Anne Walker-mcbay

Anne Walker-mcbay

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Infamous Review


OK
If the cogs of the movie-making machine are going to keep turning out the exact same movie, why do I have to write up a whole new review?

It's hard to keep an open mind when the synopsis - celebrated author Truman Capote heads to Kansas after a quadruple homicide rocks a rural town, where he becomes obsessed with one of the killers as he pens his book In Cold Blood - perfectly describes not only the new release Infamous, but last year's Capote just as well. To try to look at Infamous in a vacuum is disingenuous at best; no one who will see this movie has not at least heard of the other.

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A Scanner Darkly Review


Weak

When Richard Linklater released Waking Life in 2001, he became the granddaddy of a whole new kind of filmmaking process. The film had been shot and edited like a normal feature, then sent to computer jocks who basically painted over each frame, giving the images a surreal quality of undulating colors that fell somewhere between photography and animation -- an acid-trip philosophy lesson.

Linklater returns to the same technique once again (and for the last time, from what he has said, due to rampant production difficulties) for a much more literal acid trip. Based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, A Scanner Darkly is a feature-length PSA on the evils of drugs and the potentially-as-damaging efforts to ferret them out of society.

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Tape Review


Bad
While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater -- the animated Waking Life, coming in October -- the filmmaker attempts to hold us over with Tape, a failure of a low-budget project if ever there was one. The movie is shot on video and confined to a single motel room, for the entirety of its real-time, 84-minute length. With such restrictive parameters self-imposed on a feature, success really must lie in creative direction, acting power, and a solid screenplay. All three are non-existent here.

Tape is based on a play by Stephen Belber, and the playwright contributes the clunky script, full of obvious dialogue and silly posturing. With one strike already against them, the experienced, name cast (Hawke, Leonard, and Thurman) then take the problem a step further, apparently not realizing that performances need to be taken down a notch on video, as the medium tends to overexpose every movement and moment. (While Thurman's performance is good, the trio need to watch Brad Anderson's Session 9 for a good example of subtle acting on video.)

Continue reading: Tape Review

The Newton Boys Review


Very Good
Soon after we walked into the theater on opening night of The Newton Boys, I feared we had made a mistake. It seemed that the Leonardo's fan club had gotten lost, and instead of marching like lemmings into another screening of Titanic, these pre-ten girls had packed themselves into our cozy theater. The cries of "Oh baby" as soon as Matthew McConaughey appeared on screen, however, made me realize that they were simply looking for another cute young guy (or four) to gawk at.

The four young guys that our lovable preteens came to gawk at are McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich, and Vincent D'Onofrio as Willis, Jess, Joe, and Dock Newton respectively. The Newton boys are you're stereotypical cowboys turned bank robbers who have decided that a home on the range isn't enough for them.

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Before Sunrise Review


Good
The hype surrounding this film by local wunderkind Richard Linklater has been hitting Austin for the past month, and I was really expecting Before Sunrise to be a great movie. The story is simple: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet on the Eurail. They talk awhile, then Jesse woos her into getting off the train, where they spend his final night in Europe together in Vienna. Their relationship develops into a deep friendship, perhaps even love, over the course of the night. The next morning, Celine returns to the train station, and Jesse heads for the airport, and the movie's story is complete.

I have scarcely seen such genuine emotion portrayed on the screen, and the blooming romance between the two actors is absolutely believable. Unfortunately, often the dialogue is not. The hallmark of any Linklater film, people talk out of character as often as not, causing a number of the vignettes to fail with the audience. Also, the film's gruelingly slow pace made me check my watch far too many times. Thankfully these flaws don't detract from the film overmuch, but there are a few blemishes on this otherwise nice work.

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Waking Life Review


Essential
Today, most films are bloated, uninteresting, narrative-driven drivel, filled with beautiful people, a hit soundtrack, and closely following the storyline of some bestseller close enough so that it doesn't offend a legion of Oprah's Book Club readers. Waking Life is something altogether different, a work of abstract art that recalls Buñuel, Lynch, and Cocteau.

Most people will not understand Waking Life. Some will find it to be one of the most brilliant pieces of film ever produced. I found it to be beyond words; a combination of film, groundbreaking computer animation, and a difficult and profane script that produces a sublime interpretation of existence.

Continue reading: Waking Life Review

Before Sunset Review


Excellent
Nine years ago, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) turned a chance meeting on a train into a romantic 24 hours wandering the streets of Vienna. At the end of Richard Linklater's engaging Before Sunrise (1995), the young one-night lovers go their separate ways -- Jesse back to the U.S. and Celine back to France -- their hearts captured and the promise of their separate futures ahead of them.

Now, the pair meets again in this unlikely sequel that reunites the two stars with writer/director Linklater, returning to his do-it-yourself roots after the wild commercial success of his School of Rock. In Before Sunset, he stays true to his original characters while bringing them into an updated world where their lives may not be what either expected.

Continue reading: Before Sunset Review

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Anne Walker-McBay Movies

Infamous Movie Review

Infamous Movie Review

If the cogs of the movie-making machine are going to keep turning out the exact...

A Scanner Darkly Movie Review

A Scanner Darkly Movie Review

When Richard Linklater released Waking Life in 2001, he became the granddaddy of a whole...

Tape Movie Review

Tape Movie Review

While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater...

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The Newton Boys Movie Review

The Newton Boys Movie Review

Soon after we walked into the theater on opening night of The Newton Boys, I...

Waking Life Movie Review

Waking Life Movie Review

Today, most films are bloated, uninteresting, narrative-driven drivel, filled with beautiful people, a hit soundtrack,...

Before Sunset Movie Review

Before Sunset Movie Review

Nine years ago, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) turned a chance meeting on...

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