American In Paris
Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best
Writing, Best Costume ... 'nuff said.
the music, and the dance almost make you forget it's a story
you've seen before and hardly Gene Kelly's best musical. But
still, what's not to love? Leslie Caron, "I Got Rhythm,"
and a ballet dream sequence that's worth the price of admisison.
is an American GI pursuning the life of an artist in Paris
after the war. Caron is a young shop clerk. They fall in love,
but are attached to others ..well, you know the rest. The
Gershwin songs plug any holes in the plot and even 57 years
later, it's 114 minutes of magic. They really don't
make 'em like this anymore.
and the City
would be willing to be real money that if you took a poll
of people who had seen at least one full season of the series,
asking them for the 10 surprises they might suspect will happen
in this feature film, at least 90% would get all 5 of the
actual surprises in the film.
There is not a single idea in this film that was not conceived,
discussed, and beaten to within an inch of its life during
the run of the show on HBO. Not ONE!
Between races, grown-ups can enjoy the wonderfully bright, colorful
and imaginative set designs. If younger viewers lose their patience
with the many expository elements, they should be reminded of
the upcoming scenes with chimps and kung-fu fighting.
pretty much a lock that ABC would renew the Christina Applegate-as-amnesia-victim
sitcom, Samantha Who? Popular from Week One, the
series was both smart and funny.
a pair of excellent dramas, George Clooney tried his
hand at a period romantic comedy, with decidedly mixed results.
takes a moralistic stance that borders on the cliché,
but is saved by better-than-average action and realistic depictions
of training methods.
Happens in Vegas
As if to prove that critics can't kill bad movies, Fox's extremely
clichéd and uninspired screwball comedy, What Happens
in Vegas, somehow managed to score $80 million at the domestic
box office, even in the face of some of the worst reviews in
memory. That figure may or may not have been enough to offset
the costs of making and marketing the paint-by-numbers rom-com,
but there's little doubt it will do well enough in the DVD marketplace
to please investors.
Home Video Western Classics Collection
The best era of the movie western to date (I never give up on
it) was in the '50s and '60s -- when John Ford, Howard Hawks,
Anthony Mann, John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Raoul Walsh
were still very active and Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah and
Clint Eastwood were on the rise.
is enjoyable, but the supermarket environment is underutilized
as a battleground for dubious glory. Fans of The Office,
Office Space, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and SNL will find familiar
faces here, as well as the same sort of Dilbert-come-to-life
great performances by Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, James
Woods, J.T. Walsh, David Hyde Pierce and a dozen other fine
actors, Nixon took a fast and loose approach to the disgraced
former president. Stone is nothing, if not a glutton for controversy,
and, at times, his manipulative conceits make one almost feel
sympathy for Nixon.
towns are often romanticized and sentimentalized in the
movies, turned into fantasies of good will and fond memories
that sometimes make the consummately homey visions of painter
Norman Rockwell look like the slashing works of a
cynical satirist. David Gordon Green's Snow Angels
takes the opposite course. It's nastier and more realistic,
though, in the end, almost as poetic. There's a weird blend
of melancholy and madness in this movie; Green plunges us
into a doom-haunted, nerve-jangling family drama that suggests
a soap opera veering into tabloid pathology and horror.
seeing a great film for the 20th time on a big screen
with a pristine print be better? Sure. But that isn't
a real option, is it? Instead, I get to see something
I love, looking more like the way I first saw it on a
screen (better, probably, than the beat up print I first
encountered, as the movie was 8 years old by the time
I was 16), with all my familiarity now drawing my eye
to more than the focus of the frames I know so well..
their heart of hearts, most male survivors of the '60s
would like to quit their jobs and live the life of Jeff
"The Dude" Lebowski. What could be more liberating
than waking up at any time of the day, wearing a robe
until it's time to put on their least dirty aloha shirt
and bowling until the cows come home.
and voluptuous, a fountain of wonders in the vein of a modern
Arabian Nights, this second feature by the Indian-born commercial/video
expert Tarsem -- his first was the grisly shocker The
Cell -- borrows its brilliant remise from a Bulgarian
film, Ho Ho Ho), making marvelous use of it. At an
L. A. hospital, an injured stunt man named Roy (Lee Pace)
beguiles a small Romanian girl, Alexandria (the fascinatingly
low-key Catinca Untaru) with a tall tale in which
a Bandit King and his comrades traverse gorgeous landscapes
all around the world while hunting down the tyrant Odious
for vengeance and a stolen princess.
in the next two months, at least, either Tina Fey or
Sarah Palin is going to have to change her choice
of eyewear. Watching Baby Mama for the first time,
on DVD, the similarity between the 30 Rock star and
the Republican vice-presidential candidate could hardly
have been more distracting. It's as if Palin consciously
mimicked Fey's deceptively sexy, hyper-professional persona
as one that would help convince Alaskan voters that she
if you don't like this kind of movie -- teen boy high-tech
adventures wired to the max -- I think you'll have to agree
that Michael Bay makes them about as well as anyone
but Spielberg (an executive producer here). There's also
a tongue-in-cheek jollity to the movie that makes the digitized
action scenes crazy fun. And La Beouf is a perfect actor-reactor
for all this nonsense; I wish I'd seen him here before that
dopey Rear Window knockoff Disturbia. He makes
this insane story come alive about as well as a teen star