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The Toxic Avenger: "Michael Clayton" and "Across the Universe" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 10:16

George Clooney and Sydney Pollack in Michael ClaytonMICHAEL CLAYTON

There's a spirit of fatalism and dread that hangs over nearly every scene in Tony Gilroy's legal thriller Michael Clayton, and the miracle of the movie is that its grimness doesn't equal torpor; for a work drenched in both literal and figurative darkness, it's exquisitely, robustly entertaining. Like the films in the Bourne franchise (all of which Gilroy scripted), Michael Clayton is a smart, knotty diversion that keeps your senses, at all times, alert, and happily, the movie's ecologically minded plotline - involving an agricultural chemical company being sued for poisoning communities - doesn't have sanctimonious intent. The movie isn't designed to be Good for Us; it's just designed to be good. And it's very, very good.

Wedded Blisters: "The Heartbreak Kid" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 02:12

Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman in The Heartbreak KidTHE HEARTBREAK KID

Outside of a few pornos, I don't think I've ever seen a beautiful actress being treated quite so offensively on-screen as Malin Akerman is in The Heartbreak Kid.

Between The Rock and a Heart Place: "The Jane Austen Book Club" and "The Game Plan:" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 02:11

Maria Bello and Hugh Dancy in The Jane Austen Book ClubTHE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB and THE GAME PLAN

On their surfaces, The Jane Austen Book Club and The Game Plan would seem to have nothing in common. One's a dramatic-sitcom wherein a sextet of bibliophiles dissect a noted author's works and unintentionally enact her plotlines; the other's a Disney slapstick wherein an adorable moppet teaches fatherhood lessons to a professional quarterback. (No points for guessing which film is which.)

Appeal Beyond History: Filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle Document Iowa’s Forgotten Past PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 03 October 2007 02:34

Reader issue #653 In 1989, area natives Kelly and Tammy Rundle moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of jump-starting their movie-making careers, armed with little more than a title for their nascent production company: Fourth Wall Films.

And in the spring of 2007, after the release of their first, mostly self-financed feature, and with a second film nearing completion, the married couple took the next logical step.

They moved back here.

War Is Hell: "In the Valley of Elah," "The Kingdom" and "Resident Evil: Extinction" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 03 October 2007 02:27

Charlize Theron and Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of ElahIN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah continually approaches greatness without ever really getting there.

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