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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - Lax, California, United States - Friday 1st April 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst at the BBC Radio 2 studios - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 31st March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst seen arriving at BBC studios - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 31st March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst arriving at the BBC Radio 1 studios at BBC Portland Place - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 31st March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst seen leaving the ABC studios after Jimmy Kimmel Live! at Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 15th March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst seen arriving at the ABC studios for Jimmy Kimmel Live at Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 16th March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - The SXSW Film Conference and Festival (South by Southwest) - 'Midnight Special' - Premiere at Paramount Theater, SXSW - Austin, Texas, United States - Saturday 12th March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst out and about in New York City with a friend - NY, New York, United States - Tuesday 8th March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Apple Store Presents Meet the Filmmaker: Midnight Special at Apple Soho Store - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 8th March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst looks set for spring in a bright yellow printed dress featuring California poppies whilst out in West Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 2nd March 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst taking a flight from Berlin to London after attending the 66th annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale). - Berlin, Germany - Sunday 14th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst , Joel Edgarton - 66th annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) - Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Nichols, Michael Shannon and Joel Edgarton seen departing from Regent Hotel Berlin - Berlin, Germany - Sunday 14th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - The 66th annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) Midnight Special Premiere at Berlinale Palace in Potsdamer Platz. at Berlinale Palace - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon

Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst seen having dinner at the Bocca di Bacco Restaurant in Mitte - Berlin, Germany - Saturday 13th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Celebrities attends the premiere for "Midnight Special" at the Berlinale Palast in Berlin. - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - The 66th annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) Midnight Special Premiere at Berlinale Palace in Potsdamer Platz. at Berlinale Palace - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon
Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon

Kirsten Dunst - 66th Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) - Midnight Special - Photocall - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - The 66th Annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) - Midnight Special - Photocall at Grand Hyatt hotel at The Grand Hyatt Hotel - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - 'Midnight Special' - Photocall Arrivals at The Grand Hyatt Hotel - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - The 66th Annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) - Midnight Special - Photocall at Grand Hyatt hotel at The Grand Hyatt Hotel - Berlin, Germany - Friday 12th February 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst arriving for the 66th annual International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) at Tegel airport. - Berlin, Germany - Wednesday 11th February 2015

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Kirsten Dunst - 21st Annual Critics Choice Awards 2016 held at the Barker Hanger Airport in Santa Monica. at Barker Hanger Airport - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 17th January 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals at Barker Hangar, Critics' Choice Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Sunday 17th January 2016

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst at Villa Blanca Restaurant for lunch wearing rough cut trousers with frayed ends at beverly hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 11th November 2015

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Kirsten Dunst - Kirsten Dunst seen going to a medical building - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 6th November 2015

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Shailene Woodley: Not Unemployed For Long, Confirmed For The Amazing Spider-Man


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In a tumultuous day, Shailene Woodley found herself unemployed for all of two hours at the most, when 'Secret Life of the American Teenager' was cancelled, before it was revealed that she has been offered the chance to play Mary Jane Watson in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' sequel. And all this comes amid rumors that she's the favourite to play Fifty Shades' Anastasia Steele. It also comes in the same year that she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in 2011's 'The Descendants', playing the daughter of George Clooney, no less. 2012 is truly the year of Shailene Woodley.

'The Amazing Spider-Man' film, which is fast becoming a franchise, is the prequel to the 'Spider-Man' films that starred Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst. Woodley would effectively be playing a young Dunst who also played Mary Jane. However, in the first of the 'Amazing' films saw Peter Parker coupled up with Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone. In the original comics, Stacy is killed by the Green Goblin, leaving room for him to fall madly in love with Mary Jane. However, it is unclear whether producers plan on sticking religiously to the original text.

At the time, NY Daily News reports, Stone said of this original plot line:"Any story that causes people to burn their comic books and cancel their subscriptions is a story that I want to be a part of.” Woodley has not yet been available for comment. The second film in The Amazing Spider-Man series is set to begin production in early 2013 and released in 2014.

