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Virginia Madsen - New York premiere of 'Joy' at the Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theater - New York, United States - Sunday 13th December 2015

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Virginia Madsen - "Joy" New York Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals - New York, New York, United States - Monday 14th December 2015

Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen - New York premiere of 'Joy'- Red Carpet Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 13th December 2015

Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen - The Los Angeles premiere of 'The Hot Flashes' - Outside Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 27th June 2013

Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen - Premiere of 'Peeples' presented by Lionsgate Film and Tyler Perry at ArcLight Hollywood - Hollywood, California, United States - Wednesday 8th May 2013

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Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen - Wanda Sykes, Camryn Manheim, Brooke Shields, Virginia Madsen, Mark Povinelli Tuesday 19th June 2012 The cast of 'Hot Flashes' and The American Cancer Society Celebrate 'Blow Out Cancer' at the Montage Hotel

Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen
Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen
Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen
Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen
Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen
Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Mark Povinelli and Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen, Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences and Academy Awards Sunday 26th February 2012 84th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) held at the Kodak Theatre - Arrivals

Virginia Madsen, Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences and Academy Awards
Virginia Madsen, Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences and Academy Awards

Virginia Madsen Tuesday 15th November 2011 Premiere of 'The Descendants' at Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen and Madeline Carroll - Virginia Madsen and Madeline Carroll New York City, USA - attend a Wrap Party for the upcoming film 'Summer at Dog Dave's' directed by Rob Reiner at Greenhouse Saturday 13th August 2011

Virginia Madsen and Madeline Carroll
Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen and Madeline Carroll
Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen and Afi Life Achievement Award Thursday 9th June 2011 2011 TV Land Presents: AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman held at Sony Studios Los Angeles, California

Virginia Madsen and Afi Life Achievement Award
Virginia Madsen and Afi Life Achievement Award
Virginia Madsen and Afi Life Achievement Award
Virginia Madsen and Afi Life Achievement Award
Virginia Madsen and Afi Life Achievement Award

Amelia Trailer


Watch the trailer for Amelia

Continue: Amelia Trailer

The Haunting In Connecticut Review


Weak
For those of us growing up in the '70s, there was one seminal, supposedly true, scary story. No, it wasn't Helter Skelter or the trumped-up Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No, in high school cafeterias everywhere, we teens were talking about George and Kathy Lutz and their 1977 journey into red-eyed demonic pig terror, The Amityville Horror. The novel was a post-modern masterwork, a complete con passing itself off as irrefutable "fictional" reality. Now comes The Haunting in Connecticut, a similarly-styled exercise culled from a novel, plus an episode of the always trustworthy TV show from the Discovery Channel. Oddly enough, it's another network -- Lifetime -- that sets the tone for this tepid terror tale.

Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer, life has been a struggle for Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner). While his recovering alcoholic Dad (Martin Donovan) tries to maintain house and home, well-meaning Mom (Virginia Madsen) drives several hours to Connecticut to try an experimental technique which offers some hope. The toll on the teen is too great, however, so Mom eventually moves the family to an old dilapidated house so he can be closer to his doctors. Almost immediately, weird things start happening. The building creaks and odd ethereal noises are heard. Soon, Matt is seeing spirits and discovering the facilities for a funeral home in the basement. As dark forces torment him and the rest of the Campbell clan, Reverend Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas) tries to save them from the evil forces festering in this psychically charged dwelling with a terrifying, telling history.

Continue reading: The Haunting In Connecticut Review

The Number 23 Review


Terrible
There are at least 23 ways in which The Number 23 sucks. The most important revolves around its inability to distinguish creepiness from cliché. It fails to realize that there's not nearly enough weed on this planet for its supposedly deep observations to blow your mind. As a result, moments meant to instill fear either evoke boredom or, more often, the giggles.

The movie begins with what has to be the 23rd re-enactment of the Seven credits that were groundbreaking 12 years ago. They do, however, feature a treasure trove of fun facts about the number 23 such as the Mayans predicting that the world would end in 2012. 20 + 12 = 32, which is 23 backwards; get it? Like I said, not nearly enough weed.

Continue reading: The Number 23 Review

The Astronaut Farmer Review


Very Good
The Astronaut Farmer taught me that, according to the Polish brothers, I am a dream-crushing non-believer. And all things considered, I am just fine with that.

The overly cutesy name refers to a man who is both a farmer and named Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton), a rancher in a small Texas town who never gave up his youthful dreams of becoming an astronaut, and so continues pursuing them in his spare time. Out in his barn, he's spent years building a rocket out of salvaged parts in order to finally get himself into outer space. Farmer's entire family revolves around his dream: His 15-year-old son runs mission control, his adorable little girls play moon games, and his family ranch is mortgaged to the hilt to pay for it.

