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Theatrical (390)

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Editor's rating: 
 4.0
Friday, 30 May 2003 ,  Written by Bill Warren
"I trust everyone," say two characters in this movie. "It's the devil inside them I don't trust." It's true of remakes: often they're begun with the best intentions, but what gets to the screen all too frequently is a farrago, not only not better than the original, but significantly worse. One of the biggest mistakes is to "update" the original -- not in terms of when it was made/set, but in terms of attitude. Too many people in Hollywood today seem fearful of not going for irony whenever they can. That attitude severely damaged the third-rate remake of "Charade," "The Truth About Charlie," that came out last year. All changes were for the worse. Mark Wahlberg, who was in that, is also in "The Italian Job," a remake of the 1969 movie of the same name, which starred Michael Caine. ...
Editor's rating: 
 2.0
Friday, 23 May 2003 ,  Written by Bill Warren
The comedy "The In-Laws" opens with a shot of a submarine cruising by, submerged and mysterious. And that's the last real surprise in this routine movie. Once you realize the premise -- and it isn't exactly hidden -- you can predict every plot turn, every "surprise" twist, and even the dialog much of the time. It's a mechanical exercise, with complications (useful or otherwise) arriving exactly on schedule. The movie is occasionally fairly funny, but just as often the humor falls flat. The screenplay by Nat Mauldin and Ed Solomon, based on the 1979 movie of the same title (which starred Peter Falk and Alan Arkin) isn't as overtly comic as the original film, but also fails to present the bad guy as being authentically dangerous. This wipes out all possibilities of suspense in the last half hour. The first version ...
Editor's rating: 
 4.0
Thursday, 15 May 2003 ,  Written by Bill Warren
"Matrix Reloaded" is another visit to the imagination of The Wachowski Brothers; like its predecessor, it's jammed with special effects, jaw-dropping action sequences and lots of strange details and even stranger people (which many of them really are not). If this movie stood alone, it would be greeted with the same intense enthusiasm that the original received, and it too would pass from being a mere movie, however popular, to the genuine world-wide cultural bombshell like the first one did. But though it's still rich with incident and amazing action sequences, "Matrix Reloaded" is likely to be greeted with some disappointment, even contempt, by some who are simply expecting too much. Also, the film is much more conventional -- like other films -- than the original, but this aspect was hard to avoid. The Wachowskis are seeking to finish the story ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Friday, 02 May 2003 ,  Written by Abbie Bernstein
“X-Men,” the movie adaptation of the Marvel Comics franchise about mutants with various powers and various attitudes toward their non-powered human brethren, was a thoroughly enjoyable science-fiction film (now available in an extras-loaded special edition, “X-Men 1.5,” on DVD). Three years later, the sequel, “X2: X-Men United,” reaches the big screen with most of the same actors/characters and creative staff, even bigger and better special effects and an even livelier plot. When we last saw the X-Men – so named because of their loyalty to wheelchair-bound but psychically superpowered Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) – the good mutants had just saved humanity from Eric Lensherr, aka Magneto (Ian McKellen), who can control any metal substance and firmly believes that mutants and regular humans will never be able to live in harmony and that mutants should therefore take decisive action as quickly ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Friday, 02 May 2003 ,  Written by Abbie Bernstein
“New Suit” is, of all things, a retelling of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” with a frustrated aspiring screenwriter/production company intern instead of two larcenous tailors and a script taking the place of the fabled garment. The swap works surprisingly well – to a point, “New Suit” works beautifully as both swapped-out fairytale and as wish fulfillment for anyone who has dealt with the kind of development executives who think the word “conviction” only means what happens at the end of a “Law and Order” episode. Jordan Bridges plays Kevin Taylor, who arrives in Hollywood bright-eyed and hopeful until reality (if you don’t have a name, people aren’t just unreceptive, they’re brutal) and a series of subsistence jobs start grinding him down. Kevin eventually lands a job as a script reader for famous but fading producer Muster Hansau (Dan Hedaya), who behaves ...
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