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2004 Stories by Robert Wilonsky

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  • Movies: the Year in Review -- From Major to Minor

    published December 30, 2004

    To understand this most tumultuous year in film, over which loomed the ghost of a blessed messiah and the shadow of an accursed pariah, turn your... More >>

  • Splish Splash Thud

    published December 30, 2004

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

  • Crash and Yearn

    published December 23, 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 23, 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 23, 2004

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

  • All You Can Eat

    published December 16, 2004

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

  • No Dicking Around

    published November 25, 2004

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

  • Skip It

    published November 25, 2004

    As the year stumbles toward its conclusion and critics begin penning their best-and-worst compendiums, here's a holiday contender fit for the... More >>

  • Cage Death Match

    published November 18, 2004

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

  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Treason

    published November 11, 2004

    Directed by . Screenplay by , . Starring . Rated R. More >>

  • Super, Ordinary

    published November 4, 2004

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

  • Candy Caine

    published November 4, 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 softens... More >>

  • Messed Around

    published October 28, 2004

    Ray, director Taylor Hackford's 15-years-in-the-making biography of Ray Charles, begins as you might hope: with 1959's "What'd I Say (Part... More >>

  • Icky, Icky, Icky

    published October 28, 2004

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

  • Soft-Shoe Soft Sell

    published October 14, 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 7, 2004

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

  • Say Wha? Say Why?

    published October 7, 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 >>

  • Floundering

    published September 30, 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 has no... More >>

  • Already Forgotten

    published September 23, 2004

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

  • Shallow Pop

    published September 16, 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 team... More >>

  • Vote No

    published September 16, 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 >>

  • Yes, You Can

    published August 12, 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 5, 2004

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

  • Head Trip

    published August 5, 2004

    Perhaps the most unlikely thing to capture on film is the creative process -- the spinning of gears, the tripping of wires, the breaking of... More >>

  • Summer Camp

    published July 29, 2004

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

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