Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey

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Category: The Scene139

Year: 20077 200652 200652 200554 200426

Popularity: Most Viewed Most Shared


Closer December 08, 2004

Recent Articles

  • Underdog

      Disney’s Underdog movie doesn't completely blow puppy-food chunks. Jason Lee, who has gotten plenty of voiceover practice on TV’s “My Name is Earl,” narrates and speaks for the title character, a beagle that gets CGI-supplied superpowers. Yes, it’s another live-action version of an old cartoon. But updated: Our heroic beagle gets his powers after a mad scientist’s DNA experiment goes wrong. He can fly, digs faster than your average backhoe, has super hearing and can speak English. His animated antics are a hoot — admittedly even the talking part thanks to Lee’s trademark truck-stop charm and slacker sarcasm.
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  • Fired!

      Yeah, she got canned by Woody Allen. OK, so it was after only three days on the job. That’s pretty bad. But is said firing worthy of a cottage industry? Actor-comic Annabelle Gurwitch has parlayed her Allen dismissal into a book, stage shows in New York and Los Angeles, and, now, this documentary film. But rehashing it for more than 71 big-screen minutes is a huge stretch for Gurwitch, who wrote, produced and stars in this. At best, Fired! makes a case for laughing at our misfortunes by having us laugh at Gurwitch’s and firings of other “celebs.” But when it comes to serious analysis, Gurwitch's conclusions are obvious to all but herself, as she appears genuinely surprised to discover that some folks lose their jobs through no fault of their own and end up worse off. No foolin’? That’s about as deep and revealing this film gets.
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  • Puccini for Beginners

      Director-screenwriter Maria Maggenti's tale of neurotic well-heeled New York is a comedy of sexual identity confusion and commitment-phobia. Samantha (Julianne Nicholson) walks out on obscure writer Allegra (Elizabeth Reaser). Allegra, even after nine months with Samantha, declares she’s not ready to commit and is still getting to know her. On the rebound, Allegra finds herself entangled with tweedy scholar Philip (Justin Kirk), who himself can’t commit to longtime girlfriend Grace (Gretchen Mol). Unlike, say, Woody Allen, Maggenti doesn’t let her characters bear the weight of too much unhappiness. Still, Maggenti could have passed over the softball sensitivity and given Puccini for Beginners more teeth, and taken a bigger bite of that Big Apple.
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  • The Italian

      Director Andrei Kravchuk and writer Andrei Romanov present an orphan's tale that reminds us that even when pessimism prevails, there’s room for good. When an Italian couple scopes out a prospective adoptee in a ramshackle orphanage in Russia at first, the adoption seems like it’d be a salvation for 6-year-old Vanya (Kolya Spiridonov). If he stays, he’ll become like the older orphans, undereducated, pimping, prostituting and stealing to survive. If he goes with the adoptive parents, he’ll be cared for and loved. But there’s a twist: Vanya realizes that moving to Italy means giving up bigger hopes that one day his mom or dad will find him.
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  • Flannel Pajamas

      This relationship-under-a-microscope drama has nothing to say. For two overly long and chatty hours, writer-director Jeff Lipsky drags us through the highs and mostly lows of New York couple Stuart and Nicole’s courtship, marriage and prolonged disintegration. In the end, we’re drowning in second-rate banter, in tears of boredom and wishing we could sign the divorce papers ourselves and get this mess over with.
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