Schulz's MediaCom VOD Picks
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You’ve Got Snail Mail: "The Lake House," "Nacho Libre," and "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 20 June 2006 22:56

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in The Lake HouseTHE LAKE HOUSE

In The Lake House, Sandra Bullock plays Kate Forster, a Chicago doctor living in the glass-encased home of the movie's title. Upon abandoning her domicile for a move back to the city, Kate leaves a letter for the next tenant in the edifice's mailbox; the note is received by Keanu Reeves' architect Alex Winter, who responds, thus beginning a pen-pal relationship between the two. Based on their shared tastes, histories, and a fondness for melancholic gush, it's obvious the two are Meant for Each Other. But, unfortunately, a Happily Ever After doesn't appear in the offing, as there's a major hitch to their relationship: Kate lives in 2006, while Alex is firmly nestled in 2004.

 
"Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," and "The Omen" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 13 June 2006 23:11

Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan in A Prairie Home CompanionA PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

One of the many glories of Robert Altman is that he never pretends to know everything there is to know about the characters in his movies, and doesn't expect his audiences to, either. In an Altman film, you may think you have someone all figured out, until a later scene proves that you haven't begun to understand what makes them tick; Altman is fascinated with the dichotomy between characters' public and private faces. (It makes perfect sense that he eventually filmed a murder mystery.) It sometimes seems that there's not much going on in an Altman movie, and audiences could easily assume the same about the director's latest, A Prairie Home Companion. But if you're as enthralled with character as the director is, and with the drama of actors gradually revealing character, his ambling, "plotless" films can be sheer bliss.

 
Fighting for the Right to Be Prepared: "Scout’s Honor," at the QCAD Fundraiser, June 16 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 13 June 2006 23:08

Steven Cozza of Scout's HonorSCOUT'S HONOR

"To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight" have, since 1910, been the closing words of the Boy Scout Oath. The question of what, exactly, constitutes "morally straight" is the subject of Tom Shepard's award-winning documentary Scout's Honor, which will be screened at the Figge Art Museum as part of Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity's June 16 fundraiser.

 
"The Break-Up" Is Hard to View: Also, "The Living Sea" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 06 June 2006 23:39

Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in The Break-UpTHE BREAK-UP

There are a whole bunch of different movies circulating within the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston comedy The Break-Up, and every single one of them is more enjoyable than the one they're stuck in. Director Peyton Reed's film concerns the battle of wills that commences once Vaughn's Gary and Aniston's Brooke decide to split, but here are five of The Break-Up's subplots that, I'm guessing, would have made for far more entertaining feature-length viewing

 
Power Grabber: “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “See No Evil,” and “Over the Hedge” PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 30 May 2006 23:12

Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Ian McKellen in X-Men: The Last StandX-MEN: THE LAST STAND

In his X-Men films of 2000 and 2003, Bryan Singer managed a marvelous blend of gravitas, insouciance, and pure ass-kicking spectacle, and the highest praise I can give X-Men: The Last Stand is that director Brett Ratner, nearly scene for scene, fools you into thinking that Singer helmed this one as well. For a director with an indistinct visual style, there are far worse ways to go than aping the visual style of others, and in the case of The Last Stand, Ratner’s channeling of Singer’s tone seems less unimaginative than duly reverent, and even inspiring; you can feel Ratner working diligently to not louse up Singer’s vision. And he hasn’t. This third, and purportedly final, entry in the mutant-superhero saga is a spectacular entertainment, and if you were worried that Ratner’s participation would guarantee acceptable effects but little in the way of personality, your fears will prove unfounded – it’s a more-than-satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy.

 
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