On The Road Trailer


Sal Paradise is an ambitious young writer trying to find his place in the world. After his father passes away, he decides to seek out new experiences desperate to stay away from the mundaneness of everyday life. In New York, he meets ex-convict Dean Moriarty - an embodiment of the Beat Generation who fascinates him and ends up drawing him into his dangerous world of women, drugs and societal deviance. They hit the road alongside Dean's new, teenage wife Marylou doing anything and everything to ensure that new experiences never end and seek out their own freedom. Along the way they find who they really are, who their friends are and the meaning of being free.

Continue: On The Road Trailer

Melancholia Review


Excellent
Von Trier continues to challenge audiences with his bold, bleak storytelling.

As always, he creates a stunning visual film experience full of raw, wrenching performances. And he tackles themes that are so big that we're not quite sure what to make of it in the end.

Justine (Dunst) is feeling a bit detached on the day of her wedding to the doting Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), and her brother-in-law John (Sutherland) is annoyed that she's not enjoying the expensive party he's staging. Her sister Claire (Gainsbourg) is more understanding, even when events take a few strange turns. Later, the shattered Justine will become the voice of reason when the planet Melancholia, which has been hiding behind the sun, heads towards Earth in a dramatic fly-by. Now it's Claire who's overwhelmed with moodiness, fearing for her young son (Spurr).

Continue reading: Melancholia Review

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People Review


Terrible
A comedy that misfires is not a catastrophe. After all, being unfunny is not the worst cinematic crime. Wasting the talents of Simon Pegg, however, surely mandates some kind of conference with the World Court in The Hague. From his cult TV series Spaced to the brilliance that is Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, this British actor is wit incarnate. But put him in projects outside his partners in satire (Edgar Wright and Nick Frost), and he flails like a fat boy running. Now comes How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, a worthless excuse for a laugh-a-thon that elicits more groans than giggles.

UK journalist Sidney Young (Pegg) is desperate to make it big. He will do anything to crash celebrity parties and get a scoop. His hijinks grab the attention of Sharps magazine publisher Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), and soon, the Brit finds himself in New York, working at the influential rag. Under the editorship of Lawrence Maddox (Danny Huston) and with the help of fellow reporter Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst) he soon discovers that a life covering the limelight isn't all its cracked up to be. As a matter of fact, it turns out that power-mad publicist Eleanor Johnson (Gillian Anderson) controls most of the magazine's celebrity content, and if Sidney wants to succeed -- and get to date her sexy star client Sophie Maes (Megan Fox) -- he better learn how to make her happy.

Continue reading: How To Lose Friends & Alienate People Review

Interview With The Vampire Review


OK
I suppose you're either an Anne Rice fan or you're not. I, for what it's worth, am not, and the first movie to be ground out from one of her little vampire books was such a snoozer it knocked me unconscious. While vampire stories tend to be either scary or campy, Interview somehow manages to be neither, telling an overwrought tale of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and other hunks of yesteryear as bloodsuckers through the ages. Not enough originality to make me care about it one way or the other.

Continue reading: Interview With The Vampire Review

Topher Grace, Video Interview


Topher Grace - Video Interview - Spider-Man 3

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Video Interview

Continue reading: Topher Grace, Video Interview

Marie Antoinette Review


Very Good
The word "soft" summarizes the world of Sofia Coppola, perfectly. Each film she has made has the tenderness, vagueness and, ultimately, the sensibility of a fluffy, white cloud in the middle of a blue sky. With two near-perfect films on her resume, 1999's The Virgin Suicides and 2003's majestic Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's third film should have been an easy play. Instead, we are given the beguiling Marie Antoinette.

There's the famous Marie-Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst): the one who so insipidly said "Let them eat cake" when learning of the famine and starvation of the French people and the one who had her head cut off and displayed, with ample delight, to the same people she told to eat said cake. Then there's the private Marie Antoinette: the one who was forced into a French marriage (she was Austrian originally) by her brutish mother and who would eventually lose a newborn baby right as her kingdom was crashing down. Coppola seems very confused as to whom she wants to show in Marie Antoinette.

