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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | September 28, 2007
Morgan Freeman remembers his first movie well. Even though he never said a line, it convinced the young actor he had a future in this business. The year was 1964, and director Sidney Lumet was filming The Pawnbroker, starring Rod Steiger as an emotionally dead Holocaust survivor, on the streets of New York. The call went out for extras for a crowd scene, and the 27-year-old Freeman was among those who showed up. An unhappy Lumet kept shooting the scene again and again, each time with fewer extras.
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By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2011
A media mogul, a surfboard industry pioneer, a coach of disabled athletes and the first man to sail solo around the world are among the inaugural inductees to the National Sailing Hall of Fame, a Maryland institution working to build a permanent home on the Annapolis waterfront. Next weekend's induction ceremony, to be held at the San Diego Yacht Club in California, comes six years after the National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame was formed to promote sailing and recognize men and women who have made "outstanding contributions" to the sport.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | June 22, 2007
In Evan Almighty, when the Good Lord (Morgan Freeman) rounds up dozens of species for his latter-day Noah, Evan Baxter, to take into a contemporary ark, he doesn't provide any turkeys. The moviemakers take care of that. Evan Almighty (Universal Pictures) Starring Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman. Directed by Tom Shadyac. Rated PG. Time 95 minutes.
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2011
Morgan Freeman believes that actors are the key figures in movies — the ones who make characters grab audiences by the lapels and invade their dreams. He thinks movies become classics when a star like Gary Cooper in "High Noon" pumps his own lifeblood between the lines until a written role becomes a living symbol, like Cooper's strong, righteous, heartrendingly weary Marshal Will Kane. "Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper and Humphrey Bogart — those guys" are his favorite performers, he once said.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter | January 11, 2008
The Bucket List is 98 minutes of mawkish sentiment, a stream of greeting-card moments made palatable only because they come out of the mouths of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Of course, a plumber's manual would sound interesting if recited by these two men; Nicholson would make it seem subversive, while Freeman would make it seem comforting. But in the end, it would still do nothing more than tell you how to fix a leaky pipe. So it is with this movie; even with all this Hollywood star power, it's still a series of "Happiness is ... " cliches and cuddly moments.
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By DAN THANH DANG and DAN THANH DANG,SUN REPORTER | December 21, 2005
Sylvia Cyrus-Albritton isn't going to hold it against actor Morgan Freeman for slamming the need for Black History Month. She isn't mad that the Oscar winner said on CBS' 60 Minutes that it's "ridiculous" to relegate one month to black history and that the practice should be abolished. But as director of the group founded by the father of Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson, Cyrus-Albritton says she has an important message for Freeman: "We're not there yet, Morgan." It was a response echoed by many civil rights leaders and historians across the country yesterday after Freeman's statements, broadcast Sunday, sparked a heated debate over whether, as he suggested, the only way to eliminate racism is to just stop talking about it. "Mr. Freeman was giving an opinion that does not jibe with the best information we have," civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson says.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | August 2, 1996
I'm beginning to think the one clear signal of a rotten movie is Morgan Freeman. This distinguished gentleman has of late earned a handsome living by contributing his immense talent and dignity to the most specious of projects and, by his very gravitas, giving them a claim to serious attention they otherwise fail to generate on their own.That's certainly true of the awesomely dismal "Chain Reaction," a strictly by-the-numbers job that, sans Freeman, would...
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 16, 1998
Here's the thing to remember about "Hard Rain": It's not about a flood.At least that's what the team responsible for this latest bad-weather thriller wants you to believe."
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 8, 2000
"Nurse Betty" is strangely inert, especially when you consider that the film was directed by Neil LaBute, who made such a stingingly potent debut with "In the Company of Men." Where his first film was a horrifying and bleakly funny indictment of the darkest Darwinian effects of corporate capitalism, "Nurse Betty" is shapeless, bland and virtually devoid of a point of view. The movie isn't helped by its lead actress, Renee Zellweger, whose emotional range and physical expressiveness are limited at best.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 13, 2005
Unleashed doesn't make a lick of sense, but it struggles so valiantly to be more than just another slam-bang affair that one can't help but get caught up in the effort. Hey, any martial-arts film in which piano playing is more important than fisticuffs deserves to be cut some slack. Screenwriter Luc Besson, who both wrote and directed 1994's The Professional, once again probes the question of how to civilize the savage beast. In The Professional, it was a protective instinct - directed first at a plant, then at a young girl - that brought out the humanity in a professional killer.
