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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 9, 2005
Terrence Howard has stolen 50 Cent's thunder - and his lightning, and his storm clouds, too - twice in one year. In last summer's Hustle and Flow, a canny show-biz tale of a Southern pimp turned rapper, Howard jet-powered his performance on his character's realization that rap could be his salvation. And in 50 Cent's souped-up, yet diluted attempt to tell his own, similar life story, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Howard, as the hero's best friend, grabs the movie clear away from him. As an actor, 50 Cent can do menace and even a crude version of shy charm, but transcendence is beyond him. In Get Rich or Die Tryin', he tries to take the "come-to-me" attitude of stoic action stars a step further, to "I dare you to come to me."
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael PhillipsTribune Newspapers critic | May 6, 2010
"A passable knockoff": That's how the man in the Iron Man mask, the obscenely rich but heartsick industrialist played by Robert Downey Jr., characterizes the electro-weaponry wielded by his Slavic adversary (Mickey Rourke) in "Iron Man 2." Much of this scattershot sequel to the 2008 smash feels like a passable knockoff as well. Here and there, director Jon Favreau's diversion takes us back to the considerable satisfactions of the first "Iron Man," whether in action mode, such as a nifty vivisection of metallic villainous drones (provoking the sole round of applause at the Tuesday night screening I saw)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 23, 2007
Why can't "inspirational" sports movies have an iota or a nanosecond of genuine artistic inspiration? Pride tells the usual fact-inspired story of a coach who's had to come from behind in his own life, turning a gaggle of rough-edged inner-city athletes into an ace competitive corps. This time the sport is swimming, the city is Philadelphia, and the hero is Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), who founded the Philadelphia Department of Recreation swim team and made the initials PDR stand for "Pride, Determination, and Resilience."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | May 1, 2008
The ticklish fun of Iron Man comes from watching a happy cast in fighting trim make a concept that should sink like a lead dirigible do cartwheels on the ground and barrel-rolls in the sky. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, a munitions tycoon who learns the dangers of arms proliferation first-hand when he's kidnapped in Afghanistan and sees that his weapons are best-sellers in enemy territory. His insurgent captors order him to create a copy of his devastating Jericho missile system.
FEATURES
March 30, 2007
Actor Terrence Howard stars in Pride as Jim Ellis, a Philadelphia swim coach who takes a team of nonswimmers and turns them into swimmers who win meets. What are your favorite movies starring Howard and why? WHAT YOU SAY Terrence Howard got his feet wet in Dead Presidents, and he played a great jerk in that movie. After that performance, anytime I saw him in something else, I'd say to myself, "Hey, there's the jerk from Dead Presidents." Damon Costantini, Catonsville Most women love to focus on Terrence's eyes as part of the "he's so hot factor" but for me it's his eyes that contribute to his ability to give the Denzel Washington "I don't need a script because my facial expression says it all" performance.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic | September 21, 2007
"Only the most ridiculous parts are true," say the words at the start of the Bosnian adventure The Hunting Party. That sums up what's wrong with this picture. If the film had kept the faith with its source material, everything in it would be ridiculous and true, and exhilarating. Instead of embracing the real-life absurdity of Scott Anderson's October 2000 Esquire article, titled "What I Did on My Summer Vacation," the film's writer-director, Richard Shepard, transforms it into a quasi-tough, semifacetious redemption saga.
FEATURES
By Knight Ridder/Tribune | June 2, 2000
Would it surprise you to learn that "Big Momma's House" is nothing more than an excuse to get Martin Lawrence in a funny costume? In this film, he plays a federal agent trying to catch a bank robber whose girlfriend (Nia Long) is holed up at Big Momma's pad. So when the real Big Momma takes off, Lawrence straps on a gut, a wig and enough sandbags to shore up a flood-threatened town and takes her place. Fortunately, seeing Lawrence in Momma's one-size-fits-Shamu muumuus is automatically funny.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | May 1, 2008
The ticklish fun of Iron Man comes from watching a happy cast in fighting trim make a concept that should sink like a lead dirigible do cartwheels on the ground and barrel-rolls in the sky. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, a munitions tycoon who learns the dangers of arms proliferation first-hand when he's kidnapped in Afghanistan and sees that his weapons are best-sellers in enemy territory. His insurgent captors order him to create a copy of his devastating Jericho missile system.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 22, 2005
Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow takes the story Hollywood used to act out with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly putting on a musical in some farmer's yard and places it in the mean streets of Memphis. It's a do-rags-to-riches fable peopled with pimps and hookers. What gives the movie zest and punch is the lead performance of Terrence Howard as DJay, who feels he's spinning his wheels running a stable of prostitutes. DJay experiences an epiphany when he watches a high school buddy (Anthony Anderson)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael PhillipsTribune Newspapers critic | May 6, 2010
"A passable knockoff": That's how the man in the Iron Man mask, the obscenely rich but heartsick industrialist played by Robert Downey Jr., characterizes the electro-weaponry wielded by his Slavic adversary (Mickey Rourke) in "Iron Man 2." Much of this scattershot sequel to the 2008 smash feels like a passable knockoff as well. Here and there, director Jon Favreau's diversion takes us back to the considerable satisfactions of the first "Iron Man," whether in action mode, such as a nifty vivisection of metallic villainous drones (provoking the sole round of applause at the Tuesday night screening I saw)
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic | September 21, 2007
"Only the most ridiculous parts are true," say the words at the start of the Bosnian adventure The Hunting Party. That sums up what's wrong with this picture. If the film had kept the faith with its source material, everything in it would be ridiculous and true, and exhilarating. Instead of embracing the real-life absurdity of Scott Anderson's October 2000 Esquire article, titled "What I Did on My Summer Vacation," the film's writer-director, Richard Shepard, transforms it into a quasi-tough, semifacetious redemption saga.