Continue reading: Marie Antoinette Review

Anastasia (1997) Review


Good
20th Century Fox tried to break the Disney stranglehold on kiddie animation with a retelling of the tragic story of Anastasia, the lost daughter of the Russian czar who some believed survived the family's assassination. I'm not sure there was this much singing in Mother Russia, but the film isn't overly wretched. Still, the Disney formula is aped to perfection here, even spawning a solo career for singing bat Bartok, in Bartok the Magnificent. Protect your children.

Marie Antoinette Review


Very Good
The word "soft" summarizes the world of Sofia Coppola, perfectly. Each film she has made has the tenderness, vagueness and, ultimately, the sensibility of a fluffy, white cloud in the middle of a blue sky. With two near-perfect films on her resume, 1999's The Virgin Suicides and 2003's majestic Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's third film should have been an easy play. Instead, we are given the beguiling Marie Antoinette.

There's the famous Marie-Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst): the one who so insipidly said "Let them eat cake" when learning of the famine and starvation of the French people and the one who had her head cut off and displayed, with ample delight, to the same people she told to eat said cake. Then there's the private Marie Antoinette: the one who was forced into a French marriage (she was Austrian originally) by her brutish mother and who would eventually lose a newborn baby right as her kingdom was crashing down. Coppola seems very confused as to whom she wants to show in Marie Antoinette.

Continue reading: Marie Antoinette Review

Interview With The Vampire Review


OK
I suppose you're either an Anne Rice fan or you're not. I, for what it's worth, am not, and the first movie to be ground out from one of her little vampire books was such a snoozer it knocked me unconscious. While vampire stories tend to be either scary or campy, Interview somehow manages to be neither, telling an overwrought tale of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and other hunks of yesteryear as bloodsuckers through the ages. Not enough originality to make me care about it one way or the other.

Levity Review


Very Good
Billy Bob Thornton does a variation of his nearly invisible barber from The Man Who Wasn't There in screenwriter Ed Solomon's directorial debut Levity, escaping once again into a role of a hollow loner whose contemplative interior life dominates his every waking hour. Yet unlike in the Coen brothers' loopy noir homage, Thornton's character - a recently paroled convict named Manual (yes, "Manual") Jordan - is not a passive observer but, rather, a lost soul vainly searching for some way to make up for past sins. Although he does not believe in God (or divine redemption), Manual traverses the empty streets of his hometown desperately looking for some way to lessen the burden he has carried since that fateful day he shot a young convenience store clerk in a robbery gone terribly awry.

Thornton's reserved performance, involving lots of aimless shuffling around town and empty stares into nothingness, is well suited to the rhythms of Solomon's glacially-paced film (which he wrote as well as directed); his Manual a man who, having been unceremoniously dumped back into society against his will (he believes he deserves to stay in prison for his crime), doesn't know how to pick up the pieces of his non-existent life and move forward. With long thinning grey locks and a weathered, creased face, Manual is like a ghost forever doomed to haunt the locale of his greatest error, and when he moves through a subway station tunnel directly after leaving the Big House, it's not surprising to find that the crowds rush past him without acknowledging his presence. Thornton plays the character as though he had shriveled up from the inside out, and his expressions of bemused confusion and timid fright convey the feelings of unwieldy guilt and desperation that plague his conscience.

Continue reading: Levity Review

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Review


Essential
Jim Carrey fans who roll in the aisle and clutch their sides every time the lanky megawatt talks out of his rear will despise the first 30 minutes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. They shouldn't be able to form an opinion on the remainder of the film because most of them will have walked out by then.

Carrey traditionally makes silly comedies for his loyal supporters and risky pictures for his critics. His career path to date has alternated every bombastic Bruce Almighty with a tragic The Truman Show, and whatever Carrey camp you subscribe to will help you determine whether or not Sunshine is worth your time.

