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Uma Thurman - Launch of Dino Tales and Safari Tales at the American Museum of Natural History with Kuato Studios at Museum Of Natural History New York - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 16th July 2015

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Uma Thurman and Caroline Scheufele - 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Chopard Gold Party - Arrivals at Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Tuesday 19th May 2015

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Uma Thurman - A host of celebrities were photographed as they attended the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival 2015 for the Chopard Party in Cannes, France - Monday 18th May 2015

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Uma Thurman - A host of stars were snapped as they arrived to the 2015 Vanity Fair Party which was held at the Ivy Club in London, United Kingdom - Thursday 14th May 2015

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Uma Thurman - Shots of a variety if stars as they attend the New York Premiere party for 'The Slap' which was held at The New Museum in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 9th February 2015

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Uma Thurman, Melissa George and Thandie Newton
Uma Thurman, Melissa George and Thandie Newton
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Uma Thurman - Photographs of a variety of stars as they attended the 2015 FOX Winter Television Critics Association All-Star Party which was held at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 16th January 2015

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Uma Thurman - NBCUniversal's 2015 Winter TCA Tour held at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa - Day 2 at The Langham Huntington Hotel - Pasadena, California, United States - Friday 16th January 2015

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Uma Thurman and Luna Thurman-Busson - Uma Thurman arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with her daughter, Luna, hiding her face as they leave the building together - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 16th January 2015

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Uma Thurman - Photographs of a variety of stars as they arrived at the 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards which were held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 1st December 2014

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Uma Thurman - Snaps from the red carpet as an array of stars attended the 2014 Bambi Awards which recognise excellence in international media and television in Berlin, Germany - Thursday 13th November 2014

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Uma Thurman - Photographs of various stars as they arrived at the Wings WorldQuest Women Of Discovery Awards Gala 2014 held at the Stephan Weiss Studio in New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 16th October 2014

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Uma Thurman - Stars including Sting, Idris Elba, Uma Thurman and Leonardo DiCaprio were photographed at the Global Citizens awards in New York, New York, United States - Sunday 21st September 2014

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Uma Thurman - Reopening of Tods Madison Avenue Boutique - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 8th September 2014

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Uma Thurman - 71st Venice International Film Festival - Nymphomaniac: Volume 2 - Directors Cut' - Premiere - Venice, Italy - Monday 1st September 2014

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Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Closing Ceremony - Arrivals - Cannes, France - Sunday 25th May 2014

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Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman
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Uma Thurman - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Closing Ceremony - Outside - Cannes, France - Saturday 24th May 2014

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Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Clouds Of Sils Maria - Premiere - Cannes, France - Friday 23rd May 2014

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Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman
Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman
Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman
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Uma Thurman and Luna Thurman-Busson - Uma Thurman tries to keep her face hidden as she arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with daughter Luna - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 18th March 2014

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Uma Thurman - EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Monday 17th February 2014

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Uma Thurman - British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Press Room - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th February 2014

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Uma Thurman - EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th February 2014

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Uma Thurman - EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Pressroom - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th February 2014

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Lars Von Trier, Uma Thurman and Stacy Martin - 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - 'Nymphomaniac' - Photocall - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 9th February 2014

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Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Lars Von Trier, Stacy Martin and Shia LaBeouf - 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - 'Nymphomaniac' - Photocall - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 9th February 2014

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Stellan Skarsgard, Bente Fröge, Lars Von Trier, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater and Stacy Martin - 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - 'Nymphomaniac' - Premiere - Berlin, Germany - Sunday 9th February 2014

Stellan Skarsgard, Bente Fröge, Lars Von Trier, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater and Stacy Martin
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Stellan Skarsgard and Megan Everett
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Stellan Skarsgard, Bente Fröge, Lars Von Trier, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater and Stacy Martin
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Video - Uma Thurman Promotes New Fragrance


Actress Uma Thurman (Kill Bill; Motherhood; Pulp Fiction) promotes her new fragrance, Ange ou Demon Le Secret by Givenchy at the Lord and Taylor Fifth Avenue Store in New York. The actress stands for photos before sitting down to sign a bottle of her new perfume.

Uma Thurman rose to fame starring in a number of Quentin Tarantino movies, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. It was announced recently that there was to be a third instalment in the Kill Bill franchise, with Uma reprising her role as The Bride

Video - Glamorous Actresses Jessica Alba And Uma Thurman Dazzle On Red Carpet - An Evening With Ralph Lauren Hosted By Oprah Winfrey Arrivals Part 4


Actress Jessica Alba (The Eye; Honey; Spy Kids 4: All The Time In The World) and her husband Cash Warren left their children home to attend An Evening With Ralph Lauren Hosted By Oprah Winfrey at the Lincoln Center in New York. Jessica posed separately for photos as well as cuddling up to her husband on the red carpet and she appeared to be very happy.

Kill Bill star Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction; Gattaca) also walked the red carpet and was the picture of elegance in a navy trouser suit and black shrug

Ceremony Trailer


Sam Davis is an unsuccessful children's book author, who persuades his estranged best friend Marshall to accompany him on a weekend away from Brooklyn. Marshall is all too eager to go, believing this will be a chance for him and Sam to catch up and reconnect.

