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Film & TV

Stranger Than Paradise

John Milton meets comic-book action in Constantine.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - In an expository scene from Constantine, supernatural troubleshooter John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) explains to police detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) the significance of something called the Spear of Destiny in a demonic plague threatening Los...

Film & TV

Sweet Science

Clint Eastwood masters emotionally satisfying genre traditions in Million Dollar Baby.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - There is a simple, brilliant scene in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby—anointed this week with multiple Oscar nominations—that captures so much about what makes the film simply brilliant. Frankie Dunn (Eastwood), a former boxing...

Film & TV

Saving Graces

Don Cheadle’s nuances elevate the serious drama of Hotel Rwanda.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - The previous 12 months featured many more great characters than they did Great Performances. Whether it was Imelda Staunton’s staunch work in Vera Drake or Virginia Madsen’s stirring supporting role in Sideways, we got a bunch of fine work...

Film & TV

Members Only

Remembering Sundance 2005 as “The Year of the Penis”

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Pop culture analysis is all about making snap judgments—which, especially where filmmaking is concerned, is truly idiotic. We look to trends in movies to tell us something about where we are culturally, often forgetting that the journey from concept...

Film & TV

Molested Development

The Woodsman looks at a pedophile’s attempt to reclaim his life.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Afew aspects of The Woodsman are nearly overwhelming upon first viewing, which is a trick that American films hardly ever pull off any more. Specifically, it’s impossible to make a snap judgment on how to feel about Walter, the protagonist played...

Film & TV

Jailhouse Wreck

Assault on Precinct 13 is mostly an assault on your sensibilities.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - We’re told as Assault on Precinct 13 opens that this is “A Why Not Production,” which pretty much sums up the attitude behind the endeavor: “Why Not steal the title of an old cult favorite and slap it on a shoddy, contrived action...

Film & TV

The Greatest Jen Oration

A plea for the star of Elektra not to ruin her career with lame action movies.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - It might be some sort of twisted paternal instinct, a latent dream to be a talent agent with $2,000 suits and four cell phones, or it might just be stark-raving manimal lust. But something really makes me want to help Jennifer Garner. I realize it’s...

Film & TV

Grace Notes

Watch Topher Grace become the next Tom Hanks in the satisfying In Good Company.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - In his all-too-brief cameo as himself in Ocean’s Twelve, Topher Grace tosses off a line about his distracted emotional state, claiming that he “totally phoned in that Dennis Quaid movie.” It’s ironic enough that this line comes...

Film & TV

Skin Flick

The surface beauty of House of Flying Daggers is enough to make it spectacular.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - The beauty in House of Flying Daggers isn’t much more than skin-deep. But Lord, what skin it has. Just two years after uncorking a virtuoso interpretation of martial arts action films with Jet Li’s Hero (which only came to the United States...

Film & TV

Top 10 x 3

Our critics show the love to the movies they loved in 2004.

By Scott Renshaw, Greg Beacham & Mary Ann Johanson
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Scott Renshaw’s Top 10 of 2004 1. Before Sunset 2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 3. Spider-Man 2 4. Dogville 5. Napoleon Dynamite 6. Primer 7. Crimson Gold 8. Vera Drake 9. Million Dollar Baby 10. Red Lights Is it déjá-vu, or has 2004...
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