Mike Stenson

Mike Stenson

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Déjà Vu Review


Very Good
The last time I could use "smart" to describe a Tony Scott movie, a bath-robed Will Smith was dodging satellites and thwarting conspirators in the taut Enemy of the State. The ready-made blockbuster pushed the envelope of technological surveillance as it spun a textured man-on-the-run mystery. Having Smith, Gene Hackman, and Jon Voight on hand certainly helped.

Scott resumes his techno tricks for Déjà Vu, a police procedural with science-fiction tools that improves longstanding stakeout methods as an investigator works to solve a volatile crime.

Continue reading: Déjà Vu Review

Glory Road Review


Weak
In 1966, color-blind college basketball coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas) led Texas Western's mixed-race team to the NCAA championship game where they faced Adolph Rupp's battle-tested Kentucky Wildcats. Haskins had rotated his handpicked squad of streetballers into and out of the active lineup all season, but consciously started five African American players in the finals as a statement that college basketball's racial balance - like that of our civil rights-minded country - was shifting.

It's a revolutionary story, though one told with overbearingly conventional techniques by Glory Road director James Gartner. The first-time filmmaker hardly deserves all the blame. His strings are being pulled by pandering producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who wouldn't know subtle if it sat on his shoulders.

Continue reading: Glory Road Review

Gone In 60 Seconds (2000) Review


OK
You are Nicolas Cage. After clawing your way through B-movies to an Academy Award for Leaving Las Vegas, what do you do? You take part after part in a progressively worsening slate of action films (pausing only for the even worse melodrama City of Angels), bottoming out with Snake Eyes and 8MM. Your action career is at an obvious end. So do you go back to the drama you can pull off so well?

No! You take a role in Gone in 60 Seconds, and try to extend your movie muscle even further! Here's a movie that's pure, unabashed Hollywood: Randall "Memphis" Raines (Cage), in order to convince a mean criminal to spare the life of his brother (Giovanni Ribisi), must BLOW UP 50 cars in the next 72 hours!

Continue reading: Gone In 60 Seconds (2000) Review

Bad Company Review


OK
For the second consecutive weekend, the movie industry's biggest release involves the CIA dealing with a rogue nuclear weapon that's landed in the U.S. via American-hating zealots. Is Hollywood tapping into our worst terrors or distancing us from them by placing them on that giant screen of fantasies? Last week it was political potboiler The Sum of All Fears; this week's entry is a comedy. A comedy about terrorism?! No wonder Touchstone twice delayed the release of Bad Company.

Even when subject matter strikes an uncomfortable nerve, folks are still going to show up for a movie that stars Anthony Hopkins as a cold, emotionless career CIA man and Chris Rock as an unsuspecting agent-in-training, so it's necessary to discuss whether or not the film works. Sometimes Bad Company does, but often, it does not.

Continue reading: Bad Company Review

Mike Stenson

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Mike Stenson Movies

Déjà Vu Movie Review

Déjà Vu Movie Review

The last time I could use "smart" to describe a Tony Scott movie, a bath-robed...

Glory Road Movie Review

Glory Road Movie Review

In 1966, color-blind college basketball coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas) led Texas Western's mixed-race team...

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Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) Movie Review

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) Movie Review

You are Nicolas Cage. After clawing your way through B-movies to an Academy Award...

Bad Company Movie Review

Bad Company Movie Review

For the second consecutive weekend, the movie industry's biggest release involves the CIA dealing with...

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