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written_VBN
by_IN
john_NP
grisham_NP
and_CC
robert_NP
altman_NN
(_(
as_CS
al_NP
hayes_NP
)_)
directed_JJ
by_IN
robert_NP
altman_NN
some_DT
time_NN
ago_RB
,_,
a_DT
young_JJ
director_NN
was_BEDZ
given_VBN
the_DT
opportunity_NN
to_IN
direct_JJ
the_DT
screen_NN
version_NN
of_IN
a_DT
popular_JJ
novel_NN
._.
the_DT
novel_NN
was_BEDZ
a_DT
summer_NN
smash_NN
,_,
topping_NN
best-seller_NP
lists_NNS
across_IN
the_DT
country_NN
and_CC
already_RB
drawing_NN
speculation_NN
as_IN
to_IN
which_WDT
popular_JJ
actors_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
day_NN
might_MD
play_VB
the_DT
leads_NNS
._.
the_DT
only_JJ
problem_NN
:_:
the_DT
novel_NN
wasn't_BEDZ
very_RB
good_JJ
._.
it_PP
was_BEDZ
far_RB
more_DT
pulp_NN
than_CS
pulitzer_NN
._.
but_CC
the_DT
director_NN
realized_VBD
that_CS
,_,
no_DT
matter_NN
how_WRB
pedestrian_NN
the_DT
prose_NN
,_,
this_DT
book_NN
really_RB
grabbed_VBD
people_NN
-_-
that_CS
the_DT
author_NN
,_,
while_CS
not_XNOT
a_DT
great_JJ
writer_NN
,_,
was_BEDZ
a_DT
fantastic_JJ
storyteller_NN
._.
so_RB
he_PP
took_VBD
on_IN
the_DT
project_NN
,_,
convinced_JJ
he_PP
could_MD
make_VB
something_PN
happen_VB
on_IN
screen_NN
._.
the_DT
director_NN
?_?
francis_NP
ford_NP
coppola_NP
._.
the_DT
book_NN
,_,
of_IN
course_NN
,_,
was_BEDZ
mario_NN
puzo_???
's_MD
the_DT
godfather_NN
._.
the_DT
rest_NN
,_,
as_CS
they_PP
say_VB
in_IN
showbiz_???
,_,
was_BEDZ
history_NN
._.
by_IN
bringing_VBG
up_RP
the_DT
godfather_NN
,_,
i_PP
don't_DO
mean_VB
to_IN
suggest_VB
that_RB
robert_NP
altman_NN
's_POS
the_DT
gingerbread_NN
man_NN
is_BEZ
destined_VBN
for_IN
that_DT
level_NN
of_IN
greatness_NN
._.
but_CC
the_DT
parallel_JJ
does_DOZ
suggest_VB
that_CS
it_PP
is_BEZ
possible_JJ
to_TO
create_VB
great_JJ
cinema_NN
from_IN
questionable_JJ
source_NN
material_NN
._.
can_MD
you_PP
get_VB
any_DT
more_DT
questionable_JJ
than_CS
john_NP
grisham_NP
?_?
depends_VBZ
on_IN
whom_WP
you_PP
ask_VB
._.
but_CC
there_EX
's_BEZ
no_DT
question_NN
that_CS
grisham_NP
's_POS
work_NN
grabs_VBZ
people_NN
._.
like_IN
puzo_???
,_,
grisham_NN
is_BEZ
a_DT
better_JJR
storyteller_NN
than_CS
a_DT
writer_NN
-_-
unlike_IN
fellow_NN
hack_???
michael_NP
crichton_NN
,_,
who_WP
is_BEZ
a_DT
good_JJ
idea_NN
man_NN
but_CC
who_WP
can't_MD
tell_VB
a_DT
well-constructed_JJ
story_NN
from_IN
a_DT
can_MD
of_IN
spam_???
._.
so_RB
something_PN
in_IN
grisham_NP
's_POS
unpublished_JJ
story_NN
of_IN
a_DT
cocky_JJ
savannah_NN
lawyer_NN
who_WP
gets_VBZ
involved_JJ
in_IN
a_DT
deadly_JJ
family_NN
squabble_VB
drew_NP
the_DT
attention_NN
of_IN
robert_NP
altman_NN
,_,
who_WP
at_IN
73_CD
years_NNS
old_JJ
remains_NNS
one_CD
of_IN
america_NP
's_POS
greatest_JJS
living_NN
filmmakers_NNS
._.
the_DT
result_NN
is_BEZ
a_DT
gripping_JJ
thriller_NN
that_CS
,_,
while_CS
falling_VBG
short_JJ
of_IN
classic_JJ
cinema_NN
,_,
deserves_VBZ
its_PP$
place_NN
in_IN
the_DT
altman_NN
canon_NN
._.
