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About Schmidt stars an exhausted Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt, an Omaha actuary facing the nothingness of retirement. At the end of his last day at the insurance agency, all of Schmidt's lifework is packed into blank boxes, the office is empty, and he has nowhere to go. When he awakes the following morning next to his wife, who bores him immensely, he finds himself at the top of the slope of slow time that leads down to an ordinary death. Overall, an entertaining film, whose comedy alone sustains the entire picture. (Charles Mudede)
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Bartleby, played eerily by Crispin Glover, has encountered a hardship that has caused him to give up on life. He takes a no-skill job in a city office, and while he starts out as a quick worker, he slips into days of staring at the air vent. His behavior is tolerated only because his co-workers are equally worthless, and because his boss is both scared to fire him and intrigued by Bartleby's quiet defiance. The sets in the film are surreal and hauntingly corporate, with that brown, low budget, city office feel, complete with bland green filing cabinets, drop ceilings, and fluorescent track lighting.
Blue Collar Comedy Tour
A documentary starring red-neck comedian Jeff Foxworthy. I think I'll stay home and watch Baywatch Hawaii.
British Advertising Awards
British commercials have it all over the Americans! Come see how the Limeys do it in this evening of ads that cross far beyond the usual boundaries.
Catch Me if You Can
I'm tired of people dissing on Speilberg because he doesn't make Schindler's List 2 with every movie. The man is a great storyteller, and some stories just aren't as epic as others. Catch Me is a simple story about a simple kid (Leonardo DiCaprio) who finds that it is really simple to forge checks for a fuck of a lot of money. (Justin Sanders)
Corpus callosum refers to that gray matter in the center of your brain that works like the switchman between logic and creativity. Director Michael Snow tries to represent that cerebral process through staged dramatizations that transform into trippy perspectives. Zowee!
Gangs of New York
As an orphaned Irishman driven for vengeance, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a Method acted, closed-off performance (there's also the nagging fact that he looks downright beefy, for playing a street urchin raised on gruel). Daniel Day-Lewis, on the other hand, owns every frame he's featured in as the gleefully sadistic leader of the reining anti-immigrant gang. As in his earlier The Age Of Innocence, Scorsese gets so obsessed with the (admittedly fascinating) minutia of the period, that he neglects to follow through on character development and narrative. The backdrop soars, at the expense of the foreground. (Andrew Wright)
Human Beat Box
An amazing look at beatboxing's roots, its pioneers in hiphop, and the dudes who can make a whole drum kit just with their lips.
I am Trying to Break Your Heart
Unless your idea of a good documentary includes a bunch of ridiculously talented musicians passive-aggressively arguing while perched aorund a mixing board, then this film is probably not for you. (Ezra Caraeff)
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Jimmy Scott - If You Only Knew
A true-life story of triumph: A man with a disturbingly high-pitched voice (there's gotta be something missing down there) becomes a 77-year old jazz legend.
There wasn't a press screening for Just Married, the new film starring That '70s Show crotchthrob Ashton Kutcher, but, like, so what? Rumored to be a romantic comedy about a blue-collar "late-night traffic reporter," whatever the hell that is, who marries a girl from an insanely wealthy family that disapproves of the match, one viewing of the trailer for Just Married renders this film utterly critic-proof. How so? Well, early in the beginning of the trailer, Ashton Kutcher is shirtless! (His arm is draped around a woman but, hey, no film is perfect.) More importantly, toward the end of the trailer, the 6' 3," shaggy-haired MAN OF MY FUCKING WET DREAMS runs around a hotel room brandishing a fireplace poker and wearing nothing but his underpants. (Dan Savage)
See Check it Out Biznatch
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Two Towers starts where Fellowship left off, of course: Sam (Sean Astin) and Frodo (Elijah Wood) make off towards Mordor with the ultimate task of throwing the One Ring into its fires (the only way to prevent the total destruction of Middle-Earth). The rest of the Fellowship--Aragorn, Gimli the dwarf, that dude who looks like Mark-Paul Gosselaar--have left so as not to be seduced by the ring's awesome power, and begin battling the utter shitload of Uruk-hai that Saruman has sent to obliterate all that is living. There are battle scenes galore, and the three hours go by super quick, leaving you longing for more! (Julianne Shepherd)
Like a VH-1 Behind the Music for a band you've never heard of, Los Zafiros chronicles Cuba's biggest doo-wop band (which existed around the time of the Missile Crisis) and their descent through the decades.
Tony Leahy wrote, directed, and stars in Mulletville, a movie that is framed around a film school documentarian's return to his roots to scoff at the white trash who shunned him in high school. It'a a funny, no-budget satire that cuts both ways as the documentarian's hunger for acceptance unravels him. The best moments are the least joke-driven, fueled purely by the hilarity that close observation of human behavior delivers. (Nate Lippens)
Narc starts out in a hypercolor explosion of needles, shooting, chasing, screaming, and men and women down. It's a thrilling beginning that gets less exciting with the introduction of babies and family life. There are some good plot twists however, and Jason Patric, as usual, is great as a drug cop. Ray Liotta is equally believable as the cop whose made his job his life, and who doesn't like the rookie (Patric) stepping on his toes. The end feels contrived as far as police dramas go, but I'm not so sure there are any new ways to end a police drama anymore. Regardless, Narc is a ride. (Katie Shimer)
Douglas McGrath's adaptation of Charles Dickens' 800-page novel is simply entertaining. This is the substance of the film: It has funny moments, dramatic moments, Victorian costumes, and convincing street scenes of bustling 19th-Century London; the English is often proper and lyrical; there are jocular people, loathsome people, and loving people, and their world is filled to the brim with pleasant music. As I've never read the book (and don't intend to), I can't determine what was removed and what was preserved in this adaptation, or know how such changes affected the original content or purpose of the story. Nevertheless, at times the film does feel a bit rushed. (Charles Mudede)
Despite appearances to the contrary, the film is not about the indomitable spirit of a survivor. It's about how low a human being can sink in order to live, and the depths of abasement a race is capable of withstanding in order to avoid extinction. There's no heroism in the picture, and all redemption is tempered by the knowledge of what's coming next. It's here, in the deeply Eastern European black comedy of this knowledge, that the film and its maker mark their territory most boldly. (Reassuring the Poles that "the Russians will be here soon" is a classic Polanski irony.) For all the possible autobiography of the story, The Pianist is most personal when it stares into the abyss of the Holocaust and finds nothing looking back. (Sean Nelson)
The Cold War was fought on so many fronts--in terms of nuclear weapon technology, in terms of dominance of the sporting world and perhaps most astonishingly in the world of movies. Termed "the Russian Spielberg" (why isn't it the other way around?), Alexander Ptushko created fantastical stories of journey, odd characters and wonderment. This time around a warrior sets out into underwater kingdoms and faraway palaces looking for happiness.
Sound of Brazil
Concert footage, road trip footage and garish costumes make up this "oh look, we discovered music in yet another quaint, warm climate country" documentary. This time around it is bossa nova and samba.