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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 4, 1997
WASHINGTON -- The sinner who is "The Saint" and the saint who is his co-star came here to attract attention to that movie on which, for both of them, much rides.For him, it's a chance to prove that he can carry a big movie without wearing a bat cape; for her it's a chance to consolidate after the triumph of "Leaving Las Vegas."She's very angular; he's very unangular. She's got a profile; he's got a blur. Both are blond; neither is very big. He eats Bagel Chips and smokes Merits while he talks and literally wears rose-colored glasses; she eats a fruit salad.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 22, 2004
A part from its ineptitude, the most terrifying thing about Joel Schumacher's big-screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera is its feckless junking of a classic nightmare figure. Alone among the old horror standbys, the Phantom of the Opera is a man among monsters - a disfigured musical genius who wreaks havoc in that most stylish of cultural haunts, the Paris Opera House. The idea behind the figure of the Phantom is that art is dangerous - as dangerous as sex is in vampire movies, and sometimes as sexy, too. In the marvelous 1925 silent production, Lon Chaney was a man so spectral that he was thoroughly believable as a perverted, desiccated muse - the spirit of romantic music gone rotten.
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By Roger Moore and Roger Moore,ORLANDO SENTINEL | October 18, 2003
Veronica Guerin reminds us that great journalism often begins as outrage and turns into a crusade. It's a pity that this great story doesn't amount to a great film, but it is never less than competent, a workmanlike take on a martyred Irish reporter who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty or risk her life in pursuit of truth and justice. Cate Blanchett shines in the title role of an egotistical Irish newspaper reporter who led the pack in exposing Ireland's burgeoning drug trade and the thugs running it. As we see in the opening scene, she pays a price for her relentlessness.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 18, 2004
Whither this year's The Return of the King? This time a year ago, everyone knew the movie to beat when it came to deciding on the year's best picture, even if it wouldn't be released for a few weeks. And that's how it works almost every year, as one movie -- sometimes in theaters already, sometimes waiting for the holiday season before making its debut -- gets Hollywood's tongues wagging with talk of Oscars and big box office and the sort of prestige on which careers can be made. Think Titanic.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | November 24, 1999
"Flawless" isn't. Not by a long shot.It's obvious and stereotypical. It's leaden and unconvincing. It's not nearly as outrageous as it thinks it is.And it offers the sad sight of Robert De Niro playing yet another physically flawed character, in a performance that's more artifice than acting. At this stage in his career, no one should doubt De Niro's ability to shape his body and soul around the most damaged characters imaginable, be they overweight fighters, deranged taxi drivers, murderous psychopaths or comatose mental patients.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 22, 2004
A part from its ineptitude, the most terrifying thing about Joel Schumacher's big-screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera is its feckless junking of a classic nightmare figure. Alone among the old horror standbys, the Phantom of the Opera is a man among monsters - a disfigured musical genius who wreaks havoc in that most stylish of cultural haunts, the Paris Opera House. The idea behind the figure of the Phantom is that art is dangerous - as dangerous as sex is in vampire movies, and sometimes as sexy, too. In the marvelous 1925 silent production, Lon Chaney was a man so spectral that he was thoroughly believable as a perverted, desiccated muse - the spirit of romantic music gone rotten.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | February 26, 1993
"Falling Down" goes boom. And it goes bang.This angry, self-congratulatory, self-important movie fancies itself a "Taxi Driver" for the '90s but it has such a clammy stench of hypocrisy that the taxi you'll cherish is the one that takes you home afterward. It's one of those jobs that disapproves of middle-class rage but can't help its grubby little self from exploiting the same. It doesn't mind if you purse your lips in disapproval or scream "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out," just as long as you pay for your ticket.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 2, 1998
The renovation at the Charles Theatre is right on schedule, says the venerable theater's co-owner John Standiford. The steel base for the new stadium seating went in last week, and Standiford says an opening date for the three new theaters should be nailed down soon.Standiford is especially excited about the theater's new concession stand, which was designed by Maryland Institute, College of Art graduate Jon Maxwell."It's really going to be nice," Standiford says. "The top is going to be concrete, and he's casting metal for the front and doing a cherry section for the bar, where we'll serve coffee and beer and wine."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 18, 2004
Whither this year's The Return of the King? This time a year ago, everyone knew the movie to beat when it came to deciding on the year's best picture, even if it wouldn't be released for a few weeks. And that's how it works almost every year, as one movie -- sometimes in theaters already, sometimes waiting for the holiday season before making its debut -- gets Hollywood's tongues wagging with talk of Oscars and big box office and the sort of prestige on which careers can be made. Think Titanic.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 23, 2007
Let's hope that for Jim Carrey, the fate of The Number 23 doesn't mean that his number is up. He doesn't give much of a performance in this hollow trick thriller. Nobody could. The Number 23 (New Line Cinema) Starring Jim Carrey (left), Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Rated R. Time 95 minutes.
