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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Edward Burns
Everybody wants a piece of Robert Redford. Young filmmakers talking him up for advice on the street. The stewardess on an airplane who mentions her son has this idea. The guy with a videotape under his arm who looked so grungy Redford thought he was a panhandler.
Filmmaker-actor Edward Burns is drawing inspiration from familiar ground and new sources, including Tyler Perry.
"Alex Cross" is a strictly by-the-numbers thriller — a detective on his way to a desk job takes after a sadistic high-profile killer, and things quickly get personal. There is something bracing and even refreshing about its honesty, though, in its willingness to execute tired cop-film cliches unapologetically, without any hint of a knowing wink.
"Alex Cross" _ James Patterson titled his 12th Alex Cross crime novel simply "Cross." The filmmakers who adapted it expanded the title to "Alex Cross." They might as well have gone for broke and called it "Tyler Perry's Madea's Stab at Expanding Her-His Hollywood Marketability as James Patterson's Alex Cross." Perry's name will draw his fans in. Patterson's name will draw his fans in. There's no trace of Madea in director Rob Cohen's adaptation, yet the spirit of the sassy grandma inevitably hangs over the project for viewers curious to see Perry playing it straight and dramatic. Alex Cross the man and "Alex Cross" the movie wind up suffering for it. It's perfectly reasonable for Perry to try to broaden his enormous popularity beyond the Madea lineage in his own raucous portraits of family life. It's also perfectly reasonable to say that casting Perry as Cross was a bad idea, though it's not necessarily the worst in a movie built on bad ideas. Perry looks the part of Patterson's big, athletic hero, but he's low-key-bordering-on-sleepwalker dull, and the standard-issue cop-vs.-serial-killer story presents Cross as more of a dopey psycho-babbler than a guy whose incisive mind cuts right to the heart of the case. With Edward Burns, Matthew Fox and Cicely Tyson. PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references and nudity. 102 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.
James Patterson titled his 12th Alex Cross crime novel simply "Cross." The filmmakers who adapted it expanded the title to "Alex Cross."
A welcome sense of optimism pervaded the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival.
Edward Burns revisits his indie roots _ with a modern twist _ in his latest project, "Nice Guy Johnny."
"When all 12 chapters are done, we'll pull them from the Web, recut and play with them and maybe even play with the ending," Burns said.
"And my life had changed so dramatically since those first two films that I wanted to explore my new life," he said. "I also think I was worried whether I could write about that place and those characters with the same authenticity as when I lived there."