What does early (and excessive) Oscar hype do to a film’s chances?

Posted by · 3:31 pm · September 20th, 2008

In 1996, a fall movie preview of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox, the cast of “The Crucible” staring back at me on the cover, making clear to me this was going to be THE film of the fall. There were rumors floating within the industry that the film, based on the Arthur Miller play, […]

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Spielberg and blockbusters

Posted by · 7:26 am · April 25th, 2008

Can he do it? After becoming (in his own eyes) a serious filmmaker with “Schindler’s List,” “Amistad,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “A.I.” and “Munich,” is Steven Spielberg able to re-create the magic he almost always brought to his pure entertainment blockbusters? It takes a look at his journey as an artist to even attempt a reasoned […]

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REVIEW: “The Departed” (****)

Posted by · 1:53 am · September 20th, 2006

One of the most artistically ruthless films to be produced in decades, “The Departed” is a spike of adrenaline straight to the heart of an audience desperately in need of such rambunctious filmmaking.  A loose but paradoxically loyal remake of the Hong Kong thriller “Infernal Affairs,” the film is doused with a cast of familiar […]

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REVIEW: “Miami Vice” (**1/2)

Posted by · 9:52 am · July 17th, 2006

Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice” is a terribly anxious piece of filmmaking.  By its own erratic and rote design, the film marks, at once, a substantial step down for the writer/director, and merely a lateral move in the realm of stylistic representation. Boasting a curious mish-mash of caricatures and equally original representations, it is certainly the […]

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Best in show 2005: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 12:00 am · December 23rd, 2005

It’s time to really round out the year and offer up my picks for awards in 2005. In addition to the typical categories – which finally see their winners announced today – you’ll find some other fun arenas for awards citation. Call it a mish-mash of MTV-Awards-type kudos and other frequently heralded categories we find […]

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