Sporting a back-combed, two-tone mane, spike-heeled Candies and the wardrobe of a trailer park tart, Julia Roberts has somehow never been more appealing and charismatic than she is as "Erin Brockovich."
The heroine of inventive auteur Stephen Soderbergh's latest Hollywood-deconstructing dynamo, Brockovich is real-life law office file clerk who in 1993 rallied a small desert town against the Goliath public utility that had for decades knowingly poisoned its water supply.
Brazen, tactless and utterly magnetic in Roberts' increasingly talented hands, this struggling single mom is short on job skills and long on lip. She starts the movie in the middle of a frustrating job hunt in which she keeps giving interviewers a piece of her mind.
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A heartfelt and surprisingly successful revival of the cinema-idyllic world of Frank Capra movies, "The Majestic" stars Jim Carrey as a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter with amnesia who stumbles into a small coastal hamlet where he's mistaken for a long-lost native World War II hero.
Affable alchemy is the specialty of director Frank Darabont -- the man behind the affecting sentimental sincerity of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" -- and he's just about the only big-budget, soft-sell director in the business who could pull off this kind of potentially cloying picture without sending it into sugar shock. Capra's legacy is in good hands for these 150 minutes.
Darabont opens "The Majestic" with a terrific establishing shot of Carrey's melancholy mug as he listens to off-camera studio executives castrate his latest script. Despite his fresh-off-the-bus enthusiasm for Tinsel Town, Peter Appleton (Carrey) is already weary of being a B-movie hack after just one picture, the cheesy "Sand Pirates of the Sahara" (which Darabont shows us in delightfully authentic snippets featuring Bruce Campbell as the swashbuckling, pith-helmet hero and Cliff Curtis as an evil, wild-eyed sheik).
Continue reading: The Majestic Review