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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | January 25, 2008
Francis Ford Coppola convinces you that lightning can strike twice, and in more ways than one, in his first film in a decade, Youth Without Youth. His renewed passion for moviemaking makes a zigzag narrative easy and rewarding to follow. But not too easy - where would be the fun in that? Yet for a film whose ingredients include the transmigration of souls, the synchronicity of past, present and future, and the merger of dreams and reality - as well as the peculiar interests of Nazis and Orientalists - Youth Without Youth is surprisingly absorbing and romantic.
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By Los Angeles Times | March 18, 2009
Series Lie to Me:: Lightman (Tim Roth) is hired by an old friend to sniff out a corporate spy at a pharmaceutical company. (8 p.m., WBFF-Channel 45) Better Off Ted: : In the premiere of this new comedy, nice guy Ted (Jay Harrington) is ordered to persuade a brilliant research scientist to be cryogenically frozen as part of an experiment. (8:30 p.m., WMAR-Channel 2) American Idol: : Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood perform, and a contestant is sent home. (9 p.m., WBFF-Channel 45) UFO Hunters: : The team heads to Sonora, Calif.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic | March 14, 2008
Can you turn a torture film into an intellectual thesis film simply by putting quotation marks around it? Funny Games is an art house Hostel -- it mistakes self-consciousness for intelligence. In Michael Haneke's American remake of his own 1997 Austrian film, a pair of young psychopaths, Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbett), seize control of a haute-bourgeois couple's waterfront getaway home. (Haneke shot the film in deluxe spots around Long Island, N.Y.) Funny Games (Warner Independent Pictures)
NEWS
By From Sun news services | January 21, 2009
It has been a long time since Lost was a series about plane-crash survivors making their way on an odd island, awaiting rescue. Rescue, in fact, came at the end of the last season for six castaways. But something very strange happened on an island full of strange occurrences that warrants the survivors' return. Everything - palm trees, shore, people and all - seemed to disappear. As the fifth and second-to-last season begins tonight on ABC, the question has shifted from where the island is to when this is taking place.
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By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | December 24, 1990
''Vincent & Theo'' is Robert Altman's long and languid story of the Van Gogh brothers, Vincent and Theo, whose lives were anything but joyous.It is easy enough to walk out of the film in the first hour, but Altman's method becomes more apparent as the film moves along. And the movie, if not always dramatically stirring, does look good.The tough part is staying with it long enough to become involved. ''Vincent & Theo'' is undoubtely helped by the fact that Altman and his camera men try to approximate the primary colors with which Van Gogh dealt.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | March 18, 2009
Series Lie to Me:: Lightman (Tim Roth) is hired by an old friend to sniff out a corporate spy at a pharmaceutical company. (8 p.m., WBFF-Channel 45) Better Off Ted: : In the premiere of this new comedy, nice guy Ted (Jay Harrington) is ordered to persuade a brilliant research scientist to be cryogenically frozen as part of an experiment. (8:30 p.m., WMAR-Channel 2) American Idol: : Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood perform, and a contestant is sent home. (9 p.m., WBFF-Channel 45) UFO Hunters: : The team heads to Sonora, Calif.
NEWS
By From Sun news services | January 21, 2009
It has been a long time since Lost was a series about plane-crash survivors making their way on an odd island, awaiting rescue. Rescue, in fact, came at the end of the last season for six castaways. But something very strange happened on an island full of strange occurrences that warrants the survivors' return. Everything - palm trees, shore, people and all - seemed to disappear. As the fifth and second-to-last season begins tonight on ABC, the question has shifted from where the island is to when this is taking place.
