James DiGiovanna Archives

Issue Archives Index | Author Archives Index | Column Archives Index

Slasherville Duo
Freddy and Jason team up for more nightmares--and to rid the world of slutty teens. (08/21/03)

Franco-American Relations
'Le Divorce' offers a star-studded cast, but Kate Hudson is a puzzling choice for the lead. (08/14/03)

Bye, Bye, Mr. American Pie
The pie-loving star of the film series heads to the altar with friends and dog poop in tow. (08/07/03)

Boob Raider
There's no reason to care about a boring character like Lara Croft beyond her nipples. (07/31/03)

Scared Senseless
Horror-film 'The Eye' isn't scary, while comedy 'Johnny English' is terrifying. Go figure. (07/24/03)

Not So Extraordinary
"LXG" is a fun film, but it doesn't provide novel entertainment. (07/17/03)

Perky in Pink
The "Legally Blonde" sequel falls short despite its goodness and upbeat morality. (07/10/03)

Love, French Style
A tribute to old romantic comedies with a modern twist. (07/03/03)

Smashing Bad Time
"The Hulk" doesn't have much to offer besides its green star demolishing stuff. (06/26/03)

Quiet Ride
"Man on the Train" is a beautiful film but may be too sedate for American audiences. (06/19/03)

Awesome Anime
"Cowboy Bebop" celebrates Western culture by fighting terrorism on Mars. Really. (06/12/03)

Top 10
An interesting experiment in film looks at the life of a woman in Iran's oppressive society. (06/05/03)

Oldies But Goodies
The Loft's "Cinematheque" offers classic films that were meant to be seen on the big screen. (05/29/03)

It's a Mediocre Movie
Take the folks behind "Ace Ventura" and throw in God, and this is what you get. (05/29/03)

Biblical Proportions
"Divine Intervention" is a visually stunning film for a select audience. (05/22/03)

Aesthetics at Large
"The Shape of Things" examines the relationship between morals and art. (05/15/03)

Breath of Fresh Air
"A Mighty Win" is a sad, funny movie that's finely executed. Too bad it isn't longer. (05/08/03)

United, multi-faced characters and lots of action make "X2" a worthy sequel. (05/08/03)

Slasher Surprise
"Identity" benefits from a talented ensemble cast but suffers from a stupid plot twist. (05/01/03)

Heist Heaven
"The Good Thief" offers a good payoff. (04/24/03)

Webs of Time
The slow-moving pace of "Spider" gives you a lot to think about besides the movie. (04/17/03)

Back to Front
"Irreversible" is fine filmmaking, but due to its gruesome scenes, it's not family fare. (04/10/03)

The Joy of Independent Cinema
The Arizona International Film Festival's back--and it's cooler and weirder than ever. (04/03/03)

Quiet Masterpiece
"Gerry" asks a lot from its audience, but it delivers beauty and simplicity. (04/03/03)

Adventures in Filmmaking
"Lost in La Mancha" shows what happens when a movie falls apart--but it shows a little too much. (03/27/03)

Rat a Tat Tat
"Willard" doesn't improve much over the original, but it has great special effects. (03/20/03)

Unusual Bag of Goodies
"Love Liza" forgoes the standard formula to highlight the script and its characters. (03/13/03)

Buddy Movie of the Week
"Cradle 2 the Grave" has lots of action, stuff exploding and--oh yeah--two guys that become friends. (03/06/03)

Good Cop, Bad Cop
"Dark Blue" is quite funny--unless you're trying to watch it as A Film. (02/27/03)

Undignified Knights
There's no pow in Jackie Chan's latest flick. (02/13/03)

Men on Film
"Talk To Her" is an emotionally intelligent film with--imagine it--men talking about feelings. (02/06/03)

No Gonging Here
The "unauthorized autobiography" of Chuck Barris makes for a fantastic film. (01/30/03)

When Students Attack
Evil triumphs in "Das Experiment." (01/23/03)

Time Bomb
"The Hours" suffers from a weak story, bad soundtrack and a poor makeup job. (01/16/03)

Artfully Adapting
Blending fact and fiction, Nicholas Cage's new work is a film with a mind of its own. (01/09/03)

A Look Within
"About Schmidt" is a funny and sad movie about a man who finally takes a look at himself. (01/02/03)

Supreme Sequel
The next installment of the 'Lord of the Rings' series towers over the original. (12/26/02)

Where They've Gone Before
'Star Trek: Nemesis' rehashes old plots for a mediocre offering, but fans will find it engaging. (12/19/02)

