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By Michael Eidam | March 17, 2006
As its title might suggest, "Failure to Launch" never quite gets off the ground. Why would good-looking, semi-successful, 35-year-old Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) still be living at home? Well, besides having mom as his personal maid, it's a great way to avoid serious relationships. The minute a girl gets serious, Tripp takes her home so she can discover that he's never left the nest. Then she promptly break up with him. It may be a great lifestyle for Tripp, but his parents, Sue and Al (Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw)
By MICHAEL EIDAM | March 31, 2006
By Michael Eidam Who is the "Inside Man"? Apparently it's not all that important. The latest effort from Spike Lee is more setup than payoff, and more of a slow chess match than a fast-paced thriller. But if you have the patience and enjoy good acting, it's a movie worth seeing. Clive Owen plays Dalton Russell, a cool-as-ice bank robber who tells us at the film's onset the "what," "where" and "why," ending with, "The only thing that remains is the 'how,' and as the bard tells us, therein lies the rub."
By MICHAEL EIDAM | April 14, 2006
"Lucky Number Slevin" transplants the snappy dialogue form a '40s noir film and places it in a hip, stylish crime movie. If you like your movies to come at you swinging wildly, this one is a fun ride. Josh Hartnett plays Slevin, who, after losing his job, apartment and girlfriend in a stretch of bad luck, decides to skip town and visit his friend Nick. Once there, the streak continues. He gets mugged, finds his friend missing and is accosted by hired goons who have been ordered to grab Nick.
By SUSANNE PEREZ | April 13, 2006
"Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dance and Charm School" is an overly sentimental, bittersweet look at lost souls trying to recapture a little bit of joy through dancing. Movie- goers expecting to see steamy routines a la "Dancing with the Stars," however, are likely to be disappointed. Frank Keane (Robert Carlyle, from "The Full Monty") is a baker mourning the suicide of his wife. A chance encounter on the highway with dying crash victim Steve Mills (John Goodman) sets the story in motion.
June 9, 2006
Dan Brown's book version of "The Da Vinci Code" is an exhilarating cat-and-mouse chase with twists and narrow escapes that keeps you turning pages. Ron Howard's movie version of "The Da Vinci Code" is a low-energy treasure hunt that keeps you wondering when it will ever end. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who's read the book and knows all the twists. Maybe the story is good only on the first reading/viewing. My friend did not know the story and she found the movie intriguing.
By MATT BELLNER | June 9, 2006
Some pundits say it's too soon for a film about the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. I say it's never too soon for an important movie. "United 93" is a very important film that everyone should see. On that fateful day, terrorists hijacked four planes. Three of those planes reached their targets. This movie tells the story of the fourth, United Airlines Flight 93, which missed its intended target and crashed into a field near Shanksville, Penn. I've got to be honest. This was a difficult film to watch and I found myself reliving the events of that horrible day, but the director, Paul Greengrass, handles the material with class and precision.
By JOHN DEPKO | June 30, 2006
Adam Sandler's new film, "Click," has a lot more depth than his usual efforts. But you wouldn't know it from the advertising campaign that makes it look like many of his previous childish comedies. It does start with a typical silly premise, but it slowly moves into more complex and serious emotional territory. Sandler plays Billy Newman, an architect working so hard to advance his career that he neglects everything important to his wife and children. Strange circumstances produce a remote control that gives Billy the power to pause, rewind and fast forward the actual events of his stressful life.
By PHILLIP HAIN | June 9, 2006
Having gone through the ritual of planning my own son's Bar Mitzvah last year, I was curious to see the cinematic treatment this tradition received in "Keeping Up With The Steins" (rated PG-13). Suffice it to say, my experience was infinitely more pleasurable than this sporadically amusing but ultimately disappointing film. Benjamin Fiedler (Daryl Sabara) is blessed and cursed to have his dad, Adam (Jeremy Piven), be a successful Hollywood talent agent. This means a very comfortable lifestyle and all the related excesses and competitiveness that accompany it. Because Adam's rival agent, Arnie Stein (Larry Miller)
March 9, 2000
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Reel Critics column features movie critiques written by community members serving on our panel. 'Drowning Mona' is wacky, offbeat comedy With an extremely funny scenario and a proficient cast, here's a wild & wacky film that puts a different twist on the whodunit plot! In "Drowning Mona," the fun starts with Mona Dearly (Bette Midler) wheeling a speeding Yugo down a country road in Verplanck, N.Y. When her brakes fail, she drives directly into the Hudson River.
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