Author: Norm Schrager Page 5

Ken Park

Ken Park

Admired by some, reviled by many, Larry Clark and his films range from frighteningly honest to quizzically gratuitous. With Kids, he shocked moviegoers (especially parents) with his group of smooth-skinned city teens humping like mad,...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Luzhin Defence

The Luzhin Defence

Early on in the period drama The Luzhin Defence, Emily Watson's Natalia proclaims that she wants something different, and that's just what we get through most of this adaptation, based on Vladimir Nabokov's novel of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Knockaround Guys

Knockaround Guys

Warning to Vin Diesel fans: Regardless of what the marketing surrounding the crime drama Knockaround Guys may tell you, Diesel, Hollywood's new action hero, is not the star of this film. He, of the deep...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

I'm Not Scared

I'm Not Scared

From the moment the phrase Io Non Ho Paura (I'm Not Scared) appears, scrawled on a rock wall during the opening credits, until the final indelible fade-to-black when it appears once more, Italian director Gabriele...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Session 9

Session 9

Director/writer Brad Anderson, who turned heads with the winning romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland, does a narrative about face with Session 9, a creepy, psychological thriller more likely to twist heads than turn them....

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Off the Map

Off the Map

Within the past seven years, Campbell Scott has quietly become an important indie hyphenate, producing and starring in notable art house circuit films including Big Night, Roger Dodger, and the current The Secret Lives of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Steal This Movie!

Steal This Movie!

In case you were wondering, no, Steal This Movie! is not an adaptation of activist Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book, his 1971 how-to manifesto about beating the system. Now that would've been a creative...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

House of D

House of D

How much Robin Williams can we take? A week before his new film, House of D, previewed in Boston, Williams appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, at the Independent Spirit Awards on...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Welcome to Collinwood

Welcome to Collinwood

Among the ever-impressive list of projects undertaken by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section Eight production group (Ocean's Eleven, this year's Insomnia), the ironically titled Welcome to Collinwood is one of the best. Anthony...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

Much of the fun of the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons came from the constant wordplay and ironic humor that marked the 60s series. The various puns and wink-wink self-references flew around more than...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Barbarian Invasions

The Barbarian Invasions

Odd companionship makes for great human drama. Some of the finest films about relationships have, at their center, a strange pairing of souls (Kieslowski's Red and Harold and Maude immediately come to mind). French-Canadian filmmaker...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Tully

Tully

There is something so inviting -- especially for those of us who live in the city -- about a film that captures the brilliance and serenity of rural life. Seeing those late-day hints of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Bringing Down The House

Bringing Down The House

More than a decade after Steve Martin lost control of his own home in Housesitter, another of his patented Poor Sap characters is in similar trouble. This time, instead of a spunky, conniving Goldie...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

My Life Without Me

My Life Without Me

Focusing an entire dramatic film on death can be tricky. Death drives an enormous range of emotions, from fear to sadness, to curiosity; yet, most movies treat death with overwrought nobility, excessive weepiness, or yikes,...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Space Cowboys

Space Cowboys

The good news about Space Cowboys is that Clint Eastwood proves to be a skilled comedic director. The bad news is that only the first half of the movie is a comedy - the...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Gift (2000)

The Gift (2000)

Maybe Paramount held back on giving The Gift a wide release during the Christmas season to avoid too many reviewers saying, "This Gift is a holiday lump of coal..." or something like that. If...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

Bullies suck. "Being useful" is good. Magic is cool. You just can't argue with these irrefutable facts in the world of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, a preschool adventure based on the...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Envy (2000)

Envy (2000)

The basic thriller usually stays in its tight little confines - it vies with others in the genre for the most shocks and twists, leaving its characters as cardboard playthings. Sometimes though, as in...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Dummy

Dummy

Just before Adrien Brody delivered his Oscar-winning performance as an isolated and frightened Holocaust survivor in The Pianist, he played a whole different kind of isolated and frightened. As Steven, a lonely underachiever in Greg...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Secrets & Lies

Secrets & Lies

After directing nearly 20 years of TV movies and a few well-received features, filmmaker Mike Leigh found a heap of acclaim for this unique 1996 family drama about the quiet secrets we all keep and...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Son of the Bride

Son of the Bride

It's comforting to know that hard-working people everywhere suffer from stress just as we Americans do. Rafael Belvedere, the good-looking, divorced, 42-year old restaurateur in Juan José Campanella's Son of the Bride is proof....

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Bad Company

Bad Company

For the second consecutive weekend, the movie industry's biggest release involves the CIA dealing with a rogue nuclear weapon that's landed in the U.S. via American-hating zealots. Is Hollywood tapping into our worst terrors...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Original Kings of Comedy

The Original Kings of Comedy

Spike Lee has the uncanny ability of dropping his audience into exciting, possibly unfamiliar, territory and The Original Kings of Comedy is no exception. If you've never experienced a racial cauldron (Do the Right...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Halloween

Halloween

Considered by many to be a modern horror classic, Halloween succeeds through simplicity. This thriller -- a veritable kickoff for 25-plus years of slasher films -- works because director John Carpenter keeps the story neat...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

White Skin

White Skin

Starting off as a chilly meditation on race and skin color, White Skin twists into something unexpected. It would be unfair to give away the film's narrative development, so let's just say that the movie's...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Venus Beauty Institute

Venus Beauty Institute

A movie that centers around the workplace can end up feeling like a sitcom. You have a couple of principal characters whose lives are examined, and a small cast of others that are thrown...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Crush

Crush

While Andie MacDowell has spent much of the last few years in little-seen bombs like Just the Ticket, Reaching Normal, and the now-legendary Town & Country, she seems poised to re-emerge as a hot ticket...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Yards

The Yards

The Yards begins with a rebirth of sorts. A subway train emerges from a tunnel into daylight. It is carrying Leo Handler (Mark Wahlberg) out of the darkness and home, after his time...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Before Sunset

Before Sunset

Nine years ago, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) turned a chance meeting on a train into a romantic 24 hours wandering the streets of Vienna. At the end of Richard Linklater's engaging Before...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

What Women Want

What Women Want

If you looked like Mel Gibson, being able to read women's minds wouldn't be too imperative. Just give 'em those baby blues and flash those pearly whites, and you're in, baby. Or so...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

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