Continue reading: The Astronaut Farmer Review

American Gun (2002) Review


OK
James Coburn's final film went straight to video, and alas it's nothing special. American Gun tells the story of Martin Tillman, whose daughter (Virginia Madsen) is suddenly shot and killed. (On Christmas, no less.) He then does possibly the least sensible thing on earth: He goes on a nationwide journey to find out where the gun that killed her came from, and whose hands it passed through on the way to his neck of the woods. This leads him from the gun factory to the dealer to various thugs until he gets all the way back home. Putting aside the fact that it would be next to impossible to follow such a chain of ownership, we immediately wonder how a geriatric like Coburn is going to handle all this travel -- and it ain't exactly to the most scenic parts of the country.

Never mind all that, this is a journey of self-discovery, as Martin has some demons he's obviously trying to exorcise. He's got a granddaughter to atone with, a wife who's a bit distant, and a dead daughter, of course. By the end we've got a whopper of a secret in store, but still it's a little hard to swallow this Twenty Bucks-style road trip.

Continue reading: American Gun (2002) Review

A Prairie Home Companion Review


Very Good
Even among NPR fans - already a rather specific group - there is somewhat of a rift when it comes to the weekly program, A Prairie Home Companion. It's the sort of corny jokes and quaint folk singing that went out of fashion a half-century ago, and to listeners it can be a soothing throwback -- unbearably, cloyingly sweet -- or, to folks who drink Tab cola and wear Reading Rainbow screen-print tees, so uncool it's hip.The film of the same name is really just a barely fictionalized version of the radio show - the content is the same, the gentle, homey sensibility certainly is the same; the only real difference is the parts are played by superstar talent. So it has precisely the same appeal and built-in fans of the program. Fans of director Robert Altman will be most pleased. If you aren't a follower already, well, there is precisely nothing here to win you over. It's A Mighty Wind without the irony.Despite decades of popularity, it's the end of the road for A Prairie Home Companion, because the radio station was sold to a Texas corporation (undoubtedly one in the oil business) that sent someone north to fire the cast and raze the theatre. Flitting between onstage and off are the cast and crew, now abuzz at the thought of a looming axe: a pair of floopy, scattered singing sisters; two ribald cowpokes; a stage manager harried by the performers' eccentricities; a tritely rebellious teenager; a weepy sandwich lady and her lover; a blonde in a white trench coat acting as a ham-fisted filmic device; and a house detective so trapped in the dames-and-private dick era that he's named Guy Noir. At the center of it all is Garrison Keillor, playing himself as the unflappable, vaguely bewildered host of the program.The manic energy, overlapping scenes, and meandering (and often unresolved) storylines are all Altman trademarks, to be sure, but as scripted by Keillor, they all fit in nicely with this cozy brand of Americana. Also, the setting falls in with Altman's affinity for setting films amid the controlled chaos that goes into creating art, which has led him to making some masterpieces (The Player) and some majestic flops (Ready to Wear). Companion, it must be said, is neither.It does hop with rapid-fire wit, and the cast is enviable, if occasionally baffling. The standouts are hardly surprising - Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin are charming as the flighty Johnson sisters; Kevin Kline embraces anachronism as the hapless Noir; and though it seems unfair to commend him for playing himself, Keillor is a delightful center to the storm. And though she may appear incongruous on the list of heavy-hitters and accomplished character players, Lindsay Lohan, playing Streep's sulky daughter, is either quite sweet or not intolerable, depending on how tired you are of her tabloid persona.The missteps are unmistakable, though, glaring despite the frantic pace and mishmash of characters and stories. Plot points are picked up and promptly dropped, which is simply ambiance when it is a running joke about how Keillor got into radio, but feels inappropriate when it is the death of one of the show's regulars. Including a luminescent angel of death worked well in All That Jazz, but here, poor Virginia Madsen is saddled with a clunky, useless, monotone role that is utterly pointless. And the unevenness of the Noir character is aggressively irritating - fart humor and slapstick who's-on-first routines? Really? That's beneath this film, or it should be.Perhaps the stylings of Keillor and Altman are oddly too well-suited. For rabid Companion fans - and perhaps avid Altman followers as well - the film is like watching something you have seen and loved a hundred times already, but in some new way. If you are outside the built-in audience, however, the entire film is an inside joke: someone can explain it to you, but it will never be as fun as if you just... got it.Can I get an Amen?

