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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Purple pain

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Alex Hahn thinks The Artist Once Again Known As Prince is a spoiled, misogynistic, egotistical megalomaniac. But he admires his talent. Really. Hahn’s dishy new biography of the Purple One, Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince, is his attempt to chart Prince from the days when his music...

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Lover boy

Shirtless, sweet 16 and already a bad influence.

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

This is Victor’s coming-of-age story, but it’s also about the more general mysteries of teenage love, and the characters are so genuine it hurts. It’s one of the sweeter, more pure bits of film you’ll find, with people living lives untouched by anything so heady as what’s in store for tomorrow.

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Bunny

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Soft for Digging

HHH 1/2

Finishing off Madstone Theaters’ Film Forward Independent Film Festival are a couple of peculiar islands of thought — strange birds brought to lights, camera and action — disturbing poetic visions on-screen May 29-June 11 in Ann Arbor.

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Spellbound

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

This documentary follows eight participants in the 1999 National Spelling Bee as they struggle with words that mere mortals only run across in, uh, spelling tests. Each of the eight kids has their own story, and, not surprisingly, the most affecting tales are those of the underprivileged.

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L'Auberge Espagnole

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

French filmmaker Cedric Klapisch has mastered just the right tone for his busy coming-of-age tale — neither too silly nor too serious and always a pleasure to watch — about a young French student who decides it would be advantageous to spend a year in Barcelona.

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Bruce Almighty

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Like a housewife fed up with her husband asking what she does around the house all day, God (Morgan Freeman) puts the chores — and the powers and responsibilities — of running Buffalo in Bruce’s (Jim Carrey) incapable hands. This comic fable begs comparison to It’s a Wonderful Life, but doesn’t have a prayer.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Blissed off

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

In his latest anthropological satire, the prolific T.C. Boyle has created Drop City, a circa-1970, rural California, hippie commune which seems to have taken its inspiration less from Emerson or Thoreau, or any other breed of American transcendentalism, than from a few bummed-out issues of Zap Comix. Boyle’s commune...

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Terror in limbo

Director John Malkovich gives us High Noon south of the border.

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Few other films have offered us entry into the bizarrely violent demimonde of Latin America and have taken such a strange journey through scenery that borders on the surreal. Its beauty, wit and subtle romantic tragedy show that the director has found a novel way of being John Malkovich — with Javier Bardem.

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The Matrix Reloaded

Posted on Wed, May 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Geezer: HHH / Weezer: HHH

The Wachowski Brothers’ The Matrix (1999) was a masterful cocktail of action effects and mind-bending sci-fi, laced with a swig of cultural criticism and a snifter of Buddhism. But this first sequel proves that a seminal masterpiece is a tough act to follow — with Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves.

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Blue Car

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

What’s special here is director Karen Moncrieff’s uncomfortably accurate grasp of teenage rebellion, righteousness, uncertainty and self-doubt, and Agnes Bruckner’s startling performance as a teen that most of us, in some small part, once were — with David Strathairn.

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