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  • Issue of
  • Dec 28, 2005 - Jan 3, 2006
  • Vol. 26, No. 11

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • The Producers

    If you want a textbook example of how not to bring a Tony Award-winning musical to the big screen, you have only to look at the lifeless train wreck that is The Producers. Susan Stroman, the celebrated director-choreographer of the stage production, proves to be a painfully inept and unimaginative filmmaker, turning the rambunctious Broadway hit into a cinematic dud.
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  • The Scene
  • The Ringer

    Say this for Johnny Knoxville’s latest attempt at comedic stardom: It has a great sound track. Unlike the sweet-and-sour comedy of, say, Stuck on You, there’s nothing even remotely daring in director Barry Blaustein’s approach to this material. The Ringer stumbles around for its first half-hour, unsure of what kind of comedy it’s trying to be. The film, as predictable as such dumb ’80s comedies as Soul Man, fails to deliver on either laughs or heart, and all you’re left with are the songs.
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  • The Scene
  • Wolf Creek

    Wolf Creek is sensationalistic and ugly, a horror franchise that tries to cash in on somebody else’s dead children. Liz and Kristy (Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi), a pair of sexy young Brits, hook up with Ben (Nathan Phillips) on a cross-country drive across the dusty Outback. When their car mysteriously dies, an amiable yokel named Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) comes to their rescue, towing them to his camp for an overnight repair. When the trio awakens, however, they find themselves in a world of stomach-churning violence.
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  • The Scene
  • Memoirs of a Geisha

    In adapting Arthur Golden’s bestselling novel Memoirs of a Geisha to the big screen, American director Rob Marshall (Chicago) steadfastly refuses to delve beyond the white face paint and find out what really happens to a woman’s emotional state after a life of male servitude. Instead, he’s more content to focus on all the baubles, beads and bling of the lifestyle, at the expense of the characters.
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  • The Scene
  • Rumor Has It

    Rob Reiner’s best decision in this movie was omitting any graphic Jennifer Aniston-Kevin Costner sex scene, instead leaving it to the audience’s imagination. It’s not the May-December romance that makes one cringe as much as the circumstances surrounding their intimacy: Aniston’s character Sarah is frantically hunting down Costner’s Beau to question him about the affairs he had with her mother and grandmother decades ago. Unfortunately, Rumor Has It takes what could have been a grown-up picture about relationships and turns it into a goofball comedy that belongs in a low-rent sitcom.
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