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Out of Sight Review


Good
Soderbergh knows how to take the everyday crime thriller and make it sing. Jennifer Lopez, in her best role to date as a sassy U.S. Marshal, makes a stunning impression on escaped convict George Clooney, and boy do the sparks -- emotional and physical -- fly. Hardly Oscar bait, but tons of fun. And look at how young Lopez and Clooney look if you watch it again today -- Lopez actually still has baby fat on her face and Clooney has nary a gray hair to be seen.

Out of Sight Review


Good
Soderbergh knows how to take the everyday crime thriller and make it sing. Jennifer Lopez, in her best role to date as a sassy U.S. Marshal, makes a stunning impression on escaped convict George Clooney, and boy do the sparks -- emotional and physical -- fly. Hardly Oscar bait, but tons of fun.

Along Came Polly Review


Grim
Maybe Ben Stiller should take a break. Not a big one. Just a little breather. Along Came Polly is the first of his four 2004 releases, and it feels like a project coasted through between commitments, some freelance rom-com work to fill the few weeks where Owen Wilson or Janeane Garofalo are busy. Stiller could play Reuben Feffer, an over-cautious risk-management specialist, in his sleep, and Jennifer Aniston's work as the titular Polly -- down-to-earth yet worldly, always late and allegedly loveable -- feels almost remedial after her participation in The Good Girl. And oh, the plot turns they must suffer through! Reuben's marriage falls apart; he asks Polly out on the rebound; their personalities clash; there's even a variation on that old bit where the girl reads something mildly insensitive that the boy never meant for her to see; did Aniston, I wonder, find motivation for this scene from its appearance on Friends years ago?

The thing is, on paper this movie doesn't seem like a pointless timekiller -- or at least like such a forgettable one. The writer-director is John Hamburg, who previously worked with Stiller as a writer on Zoolander and Meet the Parents, two projects that make particularly good use of the actor's talent for silliness and embarrassment, respectively. And there's a fairly crack supporting cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Hank Azaria, and Debra Messing. The lack of inspiration and the accompanying clich├ęs about the value of "taking risks" and opposites attracting, then, are like a supernatural force, weighing the movie down. Like gravity, but more persistent.

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