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Film & TV

Environmental Listless

John Sayles takes his time making another Important Point in Sunshine State.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Nothing encapsulates the experience of watching a John Sayles movie so well as the scene midway through Sunshine State in which Edie Falco and Timothy Hutton have a breath-holding contest. In real time. There they sit, two of the principals of Sayles’...

Film & TV

The Powers That Shouldn’t Be

A franchise continues on a riff and a fart in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - It’s five years later, and I still don’t know how he does it. Mike Myers has made a mint and become a megastar with a franchise movie series that defies every notion about franchise movie series. This Canadian comedian, the quintessential...

Film & TV

Vanity Fare

Steven Soderbergh experiments at the audience’s expense in Full Frontal.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - In the tradition of Beethoven’s jingles for anti-itch powder, Renoir’s velvet dogs-at-poker period and Wolfgang Puck’s macaroni & cheese with weiners, director Steven Soderbergh has made Full Frontal. It’s a sad development,...

Film & TV

Substandard

Underwater adventure takes itself a bit too seriously in K-19: The Widowmaker.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Ever since you were a kid, Harrison Ford has been staring at you. He does it from movie posters, from billboards, from park benches. He’s not allowed to make a film, it seems, unless the ads consist almost entirely of his increasingly doughy face...

Film & TV

Fading to Black

Scary aliens and shiny guns lose their luster in Men in Black II.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Will Smith wants to be everything to everybody while actually being nothing in particular. So far, he’s pulling it off. With his boundless multimedia aspirations and quaintly ’90s-style ruthless ambition, Smith is his own product placement...

Film & TV

Bottled Waterloo

The Emperor’s New Clothes traps raucous comedy in a delicate package.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Turns out Napoleon didn’t die on St. Helena. That was just some guy who looked like the French ruler. Instead, the emperor was smuggled off his island prison by loyalists who wanted him returned to power. Trouble is, his boat got lost and landed...

Film & TV

Un-Happy

Adam Sandler continues to dodge the sensibility that made him a star in Mr. Deeds.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Adam Sandler’s production company is called Happy Madison because Sandler, the Saturday Night Live alum who improbably became an A-list movie star, knows how he succeeded where Joe Piscopo failed. He did it with the crude comedic genius of Billy...

Film & TV

Psychic Flash

Minority Report delivers a dazzling vision of the future—ours, and Steven Spielberg’s.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Drained of both color and sap, stretched in unpredictable directions on the gangly framework of a cynical story, Minority Report erases any lingering preconception of what constitutes a Steven Spielberg movie. This near-future story of murder, psychics...

Film & TV

High Concept

A killer premise gets satisfying packaging in The Bourne Identity.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Despite a legion of loyal readers and zillions of copies sold, Robert Ludlum wasn’t much of a writer. Take it from a guy who, as a teenager, plowed through the entire oeuvre of this failed actor-turned-suspense novelist during a slow summer in his...

Film & TV

Brotherly Love

Undercover Brother brings the funny to blaxploitation satire.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - After two years of wandering in the wilderness of the summer movie season, this is shaping up as a really strong year for major movie studios. Except for that Star Wars monstrosity (has George Lucas ever heard real people talk, or does he just sit up...
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