FEATURES
March 30, 2007
Actor Terrence Howard stars in Pride as Jim Ellis, a Philadelphia swim coach who takes a team of nonswimmers and turns them into swimmers who win meets. What are your favorite movies starring Howard and why? WHAT YOU SAY Terrence Howard got his feet wet in Dead Presidents, and he played a great jerk in that movie. After that performance, anytime I saw him in something else, I'd say to myself, "Hey, there's the jerk from Dead Presidents." Damon Costantini, Catonsville Most women love to focus on Terrence's eyes as part of the "he's so hot factor" but for me it's his eyes that contribute to his ability to give the Denzel Washington "I don't need a script because my facial expression says it all" performance.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 23, 2007
Why can't "inspirational" sports movies have an iota or a nanosecond of genuine artistic inspiration? Pride tells the usual fact-inspired story of a coach who's had to come from behind in his own life, turning a gaggle of rough-edged inner-city athletes into an ace competitive corps. This time the sport is swimming, the city is Philadelphia, and the hero is Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), who founded the Philadelphia Department of Recreation swim team and made the initials PDR stand for "Pride, Determination, and Resilience."
NEWS
March 5, 2006
THE OSCARS AREN'T JUST A HORSE RACE OR A popularity contest. They provide a prime opportunity for movie lovers to forget the odds and fantasize. George Clooney could become tonight's big story if he makes Oscar history and wins awards for co-writing and directing Good Night, and Good Luck and acting in Syriana. Terrence Howard -- sensational not just in his nominated lead performance in Hustle & Flow but also in supporting parts in Crash, Get Rich or Die Tryin' and HBO's Lackawanna Blues -- just might upset the best actor front-runners.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 9, 2005
Terrence Howard has stolen 50 Cent's thunder - and his lightning, and his storm clouds, too - twice in one year. In last summer's Hustle and Flow, a canny show-biz tale of a Southern pimp turned rapper, Howard jet-powered his performance on his character's realization that rap could be his salvation. And in 50 Cent's souped-up, yet diluted attempt to tell his own, similar life story, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Howard, as the hero's best friend, grabs the movie clear away from him. As an actor, 50 Cent can do menace and even a crude version of shy charm, but transcendence is beyond him. In Get Rich or Die Tryin', he tries to take the "come-to-me" attitude of stoic action stars a step further, to "I dare you to come to me."
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 22, 2005
Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow takes the story Hollywood used to act out with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly putting on a musical in some farmer's yard and places it in the mean streets of Memphis. It's a do-rags-to-riches fable peopled with pimps and hookers. What gives the movie zest and punch is the lead performance of Terrence Howard as DJay, who feels he's spinning his wheels running a stable of prostitutes. DJay experiences an epiphany when he watches a high school buddy (Anthony Anderson)
NEWS
March 5, 2006
THE OSCARS AREN'T JUST A HORSE RACE OR A popularity contest. They provide a prime opportunity for movie lovers to forget the odds and fantasize. George Clooney could become tonight's big story if he makes Oscar history and wins awards for co-writing and directing Good Night, and Good Luck and acting in Syriana. Terrence Howard -- sensational not just in his nominated lead performance in Hustle & Flow but also in supporting parts in Crash, Get Rich or Die Tryin' and HBO's Lackawanna Blues -- just might upset the best actor front-runners.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | February 11, 2001
LOS ANGELES -- "Oh, man, I'm really wired." Those are the first words out of the mouth of actor-director Clark Johnson, and he just keeps rolling down the stream-of-consciousness highway. "I mean, I just had a couple of these Parisian licorice things, and they make you like humma, humma. And I shouldn't have done that, because I had a couple of them yesterday, and it was like I was on crack or something. They must be something like pure caffeine, you know? Whew." There's a pause as he takes a colorful little tin of tiny black pellets out of his pocket, opens it and pops another caffeine mini-bomb in his mouth.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | February 11, 2001
LOS ANGELES -- "Oh, man, I'm really wired." Those are the first words out of the mouth of actor-director Clark Johnson, and he just keeps rolling down the stream-of-consciousness highway. "I mean, I just had a couple of these Parisian licorice things, and they make you like humma, humma. And I shouldn't have done that, because I had a couple of them yesterday, and it was like I was on crack or something. They must be something like pure caffeine, you know? Whew." There's a pause as he takes a colorful little tin of tiny black pellets out of his pocket, opens it and pops another caffeine mini-bomb in his mouth.
FEATURES
By Knight Ridder/Tribune | June 2, 2000
Would it surprise you to learn that "Big Momma's House" is nothing more than an excuse to get Martin Lawrence in a funny costume? In this film, he plays a federal agent trying to catch a bank robber whose girlfriend (Nia Long) is holed up at Big Momma's pad. So when the real Big Momma takes off, Lawrence straps on a gut, a wig and enough sandbags to shore up a flood-threatened town and takes her place. Fortunately, seeing Lawrence in Momma's one-size-fits-Shamu muumuus is automatically funny.
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