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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 7, 2000
About "Ready to Rumble" the less said the better. This cynical, crass non-comedy stars AT&T shill David Arquette as a lunkheaded wrestling fan and, for no good reason whatsoever, Oliver Platt as the tarnished hero he worships. It's difficult to say what's worse -- the movie's general lack of wit, its ham-handed violence, Warner Brothers' appalling cross-promotion of its TNT "Monday Nitro" show, the misuse of Platt and Martin Landau (this is what an Oscar gets you?), the clear contempt the filmmakers have for their audience (wrestlers and their fans are depicted somewhere between snail and slug on the intellectual ladder)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 31, 2003
Pieces of April has a shred of originality that keeps its humor prickly and its drama sharp for an hour and 21 minutes. It's the Thanksgiving Day fable of a bohemian New York City girl named April (Katie Holmes) and her attempt to cook a turkey for her suburban family in her grungy Lower East Side digs. April has never gotten along with her mother (Patricia Clarkson), who happens to be riddled with cancer -- a fact that might have made the whole movie mawkish and sickly sweet. Luckily, Clarkson and writer-director Peter Hedges have the wit to create a thorny, sometimes harshly playful character who is full of surprises, whether telling her smug "good" daughter (Alison Pill)
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By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,Sun Staff Writer | May 19, 1995
Comedy is dangerous, "Funny Bones" tells us. The darker its core, the brighter its humor. And "Funny Bones" fulfills that dichotomous ideal: It's both midnight-black and brilliantly funny.The movie lacks an obvious direction at first. It opens in the sea outside Blackpool, England, where young Jack (Lee Evans) is abandoned after a deal-gone-bad for some mysterious wax eggs. "I'm gonna die!" he screams, foundering in the ocean.This peculiar plot, which nearly vanishes thereafter, and the script's initial meandering may be the film's only flaws.
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April 25, 2001
The 15th annual "American Comedy Awards," taped Sunday in Hollywood, includes presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to George Carlin. Carlin has appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than 130 times, and his 12th HBO special is scheduled for November. Airs tonight at 8 on Comedy Central. At a glance "Contact" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) - Jodie Foster stars in this well-regarded 1997 movie about a message from outer space. CBS. "The Old Settler" (8 p.m.-9:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67)
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 2, 1998
One of the singular pleasures of watching "The Impostors," the new comedy by protean actor Stanley Tucci ("Big Night"), is the sound of the audience's laughter during the opening sequence of the movie.Tucci and Oliver Platt are engaged in a routine most often associated with the work of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton -- a comic pas de deux that involves much pantomimed confusion over tables and chairs, cigarettes and a girl, and that ends in a donnybrook of flying fists and a gothic death.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 31, 2003
Pieces of April has a shred of originality that keeps its humor prickly and its drama sharp for an hour and 21 minutes. It's the Thanksgiving Day fable of a bohemian New York City girl named April (Katie Holmes) and her attempt to cook a turkey for her suburban family in her grungy Lower East Side digs. April has never gotten along with her mother (Patricia Clarkson), who happens to be riddled with cancer -- a fact that might have made the whole movie mawkish and sickly sweet. Luckily, Clarkson and writer-director Peter Hedges have the wit to create a thorny, sometimes harshly playful character who is full of surprises, whether telling her smug "good" daughter (Alison Pill)
FEATURES
April 25, 2001
The 15th annual "American Comedy Awards," taped Sunday in Hollywood, includes presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to George Carlin. Carlin has appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than 130 times, and his 12th HBO special is scheduled for November. Airs tonight at 8 on Comedy Central. At a glance "Contact" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) - Jodie Foster stars in this well-regarded 1997 movie about a message from outer space. CBS. "The Old Settler" (8 p.m.-9:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67)
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | June 24, 1995
HBO Pictures seldom miss."Barbarians at the Gate," "Citizen Cohn," "Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture" have all been worth going out of your way to see."The Infiltrator," a new HBO film premiering at 8 tonight, is not in that class. But it's definitely worth a look and better than most made-for-TV movies premiering on a Saturday night in June.It's an intelligent film that combines action, good technical quality and some exceptional acting. But, in the final analysis, it's a thriller that fizzles instead of sizzles down the homestretch, a setup without much of a punch line.
