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Moore, or Less?: "Arthur," "Hanna," and "Born to Be Wild 3D" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 11 April 2011 10:41

Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in ArthurARTHUR

There were better comedies released in the ’80s, to be sure. But I don’t think I have a stronger affection for any of them than I do for 1981’s Arthur, writer/director Steve Gordon’s screwball-farce throwback that featured Dudley Moore’s drunken multi-millionaire sharing brilliantly barbed repartee with caretaker John Gielgud. Consequently, I came dangerously close to booing when I first saw the preview for director Jason Winer’s Arthur remake. True, Russell Brand seemed the only logical choice to fill Moore’s (diminutive) shoes, and while Gielgud is irreplaceable, Helen Mirren seemed a reasonable enough sparring partner. But, I mean, come on – is nothing sacred?!

 
Haunted Man's Son: "Insidious," "Source Code," and "Hop" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 03 April 2011 13:02

InsidiousINSIDIOUS

It features every cliché in the haunted-house handbook. It borrows liberally from other, iconic horror movies. It’s by the director of the original Saw and the slightly more bearable killer-mannequin flick Dead Silence. And for all of the momentary jolts provided by the loud bangs and shrieking violins on its soundtrack, the most shocking thing about Insidious is how irrationally good it is.

 
"Punch" and Juvie: "Sucker Punch" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 27 March 2011 15:56

Emily Browning (center) in Sucker PunchSUCKER PUNCH

In their eternal wisdom, the members of the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings board have bestowed upon Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch a PG-13 rating, meaning that while parental supervision for viewers age 13 and under is suggested, it’s certainly not mandatory. I, for one, applaud the board’s decision, and think it’s marvelous that kids finally have violent fetish porn to call their own.

 
Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 20 March 2011 15:01

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.

 
L.A.-ians Vs. Predators: "Battle: Los Angeles," "Red Riding Hood," and "Mars Needs Moms" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 13 March 2011 12:49

Aaron Eckhart in Battle: Los AngelesBATTLE: LOS ANGELES

My number-one, hands-down, love-it-to-death favorite scene in the science-fiction action spectacle Battle: Los Angeles occurs roughly 40 minutes into the film. Hundreds of meteors have fallen to earth in urban centers around the globe, and are revealed to be teeming with aliens, who waste no time in annihilating everything and everyone in their paths. After engaging in long sequences of L.A.-based retaliation, a stalwart band of Marines is helicoptered into Santa Monica to fend off one of these attacks, and a frightened lieutenant ducks into in an apartment complex’s laundry room, where he watches the horrific destruction through a window. Suddenly hearing a noise behind him, the man whips around, expecting to come face-to-face with one of the monstrous invaders from another world. Yet instead of terror, the lieutenant’s face quickly registers relief, as the sound he heard was just that of the washing machine’s spin cycle.

You know what that means, right? That in the midst of this apocalyptic showdown that, as we’ve witnessed on TV newscasts, has been going on for several hours now, someone in that apartment complex decided it was a good time to throw in a load of laundry.

 
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