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Author Archives: Chase McInerney

Osama bin Martian and War of the Worlds

In updating H.G. Wells’ classic The War of the Worlds into modern-day America, Steven Spielberg and screenwriters David Koepp and Josh Friedman conjure up an alien invasion that reverberates with the horrific sights and sounds of 9/11. That isn’t to say this latest War of the Worlds aspires to some sort of Big Message. No, this is Spielberg at his ... Read More »

Batman Begins

If there is any justice in the box office, Batman Begins would be awash in moolah. Alas, while it appears to be doing well, its box office still appears to be below expectations (perhaps a real indication that the home entertainment phenomenon is having a significant and lasting impact on movie theaters). As excellent as Memento was, that marvel of ... Read More »

Marriage Is Hard Work: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

In the annals of big-budget Hollywood movies — if, indeed, there are people retentive of such annals – Mr. and Mrs. Smith is likely to be remembered chiefly for the tabloid coverage surrounding the alleged off-screen coupling of its on-screen couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But leashing it beside such mangled mutts as Gigli and Proof of Life would ... Read More »

Reel Short Reviews, Take 5

Another batch of movies I’ve recently seen or re-seen (four stars the maximum ranking, which means zero stars are — you guessed it — is the lowest possible). American Pie (1999) What can you say? As directed by the talented Paul Weitz, American Pie is several notches above the typical teen sex comedy, but it’s a teen sex comedy, nonetheless, ... Read More »

Sith Happens: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith

Way too much thought and analysis will no doubt swirl around Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, the last installment in the epochal Star Wars series, but it will be particularly interesting to see what Jedi mind tricks emerge from its unmistakable political undertones. Unlike 2002’s disappointing Attack of the Clones, the politics in Revenge arrive amid plenty of ... Read More »

Downfall & Gunner Palace: War Is Hell

In some ways, Downfall is more of a historical document than it is a movie. A painstakingly authentic dramatization of Adolf Hitler’s final days in his underground Berlin bunker during April of 1945, this German-language film has its share of flaws. It meanders occasionally and could have withstood a bit more discipline in the editing process, clocking in at nearly ... Read More »

“Melinda and Melinda”: A Split Decision

Melinda and Melinda is not exactly a return to form for Woody Allen, but at least it doesn’t elicit cringing, which is a good sign — and a change of pace from his most recent batch of dogs. Moreover its meditations on the nature of life and the creative process mark a return to the sort of stimulating brain teases ... Read More »

“The Upside of Anger”: A Review

The Upside of Anger is a change of pace for Joan Allen, a gifted actress whose previous works — notably The Ice Storm, The Contender and Nixon — consisted of portraying repressed, emotionally remote characters. By contrast, Anger‘s Terry Ann Wolfmeyer is anything but demure. After her husband apparently skips off to Europe to shack up with a Swedish secretary, ... Read More »

“Fever Pitch”: A Review

At first blush, a romantic comedy might seem a bit of a stretch for Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the brothers who whipped up hair gel in There’s Something About Mary and bull-milking in Kingpin, but even their grossest gross-out comedies have been romances at heart. Fever Pitch purports to be a love triangle between a workaholic businesswoman (Drew Barrymore, cute ... Read More »

“Sahara”: A Review

Sahara is a big, dumb, improbable, kid-friendly adventure yarn. And much like last summer’s big, dumb, improbable, kid-friendly adventure yarn, National Treasure, it is decent popcorn entertainment, provided you’re willing to temporarily put aside all ability to reason, ponder and use opposable thumbs. In this adaptation of a Clive Cussler novel starring his hero Dirk Pitt, director Breck Eisner (son ... Read More »