Continue: Ceremony Trailer

Percy Jackson & The Olyimpians: The Lightning Thief Review


Good
To say this film has heavy echoes of Harry Potter is an understatement.

Although, the Greek-gods premise lets the filmmakers indulge in some visually whizzy sequences that keep this rather lightweight action movie entertaining.

Percy (Lerman) is a New York teen whose mother (Keener) has never told him that his father is the god Poseidon (McKidd) and his best pal Grover (Jackson) is actually a protector satyr. When Zeus (Bean) discovers that his lightning bolt has been stolen, he blames Percy. So Percy has to learn quickly who he is so he can find the lightning thief and restore peace to feuding brothers Poseidon, Zeus and Hades (Coogan). In addition to Grover, he gets help from a professor-centaur (Brosnan) and his fellow demigod Annabeth (Daddario).

Continue reading: Percy Jackson & The Olyimpians: The Lightning Thief Review

Uma Thurman - Motherhood Trailer


Watch the trailer for Motherhood

Continue: Uma Thurman - Motherhood Trailer

The Producers (2005) Review


OK
I'll confess up front that I never saw The Producers on stage. Not that I didn't want to: I'm a huge fan of the original Mel Brooks film -- a movie I consider, bar none, his best work and one of the 10 greatest comedies ever made. (I even wanted to name my firstborn after Zero Mostel, but that's another story.) The Broadway show also earned critical praise the likes of which few stage productions have seen: 12 Tony Awards and a waiting list for tickets that spanned over a year.

In 1968, Brooks was at the top of his game. He was also at the very beginning of it: The Producers was his first feature film, and you can track the quality of his movies on a steady decline which stretches from the awesome Blazing Saddles (1974) to the middling Spaceballs (1987) to the awful Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), Brooks' last appearance behind the camera.

Continue reading: The Producers (2005) Review

My Super Ex-Girlfriend Review


Good
To use relationship parlance, My Super Ex-Girlfriend is good for a one night stand. It won't be meeting the other DVDs in your family. When you see it on the cable stations, just nod and move on so no one gets hurt.

Alone and deprived of sex, New Yorker Matt (Luke Wilson) begins dating nebbish Jenny (Uma Thurman) hoping to get some frenzied lovemaking and little else. He gets more than that. Not only does he get a girlfriend, she's the city's savior. When not riding the subway and working at an art gallery, Jenny is G-Girl, the 21st century answer to Supergirl.

Continue reading: My Super Ex-Girlfriend Review

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen Review


Good
Before he made The Brothers Grimm, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was arguably Terry Gilliam's least popular film. The story is slow to start, takes too long to finish, and meanders almost irredeemably until finally paying off in the end. The story is adapted from the "tall tale" book of the same name, which gives us a self-proclaimed baron (John Neville in a career-defining role) who regales anyone who'll listen with story after story, each more absurd than the last. The highlight is the film's first major storytelling sequence, a flashback that involves Munchausen and his band of misfits trying to win a bet -- and doing so in amazing style. But so much of the film is so irrelevant that these feel like huge highlights lost in a sea of mediocrity and bad editing.

Tape Review


Bad
While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater -- the animated Waking Life, coming in October -- the filmmaker attempts to hold us over with Tape, a failure of a low-budget project if ever there was one. The movie is shot on video and confined to a single motel room, for the entirety of its real-time, 84-minute length. With such restrictive parameters self-imposed on a feature, success really must lie in creative direction, acting power, and a solid screenplay. All three are non-existent here.

Tape is based on a play by Stephen Belber, and the playwright contributes the clunky script, full of obvious dialogue and silly posturing. With one strike already against them, the experienced, name cast (Hawke, Leonard, and Thurman) then take the problem a step further, apparently not realizing that performances need to be taken down a notch on video, as the medium tends to overexpose every movement and moment. (While Thurman's performance is good, the trio need to watch Brad Anderson's Session 9 for a good example of subtle acting on video.)

Continue reading: Tape Review

The Golden Bowl Review


OK
James Ivory and Ismail Merchant had one hell of a mess on their hands in getting The Golden Bowl to theaters. In the end, they ended up buying back the rights from the studio, which wanted additional edits. Those edits might not have been such a bad idea, as the film, based on a Henry James novel, is considerably dull, despite its brisk pace and cast of dozens, all parlor-room types (and Merchant-Ivory alumni like James Fox and Nick Nolte) who speak in a hifalutin meter when they aren't busy boinking one another in a series of adulteries. And yet it's still boring. The Golden Bowl has some inviting characters (much like the similarly droll House of Mirth, but at least it had Gillian Anderson), but this story is just too slow, too predictable (oh, he married a girl for money but is in love with her friend... what a surprise), and too long to be of much interest to anyone but the costume-drama obsessed.

Les Misérables Review


Very Good
Believe it or not, this is the nineteenth adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel--and likely the last to star Claire Danes. I've never read it and I've bever seen the play, but it's a good enough flick, I suppose. The tale of Jean Valjean, a paroled criminal who tries to make a new life for himself, and Javert, the obsessed inspector who's always one step behind him, is a good one. But it flags in the third act, only to revive itself for a killer ending.

