Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Spider-Man 2

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:00 AM

This is how to put a comic book on the screen. It’s smart when it’s supposed to be, dumb and fun when it’s supposed to be. The special effects are a thrill ride, the dialogue is snappy and the love story ain’t sappy. Director Sam Raimi is back along with Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane; Alfred Molina joins the ensemble as the villainous Doctor Octopus.

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The Intended

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:00 AM

This tale of madness, lust and grisly murder, set in the Malayan jungle in 1924, is so unremittingly grim that it threatens to become unintentionally comic. Directed and co-written by Kristian Levring, it’s evocatively shot, heroically acted and fatally sunk by a preposterous script. Starring Brenda Fricker, Tony Maudsley, Philip Jackson, David Bradley, Olympia Dukakis, JJ Field and Janet McTeer.

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The Notebook

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Adapted from a novel by Nicholas Spark, this maudlin melodrama ineptly tries to revive old clichés that would be better served by playing them for laughs. Featuring James Garner and Gena Rowlands as seniors in an old folks’ home — with flashbacks of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as the same star-crossed lovers in the ’40s.

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Two Brothers

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Stunning cinematography in this story of tigers, separated as cubs, brought together as adults for what’s supposed to be a fight to the death. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud (Enemy at the Gates and Seven Years in Tibet) creates a whimsical fantasy world where history and imagination collide — but it’s heavy on the sentimental. With Aidan McRory, Jean-Claude Dreyfus and Freddie Highmore.

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Michael & Me

Michael Moore and the death of subtlety

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:00 AM

A scathing indictment of President George W. Bush and his family’s links to Saudi oil and defense money, raising serious concerns about the ethics and motives behind the Iraq war. It’s the perfect antidote for the pro-Bush faction — but what good can director Michael Moore do with a film that only preaches to the choir?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

State of suspense

Acclaimed ex-Royal Oak author delves into Michigan murder

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM

In 1968, all six members of the Robison family — mother and father, three teenage boys and a young daughter — were found brutally murdered in their northern Michigan cabin. Each was shot with a rifle except the 8-year-old girl, who was bludgeoned to death. The bodies lay decomposing...

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Spielberg schmaltz

Hanks and Spielberg wallow in corny cupcake

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM

The new Spielberg/Hanks collaboration is passable, clichéd entertainment. Loosely based on a true story, the movie is about a Slavic man trapped in an airport terminal because a coup in his country leaves him without a visa. In the terminal the man becomes a saintly hero who romances Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM

A group of nerd oddballs put together a dodgeball team in a desperate attempt to save their beloved Average Joe’s gym from takeover. But the save-the-farm-from-the-mustachioed-bad-guy premise is just a framework for vulgar, nasty and sometimes mean jokes. But if you like seeing people hit in the face, ass and groin, you’ll love Dodgeball.

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Bulgarian Lovers

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Part social commentary and part romantic comedy, Bulgarian Lovers suffers from unnecessarily complicated plot turns and too much lingering over obvious points. The first feature in 15 years from veteran director Eloy de la Iglesia is directed with expected brio. But if you're not responsive to soft-core gay sex scenes, there's not much here.

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White Chicks

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM

There was a time, back in the early ’90s, when the name Wayans, uncommon by itself, was synonymous with visionary and hilarious sketch comedy. But White Chicks just continues "The Wayans Brothers" juvenile comedy, as the pair plays undercover FBI agents disguised as uppity white suburban girls.

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