Thursday, October 31 2002
Given that it's a generically family/holiday film, The Santa Clause 2 has nothing new to say about anything.
The film's high-tech artistic fantasies elide completely the historical roots and contemporary realities of global capitalism and terrorism.
The basic opposition between sheepish Alex and suave Kelly sets up a series of trivial conflicts, some less tedious than others.
This crepuscular work offers the most realistic depiction of the infernal workings of a Nazi death camp ever seen in a fiction film.
Julie Taymor's Frida pulses with color.
Why are people scared? This question lies at the heart of Michael Moore's filmic essay on gun violence in the United States.
Thursday, October 24 2002
If it breaks no new aesthetic or structural ground, 'Take Care of My Cat' is honest and tender, remarkably specific about girls' experiences.
As familiar as this story sounds (and is), Ace is hardly your usual somebody.
The best surprise of 'Ghost Ship' is that it's surprisingly good, spooky, fun, and stylish.
Paul Schrader's 'Auto Focus' is, as its title suggests, about self-interest and -obsession.
Friday, October 18 2002
Gore Verbinski's The Ring is relentlessly disquieting and incoherent, and sometimes trite in ways it doesn't need to be.
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.
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 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.
In Ronny Yu's mostly formulaic Formula 51, Samuel L. Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a chemical whiz busted for smoking reefer.
Cynical and beautiful. No wonder the boys can't resist her.
Thursday, October 10 2002
Seems stuck in first gear, grinding through a series of very "safe" clichés.
While the book is laced with a youthful sense of wonder concerning life and death, the film is a troubled teenage love story.
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.
Speedy, colorful, and clever, The Transporter establishes Jason Statham as yet another next-generational, hybrid action hero.