Continue reading: Les Misérables Review

Kiss Daddy Goodnight Review


Weak
This low-rent thriller is Uma Thurman's first performance (in fact, it's said it was her first audition, even). Grainy and cheap, the 1988 film has Thurman as a party girl who makes her living by letting people pick her up at clubs, then drugging them when they're back at his place. She ammasses cash and countless treasures this way, until eventually a murder changes the score.

Continue reading: Kiss Daddy Goodnight Review

Batman & Robin Review


Terrible
This fourth episode in the Batman series isn't a movie so much as a theme park. It wasn't scripted so much as run through the Hollywood script mill, where every line of dialogue is reduced to a catchphrase. "Allow me to break the ice," says Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), "My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom." That groaner is representative of pretty much every line of Batman's arch-nemesis. He later posits such zingers as, "Tonight, hell freezes over!" and "You're not sending me to the cooler!" This is not character development so much as paint-by-numbers screenwriting, where you can imagine the gang sitting around wondering what incorrigible pun they'll come up with next.

Tim Burton's first two Batman films were all about this nerd auteur playing with a gigantic train set, so even though the stories were threadbare and superficial, at least Burton brought a highly stylized pop Gothic look. Jack Nicholson hammed it up nicely as the Joker and Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman was an unforgettably sexy femme fatale who was able to hold her own in a power struggle with the caped crusader. Say what you will, the films had their moments, and even miscast Michael Keaton was an enjoyable wild card.

Continue reading: Batman & Robin Review

Dangerous Liaisons Review


Extraordinary
Until The Quiet American, this was only decent thing Christopher Hampton had ever written, and why shouldn't he, he had the source material to help him. The film famously follows backstabbing and intrigue in France, 200 or so years ago, as kissing cousins place a bet over whether Valmont (John Malkovich) can land prissy Marie (Michelle Pfeiffer), ruining countless lives along the way. It would be almost perfect if it wasn't for southern belle Swoosie Kurtz mucking up the works. Probably the best adaptation of the celebrated novel you can find.

Kill Bill: Volume 2 Review


Bad

Editor's Note: Last year I let Sean O'Connell and Jeremiah Kipp go at it -- Tarantino style -- over the merits of Kill Bill: Volume 1. The results were classic: O'Connell loved it, Kipp despised it. With the second installment of the highly-anticipated flick, the tables are turned. Now O'Connell's got his blade sharpened, and while Kipp is hardly a convert, he at least has a few kind words for the movie. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy round two of this battle royale!

Sean O'Connell: "the thrill has been completely abandoned"Movie geeks love comparing Quentin Tarantino's work to that of other celebrated directors, but the maverick filmmaker mostly reminds me of burned-out monster rockers Guns N' Roses.

Bear with me, because the analogy makes sense. In 1987, the astonishingly successful "Appetite for Destruction" turned G&R into global superstars, in much the same way that Pulp Fiction blasted Tarantino into the Hollywood stratosphere in 1994. Pressured to follow up their iconic works, both artists immediately cranked out forgettable fluff (see "G N' R Lies" and Jackie Brown, respectively). Eventually, though, each moved on to create overstuffed two-part epics - the "Use Your Illusion" albums for Guns and now the Kill Bill flicks for Quentin - that contain ingenious individual parts but don't add up to entertaining wholes.

The drop-off in energy, style, and coherence from last year's Kill Bill: Volume 1 to its bloated, disinteresting counterpart is so drastic and extreme that you can hardly believe they come from the same director, let alone conclude the same storyline. The tonal shift swings from playfully sinister to somber and sadistic, as Uma Thurman's revenge-seeking character The Bride spends two-plus hours being whipped, beaten, stabbed, shot and buried alive, all so she can repay Bill (a confident and friendly David Carradine), her former boss and infrequent lover who tried to murder her on her wedding day.

Say what you will about Volume 1 - and many commented on the copious amounts of bloodshed and violence - but it was never dull. The thrill has been completely abandoned in Volume 2, which trades its buckets of crimson blood for pages of dry dialogue that explore the history of these characters but bring us nowhere new. Tarantino loses us in mounds of useless exposition on regret, payback, and pain. It was far easier to swallow The Bride's bitter quest for revenge than this. Tarantino's self-adored mysticism, on display when Uma trains with kung fu master Pai Mei or finally confronts Bill, doesn't quite grab us as quickly or hold us as tightly.

Back to the "Use Your Illusion" analogies, which are endless. "Illusion I," if you recall, was known for its yellow cover (like Uma's yellow track suit in Volume 1), while "Illusion II" sported a blue cover (like the blue dress Uma wears to fight Bill here). Critics largely dismissed the "Illusion" albums as massive ego trips, though fans argued that you could collect tunes from each album and make one great record. I'd argue that you could take the better elements of both Bill films and streamline them into one terrific 2.5 hour vengeance ride. What happened to Harvey "Scissorhands" Weinstein? Can't he bear to stand up to his golden child?

Guns N' Roses broke up after the "Use Your Illusion" experiment without releasing another album of significance. Time will tell if a similar fate awaits the once-gifted but woefully unshackled Tarantino.

