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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 18, 1996
It's been said before (by me) and it will be said again (probably by me): In the cycle of the American film industry, two months plus a few days belong to the kids, the two months being December (from Thanksgiving, say, till Christmas) and June (from, say, May 15 through July 4). But those two months pay for the other 10 months, so perhaps we grown-ups should not begrudge them their fun.That also means that down-seasons, like early fall and late spring, belong to us, more or less, which is why in the next few weeks movies with John Malkovich, Robert Redford, Liam Neeson and Steve Martin dominate the film fare, rather than the 18-to-25-year-old mod squadders so beloved by our unruly children.
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FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | January 27, 2012
This week's featured adaptation is "The Grey," a man-versus-nature thriller starring Liam Neeson. Inspired by the short story "Ghost Walker" by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, who also helped with the screenplay, it's based on a simple, but terrifying, premise: An oil drilling team is stranded in Alaska after a plane crash and faces a pack of wolves. It sounds as grim and unrelenting as "Into the Wild," another book/movie that pitted man against the Alaskan wilderness. Here are some excerpts from reviews: -- Los Angeles Times: Neeson holds it together from first to last.
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FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | April 25, 2008
That underrated actor Ewan McGregor recently did something even Liam Neeson couldn't do: Triumph in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. But when it comes to slick New York City genre movies, he's a jinx. He helped sink the witless Manhattan sex farce Down With Love (2003), and he couldn't inject life into the psychiatric trick mystery Stay. He does even worse in the new Gothic-Gotham suspense film Deception. This awful, glossy hybrid of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Eyes Wide Shut serves up McGregor as a shy high-powered accountant, crudely banged and boringly bespectacled despite his expensive tailoring.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | January 23, 2009
last call The Dark Knight : ** I bet, deep down, even comic-book fans were more entertained by Iron Man than The Dark Knight, but the latter became the most fiercely debated movie of the year and the most honored comic-book film of all time, thanks partly to Heath Ledger's ineffably scary Joker. The movie is on DVD and Blu-ray, but audiences who want to see what the fuss was about should take it in on the big screen (preferably, an IMAX) when it returns to theaters today. Even those of us who cooled to it got a tingle or two from the huge, eerie images of the Cowled Crusader stretching out his scalloped cape and swooping through the night.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | December 17, 1993
"Deception," which opens today at Westview Cinemas, is such a drab title that surely we here in this department can do better. Why not call it "Dead Men Don't Write Checks," for it's about a seemingly dead man who writes some checks.Or what about "Andie's World Cruise Vacation," for that's what it's really about: former model and current quasi-actress Andie McDowell going to exotic places, posing fetchingly against a backdrop of Third World poverty and despair. It's sort of like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue without the swimsuits.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 13, 2006
As a cheerful Irish transvestite named Patrick "Kitten" Braden who swishes his/her way through the Troubles of the 1960s and '70s, Cillian Murphy is the least draggy drag star imaginable - he makes the transsexual hero of Hedwig and the Angry Inch look downright downbeat in comparison. Kitten is the son of a priest (Liam Neeson) who couldn't resist the Mitzi Gaynor-like good looks of his housekeeper (Eva Birthistle). Left on the priest's doorstep, then placed in a loveless foster home, Kitten can't keep his hands off his stepmom's and stepsister's clothing while dreaming of meeting his real mother.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | January 23, 2009
last call The Dark Knight : ** I bet, deep down, even comic-book fans were more entertained by Iron Man than The Dark Knight, but the latter became the most fiercely debated movie of the year and the most honored comic-book film of all time, thanks partly to Heath Ledger's ineffably scary Joker. The movie is on DVD and Blu-ray, but audiences who want to see what the fuss was about should take it in on the big screen (preferably, an IMAX) when it returns to theaters today. Even those of us who cooled to it got a tingle or two from the huge, eerie images of the Cowled Crusader stretching out his scalloped cape and swooping through the night.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 23, 1996
