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  • Issue of
  • Dec 29, 2004 - Jan 4, 2005
  • Vol. 25, No. 11

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • Darkness

    Featuring a tangled, poorly written plot about a haunted home in the Spanish countryside, Darkness is a prime example of the disaster that ensues when a director attempts to integrate all of his favorite scary movies into one poorly conceived mess. Director Juame Balagueró’s heart was in the right spot in his attempt to emulate films such as The Sixth Sense and The Others, but he’s completely failed to find a voice of his own.
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  • The Scene
  • Beyond the Sea

    Perhaps they should have titled this film: Kevin Spacey’s Beyond the Sea. The late ’50s and ’60s crooner Bobby Darin gets the shaft in his own biopic, as Spacey insists on being the star of the show. That said, the film does offer a lovely stroll down memory lane, with some truly glorious song-and-dance numbers. If you can forgive Spacey’s raging egoism, the swingin’ big band renditions alone make the price of admission worthwhile.
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  • The Scene
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    Too clever by half, this latest outing by Wes Anderson — the deadpan wit behind Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums — fails to tell a coherent or powerful story. Bill Murray struggles valiantly to breathe life into his underwritten character, but fails against a tidal wave of droll sight gags, eccentric supporting characters and distracting stop-action animation. The film proves that all the whimsy in the world can’t cover for an undercooked narrative.
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  • The Scene
  • Fat Albert

    Beyond a few trips down memory lane, there’s not much here for purists who remember waking up with the Cosby kids every weekend. Bad script calls include the remaking of characters: Dumb Donald hits the library and Mush Mouth is taught to speak proper English. Cosby’s on an increase-the-dignity mission! For folks younger than 20, however, the gang’s new look won’t seem troubling.
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