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twenty word reviews

A | B | C | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A Beautiful Mind (***1/2)
Better than I had expected, largely due to the always excellent Russell Crowe and the extraordinarily radiant Jennifer Connelly. (12.25.01)

about a boy (****)
even though hugh grant plays against type (self-centered cad vs. bumbling charmer), he will still manage to win you over. (6.9.02)

audition (***1/2)
Slow-to-burn Japanese horror movie about May-December romances, mid-life crises, and the sound of piano wire slicing through your foot. (???)

austin powers in goldmember (****)
everyone's favorite shagadelic superspy is back; it's a comedic triumph + a pastiche of pop culture in which absolutely nothing disappoints. (???)

Behind Enemy Lines (**1/2)
Solid action and CGI for a movie of this budget, but plot leaves the realm of believability too frequently. (???)

Black Hawk Down (***1/2)
A technical marvel of bombast and intensity, it was ultimately missing that little something to propel it to greatness. (???)

blue crush (****)
a talented young hottie conquers NFL quarterbacks, battles tasty waves, and plays Xbox outside (!!!) in this incredibly enjoyable summer spectacular. (???)

the bourne identity (***1/2)
surprisingly tigs tale of international spy games, despite the overwhelming lack of sexual chemistry between matt damon and franka potente. (???)

city of god (****1/2)
nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece, this film focuses on the impossible struggle to survive the "Mean Streets" of Rio (9.6.02)

cq (***)
roman coppola's directorial debut is infused with visual style and sexy hot models, but ultimately feels shallow and slightly pretentious (???)

Donnie Darko (****)
you'll be completely absorbed and enthralled by this utterly unique coming-of-age tale that deftly mixes sci-fi & comedy (???)

dogtown & z-boys (***1/2)
documents the heros (and zeros) that transformed skateboarding from a 1950s fad to a 1970s hardcore SoCal subculture w/flair + pizzazz (5.13.02)

eight legged freaks (**)
went in expecting some B-movie magic (like Tremors), but left disappointed in everything except scarlett johannsen and her A-Plus rack (???)

full frontal (***)
mostly a masturbatory cinematic wank, soderbergh's latest is often unremarkable, bland and confusing, save Nicky Katt's dynamo performance as Hitler. (???)

Gosford Park (****)
Murder, mystery, and class warfare abound in another one of Altman's classics. And Kelly MacDonald's back! (???)

the good girl (**1/2)
a few good plot points are ruined by the lack of chemistry and unbelievable relationship between Donnie Darko and Rachel. (???)

human nature (**)
REVIEW TK. (4.6.02)

insomnia (***1/2)
nolan's creepy, intense follow-up to Memento proves his ability to execute his personal vision with big budgets and bigger stars. (???)

In The Bedroom (***)
Went in with very high expectations, but the last 45 minutes or so really let me down. (???)

jason x (**)
REVIEW TK. (4.28.02)

the kid stays in the picture (****)
adapted from robert evans' infamous autobiography, this documentary brims with the grandiose glory of a life lived to the fullest. (???)

les diables (***)
blend "natural born killers", "what's eating gilbert grape?", "Stand By Me" and pre-teen nudity and voila! you've got les diables. (9.6.02)

Lord Of The Rings (****)
Peter Jackson is a visionary and (probably) a genius, but I was left wanting more (or was it wanting less?) (???)

lovely and amazing (****)
director nicole holofcenter marvels with her innate ability to create dazzlingly "everyday" plotlines and characters both charmingly intricate and complicated. (???)

The Man Who Wasn't There (****1/2)
When the coens are hitting full stride (like they are here), they are the best storytellers working in film today. (???)

men in black II (WORST EVS!)
Sonnenfeld's unbearably atrocious sequel lacks any originality and spits bile at moviegoers who mindlessly pluck down $8 for this shite. (7.4.02)

minority report (**)
spielberg shamelessly steals from kubrick, verhoeven, aggie ussedly and the george foreman grill in this disappointingly lame and long snoozefest. (6.24.02)

the mothman prophecies (***1/2)
A solid and understated psychological "monster movie" that proves big studios cannot market films that exist outside of genre templates. (???)

murder by numbers (***)
somewhat routine "cops chase random killer(s)" movie, but ryan gosling's utterly convincing and charismatic performance makes this film worth seeing. (5.19.02)

Not Another Teen Movie (**1/2)
The parodies are somehow both wholly unoriginal AND pretty funny; more importantly, when did Molly Ringwald get so butt-uggs? (???)

Ocean's 11 (***)
Soderbergh is best (obvs) and Clooney is one suave mofo, but there's nothing here to hold your interest. (???)

Panic Room (****)
David Fincher's audaciously tiggs directorial prowess straight-up represents in this tautly suspenseful tale of claustrophobia, maternal instinct and Jared Leto. (3.30.02)

reign of fire (**1/2)
the b-movie thrills don't outweigh the crater-like gaps of logic, even though mcconaughey's super crazed presence is undeniably best evs. (???)

Resident Evil (***1/2)
Intensely violent and ambitious adaptation of Capcom's legendary videogame piles on the carnage while a scantily clad Milla Jovovich dazzles. (3.24.02)

road to perdition (***)
seeped in dark hues and even darker shadows, this gangster flick aims for epic, Godfather-esque status but ultimately falls short. (???)

The Royal Tenenbaums (****1/2)
The team of Wilson and Anderson strike gold (again!) in what is easily one of my favorite movies of 2001. (???)

Series 7: The Contenders (***1/2)
A daring and stunning look at where reality TV may be heading in the not-too-distant future. (???)

shaolin soccer (****1/2)
listen, this HK stew of shaolin martial arts, 80s dance numbers, wire-fu and soccer (!!!) will rock you like no other. (???)

signs (****)
more about the power of faith than it is about aliens, this top-notch film establishes Shyamalan as an A-list director. (???)

spiderman (***1/2)
REVIEW TK. (4.30.02)

spun (**)
jonas akerlund's disappointing directorial debut lacks cohesion and buzz, mainly because it's chock full of sleazy and uninteresting characters/situations. (9.6.02)

Spy Game (***)
Perfect for you fans of the international espionage thriller, and Redford turns in a gruff and grizzled performance. (???)

star wars episode II: attack of the clones (*1/2)
REVIEW TK. (5.19.02)

stolen summer (*)
REVIEW TK. (5.4.02)

the sweetest thing (**1/2)
a cinematic equivalent of "Tomcats" on Midol where Cameron Diaz and her galpals cuss incessantly and have sex with purple elephants. (???)

tadpole (**1/2)
though the premise (hyper-intelligent/sensitive teen wants to sleep with his stepmom) is daring, the execution lacks excitement and originality. (???)

undercover brother (***)
outside of a few inspired gags (conspiracy brotha!), it felt stale. really coulda benefitted from no kattan and an R-rating. (6.23.02)

Vanilla Sky (**)
The second Crowe film in a row that I desperately wanted to love which ultimately left me cold and disappointed. (???)

Wet Hot American Summer (****)
Recently released on DVD, it's due to become a cult classic and catchphrase generator of choice for hipsters everywhere. (???)

xXx (***)
kinda like simultaneoulsy drinking jolt, red bull and mountain dew, this concoction of loud music + dazzling stunts is pure fun. (???)

y tu mama tambien (****)
REVIEW TK. (4.7.02)

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