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Thursday, October 24 2002

Paid in Full (2002)

As familiar as this story sounds (and is), Ace is hardly your usual somebody.


Ghost Ship (2002)

The best surprise of 'Ghost Ship' is that it's surprisingly good, spooky, fun, and stylish.


Auto Focus (2002)

Paul Schrader's 'Auto Focus' is, as its title suggests, about self-interest and -obsession.


Friday, October 18 2002

The Ring (2002)

Gore Verbinski's The Ring is relentlessly disquieting and incoherent, and sometimes trite in ways it doesn't need to be.


Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Deftly rearranges any number of generic conventions, from romantic comedies, musicals, and melodramas with happy endings that can't make sense but seem inevitable and necessary.


Quitting (2001)

Perverse as that sounds, the opportunity really is an actor's dream: role-of-a-lifetime gig and therapeutic session in one fell swoop.


Heaven (2002)

Heaven begins with assorted ascents. Written by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski (with Krzysztof Piesiewicz), and intended as part of a trilogy (Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory), it explores accident and fate, guilt and grief, time and truth.


Formula 51 (2001)

In Ronny Yu's mostly formulaic Formula 51, Samuel L. Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a chemical whiz busted for smoking reefer.


Abandon (2002)

Cynical and beautiful. No wonder the boys can't resist her.


Thursday, October 10 2002

White Oleander (2002)

Seems stuck in first gear, grinding through a series of very "safe" clichés.


Tuck Everlasting (2002)

While the book is laced with a youthful sense of wonder concerning life and death, the film is a troubled teenage love story.


The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002)

Weaving together a vivid assemblage of stock footage, archival documents and talking-head spots, the movie winnows the book down to three of its more damning studies.


The Transporter (2002)

Speedy, colorful, and clever, The Transporter establishes Jason Statham as yet another next-generational, hybrid action hero.


Swept Away (2002)

What Swept Away calls love, I would call the usual terror and degradation that keeps battered women in dangerous relationships.


The Rules of Attraction (2002)

Attraction is not comprised of rules, only missed opportunities.


In Praise of Love (2001)

In its preoccupations with history, In Praise of Love suggests if one has no history, one has no basis for thinking about or defining oneself.


Brown Sugar (2002)

Brown Sugar can blur lines between mainstream and margin, mix up the spirits, just as hip-hop -- so-called real hip-hop but also, in its way, brashly commercial hip-hop -- has always done.


Thursday, October 3 2002

Spirited Away (2001/2002)

America is better off with Miyazaki playing in the malls and the multiplexes than Monsters, Inc.


Red Dragon (2002)

What is most politically problematic about Red Dragon is how it furthers the relationship between physical disability and psychopathology.


Moonlight Mile (2002)

Fits a little too neatly with the recent popularity of media considering grief and death rituals.


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