Given the pedigree behind it, "Before and After" is a surprisingly and, one might even say, bitterly disappointing film.Good lord, what an assemblage of talent! The original novel was by Rosellen Brown, the screenplay by Ted Tally ("Silence of the Lambs"). The director is that Euro-sophisticate specialist in the nasty, Barbet Schroeder of "Single White Female" and "Reversal of Fortune." The stars are Meryl Streep (as in the Meryl Streep) and Liam Neeson (as in the Liam Neeson).But the movie, after a provocative first hour, just fizzles off into something flat and unengaging, and ends up as a loud kitchen-sink melodrama, with people screaming accusations at each other over the breakfast table.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | March 26, 1993
If there were an Oscar for funny walks, I'm sure Liam Neeson would win it for "Ethan Frome." His version of a post-accident sinner punished by God is something to behold in the new version of the old Edith Wharton classic. He looks as though he's beeIf there were an Oscar for funny walks, I'm sure Liam Neeson would win it for "Ethan Frome." His version of a post-accident sinner punished by God is something to behold in the new version of the old Edith Wharton classic. He looks as though he's been genetically crossbred with an English longbow, but the bend in him is somehow latitudinal, not longitudinal.
FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | January 27, 2012
This week's featured adaptation is "The Grey," a man-versus-nature thriller starring Liam Neeson. Inspired by the short story "Ghost Walker" by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, who also helped with the screenplay, it's based on a simple, but terrifying, premise: An oil drilling team is stranded in Alaska after a plane crash and faces a pack of wolves. It sounds as grim and unrelenting as "Into the Wild," another book/movie that pitted man against the Alaskan wilderness. Here are some excerpts from reviews: -- Los Angeles Times: Neeson holds it together from first to last.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | April 25, 2008
That underrated actor Ewan McGregor recently did something even Liam Neeson couldn't do: Triumph in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. But when it comes to slick New York City genre movies, he's a jinx. He helped sink the witless Manhattan sex farce Down With Love (2003), and he couldn't inject life into the psychiatric trick mystery Stay. He does even worse in the new Gothic-Gotham suspense film Deception. This awful, glossy hybrid of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Eyes Wide Shut serves up McGregor as a shy high-powered accountant, crudely banged and boringly bespectacled despite his expensive tailoring.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 13, 2006
As a cheerful Irish transvestite named Patrick "Kitten" Braden who swishes his/her way through the Troubles of the 1960s and '70s, Cillian Murphy is the least draggy drag star imaginable - he makes the transsexual hero of Hedwig and the Angry Inch look downright downbeat in comparison. Kitten is the son of a priest (Liam Neeson) who couldn't resist the Mitzi Gaynor-like good looks of his housekeeper (Eva Birthistle). Left on the priest's doorstep, then placed in a loveless foster home, Kitten can't keep his hands off his stepmom's and stepsister's clothing while dreaming of meeting his real mother.
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 25, 2005
Which is stronger, a messianic lion or a 25-foot gorilla? Audiences will strike the final blow in that battle, as Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong goes up against Disney's screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in a battle for America's filmgoing dollar. With a little luck, the winner will help pull Hollywood out of its year-long box-office doldrums. The major studios have a lot more than usual riding on this Christmas. As always, they'll be rolling out their prestige pictures, the ones they hope will serve as Oscar bait and help them land a bunch of the golden statues when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands them out March 5. But this year, studio heads are praying for some big-time dollar signs to go with the glowing reviews, as Hollywood hopes to end with a financial flourish big enough to partially offset a 6 percent drop in box-office receipts compared to last year.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 16, 2002
Are you hurt?" e-mailed a friend in mockery of the Saturday-serial dialogue style in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. "Are you blind?" I e-mailed back. For the latest entry in George Lucas' transgalactic saga of the moral rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker and the deterioration of democracy into despotism has an electric visual majesty and boasts Lucas' best direction since American Graffiti. All the talk about Lucas as an empire-builder clouds perceptions of him as an artist.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 23, 1996
Given the pedigree behind it, "Before and After" is a surprisingly and, one might even say, bitterly disappointing film.Good lord, what an assemblage of talent! The original novel was by Rosellen Brown, the screenplay by Ted Tally ("Silence of the Lambs"). The director is that Euro-sophisticate specialist in the nasty, Barbet Schroeder of "Single White Female" and "Reversal of Fortune." The stars are Meryl Streep (as in the Meryl Streep) and Liam Neeson (as in the Liam Neeson).But the movie, after a provocative first hour, just fizzles off into something flat and unengaging, and ends up as a loud kitchen-sink melodrama, with people screaming accusations at each other over the breakfast table.