Firewall Review


Weak
There is now practically a subgenre of films in which the protagonist's family is kidnapped and the bad guys use that leverage to get him or her to perform some misdeed. Nick of Time, Hostage, and Red Eye all fit the bill. Firewall borrows not so much from these as it does from a television version of this scenario: The first season of 24. In addition to the premise, it borrows the technology (video and audio surveillance of our hero), a current cast member as the lead's assistant (Mary Lynn Rajskub), and even the main character's first name. Sadly, in gathering all these elements, Firewall fails to learn any of the lessons of the show it pilfers from.

Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) is the prosperous head of security at a Seattle bank. His wife, Beth, (an utterly wasted Virginia Madsen) is a successful architect who designed their gorgeous home. They have two lovely stereotypical kids and a dog, and in our first five minutes with them just about every major plot point of the film is telegraphed in 28-point blinking bold script.

Continue reading: Firewall Review

Dune (1984) Review


Very Good
Did you know David Lynch at one time considered directing Return of the Jedi? Legions of George Lucas fans are probably delighted that he never got the shot, because for better or for worse (probably for worse) it might have turned out like the bizarre sci-fi experiment Dune. I've sometimes been accused of defending Lynch even when he's not working at his best. That's clearly the case here, resulting in a compromised megabudget effort where Lynch attempts to indulge his graphic art sensibility and please a mass audience at the same time. It just doesn't fly.

But Lynch fans might find stuff to enjoy in Dune anyhow. After all, there's a floating bug monster that parlays with Jose Ferrer's space emperor in the early going, flanked by legions of somnambulant slaves in black raincoats that probably inspired the villains in Dark City. This is followed by Kenneth MacMillan's puss-faced Baron Harkonnen floating around on wires, plucking out the heart of an angel-faced boy-toy (who was planting Blue Velvet-style pastel flowers only moments earlier), and sharing some homo-erotic blubbering with his nephew Feyd (played by Sting, who can't act but lends the film his charismatic rock star presence). Even when the plot is difficult to follow -- some nonsense involving a trade war over different planets that all made sense in Frank Herbert's original novel -- there's enough giddy comic book theatrics to keep Dune interesting as it meanders along for nearly three hours.

Continue reading: Dune (1984) Review

Class Review


Good
This flawed but generally amusing comedy set up Rob Lowe's career -- even though he's just a supporting character here. The real story is between his prep school roommate (Andrew McCarthy) and Lowe's mom -- who have a torrid affair without realizing the identity of one another. Also well-known (and rightfully so) for Virginia Madsen's topless slapstick routine, a classic film clip for over 20 years.

Raw Heat Review


Bad
Somewhere between Remington Steele and James Bond, Pierce Brosnan had a little lull in his career... that is, if you can call eight years a lull. Made in the dead center of that lost decade, Brosnan turns in a lifeless, blood-drained performance in Raw Heat, a tepid psychological thriller that feels borrowed from such films as Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Color of Night -- the worst parts of each.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Female psychiatrist (JoBeth Williams) finds herself falling for a tall, dark stranger (Brosnan), only one of her crazy patients (Virginia Madsen) claims that stranger is actually a madman! Do you believe the rich, sexy widower or the nutcase who keeps showing up when fires are started and blood is thrown all over your kitchen.

Continue reading: Raw Heat Review

Sideways Review


Excellent
Miles (Paul Giamatti) is the most self-aware lead character yet in an Alexander Payne film, so of course he's despondent. Payne's previous films specialize in characters grappling with self-delusion, like retiree Warren Schmidt of About Schmidt and self-important Tracy Flick of Election. But Miles is different -- he walks with the slumping posture of, well, a Paul Giamatti character, and he has no choice but to live by his insecurities.

Jack (Thomas Haden Church), on the other hand, covers his with several layers of restless horniness. Jack is a washed-up actor about to marry Christine (Alysia Reiner), and he's Miles' best friend from college, who doesn't understand why Miles can't just get over his divorce. Or his oft-rejected novel. Or his increasing dependence on wine, or the accompanying feeling that, as a middle-aged man, he has long ago peaked. Jack and Miles embark on a trip through California wine country, as a last hurrah for Jack's bachelorhood. Miles want to drink fine wine and play golf; Jack wants to drink anything and pick up women.

Continue reading: Sideways Review

The Prophecy Review


Bad
Huh? We've got vengeful angels, we've got a soul hidden in the body of a little girl, we've got Virginia Madsen as a brunette. We've got a plot that's hopelessly confusing and dully simple at the same time. We've got bad dialogue and sleep-inducing momentum -- and this is an action film. Naturally, what else did we get? Sequels.