>from_NN
its_PP$
opening_NN
shot_NN
to_IN
the_DT
closing_NN
credits_NNS
,_,
the_DT
gingerbread_NN
man_NN
is_BEZ
permeated_VBN
with_IN
a_DT
sense_NN
of_IN
dread_NN
,_,
with_IN
a_DT
fear_NN
of_IN
the_DT
natural_JJ
destructive_JJ
forces_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
universe_NN
._.
this_DT
terrific_JJ
sense_NN
of_IN
mood_NN
is_BEZ
a_DT
classic_JJ
altman_NN
touch_NN
._.
witness_NN
said_VBD
opening_NN
shot_NN
:_:
we_PP
see_VB
an_DT
aerial_JJ
view_NN
of_IN
coastal_JJ
georgia_NP
with_IN
its_PP$
writhing_NN
,_,
undulating_JJ
landscape_NN
while_CS
the_DT
soundtrack_NN
grumbles_NNS
ominously_RB
in_IN
our_PP$
ear_NN
._.
we_PP
roll_VB
over_IN
the_DT
hills_NNS
into_IN
the_DT
town_NN
of_IN
savannah_NN
,_,
then_RB
zoom_VB
in_IN
close_JJ
on_IN
a_DT
red_JJ
sports_NNS
car_NN
speeding_VBG
over_IN
a_DT
bridge_NN
while_CS
its_PP$
driver_NN
chatters_NNS
oblivious_JJ
on_IN
his_PP$
cell_NN
phone_NN
._.
right_JJ
away_RB
we_PP
know_VB
that_CS
the_DT
driver_NN
of_IN
that_DT
car_NN
is_BEZ
in_IN
for_IN
a_DT
few_DT
surprises_NNS
._.
pay_VB
attention_NN
,_,
boys_NNS
and_CC
girls_NNS
-_-
this_DT
shot_NN
was_BEDZ
not_XNOT
conceived_VBN
by_IN
john_NP
grisham_NP
,_,
but_CC
by_IN
altman_NN
._.
this_DT
is_BEZ
what_WDT
a_DT
great_JJ
director_NN
can_MD
do_DO
for_IN
questionable_JJ
source_NN
material_NN
._.
the_DT
sports_NNS
car_NN
belongs_VBZ
to_IN
rick_NP
magruder_NN
(_(
kenneth_NP
branagh_NP
)_)
,_,
the_DT
aforementioned_JJ
hotshot_NN
attorney_NN
who_WP
specializes_VBZ
in_IN
police_NNS
brutality_NN
cases_NNS
._.
magruder_NN
has_HVZ
just_RB
won_VBN
a_DT
high_JJ
profile_NN
case_NN
and_CC
celebrates_VBZ
that_CS
night_NN
with_IN
a_DT
catered_VBN
party_NN
at_IN
his_PP$
office_NN
._.
outside_IN
after_IN
the_DT
party_NN
he_PP
meets_VBZ
one_CD
of_IN
the_DT
waitresses_NNS
,_,
mallory_NN
doss_???
(_(
embeth_NNS
davidzt_???
)_(
,_,
just_JJ
as_IN
she_PP
realizes_VBZ
her_PP$
car_NN
has_HVZ
been_BEN
stolen_VBN
._.
driven_VBN
by_IN
southern_JJ
chivalry_NN
,_,
a_DT
driving_JJ
rainstorm_NN
and_CC
his_PP$
unspoken_JJ
attraction_NN
to_IN
the_DT
fragile_JJ
waitress_NN
,_,
magruder_NN
offers_VBZ
her_PP$
a_DT
ride_NN
home_NN
._.
there_EX
he_PP
learns_VBZ
more_DT
about_IN
mallory_NN
's_POS
life_NN
than_CS
he_PP
bargained_VBN
for_IN
._.
her_PP$
car_NN
was_BEDZ
stolen_VBN
by_IN
her_PP$
schizophrenic_JJ
father_NN
dixon_NP
(_(
robert_NP
duvall_NN
)_)
,_,
a_DT
ted_NP
kyzynski-style_NN
whacko_???
who_NP
has_HVZ
been_BEN
stalking_NN
and_CC
terrorizing_VBG
his_PP$
own_DT
daughter_NN
._.
magruder_NN
,_,
perhaps_RB
influenced_VBN
by_IN
mallory_NN
's_POS
decision_NN
to_IN
strip_NN
off_IN
her_PP$
wet_JJ
clothes_NNS
in_IN
front_NN
of_IN
him_PP
,_,
is_BEZ
sympathetic_JJ
to_TO
her_PP$
plight_NN
,_,
and_CC
offers_VBZ
to_TO
help_VB
her_PP$
get_VB
her_PP$
father_NN
committed_VBN
-_-
right_RB
after_IN
he_PP
sleeps_VBZ
with_IN
her_PP$
,_,
of_IN
course_NN
._.