RATING: [][]

No swordplay at the dinner table!

Jeremiah Kipp: "even the steadfast may not feel rewarded"While Kill Bill: Volume 2 does not redeem its garbage predecessor, and indeed falls into many of the same pitfalls, it almost works as a domestic tragedy played against the backdrop of samurai swords and western shoot 'em ups. If Quentin Tarantino were able to resist his gleeful bursts of eye-popping sadism and his insatiable desire to reference all his favorite B-movies, grindhouse drive-in flicks, Japanese chop-socky actioners, John Ford, Sergio Leone, and whatever else he's stored up in his oversaturated junk food mind from those years at the video store, maybe he'd actually be able to deliver a human story and an allegory for a mismatched relationship killed by a broken heart.

The first volume completely failed, narratively and thematically and as entertainment, a mere aimless shuffle of Tarantino's reference-laden funhouse. This one starts off on the wrong foot with a goofball wedding rehearsal culled straight from The Beverly Hillbillies and Hee-Haw. Immediately followed up by a shot lifted from The Searchers, those who hated Volume 1 as much as I did may be bracing themselves for another two hours plus of the same "applaud if you're winking" chicanery.

That's when David Carradine shows up as Bill, and even though the scene inevitably climaxes with his gang massacring everyone in the wedding party, there's a moment of genuine life when he faces off against The Bride (Uma Thurman), a woman he loved that left him for another, and took his baby with her. Bill's a sadist and a killer, and stays true to his nature. But before that superficial action movie posturing takes hold, we're given a glimpse at real pain: a crack-up between two tough old bastards, Bill and the Bride, who can't admit how much this hurts them.

With his wizened features and gaunt frame, Carradine is a strong iconic presence. He conjures up memories of movie lore from his east-meets-west TV-series Kung Fu. The only other east and west comparisons are those drudged up by Tarantino's movie lore; Carradine is a part of that lore but his B-movie star presence has a bona fide history behind it. Sadly, Uma Thurman cannot hope to match it, and her performance still feels wrong. She doesn't convey charisma or ferocity, only a model's petulance and an ability to pose like a Charlie's Angel. No surprise that she faces off against Daryl Hannah as one of the assassins she has to kill before getting back at Bill. It's an aged, sun-baked version of the same thing: Looks pretty, can't act.

It's unfortunate that Carradine drops out of large sections of Volume 2, because those are the passages that flounder. Assassin Budd (Michael Madsen) is a bloated trailer trash monster that briefly turns the tables on the Bride, and puts her through an ordeal of being buried alive. This is Tarantino getting his kicks on watching his heroine suffer, compounded by a flashback where Bill's former trainer, an aged Cantonese master (Chia Hui "Gordon" Liu), does some Karate Kid training with the Bride that puts her through even greater humiliations: verbal abuse, physical abuse, mental torture, and a dog's misery. By the time The Bride escapes (we know this from the start, since she says she's wiped everyone out but Bill in the suspense-killing pre-prologue monologue), only to beat the living hell out of another woman character and give her a humiliating death scene. Tarantino never gives such low-down dirty treatment to the boys, who are too cool to die so pathetically, but he gets off on watching women get flayed. "Do you think I'm sadistic?" Bill asks before shooting his Bride after the wedding reception. Maybe Quentin is projecting, and he doesn't own up to it like Sam Peckinpah did in his finer works.

But those with indomitable patience may find some reward in the final half hour of Volume 2. Admittedly, that's a tall order. There are some very good scenes with David Carradine along the way, playing his tough guy as soft spoken and genteel. (He doesn't need to play up a character everyone else has been talking about for three hours.) But he and Kill Bill really come together at the grand finale, which doesn't play out as the kamikaze swordfight one might pre-suppose. When the Bride arrives to dispatch Bill, he has a few surprises in store for her that make her stay her hand.

This is followed by the appearance of a strange truth serum that feels practically Elizabethan in its use as a story device, as the former lovers get down to the real business of showing who they are. Tarantino throws in a pop culture monologue about superheroes, particularly Superman and Clark Kent, that manages to get beyond its geek surface and into nature vs. nurture, and true faces vs. false ones. Anyone who pretends to like their day job may be able to relate, and once this gets into the dynamic of being with another person, it grows messier, more complicated, and more real.

Genre fans will be happy about those final notes, though. Bill's final exchange with the Bride ranks up there with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro's climactic stare in Heat. It's an epic moment and a rare note of grace amidst the non-stop cartoon carnage (and cartoonization of rape, torture, and hatred of women) and smug hipster/movie brat shenanigans Tarantino bombarded us with -- and it's needless to have broken it up into two sections, or a serial. It's barely worth slogging through the wasteland of Kill Bill: Volume 2 to get there, and even the steadfast may not feel rewarded.

RATING: [][][]

The DVD includes one deleted scene, an extensive making-of documentary, and a live performance of the song that plays over the closing credits (and DVD gives you another chance to see just how self-indulgent this movie is -- the credits are 13 minutes long!).