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By Roger Moore and Roger Moore,ORLANDO SENTINEL | October 18, 2003
Veronica Guerin reminds us that great journalism often begins as outrage and turns into a crusade. It's a pity that this great story doesn't amount to a great film, but it is never less than competent, a workmanlike take on a martyred Irish reporter who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty or risk her life in pursuit of truth and justice. Cate Blanchett shines in the title role of an egotistical Irish newspaper reporter who led the pack in exposing Ireland's burgeoning drug trade and the thugs running it. As we see in the opening scene, she pays a price for her relentlessness.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | November 24, 1999
"Flawless" isn't. Not by a long shot.It's obvious and stereotypical. It's leaden and unconvincing. It's not nearly as outrageous as it thinks it is.And it offers the sad sight of Robert De Niro playing yet another physically flawed character, in a performance that's more artifice than acting. At this stage in his career, no one should doubt De Niro's ability to shape his body and soul around the most damaged characters imaginable, be they overweight fighters, deranged taxi drivers, murderous psychopaths or comatose mental patients.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 2, 1998
The renovation at the Charles Theatre is right on schedule, says the venerable theater's co-owner John Standiford. The steel base for the new stadium seating went in last week, and Standiford says an opening date for the three new theaters should be nailed down soon.Standiford is especially excited about the theater's new concession stand, which was designed by Maryland Institute, College of Art graduate Jon Maxwell."It's really going to be nice," Standiford says. "The top is going to be concrete, and he's casting metal for the front and doing a cherry section for the bar, where we'll serve coffee and beer and wine."
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 4, 1997
WASHINGTON -- The sinner who is "The Saint" and the saint who is his co-star came here to attract attention to that movie on which, for both of them, much rides.For him, it's a chance to prove that he can carry a big movie without wearing a bat cape; for her it's a chance to consolidate after the triumph of "Leaving Las Vegas."She's very angular; he's very unangular. She's got a profile; he's got a blur. Both are blond; neither is very big. He eats Bagel Chips and smokes Merits while he talks and literally wears rose-colored glasses; she eats a fruit salad.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | February 26, 1993
"Falling Down" goes boom. And it goes bang.This angry, self-congratulatory, self-important movie fancies itself a "Taxi Driver" for the '90s but it has such a clammy stench of hypocrisy that the taxi you'll cherish is the one that takes you home afterward. It's one of those jobs that disapproves of middle-class rage but can't help its grubby little self from exploiting the same. It doesn't mind if you purse your lips in disapproval or scream "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out," just as long as you pay for your ticket.
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February 16, 2007
AMAZING GRACE -- (Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions) Michael Apted's drama about ending slavery in the British Empire. Ioan Gruffudd and Romola Garai star. THE ASTRONAUT FARMER -- (Warner Bros.) Billy Bob Thornton is an astronaut who retires to save the family homestead - but still keeps his rocket dreams alive. LITTLE CHILDREN -- (New Line Cinema) Todd Field adapts Tom Perrotta's novel about stay-at-home parents (Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson) who have an affair to assuage their anxieties.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 2, 2007
What's heartening about movies like Stephen Frears' The Queen and Martin Scorsese's The Departed is their bench strength. Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen were wonderful in The Queen, but so were their court and cabinet. An array of crack character actors supports the top names in The Departed. So it's infuriating to see directors Joel Schumacher of The Number 23 and Walt Becker of Wild Hogs trash their casts. In The Number 23, Mark Pellegrino (of Capote) and Ed Lauter (who's been doing super work since The Last American Hero in 1973)
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