Don't Analyze It
A sequel that reaches the depths of Hollywood. (12/12/02)

A Walk on the Quiet Side
"Solaris" uses emotion and silence instead of explosions to make its point. (12/05/02)

Spy Vs. Spy
Good guys, bad guys, hot chicks, dumb story--yet another entry in the Bond franchise. (11/28/02)

Technicolor Magic
'Far From Heaven' uses color and emotion to create a compelling period piece. (11/21/02)

Dodging the Statue
"Roger Dodger" is such a precise film, it will most likely be ignored by the Academy. (11/14/02)

Secret Agent Man
I-Spy blends comedy, action and eye-candy into a workable film. (11/07/02)

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Film recounts 1972 massacre in Northern Ireland with a forceful and compelling style. (10/31/02)

Packs a Punch
Adam Sandler's new film hits you between the eyes with its intellect and intensity. (10/24/02)

In Good Spirits
Hayao Miyazaki's latest animated film is a visually appealing tale with an engaging story. (10/17/02)

Striking Images
"One Hour Photo" is nearly picture perfect. (09/12/02)

Have No 'fear dot com'
This movie is so bad, it's almost enjoyable. (09/05/02)

Playing it Safe
"The Good Girl" takes a tried and true approach despite its independent status. (08/29/02)

A Head Too Big For the Picture
Robert Evans creates a successful film despite his big ego and narrative style. (08/22/02)

Middle of the Road
"Cletis Tout" achieves charming mediocrity without thrilling highs or groaning lows. (08/15/02)

A Positive Sign
M. Night Shyamalan's new film succeeds with a good script and camerawork. (08/08/02)

"Rain" is a calm and consistent film with fine performances. (08/01/02)

Cinematic Quality
"CQ" offers fine performances and two films for the price of one. (07/25/02)

A Cool and Refreshing Treat
'Fast Runner' blends Eskimos, action, ice and excitement into a delectable film. (07/18/02)

Cherish This
The movie works despite the annoying title song. (07/04/02)

Hollow in the Middle
"Minority Report" has plenty of action and eye-candy but lacks depth and vision. (06/27/02)

Rhapsody in Black
"The Piano Teacher" is no merry melody. (06/20/02)

Spy Games
"Enigma" is a mystery wrapped by a puzzling director. (06/13/02)

Wink and Nod
Although "Insomnia" has a suspenseful plot, it's not what dreams are made of. (05/30/02)

Attack of the Drones
George Lucas clones convoluted plot, grade-school dialogue and bad acting to create a popular but nearly unwatchable film. (05/23/02)

Something Good About Maryam
Ramin Serry's film examines cultural differences and prejudice with a keen eye and human touch. (05/16/02)

Webs of Steel
Spider-Man uses his superhuman strength to fight crime, stand for justice and entertain moviegoers. (05/09/02)

Slash Gordon
Jason comes back to the future continuing his crusade against lustful teens. (05/02/02)

Disturbing Appetite
Although a beautiful and sensitive film, "Trouble Every Day" is not for the meek. (04/25/02)

Pretty Picture
"Metropolis" is full of pleasing images but lacks a substantial plot. (04/18/02)

A Self-Indulgent Festival
"Festival in Cannes" takes a pretentious look at the movie business. (04/11/02)

More Than Skin Deep
"Y Tu Mama Tambien" explores the limits of male adolescence with bad sex scenes and classic American humor. (04/04/02)

Vampire Mania
"Blade II" teaches us we're all the same on the inside. (03/28/02)

Straight From Video
You're not likely to find a better movie about flesh-eating zombies and undressed former supermodels than 'Resident Evil.' (03/21/02)

Bloody Decent Film
Oi! Those lovable limeys admirably pull off a soccer-hooligan remake of 'The Longest Yard.' (03/14/02)

Fact or Fiction?
The filmmaker behind "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happiness" brilliantly exhibits the horror of suburban realism. (03/07/02)

Thorny Investigation
Missing persons, dead bodies, complicated emotions and no Crocodile Dundee--what more could we ask of an Aussie flick? (02/28/02)

'Crossroads' to Nowhere
Britney Spears' movie debut actually is worse than you might imagine. (02/21/02)

No Raincoats Required
'Intimacy' ranks among the best of recent European art films concerned with illicit affairs and graphic sexuality. (02/14/02)

Racism Confronts Romance
Lackluster cinematography distracts from top-notch acting by Billy Bob Thornton and even Halle Berry's breasts in "Monster's Ball." (02/07/02)

Gallic Kicks
"Wolf" offers stunning visuals, martial arts, cheesecake. What more could we ask? (01/31/02)

