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By Jane Sumner and Jane Sumner,DALLAS MORNING NEWS | January 30, 1998
Anything writer-director Nick Gomez ("Laws of Gravity," "New Jersey Drive") does is worth watching, even when it's off the rails fTC like his latest, "Illtown." It's more druggy nightmare than narrative film.Cisco (Kevin Corrigan), Dante (Michael Rapaport) and Dante's lover, Micky (Lili Taylor), deal drugs. They're so matter-of-fact and violence-free they could be repping pharmaceuticals. Dante and Micky feel so secure in their love and work, they want to have a baby. But when former partner Gabriel (Adam Trese)
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | September 8, 2006
The American writer and poet Charles Bukowski is certainly an acquired taste, and Factotum may be just the film for determining whether one wants to acquire it. Based largely on Bukowski's autobiographical 1975 novel, the movie stars Matt Dillon as Bukowski's stand-in, Henry Chinaski. Factotum doesn't let us in on much of Chinaski's background, but his present is plenty bleak enough to help us fill in the blanks. A cynical, iconoclastic drifter whose only ambition is to write, Chinaski wafts from menial job to menial job, rarely keeping them for more than a few days (mostly because he spends more time at the nearest bar than on the job)
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | September 8, 2006
The American writer and poet Charles Bukowski is certainly an acquired taste, and Factotum may be just the film for determining whether one wants to acquire it. Based largely on Bukowski's autobiographical 1975 novel, the movie stars Matt Dillon as Bukowski's stand-in, Henry Chinaski. Factotum doesn't let us in on much of Chinaski's background, but his present is plenty bleak enough to help us fill in the blanks. A cynical, iconoclastic drifter whose only ambition is to write, Chinaski wafts from menial job to menial job, rarely keeping them for more than a few days (mostly because he spends more time at the nearest bar than on the job)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 7, 2004
Toni Kalem's A Slipping-Down Life will wow you when she presents it today at 3 p.m. at the Maryland Film Festival. So will the story Kalem tells about the making of the movie. Kalem, an actor turned writer-director, is one of those performers baby boomers probably know even if they think they don't. Her movie-acting high point came in one of the all-time-great adolescent sex scenes - the fixed strip-poker game in Philip Kaufman's 1979 gang movie The Wanderers. In that cult classic she plays Despie Galasso, the Italian-American princess of her Bronx neighborhood (circa 1963)
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 23, 1999
I've been having the most disturbing recurring nightmare this week. I've been dreaming that some mutton-headed director kidnaps some really decent actors and puts them in the worst movie of their careers. It starts with Jan De Bont, who made a couple of decent action movies ("Speed," "Twister") and one really bad one ("Speed 2"), and in the dream he has decided to remake Robert Wise's classic 1963 horror flick "The Haunting," which was a really neat psychological spooker. But of course, because this is De Bont, he approaches the classic haunted-house screamer with all the finesse of a wrecking ball.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 25, 1998
The title character of "Pecker," John Waters' 13th film, is a teen-age sandwich-maker in Hampden who is nicknamed Pecker because as a child he pecked at his food. But just as the film's title flashes on screen, Waters assures us that his dirty mind is still working, when he flashes a shot of Baltimore's Washington monument, photographed at an angle that renders the father of our country an unwitting spokesman for Viagra.Welcome to the world of John Waters, who at 52 remains in giggly thrall to the naughty appeal of sex, vice and all-around rude behavior.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 7, 2004
Toni Kalem's A Slipping-Down Life will wow you when she presents it today at 3 p.m. at the Maryland Film Festival. So will the story Kalem tells about the making of the movie. Kalem, an actor turned writer-director, is one of those performers baby boomers probably know even if they think they don't. Her movie-acting high point came in one of the all-time-great adolescent sex scenes - the fixed strip-poker game in Philip Kaufman's 1979 gang movie The Wanderers. In that cult classic she plays Despie Galasso, the Italian-American princess of her Bronx neighborhood (circa 1963)
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 19, 2001
"Landmark" is a word used too often in criticism. But "Anne Frank," a four-hour miniseries starting tomorrow night on ABC, is landmark in terms of television's depiction of the Holocaust. That's all the more remarkable because this season has been especially rich in terms of Holocaust productions. In February, we had "Haven," a CBS miniseries about Ruth Gruber and the 982 Jewish refugees she helped rescue from Hitler's Germany. What made it different is that a Jew, not a gentile such as Oskar Schindler, was rescuing Jews.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 14, 2007
Starting Out in the Evening is a rapturous, ruefully funny flight of sympathetic imagination. Featuring the first movie role for Frank Langella that ranks with his best stage parts, it's a rare kind of American movie. It gets us arguing about all the characters - and enjoying the debates every step of the way, because we're so intimately involved with their dreams and passions. This movie tells the story of a young woman still thrashing out the shape of her life, who compels an aged man to look back without anger on his own experiences, including his complicated marriage and his fatherhood to a now 40-year-old daughter.
