Vincent Guastaferro

Vincent Guastaferro

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Spartan Review


Extraordinary
What is the man behind such parlor-room films as The Winslow Boy and House of Games doing directing an explosive military thriller, complete with airdrops and sniper rifles? And starring Val Kilmer? Trust me: Give Spartan ten minutes, and you'll stop asking such stupid questions.

David Mamet's latest project is far from conventional fare, and ultimately that works in his favor. From the opening scene, where two soldiers pursue each other through a jungle, Mamet keeps us guessing. What kind of movie are we watching? Within about 10 minutes, the bones of the story are made clear: the president's daughter (Kristen Bell) has been kidnapped from her dorm room, and the Secret Service pulls out all the stops to get her back. That includes recruiting special operations soldier Robert Scott (Val Kilmer), an uncannily capable military man who's as intuitive with people and motives as he is skilled with weapons.

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Sweet & Lowdown Review


Good

Every time Woody Allen miscalculates and makes a movie as weak as last year's "Celebrity," I start to wonder if he's down for the count. I should know better.

Once again, Allen has come roaring back with "Sweet and Lowdown," a buoyant, saucy and deftly original faux documentary that purports to be about a fictitious jazz guitar legend named Emmett Ray (Sean Penn).

According to the old-timer radio jocks and jazz historians (writer-director Allen among them) that populate the movie's modern interview interludes, Emmett was a neurotic (no, really?), weasely egoist of a 1930s lounge lizard louse, whose curt and cocky facade barely masked a belly full of wild insecurities, the main one being that he was the world's second greatest jazz guitarist.

Continue reading: Sweet & Lowdown Review

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Vincent Guastaferro Movies

Spartan Movie Review

Spartan Movie Review

What is the man behind such parlor-room films as The Winslow Boy and House of...

Sweet & Lowdown Movie Review

Sweet & Lowdown Movie Review

Every time Woody Allen miscalculates and makes a movie as weak as last year's "Celebrity,"...

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