January 6, 2010 |
"Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire" dominated the nominations for the 41st NAACP Image Awards on Wednesday morning, earning eight nods -- best film, best director for Lee Daniels, screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher, best actress for Gabourey Sidibe, supporting actress for Mariah Carey, Mo'Nique and Paula Patton and supporting actor for Lenny Kravitz. Competing with "Precious" in the best picture category are "The Blind Side," "Invictus," "Michael Jackson's: This Is It" and "The Princess and the Frog."
October 16, 2009 |
We know that Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) loves his daughter because in the opening moments of "Law Abiding Citizen," we see him happily making bead necklaces with her. Then there's a knock on the door, a baseball bat to the head and Clyde watches helplessly as his wife and little girl are raped and murdered during a home invasion. Clyde, understandably, wants justice, and when he doesn't get it from the system, he wants revenge on everyone involved. Because of that "Law Abiding Citizen" spends a lot of time paying lip service to the inequities of a broken judicial system where "some justice is better than no justice at all."
May 25, 2003 |
Seth Green is that rare breed of child actor: one who's still working at 29. He made his feature-film debut at 7, playing opposite Jodie Foster and Rob Lowe in "Hotel New Hampshire." Five years later, he traded quips with Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" after portraying the young Woody Allen in "Radio Days." Green's career took off in the late 1990s when he was cast as a super-mellow werewolf guitarist in TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," as Dr. Evil's troubled son in all three "Austin Powers" movies, and as a wannabe homeboy in "Can't Hardly Wait."
April 4, 2003 |
Now that there's a real war going on, the euphemistic war on drugs that has taken up so much screen time seems more and more meaningless, and movies about it, like the current "A Man Apart," feel increasingly anachronistic. We may still be, as the film's voice-over doesn't let us forget, the No.
October 19, 2009 |
If the revenge thriller seems like an especially inflexible genre, it might be because its founding formula is basically a biblical credo: an eye for an eye. In film after film, a vigilante hero is wronged and because of the failures of the legal system must take matters into his -- or, in some cases, her -- own hands. There is no real suspense over the outcome -- payback is exacted, in due course -- but the nominal pleasures of most of these movies lie precisely in their familiarity, in their brazen appeal to our most basic instincts.
February 14, 2010 |
Law Abiding Citizen Overture/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98 When a thief and murderer gets a light sentence because of police bungling, the victim's husband and father (played by Gerard Butler) takes the law into his own hands and then proceeds to exact revenge against the whole criminal justice system, including a prosecutor played by Jamie Foxx. As written by Kurt Wimmer and directed by F. Gary Gray, the thriller is a jacked-up outrage machine, stirring up blind anger at government, outlaws and vigilantes.
October 9, 2003 |
The Italian Job (2003) Mark Wahlberg; Edward Norton Paramount, $30 The Italian Job (1969) Michael Caine, Noel Coward Paramount, $20 One of the summer's most entertaining flicks was this stylish, energetic caper ably directed by F. Gary Gray that was loosely based on the 1969 Caine classic. The 2003 version boasts an attractive cast, which includes Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland and Seth Green, and two exciting chase sequences -- the latter involving Mini Coopers on the streets of L.A.
July 29, 1998 |
How does "Titanic's" Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter top that herculean achievement? He doesn't. After spending the better part of a year aboard the massive luxury liner, Carpenter welcomed the opportunity to shoot a smaller, more intimate craft like "The Negotiator," starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey. "When I read the script, I thought, what a wonderful break," Carpenter says, "a psychological drama that would be shot mostly in two rooms.
January 12, 2000 |
One of my chief regrets of the previous year was that I wasn't able to get to as many of last August's Urbanworld Film Festival screenings as I would have liked. Still, the few films I did see at that annual Manhattan-based showcase of African American and Latino movies were enough to convince me that there are sexy, smart and fresh movies by minority filmmakers that, with enough promotion and attention, could find an audience.