Aka Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

Be Cool Review


Bad
Ten years after he forcefully established himself as a Hollywood player, smooth-talking mobster Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is prepared to flee the biz. His breakout smash Get Shorty opened the door to multiple money-grabbing sequels (wink, wink), and the once-enamored movie buff has been turned off by the homogenized studio system. "Movies are too corporate," Chili gripes when telling a friend (James Woods) that he's thinking about trying something new.

He's right, especially when describing his own meaningless sequel. Be Cool, the long-gestating follow up to Barry Sonnenfeld's hit gangster-in-paradise comedy Get Shorty, has been manufactured to the hilt to appeal to all demographics yet entertains none.

Continue reading: Be Cool Review

Gattaca Review


Very Good
I'd been looking forward to Gattaca since its clever promotions began several months ago, promising a story of a future-gone-wrong, a time when ethnic prejudice has given way to something even more frightening: genetic discrimination. It's in this setting that the genetically-inferior Vincent (played by Ethan Hawke) tries to advance his station by assuming the identity of Jerome (played by the creepy Jude Law), and putting the moves on the also-flawed Irene (Uma Thurman).

Everything goes well for awhile, and just as Vincent is about to realize his dream of going up as part of a space mission, the web starts to untangle. Here's where the problems of Gattaca start: you see, as a mystery, it really isn't much of one. The investigation into the murder of the mission director who may have known Vincent's secret is never very focused, and Alan Arkin's Columbo-type flatfoot seems to uncannily know where to go at every turn. By the time the investigation is over, the whole thing has felt like a put-on to waste an hour of screen time.

Continue reading: Gattaca Review

Prime Review


Good
The title makes no sense - when you hear Prime, you expect a movie about numbers or meat - but the sentiments found in this cute romantic comedy are easily identifiable. Writer/director Ben Younger follows up his stocks-and-bombs thriller Boiler Room with an unpolished but idealistic date fling that sounds like a sitcom setup but has more charm than a television set could contain.

Younger aimed high when casting for his sweet screenplay and attached two marquee names to his personal endeavor. Meryl Streep dons a frumpy wig and horn-rimmed spectacles to create Lisa Metzger, a Manhattan mensch and doting psychotherapist currently treating newly divorced, statuesque blonde bombshell Rafi Gardet (Uma Thurman). Following Lisa's advice to let loose a little, Rafi enters a relationship with David (Bryan Greenberg), a lower East Side painter who happens to be 14 years younger... and Lisa's son.

Continue reading: Prime Review

The Avengers Review


Terrible
I had heard it was bad... but this is downright silly. In a dead heat for worst movie of the year, an unconscionable waste of the prodigious acting talents that made this huge belly flop.

Kill Bill: Volume 1 Review


Excellent

Editor's Note: Once in a while a film comes along that's so popular the critics start lining up months in advance, begging to review it. Kill Bill is a case in point, and Tarantino would do well to turn his camera at the gory battles among the filmcritic.com staffers, what with all the limbs and blood flying everywhere. But Bill has also become another source of strife: It's the most contentious film we've reviewed in a long while, with lovers and detractors lined up on either side of a wide DMZ. So in the spirit of the kung fu flick, which inspired Tarantino to make Bill in the first place, we present our own knock-down, drag-out battle to the death. Enjoy.

Sean O'Connell: "writes itself into the Hollywood history books"Quentin Tarantino's fourth film, Kill Bill, reminds us why we, as a collective moviegoing society, wish he'd work more often than he does. The acclaimed director rocketed to cult stardom with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, cranked out an overlong homage to film noir in Jackie Brown, and then slid off the filmmaking radar for the better part of six years.

Well, he's back, serving as the director and screenwriter of a slight story built around a botched assassination and the ensuing desire for revenge. Plot-wise, Kill Bill couldn't be simpler. The execution, though, is so massive that Tarantino split the movie into two parts, which Miramax will release months apart from each other.

Tarantino may be receiving reams of press for his risky endeavor, but Bill's real star is Uma Thurman. She plays The Bride, a wispy blonde warrior left for dead by her former boss Bill (David Carradine). Four years later, she snaps out of a coma and swears vengeance on the fiends who shot her in the head. Tarantino asks the world of his leading lady, and Thurman delivers. She rolls her natural vulnerability and newfound butt-kicking passion into a steely ball of adrenaline. The right actress for this role, she effortlessly balances the physical demands of Bill with the lyrical demands of Tarantino's wordy dialogue.

All praise heaped on Tarantino's effort comes with a warning, though. Violent beyond comparison, Bill begs you to avert your eyes from the ceaseless bloodshed, and turns your stomach with its celebrated depiction of exaggerated brutality. The ear-slicing scene of Reservoir Dogs and the hypodermic needle sequence in Fiction still don't prepare you for the carnage Bill brings to the screen.

Yet for every one minute of time you spend revolted by Bill, you spend two minutes enamored with the risks Tarantino takes. An animated sequence only contributes to the onslaught, testing the boundaries of acceptable stylish slaughter. The lengthy fight sequence at The House of Blue Leaves writes itself into the Hollywood history books. Tarantino and legendary kung-fu fight choreographer Woo-ping Yuen repeatedly take Bill ten steps beyond the point of overkill. It's frequently elegant, but enough quickly becomes enough.

