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Brother, Can You Spare a Day?: “In Time,” “The Rum Diary,” and “Puss in Boots” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 30 October 2011 17:35

Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in In TimeIN TIME

Set in either the distant future or some Bizarro World version of the present, Andrew Niccol’s sci-fi thriller In Time imagines an Earth in which time is literally our universal currency; an eight-hour work shift can add a few days to your life span, but a trip to the grocery store will cost you two weeks. (A slowly ticking, neon-green clock embedded in your forearm tells you just how much time you have left to spend.) It’s also an Earth in which humans have been genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, and are then allowed one year more before their bodies shut down completely ... unless, of course, they have the proper means, or the proper lack of morals, to buy or steal as much extra time as they want.

 
Toby, or Not Toby?: "Paranormal Activity 3," "The Three Musketeers," and "Johnny English Reborn" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 23 October 2011 15:51

Paranormal Activity 3PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

Let’s cut right to it, because in the end, whatever complaints I have about the movie are irrelevant: Paranormal Activity 3 scared me silly.

 
Two Left Feet: “Footloose,” “The Thing,” and “The Big Year” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 16 October 2011 15:53

Kenny Wormald and Miles Teller in FootlooseFOOTLOOSE

It was probably inevitable that Paramount would get around to remaking Footloose, and once it did, the studio probably could’ve done worse than to hire director Craig Brewer for the job, despite a filmography (Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan) not exactly bursting with lighthearted confectionary fare. Yet considering that 27 years have passed since Kevin Bacon first screamed, “Let’s da-a-a-ance!!!” to a grain mill full of eager young hoofers, shouldn’t this new Footloose have been... I dunno... at least a slight improvement on the original?

 
Primary Concern: "The Ides of March," "Real Steel," and "Courageous" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 09 October 2011 15:02

Philip Seymour Hoffman and George Clooney in The Ides of MarchTHE IDES OF MARCH

Audiences demanding insight, or even much depth, from director George Clooney’s The Ides of March will no doubt leave the film disappointed – unless, that is, the revelation that political candidates and their staffers routinely lie and spin and backstab strikes any of those viewers as a newsflash. Yet if you enter this tale of Machiavellian (and, as its title suggests, Shakespearean) intrigue not expecting trenchant analysis so much as a good, gripping yarn supremely well-told, you’re in for a major treat. Smart and fast and gratifyingly vicious, Clooney’s latest is a drama that plays like a thriller, and it’s full-to-brimming with sequences you want to watch over and over again; for those conversant in West Wing-ese, the movie suggests a juicy episode of Aaron Sorkin’s TV series if every character in it was played by Ron Silver.

 
Given Half a Chance: “50/50,” “What’s Your Number?”, “Dream House,” and “Dolphin Tale” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 02 October 2011 13:17

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in 50/5050/50

Director Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man afflicted with a rare form of spinal cancer, and Seth Rogen as his loud, loutish, perpetually stoned best friend. Consequently, I expected the film’s title and my chances of actually enjoying the movie to be one and the same. It’s always great seeing Gordon-Levitt onscreen, but is there anyone left who isn’t longing for a break from Rogen’s braying, one-note shtick, even if, as he is here, the man isn’t just presumably but damn near literally playing himself? (50/50’s script is loosely autobiographical, and Rogen and author Will Reiser are real-life pals and frequent writing partners.)

 
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