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2004 Stories by Robert Wilonsky

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  • Splish Splash Thud

    published December 29, 2004

    The early reviews for Beyond the Sea, the Bobby Darin biopic on which Kevin Spacey did everything save for feeding the crew and... More >>

  • Crash and Yearn

    published December 22, 2004

    The parade of real-life figures strolling into the googolplex has been endless this year: Look, there's Jamie Foxx as musical Mount Rushmore Ray... More >>

  • Focking Wonderful

    published December 22, 2004

    When your movie gets riotous laughter out of endless utterances of the word "Focker," it doesn't have to try very hard. So it's no surprise that... More >>

  • Sea of Loathe

    published December 22, 2004

    The critic who takes notes during The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou will ultimately fill a notepad only with scribbled details:... More >>

  • All You Can Eat

    published December 15, 2004

    In Spanglish, which is less a story than a snapshot of a crumbling marriage populated by sitcom characters, Adam Sandler plays John... More >>

  • No Dicking Around

    published November 24, 2004

    The most shocking thing about Kinsey, the first film from writer-director Bill Condon since 1998's Gods and Monsters, is how... More >>

  • Cage Death Match

    published November 17, 2004

    Jerry Bruckheimer has always insisted he cares less about critical acclaim than commercial appeal. "We make movies for the common man," he said... More >>

  • The Edge of Treason

    published November 10, 2004

    A week after having seen Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, no memory of it remains save some scribblings in my notepad; such is the... More >>

  • Super, Ordinary

    published November 3, 2004

    Since its initial publication in 1986, myriad filmmakers have attempted in vain to film Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic book Watchmen,... More >>

  • Candy Caine

    published November 3, 2004

    Writer-director Charles Shyer's Alfie is less a remake of the 1966 film that made Michael Caine a star than it is a retooling that... More >>

  • Messed Around

    published October 27, 2004

    Ray, director Taylor Hackford's fifteen-years-in-the-making biography of Ray Charles, begins as you might hope: with 1959's "What'd... More >>

  • Icky, Icky, Icky

    published October 27, 2004

    Even before the movie begins, as the New Line logo is still coalescing on a dark screen, a man speaks the soundtrack. He's talking about... More >>

  • Say Wha'? Say Why?

    published October 20, 2004

    Maybe it's the mark of a great film that it can affect an audience member even when he sleeps through the entire thing. Such was the case with my... More >>

  • Mind Games

    published October 20, 2004

    Before he made Primer for some $7,000, Dallas software-engineer-turned-writer-director-actor-editor Shane Carruth had no idea how to... More >>

  • Soft-Shoe Soft Sell

    published October 13, 2004

    It would be so easy to titter and scoff at Shall We Dance?, a Miramaxed-out version of the 1996 Japanese film of the same name,... More >>

  • Hell of a Catch

    published October 6, 2004

    There are at least three movies contained within the covers of H.G. Bissinger's best-selling 1990 nonfiction book Friday Night... More >>

  • Gabba Gabba Henh

    published September 29, 2004

    The Ramones have been commodified (shilling Bud Light with "Blitzkrieg Bop"), deified, even gentrified (on the soundtrack to The Royal... More >>

  • Floundering

    published September 29, 2004

    Shark Tale is an animated film, though after you see it you might wonder whether the term is intended as oxymoronic. Put simply, it... More >>

  • Already Forgotten

    published September 22, 2004

    In this year of political movies, in which agendas serve as plots, comes the unlikeliest candidate of them all, The Forgotten, in... More >>

  • Vote No

    published September 15, 2004

    Silver City is being marketed as a biting, bitter send-up of George W. Bush. Hence the copious use of trailer footage in which Chris... More >>

  • Shallow Pop

    published September 15, 2004

    Mr. 3000 has low aspirations, which suits it well. It's about a 47-year-old baseball player trying to get three meager hits and the... More >>

  • Yes, You Can

    published August 18, 2004

    A good friend likes to say that there's only one kind of great pop song -- the song that someone had to create, as though the writer and... More >>

  • Nasty Girl

    published August 4, 2004

    Little Black Book, with its Carly Simon soundtrack all but daring you to tune the film out before it begins, is being marketed as a... More >>

  • Summer Camp

    published July 28, 2004

    Jonathan Demme's gutsy The Manchurian Candidate, which dares to rear its head just as the Democratic National Convention convenes in... More >>

  • Scars and Bars

    published July 28, 2004

    "Whadyawant, motherfuck?" They're the first words Charles Bukowski speaks in John Dullaghan's documentary about the poet and novelist, famous for... More >>

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