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July 20, 2008
Theater The Taming of the Shrew : 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 7 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 3. Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St. $15-$25. Call 410-366-8594 or go to baltimore shakespeare.org. Talk about a Dream Team. For the Bard's classic, comic battle of the sexes, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival has signed on some of the area's top acting talent. James Kinstle, the festival's former artistic director and a gifted comic actor, will play the role of the hyper-macho Petruchio.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter | January 11, 2008
The Bucket List is 98 minutes of mawkish sentiment, a stream of greeting-card moments made palatable only because they come out of the mouths of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Of course, a plumber's manual would sound interesting if recited by these two men; Nicholson would make it seem subversive, while Freeman would make it seem comforting. But in the end, it would still do nothing more than tell you how to fix a leaky pipe. So it is with this movie; even with all this Hollywood star power, it's still a series of "Happiness is ... " cliches and cuddly moments.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | September 28, 2007
Morgan Freeman remembers his first movie well. Even though he never said a line, it convinced the young actor he had a future in this business. The year was 1964, and director Sidney Lumet was filming The Pawnbroker, starring Rod Steiger as an emotionally dead Holocaust survivor, on the streets of New York. The call went out for extras for a crowd scene, and the 27-year-old Freeman was among those who showed up. An unhappy Lumet kept shooting the scene again and again, each time with fewer extras.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | August 17, 2007
These days, when a commercial promises "From the (blank) that brought you (blank)," it's usually a trouble sign. The most blatant recent case of buyer-beware advertising came when Sony said that Daddy Day Camp came "From the studio that brought you Daddy Day Care." In reality, the comedy's producers chose to keep the characters -- played in the original by Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin -- but had to recast the roles. Trying to sell franchises by proxy, marketers invariably give fans inferior knockoffs of popular phenomena.
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By Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach and Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critics | July 6, 2007
Capsules by film critics Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies. Evan Almighty -- is a fractured and lamentably unfunny fable about the Good Lord (Morgan Freeman) ordering a latter-day Noah, broadcaster turned congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), to build a contemporary ark. It's a colossal dud - a high-concept low comedy made by people who can't tell a pratfall from a pitfall and stumble into every one. (M.S.) PG 95 minutes D- Evening -- A dying woman, attended by her two daughters, thinks back to the love she lost during one fateful weekend in the Hamptons some 50 years ago. Overly precious melodrama is redeemed by a cast that includes Claire Danes, Vanessa Redgrave, Glenn Close, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and her daughter, Mamie Gummer.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | June 22, 2007
In Evan Almighty, when the Good Lord (Morgan Freeman) rounds up dozens of species for his latter-day Noah, Evan Baxter, to take into a contemporary ark, he doesn't provide any turkeys. The moviemakers take care of that. Evan Almighty (Universal Pictures) Starring Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman. Directed by Tom Shadyac. Rated PG. Time 95 minutes.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | March 27, 1992
John G. ("Rocky," "The Karate Kid") Avildsen is a passionate believer in equality and in "The Power of One." He practices what he preaches; he insults blacks and whites equally.A preposterously melodramatic and insultingly trivializing adventure in apartheid, it reduces the tragedy of South Africa into homilies, bromides and cheesy, "Rocky"-style uplift. It's "The Karate Kid and Rocky on the Road to Pretoria."The movie is a Bildungsroman about brave young PK, a !c hopelessly idealized British youth in South Africa who is so politically correct he could not exist outside of a hack filmmaker's imagination.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | August 7, 1992
"Unforgiven" tells the story of how the West was lost.It was lost, as was the East and the South and the North, to pointless, ugly violence, men with guns who couldn't imagine the pain their bullets would cause and had no capacity to conceptualize the vacuum of loss they created when they killed.It is, in short, the antithesis of all those heroic gunfighter movies and that national anthem of killer as hero. Its characters aren't knights, but mean and squalid psychopaths, cagey as they are obdurate, bitter as snakes and ugly as sin.Only in its final minutes does it somewhat squander its grip on the moral imagination, in a climax that seems oddly to undercut all that's come before and return us to the hallowed sense of violence as cleansing which so animates the world's true killers.
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By ROB HIAASEN | April 9, 2006
AN UNFINISHED LIFE / / Miramax / $29.95 A bitter dad. A hot mom. A plucky kid. A wise friend. A bad boyfriend. A good cop. And a 500-pound bear. Introducing the cast of An Unfinished Life, director Lasse Hallstrom's story of family and forgiveness set on a Wyoming ranch. It stars Robert Redford -- finally looking his age -- and Morgan Freeman, who would be worth watching if he were just filling up his car. Retired rancher Einar Gilkyson (Redford) is still grieving the death of his son when his daughter-in-law (Jennifer Lopez)
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