight and what are you doing after the ceremony? Anyhow, for best picture, the winner isBut I'm getting ahead of myself.Let us play the game according to the rules. Let us take our long, slow, cute stroll to the climax of the 69th annual Oscar ceremony, predicting hither and yon as we meander. (Channels 2 and 7 will broadcast the awards show at 9 p.m. tomorrow.) And let's obey some other rules, too. Kids, repeat after me: Rules Are Fun. So, let's play the fashion rule game, by painting a picture of the host of our ceremony in high Oscar splendor.
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