Author: Rob Blackwelder Page 8

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

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion

As mechanical as an old Disneyland automaton, "The Haunted Mansion" is the third movie in a year from the Mouse House studio based on one of its own theme park rides -- and while it's...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Shadow Of The Vampire

Shadow Of The Vampire

Part homage to one of cinema's best-known silent films, part winkingly nebulous black comedy, and part old-school horror flick, "Shadow of the Vampire" is a crafty "what if" fictionalization of the making of "Nosferatu," the...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Chicago

Chicago

Within the first five seconds of the musical number that opens the film adaptation of "Chicago," director Rob Marshall has established such a sublimely vivacious speakeasy atmosphere of hot jazz, cigarette smoke and showgirls that...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Legend Of Drunken Master

The Legend Of Drunken Master

Widely considered Jackie Chan's best movie, "The Legend of Drunken Master" (released to the rest of the world in 1994 as "Drunken Master II") features what are arguably the fastest, most furious and elaborate --...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

About 50 minutes into "Tomb Raider" the plot abruptly ends -- there's literally no reason for the movie to continue -- but not a single character notices.Video game vixen Lara Croft -- that curvaceous, gun-slinging...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Door In The Floor

The Door In The Floor

Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger give a pair of extraordinary performances in "The Door in the Floor" as a couple whose souls and whose marriage have never recovered from the deaths of their teenage sons...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

What Women Want

What Women Want

You know how in testosterone-charged action movies an explosion will be shown over and over again in slow motion, and from four or five different angles? The ultimate sign of a guy movie, right?Well, in...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Wood

The Wood

In its first five minutes "The Wood" looks likeit's going to be a breaking-the-fourth-wall disaster, as Omar Epps ("TheMod Squad") narrates to camera, explainingto the audience that it's two hours and ticking until his best...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

But I'm A Cheerleader

But I'm A Cheerleader

"But I'm a Cheerleader" is pure camp, from its often hammy acting to its candy-colored ambience to its plot about an in-crowd high schooler whose panicked suburban parents pack her away to retreat where sexually...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat

Martin Lawrence proves his brazenly raunchy stand-up routine can still go 12 rounds in his new concert film "Martin Lawrence Live: RunTelDat." But if you like the man because he's funny, you might want to...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Onegin

Onegin

Ralph Fiennes is dangerously close to being pigeon-holed as cinema's go-to guy for doomed, stoic, period lover roles. Save his ill-advised turn as Jonathan Steed in that unfortunate "Avengers" movie, the guy hasn't done anything...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Formula 51

Formula 51

The title of "Formula 51," couldn't be more appropriate for this perfunctory action-comedy, seeing as its cobbled together from at least that many formulaic plot points, formulaic action sequences, formulaic catch phrases, formulaic jokes and...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Songcatcher

Songcatcher

Wonderfully chameleonic actress Janet McTeer ("The King Is Alive," "Tumbleweeds") gives another of her distinctive and deeply immersed performances in "Songcatcher" as a priggish 1900s music scholar.A terse, obstinate, overeducated woman who is deeply resentful...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Blow Dry

Blow Dry

"Blow Dry" is a leaden British dramedy about an estranged family of hairdressers reconciling when a big coiffeur competition comes to their small town. Like "The Big Tease" -- a similarly themed English mockumentary that...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Riding In Cars With Boys

Riding In Cars With Boys

When a movie says it's "based on" a true story, all too often it means that after the script doctors get through with it, what's left is too predictable and packed with clichés to bear...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Love & Basketball

Love & Basketball

An inspired labor of love about sports and romance in which the female lead is an athlete, too, "Love and Basketball" is one for the "why didn't anybody think of this before?" file.For decades, the...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Solaris

Solaris

Steven Soderbergh takes a crack at melding his commercial sensibilities with his esoteric soul in "Solaris," an abstract, ultrastylish, philosophical science fiction film designed to leave you mulling over its meaning for hours, if not...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

"South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" justcan't wait to wiggle out of the restraints put on its television counterpart.In the first 10 minutes of the movie, the cartoon's creators go out oftheir way to assure...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Julien Donkey-Boy

Julien Donkey-Boy

"julien donkey-boy" is fascinating viewing for a movie that has nothing to say and nowhere to go.Gutsy, artistically engrossing and fearlessly acted, it is the second feature of Harmony Korine, the dysfunctional, wonder-freak youth who...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Metroland

Metroland

I was debating a friend a couple days ago who wonderedaloud why no one makes movies about platonic friends. I said, "Who would want to see a movie about a guybeing told 'Let's be just...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

View From The Top

View From The Top

To the endless soundtrack of grating girl-empowerment country music ditties and romantic '80s hair-band rock, Gwyneth Paltrow crash-lands in "View From the Top," playing a Nevada-bred white-trash ditz who dreams of a "glamorous" life as...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

Seething with teen-angst irritability and an obstinate blind ignorance to just how much of an outcast he is, Napoleon Dynamite may be the biggest dork in the history of high school movies.Completely lacking in social...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The 13th Warrior

The 13th Warrior

After a year's worth of post-production monkeying, "The 13th Warrior" has finally come to theaters, and its still a big mess.The screen adaptation of an early Michael Crichton novel about 10th Century Vikings called "Eaters...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Unbreakable

Unbreakable

When the credits rolled at the end of "Unbreakable," I wasn't sure what to make of it. The concept was so off-the-wall I wasn't sure if I was supposed to take it seriously or if...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Jackpot

Jackpot

Sunny Holiday is a karaoke singer with delusions of grandeur. It's not that he's a bad singer or lacks stage presence -- heck, cue up a catchy country tune in a roadside bar and Sunny...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Ocean's Twelve

Ocean's Twelve

Casino boss Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has caught up with Danny Ocean's merry band of hipster crooks, and he wants his $160 million back -- with interest. As "Ocean's Twelve" begins, the disbanded gang that...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Audition (Odishon)

Audition (Odishon)

The main character in "Audition" is a shy, middle-aged Japanese widower who taps a movie-making buddy to help him find a new wife now that his son is a teenager with a life of his...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Tomcats

Tomcats

Until the blooper reel that runs with the closing credits, there's scarcely a sign of wit or talent in the entirety of "Tomcats," another in what seems to be a never-ending sewer-spawn tidal wave of...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

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