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 6, 2006
In Lasse Hallstrom's refreshingly uninhibited Casanova, the title character contends that he doesn't conquer women: He submits to them. You'll submit to the exuberance and ease of the director's take on the swashbuckling 18th-century free-thinker and hedonist. This merry, mercurial picture handles elaborate japes lightly. Exploiting Venice for all its voluptuary glory - Rome sees the city as a moral cesspit, libertines see it as a haven - the beautifully engineered farce depicts clashing notions of love and female destiny and the way false identities can spark genuine delights.
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By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,SUN STAFF | October 22, 1999
Television actors who attempt to branch out into feature films are frequently dismissed as tackling material that is out of their element, a criticism that isn't applicable to the stars of "Three to Tango."If anything, Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell and Dylan McDermott, familiar young faces on the small screen, are cheated by the new film, which basically requires them to ape their television personas.Perry, the witty guy from "Friends," Campbell, the headstrong young woman from "Party of Five," and McDermott, the driven attorney from "The Practice," are called upon to be witty, headstrong and driven, respectively.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 7, 2000
About "Ready to Rumble" the less said the better. This cynical, crass non-comedy stars AT&T shill David Arquette as a lunkheaded wrestling fan and, for no good reason whatsoever, Oliver Platt as the tarnished hero he worships. It's difficult to say what's worse -- the movie's general lack of wit, its ham-handed violence, Warner Brothers' appalling cross-promotion of its TNT "Monday Nitro" show, the misuse of Platt and Martin Landau (this is what an Oscar gets you?), the clear contempt the filmmakers have for their audience (wrestlers and their fans are depicted somewhere between snail and slug on the intellectual ladder)
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 2, 1998
One of the singular pleasures of watching "The Impostors," the new comedy by protean actor Stanley Tucci ("Big Night"), is the sound of the audience's laughter during the opening sequence of the movie.Tucci and Oliver Platt are engaged in a routine most often associated with the work of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton -- a comic pas de deux that involves much pantomimed confusion over tables and chairs, cigarettes and a girl, and that ends in a donnybrook of flying fists and a gothic death.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | June 24, 1995
HBO Pictures seldom miss."Barbarians at the Gate," "Citizen Cohn," "Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture" have all been worth going out of your way to see."The Infiltrator," a new HBO film premiering at 8 tonight, is not in that class. But it's definitely worth a look and better than most made-for-TV movies premiering on a Saturday night in June.It's an intelligent film that combines action, good technical quality and some exceptional acting. But, in the final analysis, it's a thriller that fizzles instead of sizzles down the homestretch, a setup without much of a punch line.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,Sun Staff Writer | May 19, 1995
Comedy is dangerous, "Funny Bones" tells us. The darker its core, the brighter its humor. And "Funny Bones" fulfills that dichotomous ideal: It's both midnight-black and brilliantly funny.The movie lacks an obvious direction at first. It opens in the sea outside Blackpool, England, where young Jack (Lee Evans) is abandoned after a deal-gone-bad for some mysterious wax eggs. "I'm gonna die!" he screams, foundering in the ocean.This peculiar plot, which nearly vanishes thereafter, and the script's initial meandering may be the film's only flaws.
FEATURES
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,SUN STAFF | July 16, 1999
A 30-foot crocodile?A flying cow?A Golden Girl who curses like a "South Park" kid on crack?Who writes stuff like this, anyway? David E. Kelley, of course.No longer content to write some of the quirkiest material on television, Kelley has loosed his fateful pen on the screenplay of "Lake Placid," a thriller that is not quite as thrilling as it could be or as clever as it thinks it is.Don't misunderstand. "Lake Placid" has its share of terrifying moments. And Kelley is too accomplished a writer not to produce snappy dialogue from time to time.
SPORTS
By RAY FRAGER | July 10, 2007
Hot enough for you? The answer, in this case, appears to be yes. ESPN debuted its miniseries The Bronx is Burning last night at 10 (and will replay the first episode tomorrow night at 10, followed by seven episodes each Tuesday night at 10 starting next week), and Yankees lovers and haters alike shouldn't miss it. Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner and Reggie Jackson have indelible public images for every baseball fan, but the actors playing the respective roles - John Turturro, Oliver Platt and Daniel Sunjata - have nailed them.
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