Artworks Review


Weak
It was 1990's Highlander 2 that sunk Virginia Madsen's career and it was 2004's Sideways that resurrected it. Here's one from those lost years, brought back to life thanks to her sudden resurgence. Expect to see a lot of movies like Artworks in the coming months: Low budget affairs she made, probably out of boredom, and lacking much to really make you want to watch.

In Artworks (and yes, that title is horrible), Madsen is Emma, a security system salesperson, the police chief's daughter, and an amateur artist. She hooks up with Bret (Rick Rossovich), an art gallery owner. Together, they hatch a plan to rob the locals of the paintings they don't properly appreciate: Both of them hate phonies that collect art simply for bragging rights. The remainder of the film tracks their heists and eventual comeuppance, in between panty-clad romps in the bedroom.

Continue reading: Artworks Review

After Sex Review


Bad
Women complain about relationships. Men do too. Brooke Shields appears. That's more ink than the movie deserves.

The Haunting Review


Weak

Sooner or later, somebody had to make a super-spectacular CGI horror movie. I suppose it might as well be Jan DeBont, the guy who helped pioneer the F/X-over-substance, computer-generated blockbuster with his second movie, "Twister."

But lest he be mistaken for a director with any sense of moderation, DeBont lets his Intel-inside ghosts and goblins run rampant and unchecked in "The Haunting" -- a neo-classic horror remake with special effects so distractingly, excessively cool that you'll completely forget to be scared.

The plot of "The Haunting" -- that an unethical psychology prof (Liam Neeson) doing a study in fear bunks a trio of volunteer insomniacs at a haunted house under the guises of a sleep study -- is ridiculous and practically irrelevant against the backdrop of the manically over-decorated Xanadu in which hundreds of iron-cast, zombie-eyed cherubs, lions and deformed human sculptures morph to life and terrorize the cast.

Continue reading: The Haunting Review

SIDEWAYS Review


Excellent

Many film critics obsess over how faithful certain movies are to their source novels, and whether or not the fans will appreciate the big screen version of their beloved book. Yet books are books and movies are movies, and their paths rarely cross except in the most superficial ways.

Now comes a film that was adapted from a book, and something special has happened. Alexander Payne's "Sideways" emerges as a full-fledged film, with a brilliant use of cinematic language and pacing, but also has a novelistic breadth without spilling much over the 2-hour mark.

It's a deceptively simple (at first), deep and thoughtful film in which two seemingly shallow, thoughtless buddies -- neurotically divorced failed novelist Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Id-fueled failed actor Jack (Thomas Haden Church) -- take a road trip into Southern California wine country just before Jack is due to get married.

Continue reading: SIDEWAYS Review

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Virginia Madsen Movies

Joy Movie Review

Joy Movie Review

After Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, mercurial filmmaker David O. Russell reunites with Jennifer...

Joy Trailer

Joy Trailer

Joy Mangano always wanted to be an inventor and, after getting married, having three children...

Walter Movie Review

Walter Movie Review

The shift from bright comedy to rather grim drama is gradual enough to carry the...

Father Of Invention Trailer

Father Of Invention Trailer

Robert Axle is a wealthy infomercial master. However, when one of his latest inventions has...

Red Riding Hood Movie Review

Red Riding Hood Movie Review

Just nutty enough to be entertaining, this fairy tale would have benefitted from a more...

Red Riding Hood Trailer

Red Riding Hood Trailer

Valerie is a young woman who lives in a village that has been haunted by...

Amelia Trailer

Amelia Trailer

Watch the trailer for Amelia Amelia Earhart was a true hero to many men and...

Diminished Capacity Trailer

Diminished Capacity Trailer

Watch the trailer for Diminished CapacityCooper is the editor of a politics section in a...

The Number 23 Movie Review

The Number 23 Movie Review

There are at least 23 ways in which The Number 23 sucks. The most important...

The Astronaut Farmer Movie Review

The Astronaut Farmer Movie Review

The Astronaut Farmer taught me that, according to the Polish brothers, I am a dream-crushing...

The Number 23, Trailer Trailer

The Number 23, Trailer Trailer

The Number 23 Trailer The psychological thriller "The Number 23" stars Jim Carrey as a...

A Prairie Home Companion Movie Review

A Prairie Home Companion Movie Review

Even among NPR fans - already a rather specific group - there is somewhat of...

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