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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 1, 1996
Somewhere in "Sunset Boulevard," silent-screen queen Norma Desmond bitterly dismisses these new-fangled talkie movie stars, saying, "We had faces then."Memo to Norma: See "Up Close & Personal." There are some faces left.And if you love faces, you'll probably love "Up Close & Personal," which gets into such dramatic magnification of the iconographic, mythological beauty objects Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer it should be called "Up Close & Nasal."In other departments it's sadly lacking, both undernourished dramatically, over-nourished politically, fatuous, meretricious and not even very entertaining after the first hour or so. It drags.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | August 5, 2007
I'M VERY SHALLOW AND EMPTY, AND HAVE no ideas and nothing interesting to say," a pale blonde (Shelley Hack) who is the image of WASP pulchritude informs Woody Allen in Annie Hall. Michelle Pfeiffer is the prototype of the pale blonde, but she cuts against this insult to her type with every acting move she makes. The 49-year-old actress accepts her cover-girl looks while bringing her characters' hidden yearnings and confusions to the fore, and even their twisted villainy. In 2001's White Oleander she tore into the role of an impossibly beautiful and talented artist-mother -- a mother as bad news and muse -- who sees her daughter only as an extension of herself and involves the girl in preparations for a murder.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | August 5, 2007
I'M VERY SHALLOW AND EMPTY, AND HAVE no ideas and nothing interesting to say," a pale blonde (Shelley Hack) who is the image of WASP pulchritude informs Woody Allen in Annie Hall. Michelle Pfeiffer is the prototype of the pale blonde, but she cuts against this insult to her type with every acting move she makes. The 49-year-old actress accepts her cover-girl looks while bringing her characters' hidden yearnings and confusions to the fore, and even their twisted villainy. In 2001's White Oleander she tore into the role of an impossibly beautiful and talented artist-mother -- a mother as bad news and muse -- who sees her daughter only as an extension of herself and involves the girl in preparations for a murder.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | July 20, 2007
No other teen film heroine has enjoyed herself as much as Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) in Hair- spray. She's always singing about her elation and her delight in feeling that elation. She belts out all her love: for her hometown in "Good Morning, Baltimore," for Zac Efron's sympathetic, ready-for-action Link Larkin in "I Can Hear the Bells" and for an optimistic and open-for-anything age of music and dancing in "You Can't Stop the Beat." Tracy may live in an East Baltimore rowhouse, but her songs expose a gaudy-yet-wholesome, split-level pop psyche that helps the filmmakers maintain the verve of John Waters' 1988 comedy and provides this adaptation of the 2002 Broadway musical version with an effervescence all its own. In the scintillating Marc Shaiman-Scott Wittman score, Tracy is as self-aware as she is gung-ho about romance, idealism and rock 'n' roll.
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By Sandy Coleman and Sandy Coleman,BOSTON GLOBE | March 17, 1996
In case we hadn't noticed, Glamour points out this month that Hollywood's "most desirable women are over 35 and acting their age."The hot celluloid ladies include Ellen Barkin, 40; Meryl Streep, 46; Susan Sarandon, 49; and Michelle Pfeiffer, 38.That's great news for all of us who aren't getting any younger. However, the fact still remains that those actresses will never be paired with a sweet young thang the way older male actors are. Robert Redford, 58, can offer 33-year-old Demi Moore an indecent proposal, but when will we see Meryl Streep get busy with, say, 34-year-old Michael J. Fox?
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January 25, 2002
I Am Sam Starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer Directed by Jessie Nelson Rated PG-13 (adult language) Released by New Line Running time 132 minutes Sun score *
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By Stephen Hunter | June 18, 1992
"Batman Returns" is the Big One for the summer. Michael Keaton stars with newcomers Danny DeVito as Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as the Catwoman. The movie is big, dark, expensive and, unless it's a total doggie, will make yet another fortune. Rated PG-13.
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By ALICE STEINBACH | December 10, 1990
WHEN THE NEWS BROKE LAST WEEK that Michelle Pfeiffer is not perfect, a collective sigh of relief was heard from women everywhere."Did you read they spent $1,525 to retouch her photograph on the cover of Esquire?" a friend asked, not even trying to disguise the pleasure such news gave her.I started to answer but a male colleague overheard the remark and jumped right in: "Yeah, I couldn't believe it. I had three calls from women who told me they were just so happy to know that Michelle Pfeiffer -- the image of perfection -- isn't perfect."
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By Nancy Spiller and Nancy Spiller,Los Angeles Times Syndicate | May 1, 1992
FRANKIE & JOHNNYParamount (1991)When I first saw this movie, I shared the thoughts of critics who felt Michelle Pfeiffer was too young and too pretty to be the lonely waitress Frankie who faces a last chance at love with Al Pacino's Johnny. But I also thought people would go see it. Heck, it had Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino, enough on-screen magnetism to extract dental fillings from the audience. What's more, it was directed by Garry Marshall, the television-sitcom veteran who proved with "Pretty Woman" that he knew how to make a hit romantic comedy.
