Tina Holmes

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Half Nelson Review


Very Good
Dan Dunne never sleeps in the same place twice. No, he's not bedding some hottie every other night; he's home in his Brooklyn apartment. He might grab a few hours rolled up on his sheetless bed or a ratty couch, if he sleeps at all. In the opening sequence of Half Nelson, Dan (Ryan Gosling) sits dumbly at a coffee table, up all night from a coke binge, finally stirring to shut off his buzzing alarm clock. A new day is starting, with or without him. And he's scheduled to teach his middle-school history class, just like every other day.

At a time when social issues are usually discussed (or hollered about) at the far extremes, it's refreshing to see a film like Half Nelson that wallows in the gray areas. Gosling's Dunne is about as gray as it gets: He's a well-intentioned teacher, once eager to change the world, now stuck in a rut as a lonely, strung-out nobody. He gets jazzed imparting civil rights lessons to his mostly black class, but doesn't have enough pride in his own existence. In short, it's a role made for an actor like Gosling, who revels in character complexities as effectively as some of the greats. In Gosling's able hands, Dunn is likable, logical, perhaps even charming -- but would you want your kids taught by a crack addict?

Continue reading: Half Nelson Review

Celebrity Mix Review


OK
Well, this is truth in advertising: Celebrity Mix is a compilation of vanity projects featuring headliners like Paul Rudd, David Hyde Pierce, and Zooey Deschanel.

As is always the case with compilation discs, some of the eight vignettes are good/great, and some are barely watchable. The headlining short, "Laud Weiner," makes up for its obvious title with a dead-on portrayal by Pierce of an egomaniac power broker. Just four minutes long, don't expect a lot of nuance, but it's funny to see the normally mild-mannered Pierce yell at interns.

Continue reading: Celebrity Mix Review

Edge Of Seventeen Review


Good

It's such a relief to see, every once in a while, a coming-outmovie in which nobody gets beaten up by sexually insecure athletes or skinheads.

"Edge of Seventeen" is such a movie. It has itsjocks and jerks, of course, but they're extras, regulated to only makingsnide comments in passing while the film focuses on telling a gratifyinggay Everyman story instead of recycling social espousements.

Yes, it's yet another shy gay guy in high school story,a la the recent "GetReal" (those in certain circles know fullwell how common this genre has become), but this one has more convincingboy-next-door characters than most, and a very smart hook -- it takes placein 1984, at the height of '80s androgyny (fabulously cheesy soundtrackalert!).

Continue reading: Edge Of Seventeen Review

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Tina Holmes Movies

Half Nelson Movie Review

Half Nelson Movie Review

Dan Dunne never sleeps in the same place twice. No, he's not bedding some hottie...

Edge Of Seventeen Movie Review

Edge Of Seventeen Movie Review

It's such a relief to see, every once in a while, a coming-outmovie in which...

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