this_DT
simple_JJ
offer_NN
of_IN
help_NN
leads_VBZ
magruder_NN
down_RP
a_DT
dangerous_JJ
path_NN
with_IN
a_DT
black_JJ
end_NN
._.
he_PP
succeeds_VBZ
in_IN
having_HVG
dixon_NP
incarcerated_VBN
in_IN
a_DT
mental_JJ
hospital_NN
,_,
and_CC
for_IN
a_DT
moment_NN
all_PDT
appears_VBZ
well_JJ
._.
but_CC
then_RB
dixon_NP
's_POS
crack_NN
team_NN
of_IN
homeless_JJ
commandos_NNS
bust_VB
him_PP
out_RP
of_IN
the_DT
lockup_NN
-_-
and_CC
suddenly_RB
magruder_NN
finds_VBZ
himself_PPX
,_,
mallory_NN
and_CC
his_PP$
own_DT
children_NNS
in_IN
danger_NN
._.
the_DT
cops_NNS
won't_MD
lift_VB
a_DT
finger_NN
to_IN
help_NN
a_DT
liberal_JJ
attorney_NN
._.
his_PP$
only_JJ
allies_NNS
are_BER
his_PP$
faithful_JJ
assistant_NN
lois_???
(_(
daryl_NP
hannah_NP
)_)
and_CC
his_PP$
bumbling_VBG
private-eye_NN
sidekick_NP
clyde_NP
(_(
robert_NP
downey_NP
jr_JJ
)_)
._.
if_CS
this_DT
predicament_NN
wasn't_BEDZ
bad_JJ
enough_RB
,_,
hurricane_NN
geraldo_???
is_BEZ
bearing_NN
down_IN
on_IN
savannah_NN
and_CC
throwing_VBG
the_DT
world_NN
into_IN
chaos_NN
._.
altman_NN
may_MD
provide_VB
the_DT
atmosphere_NN
,_,
but_CC
branagh_NP
's_POS
performance_NN
holds_VBZ
the_DT
gingerbread_NN
man_NN
together_RB
._.
an_DT
accomplished_JJ
actor_NN
when_CS
he_PP
isn't_BEZ
directing_VBG
himself_NN
in_IN
vanity_NN
productions_NNS
,_,
branagh_NP
does_DOZ
a_DT
fine_JJ
job_NN
of_IN
making_VBG
rick_NP
a_DT
sympathetic_JJ
hero_NN
while_CS
casting_NN
doubt_NN
upon_IN
his_PP$
motives_NNS
._.
is_BEZ
his_PP$
offer_NN
of_IN
help_NN
to_IN
mallory_NN
an_DT
act_NN
of_IN
kindness_NN
,_,
or_CC
of_IN
egotism_NN
?_?
magruder_NN
is_BEZ
so_RB
sure_JJ
of_IN
his_PP$
place_NN
in_IN
the_DT
world_NN
that_CS
he_PP
never_RB
considers_VBZ
that_CS
he_PP
has_HVZ
bitten_VBN
off_RP
more_DT
than_CS
he_PP
can_MD
chew_VB
until_CS
he_PP
has_HVZ
to_TO
swallow_VB
it_PP
-_-
and_CC
by_IN
then_RB
it_PP
's_BEZ
too_RB
late_JJ
._.
as_CS
the_DT
plot_NN
unfolds_NNS
,_,
magruder_NN
learns_VBZ
that_CS
none_PN
of_IN
us_PP
are_BER
as_IN
secure_JJ
as_CS
we_PP
think_VB
we_PP
are_BER
._.
and_CC
life_NN
is_BEZ
never_RB
so_RB
bad_JJ
that_CS
it_PP
can't_MD
get_VB
worse_JJR
._.
if_CS
you're_???
familiar_JJ
with_IN
altman_NN
's_POS
work_NN
,_,
you'll_???
recognize_VB
several_DT
of_IN
his_PP$
signature_NN
techniques_NNS
._.
characters_NNS
are_BER
not_XNOT
introduced_VBN
in_IN
establishing_VBG
shots_NNS
,_,
but_CC
rather_RB
are_BER
allowed_VBN
to_IN
wander_VB
in_IN
the_DT
background_NN
of_IN
scenes_NNS
until_CS
their_PP$
importance_NN
becomes_VBZ
apparent_JJ
._.
crucial_JJ
scenes_NNS
are_BER
shot_VBN
from_IN
the_DT
outside_JJ
through_IN
windows_NNS
,_,
making_VBG
the_DT
audience_NN
unwitting_VBG
voyeurs_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
action_NN
._.
