Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Blood simple

Ridley Scott blows us out of our seats and leaves us in the dark.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

With a screenplay based on journalist Mark Bowden’s best-selling account of a 1993 U.S. special operations mission in Somalia gone catastrophically wrong, director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) drags us into a bitter feast of flying metal, fire, blood, sweat and fears that may go down hard and leave you empty.

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Dark Blue World

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

The story of World War II Czech pilots who fought for the British RAF, only to be persecuted back home, is from director Jan Sverák and his screenwriter-actor father Zdenek, the same team who made the 1997 foreign-language Oscar winner Kolya. A timidly conventional film about extraordinary heroics.

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Fighter

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

This video documentary by Amir Bar-Lev is an unusual addition to existing Holocaust-related material, sometimes comic, often devastating and wholly original. It introduces us to two Czech-Americans (formerly persecuted Czech Jews) who have developed a tenuous friendship.

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Snow Dogs

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in this salsa-paced comedy about a big-city dentist flung into a small-town wilderness due to unforeseen circumstances that flip-flop his squeaky-clean, nicely flossed world. Definitely geared toward the little tykes, the humor is self-aware and well perpetrated by an unusually high-caliber cast.

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Charlotte Gray

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Perhaps if you live on a diet of romance paperbacks and keep your TV glued to Lifetime with a hanky handy, you might like this movie, but Charlotte Gray pales in comparison to Armstrong’s Australian work — with Cate Blanchett.

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Joe Weaver

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

There never would have been a "new" R&B if there hadn't been an original, and some of the best of that original sound is right here in Detroit. This old-school pro's time-tested credentials place him in a league his "new" rhythm and blues counterparts can only hope to enter...

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Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Gosford Park

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Robert Altman's latest offers the odd experience of watching the most loose-limbed of modern directors mingle his multidirectional observational style with the hidebound form of a traditional English murder mystery. The results are like an avant-garde Merchant-Ivory film or one of Agatha Christie's clever constructions gone all cubist.

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The Royal Tenenbaums

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Writer-director Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) has created a hypertextual book-on-film rooted in the literature of the New Yorker magazine about a family of geniuses and prodigies and those who desperately want to belong with them. With truly human performances from Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Murray, et al.

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Goddess: Inside Madonna

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Considering the prepublication hubbub surrounding Andrew Morton’s Madonna (St. Martin's Press, $24.00, 256 pp.) and Barbara Victor’s Goddess: Inside Madonna, would-be readers can’t be blamed for expecting the two unauthorized bios to be full of revealing interviews and insightful anecdotes about the Material Girl. Maddy may have outright denounced the...

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Facets of darkness

Improvising on a jazz theme with a still camera.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM

There are many intentional parallels between master photographer Roy DeCarava’s approach and technique, and those of the disciplines of the jazz form and the blues aesthetic. These are the themes of The Sound I Saw. The particular challenge for a photographer of DeCarava’s ilk is to be present and...

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