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The Flick Chick
Movies are fun. They take us away. Need a good cry? Film provides it. Lonesome and blue? They make us feel all warm and mushy. Bored? They scare us, make our hearts beat faster. The right film has something for everyone the right film, if you can find it. Thats the catch. Anxious now? Never fear. You've got a safari guide now.
Ready? Excellent! Get your fills of chills, thrills, spills, forget your ills, and come with the Chick to the movies!
About a Boy
stupid title. Yeah, hackneyed scenario: shiftless wastrel is redeemed
by the love of a good woman and (oh, give it a break) an adorable
child. "Oh well," the Chick said, "I'll sit through almost anything for
the pleasure of looking at Hugh Grant."
Adaptation - ****
said that inside every writer there is a madman struggling to get out.
Others have described the creative process as a bowl of jello that is
occasionally struck by lightning. It's doubtful that either one of
these definitions applies to any specific writer, but neither is far
off the mark in describing Charles Kaufman, the main character of this
fascinating, formless film that was created, interestingly
enough, by a writer named Charles Kaufman.
Haley Joel Osment, who singlehandedly carried this film, did so with his best performance to date. He was believably robotic at the outset and at the moment when he bonds with his surrogate mother, his expression changes so subtly, yet so radically, that it was thrilling to watch! The robots were brilliantly conceived, the scene in the "robot graveyard" had the same rich impact as the bar scenes in the first STAR WARS episode, and Jude Law's makeup and performance as Gigolo Joe were absolutely faultless. All that having been said . . . although I was glad I saw it, and although I recommend it, the film as a whole never supplied me with that indispensable click-through of emotion. No matter how good the elements, they must add up to a whole we can care for. Even the standardized Spielberg elongated, featureless glitterdusted humanoids could not save the day for me. (7/01)
Ever dreamed of traveling with the
Big Ones? Yearned to hear the Stunning Songs and watch the Original
Singers do their stunts from backstage? Or maybe you 'd like to do a
front page story for
No dreamin', pals, some
youngsters sometimes actually do get to do those things. (
But hardly ever.)
When people describe a film as inspiring , it's always a temptation to in spire and then sus pire that is, to heave a large sigh and run in the other direction. Not so here. Sets beautiful enough to enhance a production of Pride and Prejudice ; a handsome, haunted, and impassioned hero (who can sing); a moving and articulate script, and a marvelous cast (complete with a fieisty leading lady who won't take no for an answer) combine to make this a great film. Plus, whoever thought William Pitt the Younger would be such a cutie! I ask you! ( 3/07 )
admit to a weakness for foreign film. And that I'm partial to films
directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (even, dare I say it, the little-known
but ghoulishly hilarious
). And I do love to laugh.
Despite all these admissions, you may trust the Chick's word that this
is a thoroughly delightful film. Audrey Tatou, as the title character,
is just as winsome as one hopes, never descending into kitsch, yet
enlisting our full sympathy with her do-gooding and her mischief-making
Angels and Demons
this is a very silly movie! Why would Tom Hanks do such a thing?
Surely he does not need the money. Although, indeed,
nothing much was required of him: only to look wise . . . except, of
course, for jumping into speeding taxis, breaking through walls of
bullet-proof glass, saving a few Cardinals from certain death, and half
drowning in Italian fountains. That sort of thing.
An Ideal Husband *****
Oscar Wilde was a truly gifted playwright: razor-sharp satire, witty dialogue, charm, and perfect timing. Although this film does not quite live up to the (yes, dated) original it is still a delightful experience. Rupert Everett is suave and clever, Cate Blanchett is tender and vulnerable, and Minnie Driver is, well, a doll! The quips and quirks are quick. The sarcasm is sleek and sly, and the film is well worth seeing.
Angels and Insects -
I was lucky enough to enjoy once more the eerie charm of this wonderful and strange film. At once an intellectual experience and a stroll through the mind of a great visual artist, this has also a very kinky & voluptuous story line. By the last reel, we are in a fever of anxiety, fearing that the hero will not escape. Does he? And if so . . . what sort of bondage will he assume in exchange? Go out of your way to experience this!
Perfectly beautiful. Kind of inspiring. And yet, after a little thought . . . you have to know that, ultimately, bows and arrows really can't win against AK-47s. The tanks can keep coming, and change keeps coming, and civilization evolves. It's not just a lot of greedy guys and the sale of cokes and blue jeans. It is also literacy. And philosophy. And plumbing. And medicine that if it cannot always save life can work its own real miracles. So be aware that this film is more Lord of the Ring than it is Charlie Wilson's War. Much as we love the fantasy, let's recognize the realities, too. (12/09)
What's not to like about Tony Hopkins as a smooth, world-weary superspy training wildman Chris Rock to play a smooth, world-weary superspy in a storyline that features double dealing, doubletakes, and a wealth of snappy comebacks. See this one for a really enjoyable evening. (6/10/02)
Bob Thornton! How you do go on! If you wasn't so doggone cute in your
Santa beard . . . I swan but I would knock that bottle of apple
juice right outta your hand and wash out your mouth with brown soap
the way you talk! For shame!