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 26, 2006
Gretchen Mol carries The Notorious Bettie Page on her back -- and every other body part. With a wholesome gusto, she inhabits the role of a Tennessee woman who moved to New York and, there and in Florida, became the pin-up gal of the Fifties. She convinces us that Page brought the same wide-eyed innocence to posing in bondage stills and "acting" in S&M movies as she did to frolicking bare in the sun for nature-loving nudist films. Despite the flimsy script by Guinevere Turner and director Mary Harron, Mol effortlessly sells their vision of a guileless, generous gal making her way through life by doing what she does best: having fun in front of the camera.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 19, 2001
"Landmark" is a word used too often in criticism. But "Anne Frank," a four-hour miniseries starting tomorrow night on ABC, is landmark in terms of television's depiction of the Holocaust. That's all the more remarkable because this season has been especially rich in terms of Holocaust productions. In February, we had "Haven," a CBS miniseries about Ruth Gruber and the 982 Jewish refugees she helped rescue from Hitler's Germany. What made it different is that a Jew, not a gentile such as Oskar Schindler, was rescuing Jews.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 23, 1999
I've been having the most disturbing recurring nightmare this week. I've been dreaming that some mutton-headed director kidnaps some really decent actors and puts them in the worst movie of their careers. It starts with Jan De Bont, who made a couple of decent action movies ("Speed," "Twister") and one really bad one ("Speed 2"), and in the dream he has decided to remake Robert Wise's classic 1963 horror flick "The Haunting," which was a really neat psychological spooker. But of course, because this is De Bont, he approaches the classic haunted-house screamer with all the finesse of a wrecking ball.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 25, 1998
The title character of "Pecker," John Waters' 13th film, is a teen-age sandwich-maker in Hampden who is nicknamed Pecker because as a child he pecked at his food. But just as the film's title flashes on screen, Waters assures us that his dirty mind is still working, when he flashes a shot of Baltimore's Washington monument, photographed at an angle that renders the father of our country an unwitting spokesman for Viagra.Welcome to the world of John Waters, who at 52 remains in giggly thrall to the naughty appeal of sex, vice and all-around rude behavior.
FEATURES
By Jane Sumner and Jane Sumner,DALLAS MORNING NEWS | January 30, 1998
Anything writer-director Nick Gomez ("Laws of Gravity," "New Jersey Drive") does is worth watching, even when it's off the rails fTC like his latest, "Illtown." It's more druggy nightmare than narrative film.Cisco (Kevin Corrigan), Dante (Michael Rapaport) and Dante's lover, Micky (Lili Taylor), deal drugs. They're so matter-of-fact and violence-free they could be repping pharmaceuticals. Dante and Micky feel so secure in their love and work, they want to have a baby. But when former partner Gabriel (Adam Trese)
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By Chris Kaltenbach | October 17, 1997
Coming next spring: John Waters' Hampden.Filming on "Pecker," the latest set-in-Baltimore Waters film, begins Monday in the North Baltimore community famous for neighborhood bars, church steeples and its blue-collar heritage.The film will star Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Bess Armstrong, Mary Kay Place, Martha Plimpton, Brendan Sexton III, Mink Stole and Lili Taylor."It's the story of a very strange but very functional and very loving family," says Waters. "It's the Hampden of John Waters' dreams."
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By Jay Boyar and Jay Boyar,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | September 26, 1997
Set on some of the meaner streets of New York's Lower East Side, "Kicked in the Head" is a small film that focuses (so to speak) on the misadventures of a spacey slacker named Redmond (Kevin Corrigan).Early in the film, Redmond does an errand for his shifty Uncle Sam (James Woods) and ends up with a stash of cocaine that belongs to a gangster (Burt Young). Meanwhile, our unlikely hero is romantically pursued by the hapless Happy (Lili Taylor) while pursuing a tough-talking flight attendant, Megan (Linda Fiorentino)
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