April 16, 2004 |
In the beginning of Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Uma Thurman, a.k.a. The Bride/"Black Mamba," wakes up in a hospital four years after her former associates (the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and Bill) have turned on her. Unfortunately, Kill Bill's first foray into home theaters is a betrayal, too. For all the hoopla of the DVD release, Quentin Tarantino's violent epic is on the QT in terms of satisfaction, as in the quiet tip. With the release of Kill Bill, Vol. 2 this week (see review on Page 4)
March 19, 2004 |
'The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past," the blind Master Po advised the earnest Grasshopper. A lot of the viewers were more concerned with getting rid of the seeds (and stems) as they watched Kung Fu, a trailblazing series that debuted in 1972. A western with a hero who had no gun and no horse, and carried his boots slung over his shoulder, Kung Fu told the story of Caine, a Shaolin priest who journeyed barefoot between adventures, spouting aphorisms such as "To go anywhere, begin by taking the first step.
September 14, 2003 |
Quentin Tarantino, whose profane eloquence snagged an Oscar for his Pulp Fiction screenplay, hasn't released a film since Jackie Brown in 1997. His fans are pumped for Kill Bill, described by producer Lawrence Bender as a "kick-ass female-action revenge movie with humor - imagine Clint Eastwood in the body of Uma Thurman. " The Pulp Fiction goddess stars as a hit woman who awakens from a four-year coma hell-bent on revenge against the man (David Carradine) who ordered a hit on her. Billed as "the only movie you need to see this year!"
May 19, 2003 |
Long lines snaked out of the cineplexes this weekend as The Matrix Reloaded scored the biggest opening weekend take ever for any R-rated movie: $93.3 million. Pretty good for a film in which kung-fu-fighting characters talk in philosophical riddles such as: "Choice is an illusion" and "There is only one constant. . . causality. " One must wonder which draws the crowds: Is it the existential terror that reality might really be an illusion concocted by evil computers to enslave humanity?
February 7, 2003 |
Two top bananas each imagine that the other is his sidekick. That's all there is to the joke of the irresistibly funny Shanghai Knights, but that's not all there is to this kicking sequel to Shanghai Noon. Once again Jackie Chan and his nimble limbs join forces with Owen Wilson and his loose lips, this time to rid 1887 Peking of British imperialists and London of Chinese assassins out to kill Queen Vicky. And once again the whirligig with the waist-length locks and work ethic (that would be Chan as Chon Wang)
June 10, 2001 |
Marian Reich lifted a slender leg into the air above her waist and gently lowered it back to the floor. Two onlookers oohed in admiration, but Reich brushed aside any compliments. "It's no big deal," she said. Actually, it is. After years of swimming laps, Reich, 72, of Cherry Hill, is in good shape, but when an inner-ear infection sent her sense of balance into flux last year, her ear-nose-and-throat specialist didn't just give her a prescription. He sent her to tai chi. Now, Reich has been enrolled at the Barry Brown Health Education Center at Virtua West Jersey Hospital Voorhees for several months, and the tai chi classes, she says, have not only improved her balance but have also made her stronger and more flexible.
April 23, 2001 |
Steve Schiavo wore a visor, sneakers and a T-shirt Saturday at the Central Bucks West Relays. Not the typical attire for the Pennsbury pole vaulter. Schiavo, a senior, was there to support his team and work on his tan on the sunny afternoon. He has emerged as one of the Falcons' top pole vaulters, but had to sit out because of a groin injury. He did not pull a muscle at track practice, though. The injury occurred while he was practicing kicks during kung fu, a class he has taken for 11 years.
February 16, 2001 |
At the very least, "Sweet November" deserves credit for maintaining a consistent tone - it's perfectly awful from start to finish. The needle on the Drek-O-Meter starts jumping immediately, when we see that Keanu Reeves has been miscast as a genius, tough-guy ad exec, assigned to come up with a cutting-edge campaign for hot dogs. His name is Nelson Moss, and when he makes his pitch to his conservative clients, he describes a campaign so dreadful, so offensive, so amateurishly conceived that his character immediately loses all credibility, taking "Sweet" down the tubes with him. This meltdown serves its bare-bones narrative purpose, though - Moss loses his job just as he hooks up with a fetching San Fran bohemian (Charlize Theron)
January 25, 2001 |
Enough, he told himself. You are better than this, he told himself. Shut up and do something about it, he told himself. Take kung fu and get better, he told himself. Show them your worth, instead of telling it, he told himself. Then the voice inside Amani Toomer's head was evicted. Serenity became the new tenant. "I just stopped worrying about being the guy on the sideline, moping and complaining," the New York Giants' wide receiver said. "I stopped worrying about the things I had no control over.
December 22, 2000 |
If we were to classify movie-goers, we might say that people who like "Die Hard" are from Mars, and people who liked "The English Patient" are from Venus. Each group loves its own kind of movie, and just as passionately hates the other kind. It's long been known in Hollywood that if somebody could somehow combine these two forms, make a movie that would satisfy both camps, it would be like splitting the movie atom. Or like joining the polarized atoms of entertainment and art to form an explosive new compound.