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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 23, 2007
Let's hope that for Jim Carrey, the fate of The Number 23 doesn't mean that his number is up. He doesn't give much of a performance in this hollow trick thriller. Nobody could. The Number 23 (New Line Cinema) Starring Jim Carrey (left), Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Rated R. Time 95 minutes.
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April 9, 2009
Must-sees Everlasting Memories: **** In 1907 Sweden, Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen), a born photographer, has an abusive husband, seven children and a talent for seeing things whole. Gomorrah: **** The crime syndicate Camorra has made a Gomorrah (as in Sodom and) out of Naples, Italy. Adventureland: *** 1/2 In the summer of 1987, a college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) finds love with a sleek, smart young woman (Kristen Stewart) at a seedy Pittsburgh-area amusement park. Sunshine Cleaning : *** A woman struggling to get over life's disappointments (Amy Adams)
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | February 23, 2007
By all means, let's not squelch a man's dreams. The Astronaut Farmer, in which a frustrated astronaut builds a rocket out of spare parts salvaged from a NASA junkyard, and sacrifices everything he and his family own in this world for a few minutes in space, suggests that no length is too extreme when it's dreams we're talking about. The Astronaut Farmer (Warner Bros.) Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen. Directed by Michael Polish. Rated PG. Time 100 minutes.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | March 27, 2009
The Haunting in Connecticut is part of the dreary tradition of "real-life" haunted-house movies, such as The Amityville Horror, instead of the livelier one of make-believe, such as The Innocents or The Haunting or the more recent The Orphanage. Why are the supposedly fact-based "boo movies" so much more plodding and heavy? Instead of milking ambiguity for suspense and terror, these movies proceed with (pardon the expression) dead certainty. If something looks like a ghost and moves like a ghost and smells like a ghost - it is, invariably, a ghost.
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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 10, 2006
One more time, father knows best - or at least hits the hardest, especially with the pitcher end of a blender - in the fast and furious Firewall. As Jack Stanfield, Harrison Ford again gets to reveal the mettle behind a white-collar professional and devoted husband, as he did in The Fugitive and Air Force One and his Tom Clancy adventures a decade ago. Ford's latest embattled good guy, a computer security V.P. for a Seattle-based bank, displays as...
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | October 29, 1990
You could probably read "Hell Hath No Fury," the Charles Williams novel on which Dennis Hopper's "The Hot Spot" is based, faster than the 2-hour-10-minute running time of the film. In fact, Williams probably wrote it faster than that!To paraphrase a line from "Catch-22," Hopper knows everything about film noir except how to enjoy it -- or how to get us to enjoy it. Thus he's turned the slight, trashy, vivid 100-odd-page novel into a dolorous exercise in lighting, posing, attitudizing and moping whilecompletely ignoring the zip and crackle of the original, and of the genre as a whole.
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By Lou Cedrone | October 30, 1990
Dennis Hopper, who directed ''Hot Spot,'' was irritated with Don Johnson who, Hopper said, wouldn't lend himself to promotion of the film.You can't blame Johnson. Promoting ''Hot Spot'' is a little like promoting passage on the Titanic.The new film, a blend of ''The Long Hot Summer'' and ''Double Indemnity,'' is terminally dull, a 130-minute long movie that should run no longer than 90 minutes.Hopper, however, must have thought he was doing the great American epic here, so he takes his good time, and the audience pays.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 28, 2005
Sideways swept the 20th annual Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. The film about wine and relationships won six awards including: feature, director (Alexander Payne), male lead (Paul Giamatti), supporting male (Thomas Haden Church), supporting female (Virginia Madsen) and screenplay (Payne and Jim Taylor). The Spirits typically are awarded to films made by studios outside Hollywood's mainstream that push the cinematic envelope. Other winners included Oscar-nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (female lead, for Maria Full of Grace)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | March 27, 2009
The Haunting in Connecticut is part of the dreary tradition of "real-life" haunted-house movies, such as The Amityville Horror, instead of the livelier one of make-believe, such as The Innocents or The Haunting or the more recent The Orphanage. Why are the supposedly fact-based "boo movies" so much more plodding and heavy? Instead of milking ambiguity for suspense and terror, these movies proceed with (pardon the expression) dead certainty. If something looks like a ghost and moves like a ghost and smells like a ghost - it is, invariably, a ghost.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2009