Resistance and Romance
Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup make googly eyes in World War II France. (01/24/02)

Impeccable Action
Ridley Scott proves his brilliance with a great war film. (01/17/02)

Bedroom Eyes
Cinematography is the best of several good things about this movie. (01/10/02)

Oh, Tenenbaum!
Wes Anderson's latest film defies curmudgeonly killjoys. (01/03/02)

Shipping Out
This adaptation of Annie Proulx won't do. (12/27/01)

Cruise Control
'Vanilla Sky' proves again that Tom Cruise has more than one flavor. (12/20/01)

Holding It Together
"Tape" explores the sticky side of a threesome. (12/13/01)

Double Indemnity
Joel and Ethan Coen can't lose, even with warped noir. (11/15/01)

Sexual Healing
Women take back the night with a series of films about the oldest profession. (11/08/01)

We've Been Slimed
"13 Ghosts" is haunted by all the usual horror-film conventions. (11/01/01)

PC Virgin
'My First Mister' masters mismatched romance. (10/25/01)

Curves Ahead
"Mulholland Drive" has every twist and cul-de-sac you'd expect from David Lynch. (10/18/01)

Stolen Kisses
The romance-comedy caper 'Bandits' gets a big, blurbable thumbs up! Sort of. (10/11/01)

Sentimental Journeys
Frears' flick frustrates film fan. (10/04/01)

Darker Shadows
The Screening Room surrenders to the dark vision of James Fotopoulos. (09/27/01)

Stone's Throw
"Glass House" is short of shattering. (09/20/01)

Guys and Dolls
Gay cinema gets conventional. (09/13/01)

The Story of 'O'
Othello goes to prep school in the latest Shakespeare update. (09/06/01)

Inch Worm
"Hedwig" is a great, if anatomically incorrect, rock musical. (08/30/01)

Off the Deep End
Take the plunge into an outstanding thriller. (08/23/01)

Made in the Shade
How annoying can a low-level gangster get? (08/16/01)

Gay Deceiver
Crafty Daniel Auteil swings on the closet door. (08/09/01)

Monkey Soot
"Planet of the Apes" is a stinkingly bad film that's silly and entertaining. (08/02/01)

Barney's Revenge
"Jurassic Park III" will leave you dino-sore. (07/26/01)

Boxcar Willies
A showcase of culture-jamming films will artfully give you the creeps. (07/19/01)

Mob Scene
'Sexy Beast' is a real gang bang. (07/12/01)

Ay, Robot!
Steven Spielberg dumbs down what could have been a great Stanley Kubrick film. (07/05/01)

Unnatural Selection
Survival of the fittest doesn't affect the summer box office, so "Evolution" has a chance. (06/14/01)

Wild Kingdom
Believe it or not, Rob Schneider's "The Animal" makes a statement about racism in America. (06/07/01)

La Vie en Rouge
Everything's bright, fast and loud in Baz Luhrman's acid can-can. (05/31/01)

Knight Fall
An amusing popcorn romp through the Middle Ages gets sappy and slushy. (05/17/01)

Night of the Annoying Dead
Some things should never come back to life. (05/10/01)

Three hours of beautiful life. (05/03/01)

Forget Freddy
"Freddy Got Fingered" is a disgusting piece of trash that captures the title "Worst Film Ever Foisted Upon the American Public." (04/26/01)

Best in Show
"Amores Perros" didn't win the foreign-film Oscar, but it shoulda been a contender. (04/12/01)

White Lies
With "Blow," Hollywood snuffs its own history of cocaine addiction. (04/05/01)

Sacrificial Pan
Our reviewer endures films like "Say It Isn't So" so you won't have to. (03/29/01)

Sleepy Hollow
"Too Much Sleep" is a deeply boring film. (03/22/01)

Cop a Feel
"15 Minutes" tries to be controversial but reverts to Hollywood flimflam. (03/15/01)

Roddy Doyle Ha Ha Ha
When all else fails, the Irish turn to love and laughter. (03/08/01)

Polished Up
With "Last Resort," Pawel Pawlikowski promises to be one of the greatest Polish filmmakers outside Poland. (02/22/01)

Pig In A Poke
"Hannibal's" promise of suspense casts brains before swine. (02/15/01)

No Love Lost
"Valentine" will take you back to the '80s and all its horror. (02/08/01)

In Bad Taste
"Sugar and Spice" has nothing nice. (02/01/01)

Dracula Bites Again
"Shadow" is a dim addition to the vampire genre. (01/25/01)

