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2004 Stories by Robert Wilonsky

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  • Leaning Sideways

    published December 30, 2004

    Our best movies of the year may actually have been anything but the best to a few of our critics: Such is the dilemma of offering employment to... More >>

  • Cine Bon!

    published December 30, 2004

    The Gospel According to Mel Who needs studio publicists when every fundamentalist pastor in the country is herding his flock to the... More >>

  • Second Run

    published December 30, 2004

    While Michael Moore and Mel Gibson garnered most of this year's critical attention, plenty of fine films opened to little or no fanfare. Following... 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 from 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:... 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... More >>

  • Cuts Like a Knife

    published December 16, 2004

    The story is simple enough: Sometime during the dying days of the Tang Dynasty in China, though it could really be any time and any place, two... 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 >>

  • No Dicking Around

    published November 18, 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 18, 2004

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

  • The Edge of Treason

    published November 11, 2004

    A week after having seen Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, no memory of it remains except for some scribblings in my notepad --... 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... More >>

  • Say Why?

    published October 14, 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 >>

  • 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 non-fiction book Friday Night... 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... 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... 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 >>

  • Summer Camp

    published July 29, 2004

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

  • Just One of Those Biopics

    published July 22, 2004

    Is this one of those avant-garde things?" a dying Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) warily asks Gabe (Jonathan Pryce), a sort of Ghost of Musicals Past... More >>

  • Good News

    published July 8, 2004

    Anchorman, co-written by its star, Will Ferrell, plays like a series of outtakes strung together more or less in a random sequence.... More >>

  • Run, Do Not Crawl

    published July 1, 2004

    All you need to know about Spider-Man 2 is revealed in the opening credits, in which comic-book artist Alex Ross recaps the 2002... More >>

  • The Whole Truth?

    published July 1, 2004

    Jehane Noujaim co-directed 2001's remarkable Startup.com, about two Internet whiz kids who brokered just... More >>

  • Wrong Wayans

    published July 1, 2004

    Perhaps some day in the distant future, film scholars and academics concerned with race relations will devote papers and lectures and even entire... More >>

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