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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Lester leaps back in a new anthology

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

It’s hard to say whether Lester Bangs was queer for Lou Reed. Granted, among the hundreds of musicians he profiled in his lifetime, Lester did seem to reserve his most colorful comments, bons mots and epithets alike, for Reed — and at uncommon length too. The Lester ’n’ Lou...

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Franken takes aim

Satirist slams the right from Fox to Coulter.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

The title of Franken's latest book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (Dutton), was not intended to slip under the radar, and it didn't. The former "Saturday Night Live" prankster got himself another No. 1-selling book in no time, due...

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Not lost on us

Murray whips cream into gold.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Bill Murray was always a better actor than his comedy-heavy career implied — and this film brings out his best. Murray plays Bob Harris, a middle-aged actor who is huge in Japan. Depressed and lonely, Bob arrives in Tokyo for a commercial shoot. There he meets college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson), who seems just as disenchanted with her life as Bob.

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Masked and Anonymous

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Bob Dylan is experiencing a pop culture renaissance. This film apparently attempts to bring his beloved song lyrics to life on the silver screen. The idea of a movie where Dylan plays himself sounds promising, but this isn’t it. Dylan just can't act. The screenplay is loose, and none of the all-star cast makes much of an impression except Val Kilmer. The movie is barely worth watching.

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Hotel

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Occasionally using split and quadruple screens and offering a variety of color and visual distortion, Hotel is an uneasy mix of horror movie grotesqueness and improvisational psychodrama. Mostly, Hotel is so meandering and self-consciously arty that about halfway through it disappears amid its own aspirations.

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Cold Creek Manor

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

The title alone summons the gothic tradition. Cold Creek Manor parodies the genre — at times with wry humor. It’s an intelligent thriller with tense moments of suspense that seems to paraphrase and sometimes parody thrillers from Hitchcock classics to Silence of the Lambs.

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In This World

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

In this fictional (or is it?) documentary, a scrappy 12-year-old orphan plays himself on a treacherous journey with his cousin to escape Pakistan. As the two head to London, innumerable dangers enter their path. The film ends with dozens of refugee children smiling and prancing for the camera. Jamal is a vision of hope and ambition.

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Decasia

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Decasia is an avant-garde film that boils away narrative, concrete images and even sound to create pure and often abstract art from the moving image onscreen. The effect is intoxicating, hypnotic and soporific by turns.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The Secret Lives of Dentists

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2003 at 12:00 AM

It turns out that dentists are like everybody else with inner monologues, emotions, bouts of stomach flu and troubled marriages. Directed by Adam Rudolph with Campbell Scott and Hope Davis as the coupled dentists, and Dennis Leary as an inner voice.

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Love and Diane

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Poverty, addiction, depression and a fractured family history don’t obscure the essence of this documentary: family members trying to find some balance between personal happiness and personal (and familial) responsibility.

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