Acting saves ‘River’ from drying up

October 24, 2003 • 0
“Mystic River” isn’t inventive in its cinematography or even compelling in its much-lauded story. But the film is still beautiful because of its acting. Clint Eastwood directs Sean Penn and Tim Robbins to their best performances in years, with each actor turning in first-rate renditions of men with sordid, disturbing pasts that come boiling to »

Coppola family talent gene ‘Lost’

October 3, 2003 • 0
Sofia Coppola is the privileged daughter of Hollywood. Riding on the coattails of her legendary father, Francis Ford Coppola, she has enjoyed an automatic credibility unknown to other filmmakers of her generation. Her projects — such as her first, “The Virgin Suicides” — begin and end with the Coppola stamp of approval. This allows her »

‘Phone Booth’ thankfully short

April 11, 2003 • 0
“Phone Booth” exposes the ugly in modern America’s “I-me-mine” culture. The plot shoves a philandering low-rent media consultant, Stu, into a Manhattan phone booth and points a rifle at him. Colin Farrell, as Stu, dominates over half of the screen time. Considering much of the movie’s burden falls upon his handsome head, he deserves much »

Brutal guerilla footage captures a dangerous ‘City of God’ in Brazil

March 28, 2003 • 0
Watch it — Brazilians know Cidade de Deus, or City of God, as one of Rio de Janeiro’s most infamously dangerous neighborhoods. The movie of the same name set box office records in its home country and acquired accolades at film festivals, including the American Film Institute Audience Award for Best International Feature Film in »

Clooney tries for tricks in debut ‘Confessions’

January 31, 2003 • 0
“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” presents a terribly comic and always enjoyable chronicle of Chuck Barris’ ascension from a TV studio tour guide to game show guru. The omnipresent Charlie Kaufman (“Adaptation,” “Being John Malkovich”) has pieced the screenplay together from Barris’ autobiography. For those who grew up without cable, Barris produced a succession of »

Cross’d lovers star in ‘Two Women’

December 6, 2002 • 0
The straight-on framing of the WLH chalkboard looks like trademark Wes Anderson.ÊThe camera then cuts to a blonde positioned in front of that chalkboard. Asking, “Am I in the right place?” a mousey Rachel Watson (Allysha Powanda ’03) delivers the first line of the movie, “One Room, Two Women,” directed and authored by Jonathan Smith »