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By Steven Rea and Steven Rea,Knight-Ridder Newspapers | August 30, 1992
Watch out for the "new" new wave. In the September issue of Esquire, screenwriter L. M. Kit Carson has come up with a gimmicky but nonetheless noteworthy roster of rising film biz stars -- directors, writers, actors and producers.These are folks, says Mr. Carson, who come out of the same new independent tradition as the Coen Brothers, Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee and John Turturro. He calls them the "Eleventh Generation" of Hollywood filmmakers (D.W. Griffith belonged to the first, silent stars Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton the second, and so on)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | May 10, 1991
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is dead.Once an audacious bit of undergraduate trickery tarted up as serious drama, the Tom Stoppard play has been not so much filmed as stuffed. Now and then it will stir to a moment of power but far more commonly it is, to quote Hamlet, nothing but "words, words, words."Perhaps Stoppard himself wasn't quite the man to direct the movie: After all, the play is his first child, and it liberated him from a dreary penance as drama critic to a swanky new life of celebrity playwright and millionaire screenwriter.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 8, 2005
Dark Water comes on sensitive, then tries to nail the audience with a series of sucker punches. This fake-feminist thriller hides its sadism under a show of sympathy for its beleaguered heroine. Jennifer Connelly plays a fragile divorced mother. Under pressure of a custody fight, she finds cheap and leak-plagued rooms two blocks away from a good school on the deteriorating Roosevelt Island apartment complex right off the shore of Manhattan. At first, the director, Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic | March 14, 2008
Can you turn a torture film into an intellectual thesis film simply by putting quotation marks around it? Funny Games is an art house Hostel -- it mistakes self-consciousness for intelligence. In Michael Haneke's American remake of his own 1997 Austrian film, a pair of young psychopaths, Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbett), seize control of a haute-bourgeois couple's waterfront getaway home. (Haneke shot the film in deluxe spots around Long Island, N.Y.) Funny Games (Warner Independent Pictures)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | January 25, 2008
Francis Ford Coppola convinces you that lightning can strike twice, and in more ways than one, in his first film in a decade, Youth Without Youth. His renewed passion for moviemaking makes a zigzag narrative easy and rewarding to follow. But not too easy - where would be the fun in that? Yet for a film whose ingredients include the transmigration of souls, the synchronicity of past, present and future, and the merger of dreams and reality - as well as the peculiar interests of Nazis and Orientalists - Youth Without Youth is surprisingly absorbing and romantic.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | September 2, 2005
The Beautiful Country, the story of a Vietnamese teen trying to find his American GI father, is a tragic story of clashing cultures and disconnected lives. While the narrative unfolds in a laconic style that sometimes drags, the universality of its themes and the steadfastness of its hero mark Country as a valuable contribution to the growing canon of post-Vietnam War films. Directed by Norwegian Hans Petter Moland from a script by Sabina Murray, the film centers on Binh (newcomer Damien Nguyen)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 8, 2005
Dark Water comes on sensitive, then tries to nail the audience with a series of sucker punches. This fake-feminist thriller hides its sadism under a show of sympathy for its beleaguered heroine. Jennifer Connelly plays a fragile divorced mother. Under pressure of a custody fight, she finds cheap and leak-plagued rooms two blocks away from a good school on the deteriorating Roosevelt Island apartment complex right off the shore of Manhattan. At first, the director, Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries)
NEWS
By Gregory Kane | August 15, 2001
I'M SITTING in the movie theater, watching Underwear Boy pretend he's some kind of latter-day Charlton Heston. I let out a moan and mutter to myself, "Is there no end to the suffering of science-fiction fans?" The remake of the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes continues to stink out theaters nationwide. OK, so it's not actually a remake. It's just director Tim Burton's vision of Pierre Boulle's novel of the same name. Burton probably figured he could make a better film. He figured wrong.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | July 29, 2001
NEW YORK -- Tim Burton became Hollywood's uncrowned master of quirk (masters of quirk don't wear crowns) with his back-to-back hits, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice. And with Batman he demonstrated that he could use his own bent vision to put across the odd shadows in a mainstream myth. He isn't even predictably unpredictable. He'll go from the insanely slovenly Mars Attacks! to the visually elegant Sleepy Hollow and now on to Planet of the Apes, a mixed bag of cosmic proportions.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 29, 1997
"Gridlock'd" is a look at what might have been, what is and what will be.What might have been is Tupac Shakur as film star. The late singer, killed in a Vegas shooting last summer in pursuit of some fantasy of the thug's life, is an African-American Nicolas Cage, one of those infinitely wise, sad film presences immediately reconizable. As a hustling junkie who has finally decided to kick, the actor is convincing and oddly tragic.What's amazing is how far from the thug-fantasy and how diluted of ego this performance is. Shakur simply is, without vanity or preening.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 7, 1995
It all came down to the green, green grass of home.He hadn't been back in 15 or 16 years. He'd had a wonderful time, become a world class director ("Scandal," "This Boy's Life," "Memphis Belle") and suddenly, almost by accident, Michael Caton-Jones found himself back in Edinburgh, Scotland, at that city's annual film festival."It really felt good," he recalled. "I wanted to come back and do a film there." And that, essentially, is how come two years and $30 million later, Caton-Jones is answering questions about his romantic historical epic "Rob Roy," in which Liam Neeson (an old drinking body, if Irish)
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | November 26, 1999
There's a ton of joy in "The Legend of 1900," the story of a piano prodigy, born on board a trans-Atlantic steamship, who never sets foot on land and eschews the fame his talent would normally lead to. But it's laid on so thick that one ends up more numbed than stirred, overcome by one too many Hallmark moments.Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore is on familiar territory here. His movie love poem to a neighborhood film house, "Cinema Paradiso," tugged at many of the same heartstrings, and it was both a popular favorite and a Best Foreign Film Oscar winner for 1989.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 29, 1997
"Gridlock'd" is a look at what might have been, what is and what will be.What might have been is Tupac Shakur as film star. The late singer, killed in a Vegas shooting last summer in pursuit of some fantasy of the thug's life, is an African-American Nicolas Cage, one of those infinitely wise, sad film presences immediately reconizable. As a hustling junkie who has finally decided to kick, the actor is convincing and oddly tragic.What's amazing is how far from the thug-fantasy and how diluted of ego this performance is. Shakur simply is, without vanity or preening.
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