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A Hundred-Plus Reasons to Go to the Movies PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 October 2004 18:00
My first article for the River Cities’ Reader appeared in Issue 18, way back in March of 1995. (You know how long ago that was? Tom Hanks had only one Oscar.) Serving as the Reader’s film critic was, and still is, a terrific gig – for an avowed movie fanatic who loves to write, the chance to expound on the state of cinema has always been about more than giving a particular work a “yay” or “nay” vote; it’s given me, in a minor way, the opportunity to analyze an entire culture, to try to understand what’s in the heads of those who make films, and those who distribute films, and the millions of us who view them.

 
"Team America: World Police" Surprisingly on-Target: Also, "Control Room" and "Taxi" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 October 2004 18:00

Team America: World PoliceTEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE

There are so many satirical objects in Team America: World Police, and so many different levels of parody going on at once, that the movie was almost guaranteed to be a mess, and indeed, a few of its stances – particularly those against knee-jerk Hollywood liberals – come off as a little weak.

 
"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" Transcends Metal and the Documentary: Also, "Shark Tale," "Friday Night Lights," and Ladder 49" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 October 2004 18:00

James Hetfield in Metallica: Some Kind of MonsterMETALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster has the sort of title guaranteed to repel viewers who might love it the most. This warts-and-all documentary, chronicling the two-plus years devoted to creating Metallica’s St. Anger CD, is like the best episode of Behind the Music ever made, offering an intimate look at the relationship between guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and detailing the nightmare involved in getting the group recording again after a five-year hiatus. The movie will be Mecca for metal fans, yet its appeal isn’t totally insular. Audiences who may be loath to sit through a doc on any heavy-metal group might not realize what directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have fashioned here; Some Kind of Monster is one of the finest recordings of the collaborative artistic process ever committed to film, a hard-edged and endlessly fascinating look at the excruciating work that goes into the making of an album. And for those for whom documentaries are even less appealing than heavy metal, it must be said that the film is one of the funniest and most shockingly touching screen works of the year, This Is Spinal Tap with actual human beings at its core. It’s a thrilling experience.

 
Linklater Re-Captures Magic in "Before Sunset": Also, "First Daughter" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 05 October 2004 18:00

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before SunsetBEFORE SUNSET

Richard Linklater has directed some marvelous films in the past – particularly Dazed & Confused, The School of Rock, and (his best work until now) 1995’s Before Sunrise – but he has never created one as stunningly, ravishingly alive as Before Sunset.

 
"Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut" Unnecessary But Still Stunning: Also, "The Forgotten" and "Wimbledon" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 28 September 2004 18:00
Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut

DONNIE DARKO: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT

After I first saw Donnie Darko on DVD some 16 months back, I did something I’d done only once or twice before, and never again since: I returned to the main menu, hit “Play,” and watched the movie again.

 
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