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Time Warped: "Looper," "Pitch Perfect," "Won’t Back Down," and "House at the End of the Street" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 01 October 2012 07:11

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in LooperLOOPER

Rian Johnson’s Looper, a time-travel thriller set primarily in the year 2044, casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a contract killer whose life is upended with the arrival of his latest target: his older self, who has been transported from the year 2074 and is played by Bruce Willis. This means that, with Gordon-Levitt delivering rather uncanny likenesses of his co-star’s traditional scowls and smirks – and with the younger actor’s countenance bizarrely altered to resemble the elder actor’s familiar face – Willis essentially plays both leading roles ... which isn’t the most enticing of setups if, like me, you generally find one Bruce Willis more than enough.

Cult of Personality: "The Master" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 23 September 2012 21:32

Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in The MasterTHE MASTER

Some 40 minutes into The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson’s fascinating, vexing drama about the leader of a questionable self-actualization movement and the man’s devoted acolyte – there’s a scene between stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman so thunderously well-written and -performed that, for movie lovers, it might singlehandedly make viewing the film less recommended than mandatory.

“Stee-e-e-erike!”: "Trouble with the Curve," "End of Watch," and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 23 September 2012 21:27

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the CurveTROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

The latest movie to star Clint Eastwood, marking the icon’s first on-screen appearance since 2008’s Gran Torino, is director Robert Lorenz’s baseball drama Trouble with the Curve. That curve, by the way, is the least of this film’s troubles.

Send in the Clones: "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Ruby Sparks," and "Last Ounce of Courage" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 16 September 2012 12:31

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: RetributionRESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

If you were at a Friday-afternoon screening of Resident Evil: Retribution and heard, some 30 seconds before the end credits, an audible groan of frustration and annoyance, I apologize if my unplanned outburst was distracting. I just couldn’t believe that this mindless, endless series was going to require yet another freakin’ sequel.

Writer Wrong: "The Words" and "The Cold Light of Day" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 08:44

Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana in The WordsTHE WORDS

Three separate narratives dovetail in The Words, a modestly engaging morality drama by writers/directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. Yet ironically enough, the one narrative I never bought into was the one that’s meant to be the most believable, though heaven knows the other two aren’t exactly models of cinematic authenticity.

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