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By Los Angeles Times | October 3, 1991
Director Tim Burton is well under way on Warner Bros.' "Batman Returns" with stars Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito in the most prominent roles. But, even though shooting began four weeks ago on Warner's Burbank, Calif., lot, the director appears still to be casting some lesser parts.New "Designing Woman" Jan Hooks and three other actors were recently added to the "Batman" cast.But there is another name that keeps popping up as a possible: Pee-wee Herman as The Riddler?That has been the buzz in Hollywood at least since gossip Janet Charleton put the word on the street.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 2, 2003
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is a misfire in almost every direction. Its story is uninvolved - a surprise, given the source material(s). Its animation is uninspired. Its voices are unmemorable. And its pitch is uncannily off - too high-toned for kids, too slapdash for adults and too all-over-the-map to have come from the same studio that gave the world Shrek just two years ago. In a careless mishmash of Arab, Roman and Greek legends (with a little Pete the Pirate thrown in), Sinbad portrays the titular hero (voiced by Brad Pitt, who's not a star because of his voice)
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By Zap2it | January 29, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Television dramas The West Wing and The Sopranos led the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations announced yesterday morning by actors Michael Clarke Duncan and Megan Mullally while Chicago garnered the most (five) for a movie. Despite their black attire, Duncan and Mullally kept upbeat as they sailed through the announcement - barely taking time to pause when Mullally's name came up as one of the contenders for best female actor in a comedy series. Shortly after the announcement, the actress revealed that she was surprised.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 11, 2002
Michelle Pfeiffer does more than epitomize ideal casting as the villain of White Oleander, the screen adaptation of Janet Fitch's Los Angeles-set novel. Playing an impossibly beautiful and talented mother who sees her daughter only as an extension of herself, Pfeiffer acts the part with a vengeance. Twenty years into a phenomenal career as a dazzling beauty who is also a dazzling performer, Pfeiffer has always been underrated, perhaps because she makes it look so easy. Here she leaps into the role of Ingrid Magnussen -- a part that for many actors would be akin to leaping off a cliff -- and never looks back.
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January 25, 2002
I Am Sam Starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer Directed by Jessie Nelson Rated PG-13 (adult language) Released by New Line Running time 132 minutes Sun score *
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March 10, 2001
An air of mystery, melancholy and muted hope pervades "Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her" (8 p.m.-10 p.m. tomorrow, Showtime), first-time writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's carefully textured mini-portraits of women living the drama that is everyday life. The film is told as a series of five vaguely interconnected stories, with Mexican actress Elpidia Carrillo providing the common thread. Glenn Close is Elaine Keener, an M.D. who seems preoccupied with ... something. Close provides a powerful, nearly wordless performance that sets the bar high for the rest of the cast.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 15, 1999
How sorry are we expected to feel for Ben and Katie Jordan?The attractive couple at the center of "The Story of Us" live comfortably in an arts-and-crafts bungalow in Los Angeles, they're the parents of two nifty kids, they apparently make lots of money (he as a screenwriter, she as a crossword-puzzle designer), they have good friends with whom they banter over lunch about the opposite sex.And yet, Ben and Katie are miserable. Through years of mothering both her children and Ben, Katie has become a tad uptight.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 15, 1999
How sorry are we expected to feel for Ben and Katie Jordan?The attractive couple at the center of "The Story of Us" live comfortably in an arts-and-crafts bungalow in Los Angeles, they're the parents of two nifty kids, they apparently make lots of money (he as a screenwriter, she as a crossword-puzzle designer), they have good friends with whom they banter over lunch about the opposite sex.And yet, Ben and Katie are miserable. Through years of mothering both her children and Ben, Katie has become a tad uptight.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | August 17, 1996
On cable tonight, you can watch Michelle Pfeiffer or a guy made of parts from 88 different bodies. You decide."Seinfeld" (7: 30 p.m.-8 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Jerry and Elaine question whether their yogurt is really nonfat, and their investigation helps get Rudolph Giuliani elected mayor of New York."Second Noah" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Lloyd Bridges is the domineering, interfering grandfather who decides to take young Ricky hunting -- against his parents' wishes. ABC."Escape From Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11)
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | May 14, 1999
Bottom's up in the newest screen version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," William Shakespeare's play that has been brought to the screen three times (four if you count Woody Allen).Bottom, in this case, is Nick Bottom, a relatively minor character in the play whose transformation into an ass would otherwise be played strictly for laughs. But here, Bottom is portrayed by the superlative Kevin Kline in a wistful, highly sympathetic turn that imbues Shakespeare's most enchanting play with a surprising touch of pathos.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | December 20, 1996
As a documentary on the possibility of physical perfection on Earth, "One Fine Day" offers Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney as exemplars that advance the argument to its most unassailable position. They are so stunning to look at that it comes to feel positively indecent, as if one is peeking through a hole in the cloudy floor of Olympus.On the other hand, as an argument that movie comedy is largely dead in America, the movie is also pretty unassailable. It's so routine and predictable it grows quickly wearisome, its inventions are thin and its wit is witless.
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