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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 25, 2005
The people are just a little too calculatedly quirky in Off the Map, an otherwise engaging comedy from actor-director Campbell Scott about a free-spirited family of desert nomads eking out a deceptively alluring living in late-'60s New Mexico. Joan Allen, showing off the comedic chops displayed to even better effect in The Upside of Anger (also now in theaters) is Arlene Groden, a deceptively well-grounded earth mother surrounded by baskets and near-basket cases. She's the only one in the film who really shouldn't be called quirky, although she does enjoy standing out in her garden naked.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | March 4, 2008
Jessica Lange recently became an empty-nester. She insists she is not handling it well. "It's not a relief at all," says the 58-year-old actress, who lives in New York with her longtime partner, playwright Sam Shepard, but not with their two children, who are both now on their own. "In fact, I'm totally lost. It has not been an easy transition for me." But could what is bad for Lange prove good news for film fans? Now that she doesn't have a family to raise anymore, will the two-time Oscar-winning actress accelerate the one-film-a-year pace she's been maintaining for much of the past two decades?
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 18, 2005
Joan Allen used to specialize in mice, but she becomes the mouse that roared in Mike Binder's original, unfailingly entertaining marital-breakup movie The Upside of Anger. As Pat Nixon in Nixon and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Allen played to perfection the long-suffering wife. Not here. As Terry Wolfmeyer, a mother of four girls who is unfailingly "nice" up to the moment her husband leaves her, Allen uses her pale, slender beauty like a stiletto. Terry pokes holes in family memories, her daughters' dreams and the ego of the lover who means to save her - Denny Davies (Kevin Costner)
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 25, 2005
The people are just a little too calculatedly quirky in Off the Map, an otherwise engaging comedy from actor-director Campbell Scott about a free-spirited family of desert nomads eking out a deceptively alluring living in late-'60s New Mexico. Joan Allen, showing off the comedic chops displayed to even better effect in The Upside of Anger (also now in theaters) is Arlene Groden, a deceptively well-grounded earth mother surrounded by baskets and near-basket cases. She's the only one in the film who really shouldn't be called quirky, although she does enjoy standing out in her garden naked.
NEWS
March 1, 1998
James Algar, 85, who brought nature and history documentaries as well as animated classics to Disney fans for 43 years, died Thursday in Carmel, Calif. He was best known for the Disney True Life Adventure Series he directed, including the episodes "Beaver Valley," "Bear Country" and "The Living Desert."Dr. George H. Hitchings, 92, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine for helping pioneer research techniques used by the modern pharmaceutical industry, died Friday in Chapel Hill, N.C. He and research partner Gertrude Elion won the Nobel Prize in 1988 for work that led to drugs for AIDS, herpes, leukemia and malaria, sharing the prize with Sir James W. Black of Britain.
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By Joe Baltake and Joe Baltake,McClatchy News Service | November 24, 1993
Now that movie audiences have been successfully ruined by the menu of junk that's been served up by Hollywood so relentlessly over the past few years, filmmakers have a difficult time working serious themes into their material.Everything has to be fun and games, and filmmakers respond to this demand by shrewdly designing hybrids, of which Billy Weber's debut film, "Josh and S.A.M.," is a prime example.Some hybrids work: Jerry Zucker successfully got guys to see his love story, "Ghost," by adorning the movie with action-movie special effects and some irreverent Whoopi Goldberg humor.
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By Los Angeles Daily News | June 16, 1991
LOS ANGELES -- About 15 years ago, Beau Bridges was in a coffee shop on Ventura Boulevard when a robber "put a gun between my eyes. I've never forgotten it. He went in the back, and I jumped up and sped out of the place and got the police."Mr. Bridges was lucky that day, but on March 30, 1981, James Brady was not. His life was changed forever when he stepped into the path of a bullet intended for the president of the United States.Mr. Bridges stars as Mr. Brady in "Without Warning: The James Brady Story," chronicling the true story of the former presidential press secretary, from his rise in politics to his critical injury to his triumphant recovery.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | March 4, 2008
Jessica Lange recently became an empty-nester. She insists she is not handling it well. "It's not a relief at all," says the 58-year-old actress, who lives in New York with her longtime partner, playwright Sam Shepard, but not with their two children, who are both now on their own. "In fact, I'm totally lost. It has not been an easy transition for me." But could what is bad for Lange prove good news for film fans? Now that she doesn't have a family to raise anymore, will the two-time Oscar-winning actress accelerate the one-film-a-year pace she's been maintaining for much of the past two decades?