Continue reading: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Review

Drop Dead Gorgeous Review


Very Good
This is not Spinal Tap. And if Drop Dead Gorgeous has a singular flaw, it's that it tries too hard to be Spinal Tap. And that's unfortunate, because as far as spoof documentaries go, Drop Dead is an otherwise gorgeous entry.

Gorgeous actually began life as a sleepy independent film called Dairy Queens, but, as is common in Hollywood, the gears began a-shiftin' in the heads of sundry studio executives, and before you knew it, Dairy Queens became a big Hollywood movie.

Continue reading: Drop Dead Gorgeous Review

Spider-Man 2 Review


Good
What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than by spending a good two hours with America's favorite super hero, Spider-Man?

Tobey Maguire returns to the massively popular Spider-Man franchise after a two-year hiatus. And in case you forgot what happened in the summer of 2002, director Sam Raimi is happy to synopsize it for us in the first 40 minutes of this sequel. Poor Peter Parker can't win: He didn't get the girl (Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane), his beloved uncle is dead, Aunt May is about to lose her house, and he's failing out of college because he doesn't have time to study - he's too busy chasing down street thugs in his spidey suit.

Continue reading: Spider-Man 2 Review

Anastasia (1997) Review


Good
20th Century Fox tried to break the Disney stranglehold on kiddie animation with a retelling of the tragic story of Anastasia, the lost daughter of the Russian czar who some believed survived the family's assassination. I'm not sure there was this much singing in Mother Russia, but the film isn't overly wretched. Still, the Disney formula is aped to perfection here, even spawning a solo career for singing bat Bartok, in Bartok the Magnificent. Protect your children.

Continue reading: Anastasia (1997) Review

Little Women (1994) Review


Excellent
Hollywood did put out one decent flick over the 1994 holidays, and that was Little Women, another remake of Louisa May Alcott's famed novel. Winona Ryder steals the show, and most of the supporting cast are perfect. The story of Little Women is given a new breath of life with this film, and it is still as relevant about our place in the world and overcoming its man-made obstacles as it was when it was written. I mean, I'm like, you know, a guy... and I really dug the movie. Alvarado and Mathis shine above an altogether good cast (while Danes disappoints).

The Virgin Suicides Review


Very Good
The Virgin Suicides is a dark comedy that embodies some twisted views on suburban family life and the true lack innocence of adolescence. First-time writer and director Sofia Coppola, daughter of Godfather creator Francis Ford Coppola, proves to us that she's not really an actress (see The Godfather Part III), but that she does have the family knack for provocative movie directing. The movie is based upon Jeffrey Eugenides' novel, The Virgin Suicides, a detective story about five sisters who mysteriously commit suicide and the investigation by four neighborhood boys who had fallen in love with them. Coppola, however, transforms the movie into her own allegory of five adolescent girls who suffer from ruthlessly suppressed lives, their desperate plea for self-expression, and the tragedy that besets their wretched existence.

Set in the mid-seventies, the plot follows the Lisbon family, with James Woods, a physics teacher at the local high school, as the scatter brained father, and Kathleen Turner as the uncommonly strict mother. Their five daughters are beautiful, naturally blonde, and the desire of every boy in the neighborhood. When the youngest, Cecilia, mysteriously attempts suicide, psychiatrist Danny DeVito recommends that she be allowed to interact more socially, especially with boys. So the Lisbon girls are introduced to the boys of the neighborhood, who have already been watching the girls from afar through half-opened window shades, binoculars, and telescopes. At a party in Cecilia's honor, the boys witness a tragedy that shocks them out of their wits. As a result, the Lisbons fall into a deep suppression shutting out the rest of the world by retreating into their own inner sanctum. It appears they will never recover until Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett), the high school heartthrob, pursues the unattainable Lux (Kirsten Dunst). He attempts to ask her to the prom, but the only way her mother will allow him to take Lux is if all the girls go together. For the first time, the girls will venture out of the home to interact socially in an environment other than school.

