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Film: Water Torture

Lady in the Water drowns via director M. Night Shyamalan's clunky storytelling

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Apologists for the categorically inadequate M. Night Shyamalan have their work cut out defending yet another cinematic killjoy from the "auteur" whose high box-office receipts do not reflect the  

Film: Where Is My Mind?

A Scanner Darkly deliciously mixes paranoia and reality

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Richard Linklater's films buzz with incessant talk. Whether riffing on The Smurfs, conspiracy theories, Aerosmith or Dostoyevsky, his characters yearn to express their idiosyncratic perceptions  

Film: Toothless

Sydney Pollack's documentary on Frank Gehry is a little too agreeable toward its subject

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 12, 2006
There's no in-between with architect Frank Gehry. People either love his free-form, expressionistic visions -- the curves, segments and layers, the designs inspired less by function than by objec  

Film: Too Much

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest suffers from a case of overkill

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 5, 2006
If you like tentacles, you'll love Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. There's a monstrously mammoth sea serpent whose huge, fatty tentacles can attack and capsize galleons at will, an  

Film: Barely Holding On

Twelve and Holding looks at the awkward days of youth

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 5, 2006
A soft sepia glow surrounded Rob Reiner's adaptation of Stephen King's coming-of-age tale Stand By Me, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The story, with its four pre-pubescent protagoni  

Film: Noir, Revisited

Rian Johnson's visceral yet flawed Brick employs many a classic film noir technique

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 28, 2006
First and foremost, Brick should be seen to witness the arrival of a gifted and imaginative new talent, director/writer Rian Johnson. His first feature is a dark, melancholy homage to film-noir   

Film: Hero Worship

Bryan Singer's Superman Returns revives an iconic superhero

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Richard Donner's original big-screen Superman (1978) remains one of the best comic book adaptations of the blockbuster age, fueled by a game cast who were as interested in the human aspects of it  

Film: Return of the Iconoclast

Robert Altman's long, singular career continues with the elegiac A Prairie Home Companion

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 21, 2006
A Prairie Home Companion feels like the end -- and not just because it's set amid the fictional final taping of Garrison Keillor's long-running radio variety show. A sense of loss pervades the  

Film: Colonial Collapse

Richard E. Grant's directorial debut chronicles a crumbling empire via a fractured family

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The death throes of an empire are never pretty to watch, but they're an absolute unicorn leaping over a rainbow compared with the twitch of the marital death nerve in Richard E. Grant's semiauto  

Film: Warning Shot

Al Gore's compelling An Inconvenient Truth confronts our growing global warming crisis

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Back in the spring of 1992, I caught Al Gore during an appearance at the Center City Borders in Philadelphia. He was supporting his book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, but th  

Film: The Devil Inside

Jeff Feuerzeig's documentary looks at the troubled yet creative life of Daniel Johnston

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Feature-length music documentaries have taken an unusual turn in recent years. While it used to be that only the true superstars or the biggest concerts warranted a movie -- Monterey Pop, Woodstoc  

Film: Working on the Weekend

The 48 Hour Film Project returns for another year of creative mayhem

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 14, 2006
It's late afternoon on June 10 when I find Ryan Seymour and his crew of five deep in the woods at Devou Park. Amid a cool drizzle and fading light, Seymour, producer and editor at TaTa Production  

Film: Dark Thoughts

Moody musician Nick Cave provides the screenplay for The Proposition

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 7, 2006
The Proposition, director John Hillcoat's solemn and violently unsentimental Australian western, has its fair share of stars in the cast. Guy Pearce plays Charlie Burns, a member of a murderous  

Film: Elemental Images

Water sheds light on the plight of India's many widows

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Water completes writer/director Deepa Mehta's elemental trilogy that began with 1996's Fire and continued with Earth two years later. Thematically, the first two stories featured struggles with   

Film: Fever Dreams

If I were a studio executive for a summer

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Reality television has given us idols and inventors, dancers and models. Wives are swapped and race can be altered. But there seems to be little real impact with any of these scenarios. Why not p