Right at the point you're ready to throw in the towel and write Bill off as a shameless gore fest, though, something occurs that pulls you right back into the fold. It could be Sonny Chiba's subtle performance as a samurai master selected to mentor The Bride. It might be Chiaki Kuriyama's deliciously deadly turn as a 17-year-old assassin dressed as a schoolgirl. More than likely, though, it's a visual trick conjured up by Tarantino's imaginative brain. Bill is gorgeous, but unwatchable. It's absorbing, then vile. With an ounce of restraint, Tarantino could've had a masterpiece on his hands. It certainly whets your appetite for Volume 2, though I'm thankful I've got until February to rest, wipe the blood off my face, and mentally prepare for another round.

RATING: [][][][]

Can you spear me now?

Jeremiah Kipp: "the epitome of soullessness"The Miramax hype machine was working overtime on Kill Bill, breaking Quentin Tarantino's epic pastiche of revenge into two volumes. Rather than serve this quasi-retro samurai saga in one three-hour heap, Kill Bill serves itself out in portions. Kill Bill reveals Tarantino as a sham auteur ripping off Hong Kong action flicks and 1970s B-movies for their surface frills. He's the cinematic equivalent of karaoke or bad photocopies, mindlessly adopting style while forgetting the basic precepts of storytelling.

The look of Kill Bill, courtesy of Oliver Stone's ace cinematographer Robert Richardson, neatly approximates the grimy drive-in quality of the Shaw brothers and whoever else Tarantino stumbled upon in the video store and the midnight showcase. But it only serves to highlight the vapidity of Kill Bill, a movie without characters and a plot in spin-cycle. Volume 1 offers us five out of the ten chapters detailing the revenge of a gung-ho assassin named The Bride (Uma Thurman). Her former teammates, led by Bill (David Carradine, mostly absent from Volume 1), attempt to blow her away at her wedding -- and kill all the wedding guests and her fiancée in the process. They fail, and when The Bride wakes up from her coma she's ready to kick some ass.

That's pretty much all you need to know about Kill Bill. The arbitrary chapters leap back and forth in time, and could be shuffled together in any order approximating the same thing: mindless, vapid slaughter. Chapter One: This bad angel swoops in to open up a can of whoop-ass on Los Angeles housewife/psycho killah Vernita Green (Viveca A. Fox). Before we've built up any interest or sympathies, The Bride and Vernita go mad-dog-crazy, smashing up furniture (and each other) in a domestic bloodbath.

Hold the phone for one moment. QT is getting a rise out of the slaughter, but there are at least five problems to be seen right off the bat. 1) He's replicating action scenes he's seen before, and working so hard at being cool (kittenish one-liners; been-there-done-that spin kicks; surprise gunshots) that you come to realize, you shouldn't have to work at being cool. 2) Vernita's four-year-old daughter wanders into the fray, and the two fighters politely stop and wait for her to go to her room. Its fake polite, and the child actor is directed so poorly it's as though she's an automaton. Mommy might get killed, but what's on TV? That's not just stupid -- it's simplistic. 3) Uma Thurman lacks the screen presence of a charged Charles Bronson or Bruce Lee; her aquiline nose and lanky body are better suited for modeling than dealing out death. 4) QT clearly gets off on girls fighting each other, but he lacks adult sensuality in favor of a teenager's drool. 5) The outcome of the match is inconsequential, since The Bride and Vernita are both presented as unsympathetic, detached, and cold blooded.

QT obviously learned nothing from the best scenes of Jackie Brown, which weren't the shootouts. They were the slow-developing relationship between screen icons Pam Grier and Robert Forster, who brought a warmth and humanity to QT's hipster-isms. That's drained bone dry in Kill Bill. Tarantino shows how much he's familiar with other movies, without crafting one of his own: The Bride drives around a gaudy car called the "Pussy Wagon"; villainess Lucy Liu slices off an enemy's head after delivering a lengthy monologue on mob etiquette; Liu's gang includes a Japanese schoolgirl minx. And at the end of the day, big deal! Tarantino assembles a list of his favorite things, and nearly breaks his arm patting himself on the back for it. His smugness infects every scene, and Kill Bill becomes a joyless joy ride through a fan boy's world. Who wants to see a movie made by Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons?

The epitome of soullessness is The Bride battling her way through Lucy Liu's gang in the already over-appreciated "House of Blue Leaves" sequence. Notorious? Hardly. It's a padded version of the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with limbs and spurts of blood flying through the air as The Bride kills everybody. There's no recklessness to it. Everything's too prescribed, too self-aware, too cool, and therefore too aloof and detached to be actually, God forbid, fun. When Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu run through the "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!" dialogue from Saturday morning cartoon commercials, it's a meaningless bit of hipster jargon that has nothing to do with anything. That's infuriating, because Kill Bill says in that moment that it's about nothing other than posing. Will audiences care, and will they line up for more flotsam and jetsam in Kill Bill Volume 2?

Don't give Harvey Weinstein, Miramax, and Quentin Tarantino the satisfaction of ripping you off. They're charging you twice as much for an incomplete movie, a soulless riff, a hipster machine coasting on the tired fumes of Tarantino's former glory. Jack Black talks about The Man in The School of Rock, saying that we should fight The Man and reclaim our independence. Well, independent film in the form of Quentin, Harvey, Miramax and Kill Bill is The Man. Don't let them sucker you.

