Robert Pastorelli

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Dances With Wolves Review


Extraordinary
Upon the release of the four-hour Dances with Wolves, the question naturally arises: Why?

That's not me, talking, that's producers Kevin Costner and Jim Wilson, writing in the promo material for the multi-disc DVD release of their watershed film about a man who goes a little native after the end of the Civil War. Sent on a questionable "mission" by an insane major (Maury Chaykin), John Dunbar (Costner) finds himself alone in a remote outpost on the frontier, where the Sioux still rule. Already a little suicidal (having surivived his last Civil War battle by openly goading the Confederate army -- twice), Dubar's right at home amid the fear of being scalped, buffalo stampedes, and of course the threat posed by the white man when it's found he's befriended the Indians.

Continue reading: Dances With Wolves Review

Dances With Wolves Review


Extraordinary
Upon the release of the four-hour Dances with Wolves, the question naturally arises: Why?

That's not me, talking, that's producers Kevin Costner and Jim Wilson, writing in the promo material for the multi-disc DVD release of their watershed film about a man who goes a little native after the end of the Civil War. Sent on a questionable "mission" by an insane major (Maury Chaykin), John Dunbar (Costner) finds himself alone in a remote outpost on the frontier, where the Sioux still rule. Already a little suicidal (having surivived his last Civil War battle by openly goading the Confederate army -- twice), Dubar's right at home amid the fear of being scalped, buffalo stampedes, and of course the threat posed by the white man when it's found he's befriended the Indians.

Continue reading: Dances With Wolves Review

Bait Review


OK
The American fascination with personal surveillance and voyeurism has reached a new and strange level. TV shows such as Survivor, Big Brother - and movies such as Enemy of the State and The Blair Witch Project have raised the bar for compulsive interest in other peoples' lives. It is as if America has become a nation of stalkers and shut-ins locked away behind their television and computer screens. The new Jamie Foxx film Bait is a prime example of how this sadistic, cultural phenomenon has been constructed into mainstream Hollywood fodder for the masses.

I didn't know what to expect of Bait. From the media blitz in the past couple weeks, the movie looked like a weird hybrid of Blue Streak, Enemy of the State, and Hackers without Angeline Jolie (dammit!). The story follows Foxx as an inept thief named Alvin Sanders who involuntarily helps Federal agents track down an ultra-cool computer hacker -- Doug Hutchison (that asshole guard Percy Wetmore from The Green Mile) -- who has robbed the U.S. Gold Reserve with lackey Robert Pastorelli of 42 million dollars.

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Michael Review


Weak
I have a theory about Michael. Take Groundhog Day, substitute William Hurt for Bill Murray. Substitute Travolta as an angel for the groundhog. Take out all the time travel stuff. Oh, and take out the funny stuff. Same movie.

South Pacific (2001) Review


Terrible
I mean this in the best possible way. Glenn Close has become an extremely handsome gentleman in recent years. That skanky wench from Fatal Attraction is long gone. Today we've got the freshly shorn, makeup-free star of Paradise Road and now South Pacific, a remake I don't recall anyone asking for.

Based on the classic musical play (and -- I didn't know this -- a James Michener novel), South Pacific is a Pearl Harborish tale of love found during World War II on a small island located somewhere you can probably figure out. There's intrigue and bombs a-droppin', but that doesn't mean there's no time for nookie!

Continue reading: South Pacific (2001) Review

Eraser Review


Weak
Is it just me, or is Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent getting worse? I think it is, as is his acting ability, as well as his choice of films to star in. This time it's Eraser, a big-budget, small-plot, fair-to-middling feature that continues the testosterone-infused series that Arnie's been working on since Pumping Iron.

It's the cheeseball role to end all cheeseball roles: John Kruger (Arnie) works for the Witness Relocation Program as an "identity eraser," and he answers to no one (sorta). His charge is Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), an executive with "Cyrez," who discovers that her company is selling next generation weapons to Russkie terrorists. The FBI uses her just to get the goods on Cyrez, and it's up to Arnie to save her hide from the bad guys, which includes turncoat fellow eraser Robert Deguerin (James Caan).

Continue reading: Eraser Review

Bait Review


Terrible

Director Anthony Fuqua doesn't seem terribly interested in the plot of "Bait," a impotent "Enemy of the State" knock-off that reeks of a sloppy re-write designed to accommodate the comedy stylings of Jamie Foxx in the Will Smith-type role.

Fuqua's main focus is turning the picture into a resume-builder and he spends the whole two hours showing off his technique. Dripping with visual flair overkill, the chase scenes, stunts and explosions get the deluxe treatment. A 30-second sex scene is shot from about 20 angles. Even a throwaway speech Foxx gives about missing his father (it's just a line to get his ex-girlfriend in the sack) is filmed with four or five cameras -- one of them restlessly circling him as he mock-emotes -- and edited with slow-motion effects and multiple fade-ins and fade-outs.

"Lookie what I can do!" Fuqua seems to be saying, much as he did in "The Replacement Killers," Chow Yun-Fat's Hong-Kong-style American debut. "Please don't send me back to making music videos!"

Continue reading: Bait Review

Robert Pastorelli

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