November 5, 1999 |
Unlikely material can inspire exceptional films: witness "The Insider." What could sound less promising than the legal fuss surrounding one man's indecision about telling what he knows about cigarettes, unless it's the internal wranglings of a television network's news division? But it is the triumph of this Michael Mann-directed film that those iffy scenarios result in a compelling drama, as notable for the importance of what it has to say as for the riveting skill with which it's said.
September 29, 1990 |
The CMJ New Music Report's Top 150 album chart is the master scoreboard in the world of alternative rock, and the latest list of records making the rounds on college radio and in underground circles offers the usual diversity. Familiar names like John Hiatt and the Pretenders mingle with Cavedogs and Strawberry Zots. The music? Punk, folk, progressive, ethnic, art-metal, rap, electro-doom-rock and reggae are all represented. Even under this open door policy, it's possible to be surprised.
June 6, 2003 |
"Whale Rider" has been something of a sensation on the international film festival circuit, winning audience awards at such diverse and influential festivals as Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam and San Francisco. Yet far from over-hyping the project, all those honors turn out not to do justice to this significant and surprising film. Surprising because audience awards often go to undemanding, preternaturally cheerful ventures.
March 16, 2004 |
The success of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," now working near-miracles at movie box offices, has spread to the music business with a soundtrack album that has broken into the national top 20 without the kind of pop hits that usually drive hit albums from films. How far the movie's coattails will stretch will be tested next month with the arrival of a second album officially tied to the movie, "Songs Inspired by ...
December 21, 2001
Movies Drama "A Beautiful Mind" "In the Bedroom" "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" "The Man Who Wasn't There" "Mulholland Dr."
February 15, 2008 |
Too many ballet stars embrace contemporary choreography only when they're on their last legs as classical dancers and want to prolong their careers. Not Diana Vishneva. In performances on local stages by the Kirov Ballet, this 31-year-old Russian ballerina has often displayed her technical brilliance and interpretive daring in time-honored works from the imperial Russian and American neoclassical repertories.
December 25, 2001 |
"Ali" opens with a shot of Will Smith as a bundled-up 22-year-old Cassius Clay doing late-night roadwork in preparation for his 1964 heavyweight title fight with Sonny Liston. It's an arresting visual, of a lonely sphinx in sweats, and it tells you a lot about why a film that is as impressive as this one ends up less satisfying than it should.
January 18, 2004 |
Dizzee Rascal "Boy in Da Corner" (Matador) *** 1/2 In 2002, English hip-hop producer and rapper Mike Skinner, a.k.a. the Streets, introduced Americans to a relentless, verbose, street-tuff style called garage or two-step, a combination of minimalist beat and torrid rap that broke hip-hop free from R&B and, at the time, sounded like a revolution. Now it's clear he was just making way for Dizzee Rascal.
December 22, 2000 |
"Gladiator," the computer-enhanced blockbuster that revived the Roman spectacle genre in Hollywood, and the soon-to-be-released "Traffic," a journey through the underbelly of the modern drug trade, led with five nominations each as the 58th annual Golden Globe nominations for film and television were announced Thursday in Beverly Hills.
January 4, 2001 |
In a year when no artist stepped forward to dominate the Grammy Award nominations, veterans such as Paul Simon, Steely Dan and U2 will contend in marquee categories against a newer generation of eclectic talents such as Beck, Radiohead and Eminem. More than two dozen acts took three or more nominations Wednesday for the 43rd annual Grammys, breaking a recent tradition of one standout--such as Santana or Lauryn Hill--earning a singular spotlight with an armful of nods.