Archive Page - 12/1/12 39 years, 2,079 covers and 53,260 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
On Newsstands Now
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday May 21, 2013 04:10PM EDT
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- April 23, 2007
- Vol. 67
- No. 16
Picks and Pans: Movies
BY LEAH ROZEN
Some potential stinkers can be saved in the editing room. Others are beyond help. Perfect Stranger—a miasmic mess—is one of the latter. By the time this tortuous tale about a Manhattan journalist stalking a possible murderer reaches its ridiculous, gotcha conclusion, it has long since become more unintentional comedy than crafty crime thriller.
Stuck in this muck are Berry and Willis, two stars with a propensity for rising or sinking to the level of their material. They sink here, with Berry strenuously overacting and Willis barely touching down on the way to his next role. She plays Rowena Price, a hotshot investigative reporter who suspects a former friend was slain by Harrison Hill (Willis), a married moneybags with whom the woman was dallying. Going undercover, Price takes a temp job at Hill's ad agency, catching his notice by parading about in a skirt as tight as sausage casing. From there the im-Perfect plot grows ever sillier and implausible as she tries to pin down whether Hill is a murderer or simply an incurable wolf. Whatever he is, the movie's a turkey. (R)
Shia LaBeouf, David Morse
While Rear Window (1954), the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, isn't credited, it clearly inspired this involving chiller about a teenager stuck in his house who decides a neighbor is a serial killer.
Kale (LaBeouf, a terrific young actor) is a good kid spending his summer vacation wearing an ankle bracelet after being sentenced to house arrest for punching a teacher. Still troubled by his dad's death in a car accident the year before, the teen spends his confinement spying on folks with binoculars—and keeps seeing a man (Morse) doing some decidedly suspicious stuff.
Two-thirds of the film is clever and scary; the final third is standard slasher fare. But seeing Disturbia, an enterprising producer should consider teen remakes of the entire Hitchcock canon. With hip-hop scores, of course. (PG-13)
Molly Shannon, Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King, John C. Reilly
You know Peggy: She's that desperately chipper woman at the office who brings in homemade cupcakes and whose cubicle is papered with photos of her pet pooch. But as shown in the appealingly offbeat comic-drama Year of the Dog, you don't really know Peggy, much less what she's capable of becoming.
Neither, it turns out, does Peggy (Shannon). That is, until her beloved beagle Pencil dies after an apparently accidental poisoning. Peggy, never wed, is bereft. Seeking consolation, she gives money to and volunteers at animal charities; soon her activism crosses over into zealotry.
The debut directing effort by gifted screenwriter Mike White (The School of Rock), Dog adores its characters even as it satirizes them. Each turns out to have unexpected depths, with Peggy's extreme metamorphosis the film's crowning achievement. Shannon, in a perfectly pitched performance, nails Peggy's sadness, loneliness and hunger to connect. Whether this woman has lost it completely at the end or achieved personal nirvana is left for the viewer to decide. What's not in doubt is that this Dog is a singular best in show. (PG-13)
Six years after leaving Saturday Night Live, the 41-year-old actress and mom relished the chance to unleash her dramatic acting skills in Year of the Dog, her first non-SNL lead role.
SHE'S STILL A SUPERSTAR To this day, says Shannon, "hands down, I get recognized the most for Superstar [the SNL skit-turned-movie featuring her repressed schoolgirl character Mary Katherine Gallagher]. One day I was with my daughter and son [Stella, 3, and Nolan, 2] really early, and we walked by a park where there was a transsexual prostitute who saw me. She yelled out, 'Superstar!' with the arms up and everything. I just yelled back, 'That's so sweet!'"
HER CUSTOM-MADE ROLE Writer-director Mike White (School of Rock, The Good Girl) created the role of canine lover Peggy just for Shannon and insisted that she be cast. "I was a drama major [at NYU], so I do come from an acting background," says Shannon. "If Mike hadn't written this for me, I wouldn't normally be considered for the role. Mike thinks outside the box. It's nice to have someone like that in your corner."
JUST ONE PROBLEM ... Though her character eats, sleeps and drives while surrounded by dogs, "I'm allergic to them," says Shannon. For the most part she made it through the shoot just fine, but she did spend a day stuffed into a compact car with nearly a dozen dogs. "I was actually going to a premiere that night, Talladega Nights. The dogs were scratching my face, and I was thinking, 'Oh, no! I can't go!'" (She did go, scratches and all.)
FAMILY LIFE She and artist Fritz Chesnut, whom she wed in 2004, live in Manhattan with their kids. For fun "I like taking the kids on a walk while it's dark outside," she says. "It's like an adventure."
He plays a cyber-whiz in Perfect Stranger, but in real life Ribisi, 32, isn't much of a techie.
IN A STEAMY HALLE BERRY THRILLER, YOU PLAY ... THE COMPUTER NERD! Initially he was written as being this overweight, geeky Internet guy. My objective was to get the girl and be as charming as possible.
YOU DON'T GET HALLE, SADLY. BUT DO YOU DRIVE AND CHECK YOUR E-MAIL AT THE SAME TIME? Of course I do, babes!
COMPUTERS VS. PEOPLE: DISCUSS I prefer human contact. I don't even have a MySpace profile. I've never even been on MySpace. I think it's a little weird. I'm into the BlackBerry thing and texting, but even with that, I'm like, "Just call the person, for Chrissake! Get it over with!"
NOTES ON A SCANDAL ($29.98) A lonely teacher (Judi Dench), obsessed with a colleague (Cate Blanchett), starts blackmailing her after discovering the younger woman's shocking secret. Splendid acting makes this tense British drama a must-see. Extras: The behind-the-scenes footage is routine. The real fun here is director Richard Eyre's insightful audio commentary. He explains his editing choices, pinpoints London shooting locations and heaps praise on his cast, giving Blanchett extra compliments on her skillful bicycle riding. (R)
BLACK BOOK Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (Showgirls and Starship Troopers) returns to his native land with his Hollywood-learned excess intact, transferring it to an overripe but nonetheless engrossing thriller set during WWII. After her family are killed, a Jewish woman (the alluring Carice Van Houten) joins the Dutch resistance, on whose behalf she begins an affair—though it turns into a genuine romance—with a Nazi officer (Sebastian Koch). Thrills, chills and gun battles follow. (R)
EVERYTHING'S GONE GREEN Generation X author Douglas Coupland wrote the screenplay for this slight Canadian comedy about an aging slacker trying to figure out if money really matters. Cute, but no more. (R)
LONELY HEARTS In an uneven crime drama, Salma Hayek and Jared Leto generate heat as a couple of con artists who fleece and murder lonely women. Their scenes alternate with a dour John Travolta and James Gandolfini playing cops trying to catch the pair. (R)
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!