dialog_NN
overlaps_NNS
and_CC
the_DT
actors_NNS
seem_VB
to_IN
slip_NN
naturally_RB
into_IN
an_DT
improvisational_JJ
style_NN
._.
and_CC
of_IN
course_NN
there_EX
's_BEZ
my_PP$
favorite_JJ
altman_NN
technique_NN
-_-
the_DT
obligatory_NN
nude_JJ
actress_NN
shot_NN
._.
thanks_NNS
to_IN
altman_NN
,_,
here_RB
are_BER
some_DT
of_IN
the_DT
actresses_NNS
i've_???
had_HVD
the_DT
pleasure_NN
of_IN
seeing_VBG
naked_JJ
:_:
sally_NP
kellerman_NN
,_,
julianne_NP
moore_NP
,_,
madeline_JJ
stowe_NP
,_,
even_RB
frances_NP
mcdormand_NP
._.
and_CC
now_RB
i_PP
can_MD
add_VB
embeth_NP
davidtz_???
,_,
who_WP
looks_VBZ
quite_RB
healthy_JJ
in_IN
the_DT
altogether_RB
._.
the_DT
naked_JJ
actress_NN
shot_NN
has_HVZ
become_VBN
as_CS
ubiquitous_JJ
to_IN
the_DT
altman_NN
film_NN
as_IN
the_DT
director_NN
cameo_???
was_BEDZ
to_TO
the_DT
hitchcock_NP
film_NN
._.
is_BEZ
it_PP
old-school_NN
sexism_NN
,_,
or_CC
a_DT
clever_JJ
in-joke_NN
?_?
you_PP
be_BE
the_DT
judge_NN
._.
but_CC
back_NN
to_IN
the_DT
picture_NN
at_IN
hand_NN
._.
in_IN
the_DT
hands_NNS
of_IN
a_DT
mere_JJ
mortal_JJ
,_,
the_DT
gingerbread_NN
man_NN
would_MD
have_HV
been_BEN
a_DT
routine_NN
thriller_NN
,_,
no_DT
better_JJR
or_CC
worse_JJR
than_CS
the_DT
countless_JJ
others_NNS
we've_???
all_PDT
endured_VBD
._.
in_IN
the_DT
hands_NNS
of_IN
a_DT
master_NN
like_IN
altman_NN
,_,
it_PP
becomes_VBZ
an_DT
exercise_NN
in_IN
existential_JJ
doom_NN
,_,
in_IN
its_PP$
own_DT
way_NN
far_RB
more_DT
successful_JJ
than_CS
scorsese_JJ
's_POS
cape_NP
fear_NN
remake_VB
,_,
which_WDT
tried_VBD
for_IN
the_DT
same_DT
result_NN
._.
what_WDT
may_MD
prevent_VB
it_PP
from_IN
enduring_JJ
with_IN
altman_NN
's_POS
greatest_JJS
work_NN
is_BEZ
a_DT
weak_JJ
third_OD
act_NN
-_-
in_IN
fact_NN
,_,
there_EX
really_RB
is_BEZ
no_DT
third_OD
act_NN
in_IN
grisham_NP
's_POS
story_NN
,_,
so_RB
it_PP
appears_VBZ
that_CS
altman_NN
had_HVD
to_TO
throw_VB
in_IN
the_DT
hurricane_NN
just_RB
to_IN
jazz_NN
things_NNS
up_RP
._.
but_CC
there_EX
are_BER
true_JJ
moments_NNS
of_IN
riveting_JJ
suspense_NN
,_,
and_CC
great_JJ
performances_NNS
by_IN
branagh_NP
,_,
davidzt_???
and_CC
downey_NP
jr_JJ
-_-
more_DT
than_CS
enough_RB
to_IN
see_NN
you_PP
through_IN
._.
that_CS
polygram_NN
so_RB
hated_VBD
this_DT
picture_NN
that_CS
they_PP
tried_VBD
to_IN
steal_VB
final_JJ
cut_NN
from_IN
altman_NN
,_,
and_CC
then_RB
buried_VBN
the_DT
marketing_NN
campaign_NN
when_CS
he_PP
won_VBD
it_PP
back_RP
,_,
should_MD
tell_VB
you_PP
how_WRB
utterly_RB
clueless_JJ
of_IN
quality_NN
most_DT
studios_NNS
are_BER
._.
they_PP
probably_RB
wanted_VBD
it_PP
to_IN
look_NN
more_DT
like_IN
a_DT
time_NN
to_IN
kill_NN
._.
and_CC
that_CS
,_,
my_PP$
friends_NNS
,_,
should_MD
make_VB
you_PP
very_RB
afraid_JJ
._.