RATING: []

Aka Kill Bill: Vol. 1.

The DVD offers scant extras, including two live performances by The 5, 6, 7, 8s (the trio of Japanese girls that perform at the House of Blue Leaves) and the usual making-of documentary, wherein Uma Thurman promptly misinterprets the movie by telling us it's about redemption. (Sorry Uma, it's about revenge. "Redemption" is doing something good to atone for past sins, not killing a bunch of people out of spite.) I guess you'll have to wait for the box set to get the real extras!

Vatel Review


Very Good
If you've ever heard of Vatel, it's probably only because you remember it was nominated for a Best Art Direction Oscar in 2000. And indeed, this is a lovely film to watch, even on the small screen. What I hadn't counted on was that Vatel would contain a good story with very capable acting, genuinely intriguing -- and based on a historical event, to boot.

Vatel is the central character in a critical weekend in French history (way back in 1671). Played by Gérard Depardieu, Vatel is the chief steward at the mansion of the Prince de Condé, a now penniless French nobleman whose last-ditch effort is to invite King Louis XIV to his estate for the weekend, through a rager of a party, and win the king's favor in order to get the post as general in the upcoming war against the Dutch.

Continue reading: Vatel Review

The Truth About Cats & Dogs Review


Very Good
What happens if you meet someone with whom you have almost everything in common, you find yourself falling for them, but the sparks of romance just don't seem to fly on a physical level? Maybe you need an extra body, and you can just play Cyrano in the background until that fateful moment when everything is revealed with hilarious results.

Such is the case in The Truth About Cats & Dogs, a pleasantly funny romance that takes another twist on the Cyrano tale, by taking two very different women (Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman) and pitching them at one guy (English actor Ben Chaplin).

Continue reading: The Truth About Cats & Dogs Review

Sweet And Lowdown Review


Weak
Woody Allen loves jazz. He loves jazz so much that he regularly skips the Oscars to play clarinet with his jazz combo. He talks about jazz all the time.

I love Woody Allen, really I do. I'm probably the only living critic who enjoyed Celebrity. I love jazz, too. Every Wednesday for two years, I saw a classic jazz quartet play tunes like "All of Me," "Rosetta," and "Old Man Time" in a dank cellar bar.

Continue reading: Sweet And Lowdown Review

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues Review


Terrible
A pair of wildly divergent views on Gus Van Sant's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues... -Ed.

Don Willmott, 1 star [lowest rating]

Continue reading: Even Cowgirls Get The Blues Review

A Month By The Lake Review


Good
Take a base of Enchanted April, a little of Il Postino, maybe some Mediterraneo, throw them together, and what do you get? A mess, to be sure, and I'm guessing it the result is something like A Month By the Lake, John Irvin's new film about two star-crossed lovers who find romance in their "golden years."

Vanessa Redgrave and Edward Fox play the leads of Miss Beaumont and Major Paulo, aging British singles who vacation at a lake in 1937 Italy, just before World War II. The pair soon discover each other: She is a headstrong photographer. He is a crusty businessman who dabbles in sleight-of-hand. Clearly, they are meant for each other, and a love/hate relationship develops on the spot. As the romance progresses, the two abuse and play off each other's insecurities so well, you'd think they really were a couple. When youngsters Miss Bentley (Uma Thurman) and Vittorio enter the picture and complicate matters, the film becomes a game of sly cat and mouse, where you never know who is chasing after whom.

Continue reading: A Month By The Lake Review

Pulp Fiction Review


Essential
Royale with cheese, baby, royale with cheese. The film of that single-handedly changed the face of American -- and world -- cinema in 1994, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is a rare masterpiece that is unlikely to be repeated by him, or his imitators. And believe me, many have tried, with varying levels of success.

This set of interlocking tales involving gangsters, boxers, druggies, and plain old joes is alternately exciting and funny -- and often both at the same time. Whether it's John Travolta's Vincent Vega doing the twist with his gangster boss's wife and later miraculously pulling her out of a drug overdose, Samuel L. Jackson reciting the Bible or picking splattered brain out of his enormous afro, Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer robbing a diner, Bruce Willis throwing a boxing match and later ending up facing a couple of oversexed hillbilly degenerates, or Ving Rhames overseeing the whole proceedings, the movie is utterly brilliant, hilarious, and thrilling. Even the little things are perfect: Tarantino has never since quite managed to recapture his masterful use of the close-up and fantastically interesting lighting choices. It's one of only a handful of films that gets better every time you watch it.

Continue reading: Pulp Fiction Review

The Golden Bowl Review


Very Good

Producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory's names have become synonymous with refined and flowery literary drawing room dramas because of their innate ability to instill such period pieces with unfettered emotions and tangible performances that transcend the corseted, courtly trappings of the genre.

You usually know what you're getting into when you see one of their pictures -- passionate romances hindered by 19th Century social mores. But that doesn't mean there aren't surprises, and in their Henry James adaptation "The Golden Bowl," the biggest surprise is Uma Thurman.