Must-sees Gomorrah: **** The crime syndicate Camorra has made a Gomorrah (as in Sodom-and-) out of Naples, Italy. I Love You, Man: *** The hero (Paul Rudd), a metrosexual who's more like a suburbansexual, finds a best man for his wedding - and a mentor in masculinity - in a well-heeled loafer (Jason Segel) who's the consummate city slacker, complete with a for-men-only clubhouse he refers to as "the man-cave." Sunshine Cleaning : *** A woman struggling to get over life's disappointments (Amy Adams)
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | February 23, 2007
By all means, let's not squelch a man's dreams. The Astronaut Farmer, in which a frustrated astronaut builds a rocket out of spare parts salvaged from a NASA junkyard, and sacrifices everything he and his family own in this world for a few minutes in space, suggests that no length is too extreme when it's dreams we're talking about. The Astronaut Farmer (Warner Bros.) Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen. Directed by Michael Polish. Rated PG. Time 100 minutes.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 23, 2007
Let's hope that for Jim Carrey, the fate of The Number 23 doesn't mean that his number is up. He doesn't give much of a performance in this hollow trick thriller. Nobody could. The Number 23 (New Line Cinema) Starring Jim Carrey (left), Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Rated R. Time 95 minutes.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 10, 2006
One more time, father knows best - or at least hits the hardest, especially with the pitcher end of a blender - in the fast and furious Firewall. As Jack Stanfield, Harrison Ford again gets to reveal the mettle behind a white-collar professional and devoted husband, as he did in The Fugitive and Air Force One and his Tom Clancy adventures a decade ago. Ford's latest embattled good guy, a computer security V.P. for a Seattle-based bank, displays as...
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 28, 2005
Sideways swept the 20th annual Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. The film about wine and relationships won six awards including: feature, director (Alexander Payne), male lead (Paul Giamatti), supporting male (Thomas Haden Church), supporting female (Virginia Madsen) and screenplay (Payne and Jim Taylor). The Spirits typically are awarded to films made by studios outside Hollywood's mainstream that push the cinematic envelope. Other winners included Oscar-nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (female lead, for Maria Full of Grace)
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By Los Angeles Times | January 3, 1991
The Barbarian Brothers, Peter and David Paul, weigh in for their third film, Motion Picture Corp. of America's "Twice as Hard," a tongue-in-cheek action-adventure directed by John Paragon ("Pee-wee's Playhouse"). Roddy McDowall, Collin Bernsen and "Star Trek's" James Doohan co-star. Filming is under way in Los Angeles.Mary Stuart Masterson stars as a rebellious woman on the lam in Just Betzer Productions' "Vanished," scheduled to shoot July 1, probably in Atlanta. Dutch director-cinematographer Kees van Oostrum directs Thom Thomas' screen adaptation of Mary McGarry Morris' novel about a makeshift family of misfits traveling rootlessly across rural America.
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By Lou Cedrone | October 30, 1990
Dennis Hopper, who directed ''Hot Spot,'' was irritated with Don Johnson who, Hopper said, wouldn't lend himself to promotion of the film.You can't blame Johnson. Promoting ''Hot Spot'' is a little like promoting passage on the Titanic.The new film, a blend of ''The Long Hot Summer'' and ''Double Indemnity,'' is terminally dull, a 130-minute long movie that should run no longer than 90 minutes.Hopper, however, must have thought he was doing the great American epic here, so he takes his good time, and the audience pays.
FEATURES
By Los Angeles Times | January 3, 1991
The Barbarian Brothers, Peter and David Paul, weigh in for their third film, Motion Picture Corp. of America's "Twice as Hard," a tongue-in-cheek action-adventure directed by John Paragon ("Pee-wee's Playhouse"). Roddy McDowall, Collin Bernsen and "Star Trek's" James Doohan co-star. Filming is under way in Los Angeles.Mary Stuart Masterson stars as a rebellious woman on the lam in Just Betzer Productions' "Vanished," scheduled to shoot July 1, probably in Atlanta. Dutch director-cinematographer Kees van Oostrum directs Thom Thomas' screen adaptation of Mary McGarry Morris' novel about a makeshift family of misfits traveling rootlessly across rural America.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | October 29, 1990
You could probably read "Hell Hath No Fury," the Charles Williams novel on which Dennis Hopper's "The Hot Spot" is based, faster than the 2-hour-10-minute running time of the film. In fact, Williams probably wrote it faster than that!To paraphrase a line from "Catch-22," Hopper knows everything about film noir except how to enjoy it -- or how to get us to enjoy it. Thus he's turned the slight, trashy, vivid 100-odd-page novel into a dolorous exercise in lighting, posing, attitudizing and moping whilecompletely ignoring the zip and crackle of the original, and of the genre as a whole.
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