Author: Rob Blackwelder Page 10

K-Pax

K-Pax

Quick, somebody give Kevin Spacey a bad guy role before he becomes as bland as Harrison Ford!Just two years ago Spacey the Great was at the apex of his craft, unwrapping layers and layers of...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

U-571

U-571

Waiting for the "U-571" screening to begin the other night, I got into a conversation with a couple other reviewers, wondering aloud if there's any such thing as a bad submarine movie.Somebody brought up "Down...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby

Director Clint Eastwood pulls no punches in "Million Dollar Baby," a devastating, gritty film-noir boxing drama that gets at the callused heart of the sport while also spiraling into an emotional tour de force.Narrated with...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Ready To Rumble

Ready To Rumble

David Arquette's escaped-lunitic-on-a-double-espresso style of nitwit comedy is an aquired taste. Or at least I assume it is since I don't find him funny but movie directors continue to cast him and AT&T saw fit...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Abandon

Abandon

There's a little more to "Abandon" than the stock woman-in-peril thriller it looks like. But since writer-director Stephen Gaghan stages the film like a stock woman-in-peril thriller, there's no way to know this until the...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Wonderland

Wonderland

Part "Rashomon"-like roundelay of dubious recollections, part "Boogie Nights" flashback, "Wonderland" recounts, with drug-addled stylishness, events leading to a brutal 1981 mass-murder in the Los Angeles hills made famous by its link to washed-up, strung-out...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

When Brendan Met Trudy

When Brendan Met Trudy

A cheeky romantic comedy that ardent film buffs will adore, "When Brendan Met Trudy" is an homage-filled confection about polar opposite oddballs in love.Brendan (Peter McDonald) is a totally square, socially stunted, young Irish schoolteacher...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Moonlight Mile

Moonlight Mile

Finding warmth, humor and uneasy comfort in the face of senseless tragedy, "Moonlight Mile" is a poignant movie about pain and loss that doesn't succumb to melodrama and cry-you-a-river, give-me-an-Oscar performances.Described as "emotionally autobiographical" by...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Gosford Park

Gosford Park

You may need a program to keep track of the two dozen-plus characters in Robert Altman's soap opera, murder mystery, chamber comedy-of-manners "Gosford Park."Carpeted with dry wit and filled to the rafters with salacious secrets...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Out Cold

Out Cold

Some awesome helicopter shots of showboating snowboarders tearing through powder on pristine 70-degree inclines runs under the opening titles of "Out Cold," an elementary comedy about party-hardy slope bums who use the word "dude" like...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures

While leaving town to get away from her abusive boyfriend, Dorothy (Susan Lynch) comes upon a scene that's all-too-familiar to her: another young woman getting smacked around in the middle of the street.High on courage...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

White Chicks

White Chicks

Marlon and Shawn Wayans of "Scary Movie" fame underwent hours of makeup each day to play the title characters in the gimmick comedy "White Chicks," but little good it did them. Their layers-of-latex Caucasian drag...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Turn It Up

Turn It Up

Real life hip hop stars Pras and Ja Rule star as an ambitious young rapper and his violent best friend/producer in "Turn It Up," a film spawned by Pras' song "Ghetto Superstar," which appeared on...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

American Beauty

American Beauty

Every time I see a new Kevin Spacey movie, I expect the world from him, and every time he delivers the galaxy.Arguably the greatest actor currently working in motion pictures, he is capable of putting...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Le Divorce

Le Divorce

The further away director James Ivory and producer Ishmael Merchant get from their trademarked aristocratic period pieces, like "A Room With a View" and "Howard's End," the worse their movies get. At this point, I...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Veronica Guerin

Veronica Guerin

In 1996, high-profile anti-drug crusading Irish journalist Veronica Guerin was violently gunned down in broad daylight at a highway crossing. The event galvanized the island nation, resulted in a sweeping take-back-the-streets campaign in the Dublin...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted

Teen angst gets the "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" treatment in "Girl, Interrupted," James Mangold's disappointingly common and commercial follow-up to his earlier, low-budget wonders "Heavy" and "Cop Land."Poor Winona Ryder -- in her...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

"Friday Night Lights" takes place in a dismal West Texas suburb where society revolves entirely around high school football and the "winning is everything" philosophy is considered an All-American value.Director Peter Berg ("The Rundown") vividly...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Titus

Titus

Sumptuously and elaborately staged, steeped in powerful symbolism and bordering on absolute brilliance, Julie Taymor's sometimes pretentious "Titus" flirts with becoming among the all-time best of Shakespeare movies -- if you can endure the stomach-turning...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

8 1/2 Women

8 1/2 Women

An idly rich father and son, trying to sidestep the grief brought on by the death of their wife and mother, become obsessed with acquiring a varied private harem to exorcise obscured erotic fantasies in...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Barbarian Invasions

The Barbarian Invasions

In Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasions," the bald, flabby, bespectacled Remy (Remy Girard) is slowly dying. He never makes a miraculous recovery, nor does he renounce his sinful lifestyle, nor does he leave behind a...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Holy Smoke

Holy Smoke

A dingy, daffy, Australian-flavored comedy about conviction, faith and self-awareness, "Holy Smoke" stars Kate Winslet as a young woman seduced by Eastern religion while traveling in India and Harvey Keitel as the American deprogrammer retained...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Chronicles Of Riddick

The Chronicles Of Riddick

Writer-director David Twohy creates an uncommonly vivid and comprehensive science-fiction universe in "The Chronicles of Riddick," complete with genuinely otherworldly planets and detailed cultural mythologies. But he spends so much time and energy on such...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Murder By Numbers

Murder By Numbers

Sandra Bullock's best dramatic performance to date and the intelligent direction of Barbet Schroeder ("Reversal of Fortune," "Single White Female") are almost enough to lift the thrill-kill cat-and-mouser "Murder by Numbers" above its paint-by-numbers plot...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Enough

Enough

If you've seen the TV commercials, the theatrical trailer, or even the poster or print ads for the 100-percent unoriginal woman-in-peril thriller "Enough," then you've seen the whole movie. What kind of marketing campaign gives...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Scorpion King

The Scorpion King

Call it a premature yet promising start to the summer action season. Somehow "The Scorpion King" -- a movie starring a professional wrestler and spun off from a shameful sequel -- has become the most...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

East-West

East-West

"East-West" opens with a simple, dark -- almost black -- shot of a churning ocean liner wake on a cold sea, accompanied on the soundtrack by an resounding, distinctively Russian imperial march. The shot lingers...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

House Of Sand & Fog

House Of Sand & Fog

A parable of American self-absorption, of people never seeing outside their own little bubble until it's too late, "House of Sand and Fog" is a psychological drama in which fear and tension are made tangible...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Kandahar

Kandahar

The timely and Taliban-topical Iranian import "Kandahar" could have been an absorbing, penetrating and undiluted portrait of frightful oppression in pre-Sept. 11 Afghanistan. But it's woefully subverted by pretentious directing, unmistakably amateur performances and an...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Passion Of Mind

Passion Of Mind

Less than 30 seconds into the first reel, "Passion of Mind" practically trumpets the fact that its narrative in is a mess.Employing a catch-you-up expository voice-over, director Alian Berliner ("Ma Vie En Rose") drops you...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

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