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | August 3, 2007
Few films combine a dense and tingling atmosphere with the headlong pacing and adventure of The Bourne Ultimatum. The director, Paul Greengrass, takes the minimalist story line and snaps it like a whip. Then he revels in the shock waves that concuss the denizens of a packed London subway station or a Tangier marketplace. The set-up couldn't be more elemental. Bourne (Matt Damon), determined to confront the secret CIA Treadstone programmers who made him a killer, stumbles on an even more lethal program called Blackbriar.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 13, 2000
Anyone who maintains that Bill Clinton is a Hollywood hero hasn't been paying attention. While there's no doubt much of filmdom supports him over the alternative, it's just as obvious that many of the same people find him a disappointment, a man whose presidency promised more than it delivered. From "Bulworth" and "The American President" to TV's "The West Wing," Hollywood's liberal filmmakers have made clear the sort of president they'd like to see: principled, unabashedly liberal, willing to say what he thinks and stand up for what he believes.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 18, 2005
Joan Allen used to specialize in mice, but she becomes the mouse that roared in Mike Binder's original, unfailingly entertaining marital-breakup movie The Upside of Anger. As Pat Nixon in Nixon and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Allen played to perfection the long-suffering wife. Not here. As Terry Wolfmeyer, a mother of four girls who is unfailingly "nice" up to the moment her husband leaves her, Allen uses her pale, slender beauty like a stiletto. Terry pokes holes in family memories, her daughters' dreams and the ego of the lover who means to save her - Denny Davies (Kevin Costner)
NEWS
March 1, 1998
James Algar, 85, who brought nature and history documentaries as well as animated classics to Disney fans for 43 years, died Thursday in Carmel, Calif. He was best known for the Disney True Life Adventure Series he directed, including the episodes "Beaver Valley," "Bear Country" and "The Living Desert."Dr. George H. Hitchings, 92, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine for helping pioneer research techniques used by the modern pharmaceutical industry, died Friday in Chapel Hill, N.C. He and research partner Gertrude Elion won the Nobel Prize in 1988 for work that led to drugs for AIDS, herpes, leukemia and malaria, sharing the prize with Sir James W. Black of Britain.
FEATURES
By Joe Baltake and Joe Baltake,McClatchy News Service | November 24, 1993
Now that movie audiences have been successfully ruined by the menu of junk that's been served up by Hollywood so relentlessly over the past few years, filmmakers have a difficult time working serious themes into their material.Everything has to be fun and games, and filmmakers respond to this demand by shrewdly designing hybrids, of which Billy Weber's debut film, "Josh and S.A.M.," is a prime example.Some hybrids work: Jerry Zucker successfully got guys to see his love story, "Ghost," by adorning the movie with action-movie special effects and some irreverent Whoopi Goldberg humor.
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By Los Angeles Daily News | June 16, 1991
LOS ANGELES -- About 15 years ago, Beau Bridges was in a coffee shop on Ventura Boulevard when a robber "put a gun between my eyes. I've never forgotten it. He went in the back, and I jumped up and sped out of the place and got the police."Mr. Bridges was lucky that day, but on March 30, 1981, James Brady was not. His life was changed forever when he stepped into the path of a bullet intended for the president of the United States.Mr. Bridges stars as Mr. Brady in "Without Warning: The James Brady Story," chronicling the true story of the former presidential press secretary, from his rise in politics to his critical injury to his triumphant recovery.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic | August 22, 2008
In movies like The Bank Job, Jason Statham has shown the potential to be a British Steve McQueen, but he'll never get the chance if he keeps making gobblers like Death Race. It's strictly a smash-and-grab variation on the campy 1975 cult hit Death Race 2000, this time setting a souped-up destruction-derby auto race, played to the death, on the grounds of Terminal Island, a prison for extreme violent offenders. "This had action right from the beginning," I heard one satisfied viewer say on the way out. Actually, most of the time it only has an illusion of action.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 31, 1997
"The Ice Storm" stands in perfect contemplative counterpoint to the fervid energy of "Boogie Nights," but just because it's the quieter cousin by no means lessens its wallop. Rather than surface brilliance and raw energy, its power lies in the precise calibration of its emotional elements, which accumulate almost imperceptibly into a shattering and unforgettable whole."The Ice Storm," which director Ang Lee adapted from the Rick Moody novel, transpires over Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, when Nixon's betrayal of the country is being re-enacted in miniature in at least two houses in New Canaan, Conn.
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