Author: Norm Schrager Page 3

Rock Star

Rock Star

In his short career, Mark Wahlberg has been most effective when playing characters full of naïve sincerity. In Boogie Nights, The Yards, and even Three Kings, his talent is in making the audience believe...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Girl From Monday

The Girl From Monday

"Let's fuck and increase our market value," urges Cecile (Sabrina Lloyd) in director Hal Hartley's latest curiosity, an interesting yet static look at a consumerist tomorrow. In Hartley's flat satiric world, every citizen's worth is...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

September Tapes

September Tapes

There's one thing about the man-on-a-mission indie September Tapes that's undeniable: the movie's got balls. And so do the guys that created it, having used shaky U.N. identification to enter Afghanistan just months after the...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Emperor's Club

The Emperor's Club

There's an old cheap saying that goes "those who can, do; those who can't, teach". Professor William Hundert (Kevin Kline) would disagree. A true scholar of the Classics, this intellectual believes that there is...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Catch That Kid

Catch That Kid

There's an important lesson every male should learn, even at a young age: Women always get their way. You listening, fellas? Pack it up, party's over, that's the way of the world. The likable but...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Osmosis Jones

Osmosis Jones

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the back of your nose when you sneeze? The Farrelly Brothers have. And in their traditional gross-out fashion, they'd like to show you.There you have...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

See Spot Run

See Spot Run

David Arquette gets to reinforce his status as the goofy doofus once again in this below-average family comedy about a boy, a dog, and a dumb, sloppy, immature mailman (that would be Arquette). Peering...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Moonlight

Moonlight

When we first meet Claire, a privileged teenager growing up in her parents' opulent home, she is in shock. She's been carefully practicing piano in an immaculate room when she experiences the initial drops of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Notebook

The Notebook

With just four films under Nick Cassavetes's belt, it's almost unfair to compare the director to his trailblazing father. In the case of The Notebook, however, it's unavoidable.Thanks to papa John (Husbands, Gloria), the name...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Mile Zero

Mile Zero

In the mournful independent drama Mile Zero, Allison (Sabrina Grdevich) explains to her estranged husband Derek that he expresses love so deeply -- but always takes it too far. That's the crux of this fragile...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Last Castle

The Last Castle

After critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie's pitiful attempt at a White House drama (and I use that word loosely) with last year's The Contender, Lurie provides a bit of redemption with The Last Castle, a semi-decent drama...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

My Neighbors the Yamadas

My Neighbors the Yamadas

In the US, we embrace animated families steeped in enormous dysfunction--the Simpsons, Family Guy's Griffin clan, or the poor bastards on King of the Hill. The Japanese Yamadas, on the other hand, title characters in...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Paycheck

Paycheck

Sci-fi fans will see clear similarities between John Woo's action/thriller Paycheck and Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall (1991). Both deal with memory and identity, as adapted from stories by author Philip K. Dick. Both star thousand-watt...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Storytelling

Storytelling

Writer-director Todd Solondz has a knack for making us feel downright uncomfortable. He did it in his twisted debut, Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), with a young Brendan Sexton III announcing his intentions to...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

You Can Count on Me

You Can Count on Me

You Can Count on Me is a film that, in true Sundance form, mixes the familiar with the unexpected. The Best Dramatic Film winner from this year's festival has some actors we've seen before...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats

Remember all those television-themed movies in the 90s, big-screen versions of TV favorites that were devoid of any energy (The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Little Rascals, Sgt. Bilko)? Well, forget that problem with...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Some Body

Some Body

In the opening scene of Henry Barrial's somewhat indulgent video verité feature Some Body, Sam (Stephanie Bennett) sits in her elementary school classroom telling a children's story. Although she addresses the camera directly, she...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

A Walk To Remember

A Walk To Remember

A Walk to Remember can and will be known best as "The Mandy Moore Project," the first feature where the popular teen singer stars on the big screen. She is the focal point of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

White Oleander

White Oleander

White Oleander is one girl's dramatic coming-of-age story -- emphasis on the word "dramatic." A bright teen bounces around some dreadful foster homes, gets street-tough while in a facility for abandoned kids, and witnesses more...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Swept Away (2002)

Swept Away (2002)

After beginning his career with two frenetic crime films (Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch), filmmaker Guy Ritchie has changed his tone in order to make a vanity project. But it's not his...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Final Destination 2

Final Destination 2

For all of you budding screenwriters, here is a simple set of guidelines to help you pen the next Final Destination film (yes, there will probably be another, even if it's direct-to-video): First, devise...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Childstar

Childstar

In this smart but inconsistent look at the concept of celebrity, Canadian indie favorite Don McKellar pulls triple-duty -- writing, directing, and starring -- for the first time in seven years. That year, 1998, McKellar...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Affair of the Necklace

The Affair of the Necklace

There are inherent risks in making a costume drama -- giving everything too much weight, and not getting the mood just right. The opportunity for grandiose accents, overly lavish wardrobe, and stagy, oh-so-clever performances...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Contender

The Contender

A day after The West Wing ruled the Emmy Awards, Rod Lurie's White House drama The Contender screened at the Boston Film Festival. With that kind of timing, comparisons are unavoidable. So with...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Slackers

Slackers

While Orange County's tale of college woe is delivering a fine time to comedy audiences, its bland, unfunny, useless stepbrother is unspooling right down the hall in the multiplex. Slackers, by first-time director and...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Powerpuff Girls Movie

The Powerpuff Girls Movie

The Motion Picture Association of America, in their policy to specify why a movie receives its rating, gave a PG to the animated feature The Powerpuff Girls Movie for this reason: "non-stop frenetic animated action."...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Kate & Leopold

Kate & Leopold

At first glance, Kate & Leopold appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill romantic fantasy. A successful, 21st century woman meets the Duke of Albany circa 1876, via a hiccup in the time-space continuum....

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Malibu's Most Wanted

Malibu's Most Wanted

Presenting the Hollywood theme of the month: dumb white boy poses as street thug at an all-black nightclub. First, it was Steve Martin as an uptight lawyer in Bringing Down the House. Now, it's Jamie...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Down To Earth

Down To Earth

There are times when a remake feels more like a ripoff. The Chris Rock comedy Down to Earth is a perfect example. Based on... no, xeroxed from 1978's Heaven Can Wait, it's a...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Catfish In Black Bean Sauce

Catfish In Black Bean Sauce

Now here's an unconventional family for the new decade: two Vietnamese siblings are brought up in California by a black couple; sister Mai marries an Asian, and brother Dwayne's getting engaged to an African-American woman...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

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