'Mothman Prophecies' uses true-life event as inspiration for atmospheric thriller
By Loey Lockerby There are two sure-fire ways to make a movie truly scary. One is to create an internal logic that closes in on the audience, building suspense by making everything horrifyingly inevitable. The other is to plunge viewers into a nightmare world, where every dark narrative corner contains some nerve-racking surprise. "The Mothman Prophecies" tries to do both, and never entirely succeeds at either.
'I Am Sam' supplies feel-good superficiality to a potentially interesting custody dilemma
By Loey Lockerby Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) is a devoted single father to the beautiful, precocious Lucy (Dakota Fanning). He works hard, pays the bills and spends lots of quality time with his little girl. He also has the mental development of a 7-year-old.
By Loey Lockerby Brad Anderson's "Happy Accidents" is sort of a cinematic Frankenstein monster, pieced together from the remains of other movies. There's a touch of "K-PAX, " a bit of "Somewhere in Time," a smidgen of "Memento," and quite a lot of the classic short film "La Jetée." Even with these derivative roots, however, "Happy Accidents" is told with enough cleverness to make it a diverting fantasy.
By Loey Lockerby, Dan Lybarger and Jon Niccum The year 2001 didn't offer as many consistent cinematic delights as the movie of the same title. But the odyssey that was this film year had a number of things going for it, like the fact that it was a record-breaker at the box office. Despite all the glut of pay-per-view, DVDs and streaming Internet video, people still found the local theater to be the overwhelmingly preferred choice for entertainment.
An eccentric household struggles for acceptance in 'The Royal Tenenbaums'
By Loey Lockerby On the surface, there is nothing realistic about "The Royal Tenenbaums." Everyone in it is some kind of misunderstood genius, riddled with bizarre personality quirks and existing in an inscrutable time period, a "present day" where people routinely use rotary phones and dress like it's 1975. Underneath the deliberate comic strangeness, however, there's a warmth and honesty that make these people more genuine than the inhabitants of most serious dramas.
'Ali' offers little insight into motivations of one of history's greatest personalities
By Loey Lockerby This sprawling biopic of Muhammad Ali begins with his 1964 heavyweight championship fight against Sonny Liston and ends with the legendary 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" bout with George Foreman in Zaire.
By Loey Lockerby It's rare to find a movie that appeals to children and adults for exactly the same reasons. There are lots of films where half the material caters exclusively to children and the other half goes over their heads, but there aren't many that actually level the comedic playing field for all ages. "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," the latest big-screen effort from the folks at Nickelodeon, now can join that exclusive club.
Lawrence artist has crucial hand in look of 'The Lord of the Rings'
By Loey Lockerby In 1937, a quiet Oxford University professor named J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a book called "The Hobbit," based on stories he had made up for his children about a little fellow who leaves his comfortable home and embarks on a great journey. The book was successful, and his publishers requested a sequel. Nearly two decades later, he obliged with "The Lord of the Rings," a meticulously detailed, three-volume fantasy adventure, this time written for grown-ups.
By Loey Lockerby The most important rule for a good parody is to stay close to the source material. The more accurately you portray your targets, the more likely you are to hit on all the things that made them worthy of ridicule in the first place. Teen movies are especially easy to make fun of, full of people and situations that would never exist in the real world, but still presented as if they crystallize true adolescence.