July 30, 2004

The Village

villageMost summer films excite, scare, and thrill you every moment you're in the theater, blowing your mind with eye-exploding special effects (and dropping your jaw with the money spent on them). But it's all so meaningless, you forget what you saw by the time you get to the car. The Village has no special effects, no stunts, no sex, and no car chases, yet it's the most exciting and scary movie of the year. Would you prefer a Hollywood equivalent of a log flume ride, or a scary, thoughtful, gorgeous movie which you'll be talking about for weeks to come? (Landmark Embassy Cinema, Waltham)

July 18, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

fahrenheitOur current administration is ruthlessly attacked in this highly biased anti-Bush propaganda film. That's not a bad thing: Since the American press corps won't do it, filmmaker Michael Moore is forced to ask the hard questions and point out the lies, corruption, and fearmongering of Bush The Younger. (West Newton Cinema)

July 10, 2004

The Magnificent Ambersons and Citizen Kane

ambersonsAmbersons was quite good despite it's truncated third act. George acts so megalomaniacal, I felt a more appropriate title would be Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen. Emily pointed out that George was so bad at interacting with other people, we decided another title could be The Magnificent Aspergers. (Brattle Theater, Cambridge)

July 9, 2004

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

I laughed harder during this film than I have at the movies in a long time. Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast work very hard to make us laugh. They throw everything at us, including boorish sexism, a capella quartets, death by impaling, a grown man weeping over his dead dog, and, of course, jazz flute. (Showcase Cinemas Woburn)

July 3, 2004

Spider-Man 2

spiderman2Better than the first film. This sequel succeeds at making a superhero and his alter ego equally interesting. The first half of the film takes a long time to develop characters, at the expense of pacing. The action sequences, when they do arrive, are top-notch, and the CGI Spidey sequences are far superior to the 2002 effects. Tobey Maguire is letter-perfect as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst is reliable, and James Franco is steadily improving. It's good to see a superhero movie that's about something, with, ya know, themes and stuff. Hulk (which I saw on the adjacent screen at Fenway a year ago) tried to be meaningful but bored everyone instead. (AMC Fenway)