An actress known for playing most roles with an exaggerated sense of erudition whether the part calls for it or not, in this film she's entirely natural and complexly human as Charlotte Stant, a beautiful young American expatriate whose heart is thrown into turmoil by a complicated romantic roundelay.

Continue reading: The Golden Bowl Review

Tape Review


Weak

Another quickie guerrilla movie spawn of the digital video age, "Tape" is a real-time, three-character drama shot on the cheap in a hotel room by director Richard Linklater, who made such an awesome impact last month with the experimental animated philosophy daze of "Waking Life".

It's a movie that can work only if its characters hold you rapt for its entire run time -- and it might have done just that if said characters weren't so uniformly abrasive.

Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard play former high school buddies both in Lansing, Michigan, for a weekend. Leonard is there because he's an upstart filmmaker, convinced he's struggling for his art, whose first movie is playing the Lansing Film Festival. Hawke, a violent, drunk stoner with a chip on his shoulder, is ostensibly there as moral support, but in reality he has an entirely different agenda. He's never gotten over the fact that 10 years ago his high school girlfriend slept with Leonard. Now he has an ax to grind and a captive audience.

Continue reading: Tape Review

Chelsea Walls Review


Good

For an actor directing his first movie, Ethan Hawke has remarkable patience and an intrinsic knack for creating personal, intimate, candid, lingering moments between well-drawn characters in "Chelsea Walls."

This film is composed of handful of interwoven vignettes about denizens, new and old, of New York's Chelsea Hotel -- a legendary (and now somewhat unkempt) residential haunt of artists, poets and other Bohemians for more than a century. It is a film in which body language and unspoken human intercourse play a much more important role than dialogue, which often reveals its meaning only through the context of a scene.

Adapted by Nicole Burdette from her own off-Broadway play of the same name, "Chelsea Walls" opens with a pair of cops arriving at the hotel to investigate a suicide, then the camera wanders into another room to discover a pair of lovers whose passionate but ill-starred relationship has run its course. A leathery, hard-living writer (Kris Kristofferson) is trying to gently dismiss an uptown woman (Natasha Richardson) who wishes she had the will power to stop visiting, of her own accord, the musty Chelsea apartment he keeps darkened with forever drawn shades to better cope with his chronic hangovers.

Continue reading: Chelsea Walls Review

Paycheck Review


OK

After last year's botched bout with dour World War II drama in "Windtalkers," former Hong Kong action maestro John Woo is back to the far-fetched fun that is his trademark in "Paycheck," another too-Hollywood adaptation of a Philip K. Dick science fiction thriller.

Set in a stylish, chrome-and-glass near future where Ben Affleck is an in-demand high-tech engineering genius (yeah, right) who works as a hired gun on short-term top-secret projects, the plot turns on the fact that after each job he has his memory erased back to his hire date under the guise of what you might call extreme non-disclosure agreements.

Persuaded by a rich old friend (Aaron Eckhart) who runs a huge biotech conglomerate to take on a mysterious and illicit three-year job with a mega-bucks final payoff, when Ben wakes up after this latest gig, he discovers he's divested himself of a $93 million profit and left in its stead an envelope containing 13 cryptic items (strange sunglasses, hairspray, a paper clip, a fortune cookie fortune, a watch, etc.) that begin coming in suspiciously handy as he is hunted by assassins and the FBI.

Continue reading: Paycheck Review

Uma Thurman

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Uma Thurman

Date of birth

29th April, 1970

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.81


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Uma Thurman Movies

Burnt Movie Review

Burnt Movie Review

Strong characters help hold the attention as this overcooked drama develops, but in the end...

Burnt Trailer

Burnt Trailer

Restauranteering is not a profession that should be taken lightly. Indeed, it's less of a...

Nymphomaniac: Volume II Trailer

Nymphomaniac: Volume II Trailer

Joe is a fiercely determined 50-year-old woman whose sexual drive has taken over her entire...

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Trailer

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Trailer

Joe has always known she's been completely obsessed with sex ever since she was a...

Nymphomaniac Movie Review

Nymphomaniac Movie Review

At four hours long, this drama is as confrontational as anything we've seen by Lars...

Movie 43 Movie Review

Movie 43 Movie Review

A collection of random shorts that focus mainly on idiotic male behaviour, this portmanteau comedy...

Movie 43 Trailer

Movie 43 Trailer

If you were hoping for a romantic comedy with a harmless storyline, romance and inoffensive...

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Bel Ami Movie Review

Bel Ami Movie Review

Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel was first adapted for the cinema in 1919, and yet...

Bel Ami Trailer

Bel Ami Trailer

Georges Duroy is a French non-commissioned officer (NCO) who has just spent three months serving...

Ceremony Trailer

Ceremony Trailer

Sam Davis is an unsuccessful children's book author, who persuades his estranged best friend Marshall...

Uma Thurman - Motherhood Trailer

Uma Thurman - Motherhood Trailer

Watch the trailer for Motherhood What Does Motherhood Mean to Me? A question all mom's...

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Trailer

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Trailer

Watch the trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson isn't...

The Life Before Her Eyes Trailer

The Life Before Her Eyes Trailer

Watch the trailer for The Life Before Her Eyes.Diana and Maureen are two very different...

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