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Gods and Monsters: “Clash of the Titans” and “The Last Song” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 05 April 2010 10:30

Sam Worthington in Clash of the TitansCLASH OF THE TITANS

For pure, unadulterated pop kitsch, it's hard to top 1981's Clash of the Titans, in which a blow-dried Harry Hamlin, as Perseus, waged war against the Greek gods while a glowering Laurence Olivier, as Zeus, gnashed his teeth from high atop Mount Olympus. And while I'm not suggesting that director Louis Leterrier's remake of this legendary swords-and-sandals extravaganza actually does top it, the not-so-guilty delight of his new version is that it stays remarkably faithful to the original's spirit; it, too, seems content merely to serve up a tasty helping of cinematic junk food - trash wrapped in cheese. With its blend of legitimately spectacular encounters and (I hope) intentionally retrograde visuals, this Clash of the Titans never pretends that it's anything other than a silly, instantly disposable good time, and consequently, can be easily enjoyed on its own, happily unpretentious terms.

 
Trouble Bath: "Hot Tub Time Machine" and "How to Train Your Dragon" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 29 March 2010 07:47

Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, and John Cusack in Hot Tub Time MachineHOT TUB TIME MACHINE

Early in director Steve Pink's new comedy, miserable fortysomethings Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Lou (Rob Corddry) decide to cheer themselves up with a weekend retreat to the beloved ski lodge of their youth, taking Adam's similarly downbeat nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) along for the trek. In the 24 years since the friends' last visit, the lodge has turned into a weathered dump. But their old room still has a jacuzzi, and after a debaucherous night of liquor, cocaine, and bubbling hot water, the four men awaken, and gradually discover that they've been magically transported to 1986. Gazing at the agent of this disruption with the space/time continuum, Nick says, "It's like some kind of ... hot tub time machine." And then, with the slowest of head movements and the deadest of deadpans, Nick turns and stares down the camera, as if to say, "Are you freaking kidding with this?"

 
Roman’s Holiday: “The Ghost Writer,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “The Bounty Hunter,” and “Hubble 3D” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 22 March 2010 07:28

Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor in The Ghost WriterTHE GHOST WRITER

Calling Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer "lighthearted" isn't entirely accurate, as the movie is a moody suspense thriller concerning high-level government conspiracies, and its color palette seems to shift only from gray to very dark gray. Then again, this is a Polanski film we're talking about - coming from the man who gave us Rosemary's Baby, Repulsion, Chinatown, and The Pianist, it's practically Gidget Goes Hawaiian.

 
Mishmash Accomplished: "Green Zone," "Remember Me," "She's Out of My League," and "Our Family Wedding" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 March 2010 14:42

Matt Damon in Green ZoneGREEN ZONE

 

Set in Baghdad during the early months of 2002, director Paul Greengrass' action thriller Green Zone casts Matt Damon as a stalwart, driven military officer who gradually discovers that the American government lied about the proliferation - even the existence - of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This might strike you as old news, and it is. The disappointing surprise of Green Zone, though, is that the movie itself should feel like such old news, and in ways that have nothing to do with Greengrass and Damon re-teaming after the considerable artistic and popular successes of their Bourne Supermacy and Bourne Ultimatum films.

 
All About Steve. And Alec.: Notes on the 2010 Academy Awards Telecast PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 08 March 2010 13:26

Best Actress winner Sandra BullockAll told, I thought this year's Academy Awards telecast was awfully satisfying, and I'm not saying that because I predicted 18 out of 24 categories correctly.

Yup. 18 out of 24.

Tying my personal best.

And three of my incorrect guesses were in the short-film categories, where no one knows what the hell is going on.

But I digress.

 
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