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Ex Men (and a Woman) United: "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" and "The Expendables" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 15 August 2010 14:24

Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the WorldSCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

Is there any working film director who adores actors more than Edgar Wright? I ask this after recently viewing (for maybe the sixth time) the British helmer's action spoof Hot Fuzz and (for maybe the millionth) the untouchable zombie satire Shaun of the Dead, comedies with the rare distinction of being populated entirely with sharp, funny performers; even the walk-ons - or, in Shaun's case, the lurch- and stumble-ons - are charismatic. And after seeing the director's latest, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, I think a wholly reasonable case can be made for Wright being the best friend that anyone with a SAG card and a dream could ever hope for. You could fill 110 movies with the joyous onslaught of personality on display in this movie's 110 minutes.

 
Beat(en) Cops: "The Other Guys" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 09 August 2010 06:00

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in The Other GuysTHE OTHER GUYS

I'm not going to pretend that I understood the crime plot in director Adam McKay's The Other Guys, which concerns Wall Street chicanery, bureaucratic red tape, a pension-fund swindle, and a suicide or a murder, though I'm hesitant to state exactly which. Seriously, when did goofy-ass Will Ferrell comedies get so complicated?

 
Happy Feet / Glum Defeat: "Step Up 3D" and "Charlie St. Cloud" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 09 August 2010 06:00

Step Up 3DSTEP UP 3D

From its opening, outdoor melee, in which we're assaulted by soap bubbles and multi-colored balloons, to its jaw-dropping dance-off finale, which suggests a mass seizure titled Attack of the TRON Clones, Step Up 3D is proudly, even profoundly, ridiculous.

 
Guess-Who’s Coming to Dinner: "The Kids Are All Right" and "Dinner for Schmucks" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 01 August 2010 12:25

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska, and Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All RightTHE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

In general terms, explaining what director Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right is "about" is a pretty easy task: 18-year-old Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and 15-year-old Laser (Josh Hutcherson) - the children of a contented and devoted lesbian couple (Annette Bening's Nic and Julianne Moore's Jules) - arrange a first meeting with their shared sperm-donor father (Mark Ruffalo's Paul), and through several more meetings, watch as his casually disruptive presence gradually, irrevocably alters their family dynamic. Yet while this is an accurate, if simplified, plot synopsis, it doesn't come remotely close to explaining what this buoyant, original, altogether extraordinary dramatic comedy is actually about.

 
Novel Spy: “Salt” and “Ramona & Beezus” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 25 July 2010 23:52

Angelina Jolie in SaltSALT

Leaving a recent screening of Cyrus, my friends and I noted how refreshing it was to see a movie in which, right up until its final seconds, you had no idea where events were going to lead; the creepy indie comedy could've ended with either a Happily Ever After or a vicious display of bloodletting, and neither finale would've seemed unjustified. (No spoilers here. You've still got a few days to catch it locally.) And the best I can say about director Phillip Noyce's Salt - and it's a considerable compliment - is that it, too, is totally unpredictable, a gripping, over-the-top action flick that makes you gasp and then giggle, and then giggle at yourself for gasping. Audiences seeking loud, defiantly ridiculous escapist fare should have a blast. Speaking as someone with a low tolerance for spy thrillers, stunt-heavy summer blockbusters, and (more often than not these days) Angelina Jolie, I had a pretty fantastic time myself.

 
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