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A-Stabbin' the Dorks: "Scream 4," "The Conspirator," "Soul Surfer," and "Your Highness" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 18 April 2011 11:44

Neve Campbell in Scream 4SCREAM 4

Directed, as all of the franchise’s outings have been, by Wes Craven, and written by Kevin Williamson, Scream 4 is a sequel, a reboot, and a big middle finger to reboots, all in one bloody, meta, mostly tedious package. It opens beautifully and features a bunch of (mostly verbal) horror-comedy pleasures, yet its overall effect is wearying; Craven and Williamson are so focused on deconstructing the genre – the Scream series in particular – for a media-soaked, hipper-than-thou young audience that even its “surprises” are in quotation marks. Watching Scream 4 is like watching a movie with its commentary track running before you’ve had a chance to experience the film without it.

 
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.

 
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