Brotherly Love
The Coens create the first great musical of the 21st Century. (01/18/01)

State of the Art
David Mamet pokes fun at Tinsletown from the inside. (01/11/01)

Simple Minds
The pseudo-intellectual "Quills" dumbs down de Sade. (01/04/01)

Virtual Morality
Can pistol-packin' beauty queens save America? (12/28/00)

Gall In The Family
Sentenced to suburbia, Nicholas Cage makes a poor "Family Man." (12/21/00)

Summit Rut
In "Vertical Limit," what goes up comes way, way down. (12/14/00)

If it weren't for all the yelling, "Proof Of Life" would be DOA. (12/07/00)

Going For Broke
Shyamalan reuses his recipe for success with "Unbreakable." (11/30/00)

Rest In Pieces
"Requiem For A Dream" is a stunning yet shallow look at shattered lives. (11/23/00)

Crash Landing
The producers of "Red Planet" will soon be seeing red. (11/16/00)

Salvation Army
Charlie's Angels delivers us from the need for substance. (11/09/00)

Bare Bones
'Blair Witch' scared the pants off enough tourists to make another movie. (11/02/00)

Persian Persona
'Drunken Horses' finds a Bergman among the Kurds. (10/26/00)

Lesbian And Gay Film Festival
Lesbian and gay film festival. (10/26/00)

Viagra Years
'Dr. T' invigorates the great American sexist spirit. (10/19/00)

Every Dog Has His Day
"Best In Show" is funnier than Dubya's smile. (10/12/00)

Tender Is The Knife
Eroticized knife-throwing sessions bring French cinema up to the bar. (10/05/00)

Slice Of Life
The slashfest 'Urban Legends: Final Cut' shows how much we hate teens. (09/28/00)

Scratching The Surface
Things are not what they seem in Almost Famous. (09/21/00)

French Cut
Human Resources challenges its audience with an uncomfortable tone of naturalism. (09/14/00)

Tao Dejection
'Tao of Steve' treads on familiar ground. (09/07/00)

A Bang For Your Buck
The Shooting Gallery aims to put American cinema back on target. (08/31/00)

Give It Up And Bring It On
A battle of good versus evil versus cute and fluffy (08/31/00)

Crème DeMentia
Schlock auteur John Waters returns to his roots. (08/24/00)

Weeding The Garden
In "Saving Grace," cultivating cannabis preserves England's upper crust. (08/17/00)

Deeper Than You Think
"Hollow Man" sees through all the horror-film conventions. (08/10/00)

Cheering For The Homo Team
"But I'm A Cheerleader" has something to say about sexual de-programming. (08/03/00)

Melancholy Drone
Ethan Hawke darkens Denmark's sky. (07/27/00)

Marvelous Mutants
The long-anticipated X-Men arrives, in full force. (07/20/00)

The Sick Sense
"Scary Movie" masters the art of the gross-out. (07/13/00)

Patriot Games
Mel Gibson's holiday blockbuster falls flat. (07/06/00)

Gross, Point Blank
"Me, Myself & Irene" is over the top. (06/29/00)

Make War, Not Love
The new "Shaft" replaces passion with bloodlust. (06/22/00)

Car Alarm
Is "Gone in 60 Seconds" worthy of an AATA investigation? (06/15/00)

Momma Mia!
Martin Lawrence's new film confronts the dilemma of sexual confusion. (06/08/00)

Mission: Implausible
In the battle between cute and handsome, which face will prevail? (06/01/00)

Humdrum Heist
Woody Allen takes the money and bombs. (05/25/00)

Future Schlock
God could create a new hell where Battlefield: Earth is shown endlessly, just in case there are people who are too evil to go to regular hell. (05/18/00)

Rome Is Where The Heart Is
"Gladiator" replaces the history in ancient history with good, bloody fun. (05/11/00)

The Wrong Side Of Bedrock
Audiences are better off not meeting the Flintstones. (05/04/00)

Samurai Surrealism
"Ghost Dog" is a trip to another realm, where every moment is surprising and quietly compelling. (04/27/00)

The Existential Executioner
Don't malign it because it's violent; "American Psycho" is one of the best films of the year. (04/20/00)

'Rumble' Stumbles
"Ready to Rumble" wrestles with good taste. (04/13/00)

Bad-Ass Bard
Romeo Must Die picks up Romeo And Juliet's plot, but goes far beyond it with wild-eyed fighting and high-powered weaponry. (03/30/00)

Sweet Revenge
Shakespeare's oft-derided "Tragedy of Titus Andronicus" dazzles as a big-screen epic. (03/16/00)

