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Pilot Lit: "Flight," "Wreck-It Ralph," and "The Man with the Iron Fists" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 04 November 2012 21:04

Denzel Washington in FlightFLIGHT

Within the first 15 minutes of director Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, you’ll witness what must rank as one of cinema’s most frightening, emotionally wrenching plane crashes. Yet in the end, and as harrowing as this passage is, I’m not sure that it’s actually more terrifying or heartbreaking than the scenes of Denzel Washington’s Whip Whitaker – the pilot whose heroic actions save 96 lives aboard that ill-fated flight – battling his urge to drink and, with only the mildest feelings of regret, losing that battle again and again and again.

 
A Map of the World: "Cloud Atlas," "Chasing Mavericks," and "Silent Hill: Revelation" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 29 October 2012 06:50

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in Cloud AtlasCLOUD ATLAS

I’ve seen plenty of movies in which a number of excellent passages can’t seem to blend into a satisfying whole. But prior to the release of Cloud Atlas, the film version of David Mitchell’s sprawling 2004 novel, I don’t think I’d ever seen a movie in which so many merely adequate sequences combine to form a whole that’s not only satisfying but downright exhilarating. Directed by Tom Tykwer and siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski and running just shy of three hours, this genre fantasia should be a mess, and it oftentimes is. It’s also, however, a hypnotic, glorious, grandly entertaining mess, one that’s probably far more enjoyable than a more presentationally faithful adaptation would’ve been.

 
Robbie May Be Bloody Bonkers: "Paranormal Activity 4," "Alex Cross," and "Meerkats 3D" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 21 October 2012 20:23

Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Pity those who walk into Paranormal Activity 4 having no familiarity with this popular horror series’ previous entries. You should really pity the rest of us, too, but first things first.

 
Rescue Mission Impossible: "Argo," "Seven Psychopaths," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and "Sinister" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 October 2012 23:28

John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Ben Affleck in ArgoARGO

It sounds like an all-too-Hollywood idea for a high-concept suspense thriller: A sextet of State Department employees are trapped in Iran, and their only hope for escape lies with an ingenious CIA official who plans to free the Americans by having them pose as a location-scouting team for a Canadian science-fiction movie. Yet within its first minutes, director/star Ben Affleck’s Argo – based on a recently declassified chapter of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80 – registers as terrifically, nerve-rackingly authentic, even if the film’s most enjoyable elements are, in truth, as Hollywood as they come.

 
Elementary Ghouls: "Frankenweenie," "Hotel Transylvania," and "Taken 2" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 12:16

FrankenweenieFRANKENWEENIE and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

Not two months after the release of ParaNorman, two other animated, family-friendly spook fests can now be found at national cineplexes: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, the Mary Shelley-like tale of a beloved pooch’s magical resurrection, and Hotel Transylvania, a manic slapstick about the world’s most comically macabre bed-and-breakfast. And after catching up with the latter titles during a recent double feature, my immediate thought was this: Man, ParaNorman sure was good, wasn’t it?

 
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