Michael Steinberg

Michael Steinberg

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Hell Ride Review


Unbearable
In Hollywood, as they say, it's not what you know. It's who you know. Some people don't know anything and still manage to get movies made. Take Larry Bishop, for example. He worked with David Carradine, Michael Madsen, and Quentin Tarantino on Kill Bill. One day, after shooting, they probably got together for a few drinks and rambled about making a biker movie. A few meetings with the Weinsteins later, Hell Ride was given the green light.

Bishop played a strip club manager in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and directed the flop Mad Dog Time back in 1996. He writes, directs, produces, and stars in Hell Ride, so at least audiences will know who to blame for wasting their time and money. A self-adoring, offensively boring homage to biker movies of the '60s, Hell Ride is indeed one of the more hellish cinematic experiences this year.

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The Cave Review


Good
When I as a kid, there was no better place in Denver than Celebrity's Sports Center. I was not an athletic adolescent -- I spent more time reading books in my bedroom than I did tossing around the pigskin or chasing skirt -- but luckily for me Celebrity's Sports Center wasn't that type of "sports" place. It was a bowling alley/arcade/indoor water slide extravaganza where even the most geeky, awkward child could feel as though he or she was a star. What attracted me most to Celebrity's was the waterslides. There were three: the Dolphin, the Shark, and the Barracuda. Despite its often being referred to as the "baby" slide, or the "slow" one, I most enjoyed the Dolphin. Not because I was a lily-livered wuss, but because it was the one slide with rocky overhangs and waterfalls. For the two minutes that you drafted down the Dolphin you passed through a veritable equatorial jungle, replete with cascades, overhanging foliage and steep cliff faces -- all fake, of course.) And being in that slide, spiraling down to the warm pool, I often imagined myself an explorer making his way to some subterranean kingdom inhabited by monstrous creatures and lovely damsels in distress. (They tore Celebrity's down in the late '90s to make way for a Home Depot. Have people no respect?)

Watching The Cave I had that same feeling. The movie is like a multi-million dollar recreation of my boyhood fantasies on the Dolphin. And despite the many lapses in logic, the ridiculous plot twists, and the sketchy characterizations, I found myself giddy while watching The Cave.

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There's Something About Mary Review


Excellent
Sure it's ridiculous. Sure it's in generally poor taste. So what? That's what makes There's Something About Mary so good.

If you've seen the trailer, you know the story: Ted (Ben Stiller) finally gets to go out with Mary (Cameron Diaz) to the prom and is stymied by a freak zipper accident, sending him into years of therapy to wonder what-coulda-been. Thirteen years later, we find that he's not the only one fixated on Mary... as no fewer than five suitors appear to win her heart.

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