Tragic Comedies
While still a bit limp, "Drowning Mona" is pretty much "Citizen Kane" when compared to "What Planet Are You From?" (03/09/00)

Fear And Loathing In Nebraska
Academy Award nominee "Boys Don't Cry" arrives on local screens. (03/02/00)

Billionaire Boys Flub
Skip "Boiler Room" and rent "Glengarry Glen Ross" or "Wall Street" instead. (02/24/00)

Paradise Found
If life's a "Beach," then you'll want to see it! (02/17/00)

Cell Block
A reasonably clever idea suffers from an unreasonably weak script in "Scream 3." (02/10/00)

Blind Alley
There's one question raised by "Eye of the Beholder": huh? (02/03/00)

Diametrical Duo
"End of the Affair" is fine viewing, while "Down to You"'s main charm is cold sores. (01/27/00)

Astral Atrocity
No one should go anywhere near this non-movie. (01/20/00)

Storm Warning
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's story is intensely engaging; unfortunately, "The Hurricane" captures just about none of its intrigue. (01/13/00)

Flower Power
If your Ritalin prescription is strong enough to allow you to sit still for three hours, "Magnolia" is definitely worth the price of admission. (01/06/00)

Feature Shock
Suggested viewing for the new century. (12/30/99)

Short Circuit
You can pretty much figure out Bicentennial Man's schtick: a robot just wants to be human and blah blah blah. (12/23/99)

Wayward 'Journey'
"Felicia's Journey" winds up committing the greatest of cinematic sins: it's boring. (12/16/99)

The Devil And Hissed Groans
"End of Days" succeeds at being magnificently bad. (12/02/99)

'Enough' Is Enough
Some bad guy wants to blow something up, so James Bond has to have sex with an assortment of beautiful white girls. (11/25/99)

Smoke Screen
The Insider is a very important film. (11/11/99)

Access Hollywood
"Being John Malkovich" has a sharp script, a lot of oddball plot twists, and some great actors who can really pull off the weird and eccentric characters. (11/04/99)

Nude Awakening
Much of "Romance" is genuinely funny, though whether it's on purpose is a question open to debate. (10/28/99)

Prize Fight
As an intellectual macho homage to Ingmar Bergman, "Fight Club" can't be beat. (10/21/99)

Heart Failure
Somewhere in the middle of the movie, realizing that he's used up all the plot alloted him by the plot department for this flick, Pollack gets desperate. (10/14/99)

Royal Treatment
George Clooney and company pursue a king's ransom. (10/07/99)

A Real Beauty
The latest entry into what could be a new canon of filmmaking is the extremely well-made "American Beauty." (09/30/99)

Top Cop
Lawrence's performance alone makes "Blue Streak" somewhat appealing. (09/23/99)

Ghost With The Most
"Echoes" surpasses most of its peers in the horror-thriller genre with its precise plotting and exacting visual aesthetic. (09/16/99)

Eye Of The Beholder
You might experience déjà vu if you see 'Outside Providence.' (09/09/99)

Lethal Speed, Beep-Beep!
Skeet Ulrich, who somehow manages to package Keanu Reeves brain inside Johnny Depp's body, stars in this thriller about a chemical weapon on the loose. (09/02/99)

Slipped 'Mickey'
The most disturbing thing about Mickey Blue Eyes is the way it mistakes violence and abuse for light comedy. (08/26/99)

Tale Of Two Cines
It's the best of films (Detroit Rock City), it's the worst of films (Bowfinger). (08/19/99)

Crown Jewel
There's more to entice in "Thomas Crown" than Rene Russo's over-hyped breasts. (08/12/99)

Essential Iron
"Iron Giant" is one of the best animated features of the decade, and one of the best movies of the year. (08/05/99)

Kubrick's Rubes
'Eyes' is every bit as good as Kubrick's previous work. (07/22/99)

The Web is a smokin' source for mail-order evil. (07/15/99)

Virgin Territory
Two new films explore the morality of sexual awakening. (07/15/99)

Summer Sizzler
While Summer of Sam is probably Spike Lee's best film since Do The Right Thing, its maturity and difference from his earlier work may signify that his best is yet to come. (07/08/99)

Mat Rats
Great local pro-wrestling is more than just a battle of words and wits. There are also the costumes. (07/01/99)

Rad Dad
Sandler manages to rattle off quite a few good one-liners, the pleasure of which was only partially diminished by the string of pee, vomit and spit jokes. Shockingly, there were no poop jokes. (07/01/99)