Continue reading: The Virgin Suicides Review

Kiki's Delivery Service Review


Very Good
Hayao Miyazaki scored a big kid-friendly hit with this story about a 13-year-old witch living on her own for the first time. (Yeah, tough love for pubescent Japanese witches!) Unfortunately, Kiki's Delivery Service lacks a lot of depth; though it's exquisitely sweet and endlessly watchable (and much better than Miyazaki's widly overrated Castle of Cagliostro),

Kiki (voiced in the U.S. version by Kirsten Dunst), in keeping with her people's tradition, jets off with broom and talking cat (Phil Hartman) to a random city in order to become the town witch. Unfortunately, Kiki hasn't really thought this through, and soon enough she finds that not only does she have no real marketable skills, she has no place to live and little money, too.

Continue reading: Kiki's Delivery Service Review

Mother Night Review


Excellent
As a critic, I try to do justice to a film. If the film is bad, this is incredibly easy. It is much easier to destroy than to create, to rip than to extol. As I have often mentioned, it is the good reviews that are difficult to write. I have a conflict between the desire to write a review worthy of the movie as well as to write a review different than the ones that I see every day.

You see, bad reviews vary endlessly. When faced with the raw anger one feels towards a bad movie it is easy to channel this rage into a sort of maligned creativity and to bring forth a new, humorous, and often refreshing movie review. When a movie is good, however, the critic is faced with the difficulty of coming up with something good to say about it. Put in layman's terms, we are often faced with writer's block.

Continue reading: Mother Night Review

All I Wanna Do Review


OK
Dead Poets Society it ain't.

This lighthearted comedy features the Teenage Girl Class of 1998 in a silly prep school that is about to do the unthinkable: admit boys. Amidst the bulimia and the hair dye pranks, there's not much learnin' to be done so why not hatch a plan to get the boys banned for life? All this culminates in an obviously re-edited (the film has lost 20-some minutes of running time and has earned a new, meaningless title) strike with the gals taking over the school.

Continue reading: All I Wanna Do Review

Kaena: The Prophecy Review


Weak
This feature-length CGI-animated 3-D film, a first for France, is startling in its design of a vine and root enveloped world whose spaces and shapes are the stuff of ghoulish visions and eerie nightmares. The visual sensibility behind it is truly impressive, but a mucked up narrative makes for a universe of confusion.

Rebellious Kaena (voiced by Kirsten Dunst), a dynamic teen with a body that's as attention-getting as her acrobatic skill, defies the Grand Priest when she discovers that his promises to save Axis, her village, by obtaining life-sustaining sap, are based on lies and deceptions. Imploring the gods is simply not working. The shortage of the vital fluid is caused by The Queen (Anjelica Huston), a telepathic menace whose voice is a weapon of destruction. She's been hoarding the supply to use as a sacrifice to her gods in order to get them on her evil side.

Continue reading: Kaena: The Prophecy Review

Jumanji Review


OK
If nothing else, Jumanji is the most unfortunately titled film of the year. And if you haven't turned on your television in the last month you may still be among the few who don't know what it means. For the uninitiated, Jumanji is an ancient board game set in the spooky jungle. When the game is played, it causes supernatural things to happen, including the creation of a horde of monkeys, earthquakes, a monsoon (indoors), and a stampede through the suburbs of the New England town in which Jumanji is set.

The story begins some 26 years earlier, when young Alan (Robin Williams) and Sarah (Bonnie Hunt) unearth the game and start playing. On Alan's first move, he finds himself sucked into the game as a prisoner, only to be released when the game is continued in 1995 by Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Michael Pierce). Unfortunately, the ill effects of the game disappear only when it is finished, so the three track down Sarah, who, after years of therapy, has finally come to grips with the shock of seeing Alan vanish, and they continue where they left off.

Continue reading: Jumanji Review

Deeply Review


Weak
I mention Kirsten Dunst and you probably think... remote fishing village with an ancient curse. Right?

