Diane Verona

Diane Verona

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True Crime Review


OK

As a director, Clint Eastwood has one of the sweetestdeals in Hollywood. He gets to make big budget films with no interferencefrom the suits at Warner Bros., the studio with which he has a relationship.

If Clint wants a long movie, he makes a long movie. IfClint wants to dedicate a whole scene to Clint playing apologetic regret,he dedicates a whole scene to it. As such his movies tend to be self-indulgent,and "True Crime" is definitely self-indulgent.

It's also peppered with glaring "yeah, right!"moments, like the scene in which a 23-year-old Oakland Tribune reportersuccumbs to the considerably aged and pickled Eastwood "charm."

Continue reading: True Crime Review

The Insider Review


Good

Leave it to "Heat" director Michael Mann to make a seat-gripping near-thriller about something as inherently dull as corporate whistle-blowing.

"The Insider" is a freely fictionalized retelling of the events that really got the ball rolling in the current attack on the tobacco industry: When a medical researcher for cigarette maker Brown and Williamson spills his guts to "60 Minutes," it puts CBS into in an ethical tailspin as lawyers come knocking with a broken confidentiality agreement in one hand and a lawsuit in the other.

I know what you're thinking: Yawn!

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Hamlet Review


Weak

There's a lot of intrusively leaden, urban-industrial style and distracting, pop-edited minutia masquerading as cleverness in writer-director Michael Almereyda's modern Manhattan "Hamlet."

Just the inordinate amount of blatant product placement -- apparently a misguided commentary on consumerism -- is by itself enough to obscure Shakespeare's profundity and passion in a virtual haze. Ophelia listens to Moviefone in one scene for absolutely no reason -- she's not even going to the movies -- and the "To be or not to be" soliloquy takes place in the action section of a Blockbuster store, for cryin' out loud. Why the director would do such a thing is so confounding that you'll tune out half the speech trying to figure it out. Certainly that isn't what he had in mind.

But while it's burdened by such shortcomings, this Y2K date-stamped take on the melancholy Dane -- appropriately played by Ethan Hawke as a brooding, film student heir to a business empire called the Denmark Corp. -- is nonetheless a mildly compelling visitation on the Bard's most complicated tragic hero.

Continue reading: Hamlet Review

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