The Vermont Cynic

Hidalgo Is A Hit

April 12, 2004

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In Hidalgo, Viggo Mortensen plays a Pony Express courier for the US cavalry that witnesses the destruction of American Indian populations circa 1890 in the American frontier. Since his parentage is both European and Indian, Frank T. Hopkins (Mortensen) reacts strongly to the Indian genocide and turns to drinking. Throughout th...

White Lines, Black Roads, Grey Album, Nothing Important

March 8, 2004

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Recently I bought one of those tape-player CD adapters for my car stereo. I think it was one of the best purchases I made all year because now I can finally take my two old Sublime and Big Pun tapes out of permanent rotation and listen to music that has been released since I graduated from seventh grade. The drive down to S...

The Passion of the Christ

March 1, 2004

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While watching The Passion of the Christ I had to remind myself that I was viewing a film and not a documentary of Roman torture methods. This film, directed by Mel Gibson, was the most brutal and grotesque film that I have ever seen. It surpasses all war movies, including Saving Private Ryan, in gore. So, if Gibson's intension fo...

21 Grams Pulls Up 7 Short

February 9, 2004

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"21 Grams" is the new film starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio Del Toro. The film comes from the new-to-Hollywood director Alejandro Inarritu (with various accents to accent his foreignness). All the performances are pure and driven; however, the emotions they play out are over-dramatic and depressing.'21 Grams' en...

John Brown’s Body: So Good You Should Travel To See Them

Michael David Spies

January 26, 2004

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When I arrived at Higher Ground on Friday, November 21st, to interview John Brown's Body, I had the same pre-conceived notion as many other people and critics - Here is the white reggae band. I sat down to talk with Chris (trumpet) and Tom (drums) of John Brown's Body, and was not only swayed, but also moved. Rock, roots, re...

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

December 8, 2003

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I'm sure you've heard that Quentin Tarantino is up to his insane tricks again; that is, making avant-garde films seemingly conceptualized by the darkest aspects of man's psyche. Tarantino transforms this macabre inspiration into his clever and entertaining satires of American and human culture. This time, he does so wi...

Transporter Shines Like Coal

November 18, 2002

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Needed: 1) One man willing to transport anything, no questions asked. 2) One attractive Asian actress with a poor grasp of the English language and/or Stanislavski's "method acting". 3) A vaguely defined plan to smuggle human cargo through Niece, France led by an Asian businessman with overtly evil henchmen. 4) One French de...

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