Points for trying to avoid the cruel typecasting fate of Freddy Prinze Jr., but Dunst is pretty far from her element here. As a girl named Silly (Silly!), Dunst takes center stage in a tale told by Lynn Redgrave's aging Celia -- part fiction, part legend. The fishing village where she lives, it is told, has a dark past, caused by an ancient curse that causes the fish to vanish from the local waters once every 50 years. The only way to banish the curse is to sacrifice a girl in the water. And guess who's turn it is to go?

Continue reading: Deeply Review

The Cat's Meow Review


Weak
"Get two geniuses, put them together in a room, and... wow!" That was Steve Martin's self-conscious gag incorporated into the dialogue of his play Picasso at the Lapin Angile. It said, in effect, that we shouldn't give famous intellectuals more credit than they're due. They have inconsistencies like all of us. Peter Bogdanovich's bitter Hollywood pill both loves and hates its showbiz characters and geniuses, but it admonishes them in their Golden Era splendor and exists somewhat in awe of them.

Taking place aboard William Randolph Hearst's private yacht one fateful weekend in November, 1924, Bogdanovich enjoys tweaking the Citizen Kane myth built around the mighty Hearst (Edward Herrmann) and his youthful, rising-star mistress Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst). Marion, in particular, is seen as a bright-eyed, confident, canny manipulator, working her way into the power system through her own creative ingenuity. It's a far cry from Kane's bubblehead recreation. Hearst, sinking deep into his middle-aged bulk and deeper into paranoia (monitoring his guests through a series of spy gadgets), uses her as a lifeline to humankind. Without her, he'd barely be a person.

Continue reading: The Cat's Meow Review

Crazy/beautiful Review


Good
Just going on the sassy and jangly rock-filled MTV ad campaign for crazy/beautiful, you'd think that this teen flick was just another She's All That-style adolescent love story about the popular kid and the misfit, but this is not just another happy-go-lucky clone. While the writing may be a little too self-indulgent with its message-laden speeches, crazy/beautiful is pretty brave in the subjects it takes on, and does its best to avoid many teen movie conventions.

Nicole (Kirsten Dunst) is the privileged daughter of a congressman (Bruce Davison) who remarried to start a new family after Nicole's mother's suicide. Traumatized and emotionally alone, Nicole is always in trouble, and makes a defiant play for wrong-side-of-the-tracks Carlos (Jay Hernandez from MTV's Undressed soap), a hard-working straight-A Latino who commutes two hours from East Los Angeles to the Nicole's ritzy Pacific Palisades high school.

Continue reading: Crazy/beautiful Review

Lover's Prayer Review


Weak
The hero of the unlikely British drama Lover's Prayer, based on Ivan Turgenev's story "First Love," is a frail, pale-faced, Russian boy named Vladimir (Nick Stahl) who stumbles through the movie as if his legs were stilts, barely finishing five complete sentences. The son of middle-class landowners, Vladimir is spending away summer near Moscow, waiting to go to college in the fall. He desperately wants to fall in love but, being very shy and deeply absorbed in his own naïve imaginary world, he's unsure of himself. To explain his longings, the director relieves the actor from acting almost entirely, and, instead, simply asks him carry his dour face throughout the movie and adds a voice over of an older Vladimir, his tone so dispassionate one wonders if the actor took sedatives before taking on the project.

Soon enough, Vladimir becomes acquainted with his parents' neighbors, an alcoholic and broke princess with a hair like a haystack, who, while reaching for a bottle, utters banalities in a loud piercing voice. Immediately, Vladimir falls for the princess's daughter Zinaida (Kirsten Dunst) and spends endless summer days in the company of this pug-nosed, plain looking capricious young woman. Zinaida adds Vladimir to her circle of admirers -- a group of men of every stripe, age, and rank. They all dance around Zinaida, playing charades, eager to fulfill her every wish. As it turns out, she seems to have many such admirers -- and Vladimir learns that she is having an affair with his own father.