NEWS
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 18, 1996
It's been said before (by me) and it will be said again (probably by me): In the cycle of the American film industry, two months plus a few days belong to the kids, the two months being December (from Thanksgiving, say, till Christmas) and June (from, say, May 15 through July 4). But those two months pay for the other 10 months, so perhaps we grown-ups should not begrudge them their fun.That also means that down-seasons, like early fall and late spring, belong to us, more or less, which is why in the next few weeks movies with John Malkovich, Robert Redford, Liam Neeson and Steve Martin dominate the film fare, rather than the 18-to-25-year-old mod squadders so beloved by our unruly children.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 7, 1995
It all came down to the green, green grass of home.He hadn't been back in 15 or 16 years. He'd had a wonderful time, become a world class director ("Scandal," "This Boy's Life," "Memphis Belle") and suddenly, almost by accident, Michael Caton-Jones found himself back in Edinburgh, Scotland, at that city's annual film festival."It really felt good," he recalled. "I wanted to come back and do a film there." And that, essentially, is how come two years and $30 million later, Caton-Jones is answering questions about his romantic historical epic "Rob Roy," in which Liam Neeson (an old drinking body, if Irish)
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 25, 2005
Which is stronger, a messianic lion or a 25-foot gorilla? Audiences will strike the final blow in that battle, as Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong goes up against Disney's screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in a battle for America's filmgoing dollar. With a little luck, the winner will help pull Hollywood out of its year-long box-office doldrums. The major studios have a lot more than usual riding on this Christmas. As always, they'll be rolling out their prestige pictures, the ones they hope will serve as Oscar bait and help them land a bunch of the golden statues when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands them out March 5. But this year, studio heads are praying for some big-time dollar signs to go with the glowing reviews, as Hollywood hopes to end with a financial flourish big enough to partially offset a 6 percent drop in box-office receipts compared to last year.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 7, 1995
It all came down to the green, green grass of home.He hadn't been back in 15 or 16 years. He'd had a wonderful time, become a world class director ("Scandal," "This Boy's Life," "Memphis Belle") and suddenly, almost by accident, Michael Caton-Jones found himself back in Edinburgh, Scotland, at that city's annual film festival."It really felt good," he recalled. "I wanted to come back and do a film there." And that, essentially, is how come two years and $30 million later, Caton-Jones is answering questions about his romantic historical epic "Rob Roy," in which Liam Neeson (an old drinking body, if Irish)
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder Newspapers | December 30, 1993
"I hate the word 'survivor,' " Leopold Page says. "That word is for someone who has survived a car crash, a plane crash. I am more than a survivor. I am a witness to the truth."The truth that Mr. Page and his wife, Mila, witnessed -- and survived -- was the Holocaust, the Nazi genocide that killed 6 million European Jews during the World War II.But there is another truth as well, and one that Leopold Page was responsible for bringing to the world. It is about one man, Oskar Schindler, who cheated the Nazis of some 1,100 victims -- Leopold and Mila among them -- and whose story has been retold by director Steven Spielberg in his new film, "Schindler's List."
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