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Scraped Crusader: "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Red Stroke" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 21 July 2012 12:03

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight RisesTHE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises, as you’ve perhaps heard, is the concluding chapter in Christopher Nolan’s series of grandly scaled, intensely serious-minded Batman adventures that began with 2005’s fittingly titled Batman Begins and continued with 2008’s The Dark Knight. It is also, as you perhaps hoped, a terrifically satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy – flawed, at times distractingly flawed, but powerful and resonant and deeply emotional. After my lukewarm responses to The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, I would’ve been relieved to exit this summer’s latest superhero blockbuster merely content. Instead, I left Nolan’s 165-minute comic-book epic simultaneously jazzed and sated, and more than ready to see it again.

 
Cold Turkey: "Ice Age: Continental Drift" and "Safety Not Guaranteed" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 15 July 2012 17:14

Ice Age: Continental DriftICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT

With Ice Age: Continental Drift, we are now four movies into the apparently never-ending 20th Century Fox franchise, and it might finally be time to ask: Has there ever been a less animated animated lead than Ray Romano’s woolly mammoth Manny?

 
Viva Italia!: "To Rome with Love," "Savages," and "Katy Perry: Part of Me" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 09 July 2012 11:50

Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg in To Rome with LoveTO ROME WITH LOVE

After Woody Allen’s rather staggering success with Midnight in Paris – personal-best box-office, the man’s first Academy Award in 25 years – I guess it was inevitable that critics, as a whole, would greet the filmmaker’s follow-up project with a collective “meh.” And that’s certainly happened with Woody’s new To Rome with Love. (Not that it matters, but the comedy is currently sitting with a “45-percent fresh” rating – i.e., “not fresh at all” – at the review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com.)

But I’d argue that the movie’s less generous critics have picked entirely the wrong picture to be indifferent toward, because the To Rome with Love that I saw was sensational – charming, hilarious, imaginative, and, in its offhanded way, enormously adventurous. As Woody’s latest is composed of a quartet of frothy comic vignettes set in the Eternal City, all of them reminiscent of the short fictions he occasionally writes for The New Yorker, it’s easy to see how the film is being perceived as slight. Yet that description, while somewhat accurate, doesn’t begin to suggest the masterly finesse and intelligence that Woody and his tremendous cast demonstrate here. If Midnight in Paris remains the writer/director’s finest achievement of the past two decades, To Rome with Love easily lands in the top five, and with more than 20 releases to choose from, that’s hardly something to sniff at.

 
Webb’s Slinger: "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection," and "Rescue 3D" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:53

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-ManTHE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

The Amazing Spider-Man is, without question, the absolute best superhero movie to be released this week. Of course, I say this not having seen Katy Perry: Part of Me yet, but I also say this because it’s polite, whenever possible, to begin a review with words of high praise, and in this instance, I’m going to have a tough time coming up with others.

 
Sunshine Strip: "Magic Mike," "Moonrise Kingdom," "People Like Us," and "Ted" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 01 July 2012 17:23

Channing Tatum in Magic MikeMAGIC MIKE

Walking into the auditorium for a nearly sold-out, mid-afternoon screening of Magic Mike – “nearly sold-out” and “mid-afternoon” being phrases that rarely go together at the cineplex – I gauged the audience of obviously ecstatic patrons and said to my friend, “This is gonna be fun.” Man, we had no idea.

 
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