Continue reading: Lover's Prayer Review

Mona Lisa Smile Review


Good
For most of us, a satirical review of the stuffy attitudes and strict behaviors of the 1950s as seen in Mona Lisa Smile provides a refreshing contrast to our relaxed manners today. Unfortunately, this is all I got from Smile, despite the film's best intentions to present themes of feminine independence. It's an excellent message for young women that should be embraced; yet the film completely betrays this mission by giving us a one-sided central character with a very narrow-minded viewpoint.

Smile stars Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson, a new teacher who has accepted a position to teach art history at Wellesley - the all women college in Massachusetts. Much to her dismay, the progressive thinking taught in California is not embraced by the stiff administrators at Wellesley, and prompts comments like, "You didn't come to Wellesley to help people find their way, you came to help people find your way."

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Wimbledon Review


Very Good
Unless you play the sport, tennis ranks right up there with golf as one of the most boring sports to watch on television. And with a few minor exceptions, the same can be said about these sports' big screen counterparts. Anticipating that Wimbledon would serve up little more than a predictable romantic comedy, I hoped the film's setting would provide a few more aces than foot faults to compensate. Much to my surprise, Wimbledon exceeds meager expectations.

As the world's 119th ranked player, a tired Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) has long been the doormat for the younger, flashier players on the professional tennis circuit. But when Peter gets an unexpected wild-card invite to play at Wimbledon, few give him any chance of making it out of the first round - including himself and his brother who wagers against him with a local bookie.

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Wimbledon Review


OK

More moderately charming than a romantic comedy should be with stars as charismatic and irresistible as Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany -- but charming nonetheless -- "Wimbledon" is a cute mutt of cross-breeding between sports movie formula and chick-flick producers.

A product of the team behind "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Notting Hill" and "Love Actually," it's a rousing athletic-underdog story about low-ranked, self-stymied pro tennis player Peter Colt (Bettany, from "A Knight's Tale," "A Beautiful Mind" and "Master and Commander") who finds his groove by falling in love with Lizzie Bradbury (Dunst), the rising-star queen troublemaker of women's tennis.

Full of confidence and flirtatious sass, very soon after their meet-cute (he's accidentally given the key to her hotel suite and walks in on her showering) she says to him, "Where do you come down on the fooling-around-before-a-match issue?" But she barely gives him time to answer, in the process giving a miraculous boost to his game at the world's most important tennis tournament -- and turning hers to mush.

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Dick Review


Good

Imagine a pair of bubble-headed teenage girls plunked down in the middle of "All the President's Men," then transform the major Watergate players (Nixon, Woodward, Bernstein, Liddy, et al) into oafs, and you have the recipe for "Dick," a nimbly-witted marriage of teenage social slapstick and political satire.

A cross-generational comedy that quickly lays out historical details for the uninitiated, then sets about clowning with the fuzzier facts, the movie stars Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams as a couple of dim and giggly 15-year-olds who stumble onto the Watergate break-in (one of them lives in the hotel), then become witnesses to President Nixon's cover-up, after being spotted on a White House tour and appointed "official White House dog-walkers" in order to keep them close and find out what they know.

Since their lives revolve around lip gloss and Bobby Sherman, it takes these two ditzes a while to catch on. After getting lost in the executive mansion, their new buddy President Nixon (a perfectly cast Dan Hedaya) plays off the document-shredding they've seen as a crafts project. "Paper mache is a hobby of mine," he grunts, momentarily unfurrowing his brow.

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Spider-Man 2 Review


Very Good

Here's why Toby Maguire's Spider-Man is the greatest superhero in movie history:

Maguire so completely embodies the character's unique yinand yang -- the joyous, daredevil confidence of Spidey and the sweet, self-doubtingyoung chump that is Peter Parker -- that the exhilarating action in "Spider-Man2" is less interesting than his inner turmoil at being torn betweendoing what he's compelled to do and having the life he wants.

