Theatrical reviews
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Theatrical (390)

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Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Friday, 01 August 2003 ,  Written by Bill Warren
American Wedding
Every two years lately, there's another "American Pie" movie. Instead of calling the third outing "American Pie 3," someone at Universal shows a touch of imagination in calling it "American Wedding." But it's much the same as before: crude, vulgar humor and the now-traditional element of genuine sweetness, family values and even true love. Most of the original cast returns: Jason Biggs as perpetually horny Jim Levinstein, the guy who had an intimate relation with a dessert, Eddie Kaye Thomas as cool, intelligent Paul Finch, Thomas Ian Nicholas as, well, another guy, Kevin Myers, and Seann William Scott as vulgar, crude Steve Stifler, now (appropriately) a high school football coach. Only Chris Klein as Oz is missing -- so thoroughly missing that no obvious reference is made to the character. Original writer Adam Herz also returns; the director this time is a ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.0
Friday, 25 July 2003 ,  Written by Abbie Bernstein
“Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” -- sequel to the hit “Lara Croft Tomb Raider,” which is in turn based on a hit videogame -- is a better popcorn movie than its predecessor, albeit not this reviewer’s idea of a perfect example of its kind. Yes, “Tomb” has plenty of stunts, special effects, gorgeous and charismatic persons of both sexes and breathtaking locales to recommend it, and one can’t accuse Dean Georgaris’ script, from a story by Steven E. de Souza and James V. Hart, of getting bogged down in exposition. It even has some cool mythological resonances -- but this is also where it starts to unravel, because the same reference to primal horror undoes itself before it has a chance to go anywhere. The central gizmo is a strange glowing orb that turns out to be a ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.0
Friday, 18 July 2003 ,  Written by Abbie Bernstein
Bad Boys II
“Bad Boys II” is mostly agreeable section by section, and it has some very impressive stunt sequences, courtesy of director Michael Bay and his action team. However, writers Ron Shelton and Jerrry Stahl, working from a story by Marianne Webberly & Cormac Webberly and Shelton, wind up presenting us with too many riffs, connected by too little through-line. The disjointed feeling of the film is at least partly Bay’s responsibility -- he’s so intent on each effect for its own sake that he doesn’t seem to be interested in getting the setpieces to link up in a way that creates momentum. If “Bad Boys II” were simply the diverting buddy-cop movie it is at its core, this wouldn’t be a particular flaw, but at two-and-a-half hours long, the lack of narrative drive becomes a real problem. Reprising their roles from the ...
Editor's rating: 
 4.0
Wednesday, 09 July 2003 ,  Written by Abbie Bernstein
“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” starts with a fairly suspect example of a “creative impulse” – it is based on an amusement park ride. Well, surprise, and shame on anyone who leapt to snobbish premature conclusions about the enterprise. “Pirates” turns out to be great fun, with a smart, funny, intricate script by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (based on a story by the duo, Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert), excellent CGI effects, energetic and inventive performances and a plotline that actually suggests that the tableaux on the “Pirates” ride all tie logically together into the tale told here. When a young boy is found shipwrecked by the governor (Jonathan Pryce) of Jamaica, the official’s young daughter hides the pirate medallion she finds on the lad, in order to spare him from hanging. Years later, the ...
Editor's rating: 
 2.5
Wednesday, 02 July 2003 ,  Written by Bill Warren
For a while, James Cameron toyed with the idea of doing a third “Terminator” movie, but legal entanglements and lack of real interest led to his leaving the project. Others found their way through the maze of legal snarls, and got Arnold Schwarzenegger to return to his most famous role by offering him lots and lots of money. Schwarzenegger needs a hit, too, especially if he decides not to run for Governor of California (well, I wouldn’t vote for him). In that case, he’ll need to continue to make more movies, and to do that, will have to remain thoroughly bankable. He’s getting on in years, and his generation of action stars is beginning to falter – Stallone has essentially vanished, Willis isn’t doing well at the boxoffice. So here’s Arnold, once again cast as the flesh-covered killer robot from the ...
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