The Banger Sisters
can resist Goldie Hawn?
No sane human.
Even though this has been a big box-office winner, you may still be surprised at how much you like it. Although most are stock characters, they are well played in three dimensions. The interactions are warm, the jokes and dialogue made my audience laugh, and Ice Cube has real presence. We sympathized with him, were willing to be patient with him while he worked out his problems in his own mind, and enjoyed his far-fetched success. One big criticism: take ear plugs. The sound track is WAY too loud. (9/02)
A Beautiful Mind
constitutes genius? We hardly know, because we can't see the lightning
as it strikes. All we have is a whiff of ozone when it comes near. So
if we can't even recognize it when we're looking at it, it's
genius would present a few
problems. But it's fascinating to see them try:
Hulce as Mozart);
(Matthew Broderick as Richard
Feynman); the very powerful
Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn
(in 1993), which actually included substantive examples of
(with Ed Harris in the title role, also
reviewed in these columns). And now Russell Crowe portrays the
tormented mathematician John Forbes Nash.
BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
Expected to hate it. Enjoyed it, instead. Really liked the ending, even though it should have been predictable. Enough said.
The Blind Side
Billed as a true story, this film,
which won an Oscar for Sandra Bullock, has a strong storyline, highly
appealing characters, and is almost too sweet for some tastes. Could be
that's because kind hearts and good behavior don't make the news the
way incest and brutality and gunfights do.
Bourne I, Bourne II, & Bourne III and on the The Farthest Bourne
These crisp, action overstuffed
films are like a quick trip to the arctic just the antidote for
hot, sluggish summer afternoons. Not very strong on plot, but the story
hangs together while hanging by its toes from various high wires.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Whoa, Dudes, just when you think there's nothing on, just as you're doing a last, desperate flip through the channels before falling exhausted and sleepless to the deck, what should you find but a 1989 antique gem brilliant in the flickering darkness! A lanky teenaged Keanu Reeves (Ted) in a strange Dutch-boy haircut and with an orange Tee knotted around his loins is sent back in time (together with pal, Bill, played by Alex Winter) by a charming, deadpan George Carlin (Rufus, the future Dude) via a Doctor-Who-style phone booth, powered by a rusty TV antenna and some chewing gum. Yum. Once there, they rocket around collecting the cream of historical characters: Napolean, Soo-Krates, Dr. Frood, Beethoven, and a few of that ilk to win, ultimately, fame, fortune, world peace, and a passing grade in history. Excellent dudes! Its only equal in that arena was Yahoo Serious playing Albert Einstein. Who ever said Cable never gave us nothing! (4/17/01)
Splendid, complex drama with an even more splendid Dustin Hoffman at the center as Dutch Schultz. Although the film is not as convoluted as the E.L.Doctorow novel on which it's based, it still has marvelous locales, and a splendid storyline full of quick turns, betrayals, double crosses, ruthless cons, murders, crooked deals, hopes dashed, passionate young love, and explosive violence. The stellar supporting cast includes Nicole Kidman, Loren Dean in the title role, and a brief star turn by Bruce Willis. If it passed you by the first time, get the disk ASAP. <1998>
If it's possible that you have not yet seen the film, or the musical, or the hype for either, it's high time you viewed this very charming and delightful flick on DVD. Never mind that you avoid "charming" films. Never mind that you don't like "delightful" anythings! Take it from the Chick. This you can't resist! See it. Prove the Chick wrong if you can!
Blow it off! Even Johnny Dep can't save this loser-flick that tries to make you feel sorry for a heartless, worthless, pusher. (4/15/01)
Bound for Glory
Where was I
when this film was new? I never knew it existed! Caught only the last
3/4 of this superb biopic of the great Woody Guthrie. (He was far more
than Arlo's dad, believe me.) I was traveling and it was a long, mostly
sleepless night, so I don't even know the release date, although the
fact that David Carradine stars gives us a clue.
The Brothers Grimm
Gilliam film will be quirky, visually moving, and will offer odd and
unexpected perspectives. This one does all that . . . although to a
somewhat lesser extent than
And it is certainly not
which is in a
class by itself. Instead, the stars, Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, as
the Brothers, and Lena Headley as Angelika, play relatively
straightforward characters in a fairly straightforward Gothic narrative
which even includes some rare moments of humor. ("Don't rely on that
armor. It doesn't do anything but look pretty. I made it myself.")
More Film Reviews. Click the appropriate letter for films whose titles begin with . . .
A-B # C-D # E-F # G-H # I-J # K-L # M-N # O-P # Q-R # S # T-U # V-W # X-Y-Z
A few choice foreign films (subtitles)