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Spider-Man Review


OK

This has never happened to me in a movie before: There I was, ignoring a host of petty quibbles and enjoying the heck out of the unabashed comic-bookish cool of Sam Raimi's summer blockbuster "Spider-Man" adaptation -- then the second the credits rolled, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of bitter disappointment.

Why? Because with the candy-like taste of it fading faster than 25-cent bubble gum, I realized this is a throwaway movie that won't stand the test of time. It's a trifle -- nothing more than a fleeting piece of 2002 pop culture for teenage boys that down the road will seem as dated and dopey as the 1989 "Batman" has become and the 1978 "Superman" has been for a long time.

I expected more from Raimi, whose gift for great cheese (e.g. the "Evil Dead" movies) seems to have been suppressed here by commercial concerns (beyond selling soundtrack CDs, what purpose does it serve to have a performance cameo by hip-pop star Macy Gray?) and by an evangelical adherence to what might be called the Marvel Comics Movie Adaptation Handbook.

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Mona Lisa Smile Review


Terrible

"Mona Lisa Smile" is such an appalling waste of talent it actually made me mad. Scratch that -- furious.

An ironically conformist piece of mock-intellectual fluff about a forward-thinking art history professor (Julia Roberts) rocking the boat at uppity, conservative, marriage-grooming Wellesley College in the 1950s, I'd call it an estrogen-infused "Dead Poet's Society," but even that would be giving the picture too much credit for originality.

To wit, the opening voice-over in which we're told "this bohemian from California...didn't come to Wellesley to fit in. She came because she wanted to make a difference." This gives way to a parade of Eisenhower-era stock characters, like the school's board of directors who bristle at Roberts' "subversive" audacity for, among other things, suggesting that "Picasso will do for the 20th century what Michelangelo did for the Renaissance."

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Get Over It Review


Weak

After Miramax jettisoned all remnants of integrity and started trafficking in assembly-line teen fare, a pattern began to emerge. Once or twice a year the studio would release another insipid high school or college romance starring the phenomenally talentless Freddie Prinze, Jr. -- a bland, blue-eyed magnet for 14-year-old girls. The happy endings always involved girls lowering their standards and/or taking back their pig boyfriends, and it seemed Miramax went out of its way to give each movie the blandest possible title like "She's All That," "Down To You" and "Boys and Girls."

This year's model is called "Get Over It" (the original title, "Getting Over Allison," was apparently deemed far too creative), and while it's still utterly forgettable and mostly unoriginal, at least somebody was making an effort this time.

That somebody would be Tommy O'Haver, the cleverly twinkly hand behind the zestful gay romantic comedy "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss." He cast genuinely capable actors like Ben Foster ("Liberty Heights"), playing the picture's generic lovelorn high school boy, and Kirsten Dunst, playing his best friend's sister -- the girl he inadvertently falls in love with while trying to win back his childhood sweetheart (adorable newcomer Melissa Sagemiller).

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Crazy/beautiful Review


Good

With all the hackneyed, gag-inducing Freddie Prinze, Jr.-style teen romances coming out over the last few years, I've become so cynical about the genre that even with an extremely talented actress like Kirsten Dunst in the lead, I went into "crazy/beautiful" with a chip on my shoulder.

Dunst proved her ability to spot the quality teenybopper scripts last year when she made "Bring It On," the only good cheerleader movie I've ever seen. But playing the rebellious daughter of a Los Angeles congressman? A troubled, party-hardy girl who couples with an academically ambitious Latino boy from the wrong side of the tracks? Boy did that sound like it could go south in a hurry.

Well, I should have trusted Dunst. The ambitiously three-dimensional "crazy/beautiful" never panders or preaches, never turns perky or shallow, and -- gasp! -- its plot doesn't depend on some silly sitcom misunderstanding between boyfriend and girlfriend that is resolved in the last reel with a pat reconciliation followed by a soft-focus freeze-frame on their happy faces.

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Kirsten Dunst

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Kirsten Dunst

Date of birth

30th April, 1982

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.70




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