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Stupider Ascending: "Gods of Egypt," "Triple 9," and "Eddie the Eagle" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 28 February 2016 17:15

Brenton Thwaites and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Gods of EgyptGODS OF EGYPT

When the first preview for the mythological-sci-fi-fantasy-action-adventure something-or-other Gods of Egypt landed last fall, it was met with widespread derision due to the overwhelming whiteness of its cast of “Egyptians.” To their credit, film studio Lionsgate and director Alex Proyas quickly issued statements of apology for the movie’s lack of diversity. But now that the ghastly embarrassment in question has been released, I’m hoping for a statement of rebuttal from slighted Egyptian actors everywhere: "Hey, you know what? No apology necessary."

 
The Billy Goat’s Gruff: "The Witch," "Risen," "Race," and "The Lady in the Van" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 21 February 2016 22:54

Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw in The WitchTHE WITCH

Good horror movies make you jump. Great ones make you unable to move. And writer/director Robert Eggers’ feature-film debut The Witch may be as close to great as this decade’s horror movies have yet come – a mesmerizing, stomach-tightening descent into madness completely devoid of irony. Its trappings may portend a literal-minded take on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, but the wickedness here is in no way theoretical or the product of mass (McCarthy-influenced) hysteria. Eggers’ ballsy achievement suggests, rather, that true evil can be an entity as real as those who believe in it, a physical presence conjured through excessive pride, fear, suspicion, lust, and, most critically, lack of faith. The Witch is a haunting experience, and the more you think about it, the more haunting it gets.

 
Scar-Spackled Banter: "Deadpool" and "How to Be Single" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 February 2016 22:29

Ryan Reynolds in DeadpoolDEADPOOL

Your ability to find the superhero comedy Deadpool funny is dependent on your being a 14-year-old, or more precisely someone who can easily access his or her (most likely his) inner 14-year-old. For director Tim Miller’s new Marvel adventure, I couldn’t quite. But I also can’t deny the obvious pleasure many are getting from this cinematic, deservedly R-rated comic book. And if we must endure future origin stories – and trust me, we do – I’d prefer they all shared this one’s anarchic spirit and happy willingness to trash, within studio-approved reason, the tenets that make so many of them boring as sin.

 
Abercrummy & Glitch: "Zoolander 2," "45 Years," and "National Parks Adventure 3D" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 February 2016 22:24

Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Kyle Mooney in Zoolander 2ZOOLANDER 2

Probably no film genre currently flashes a bigger “get out of jail free” card than the Hollywood comedy, if for no other reason than there being so many outstanding comedians that any movie employing even a half-dozen of them is guaranteed to feature a fistful of reasons to attend. Zoolander 2, however, has the comics and still isn’t worth seeing.

 
Hail, Coens!: "Hail, Caesar!" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 07 February 2016 16:04

Scarlett Johansson and Josh Brolin in Hail, Caesar!HAIL, CAESAR!

When the first official trailer for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar! landed, it suggested that their latest movie – set in the glorious Technicolor Hollywood of the early 1950s – would be something increasingly rare for the siblings: the sort of unapologetically lighthearted goofball comedy they haven’t made since 2004’s The Ladykillers. Look! There’s George Clooney in heavy eyeliner and a toga! Scarlett Johansson with a mermaid tail! Channing Tatum tap-dancing in a sailor suit! By this point in their careers, however, the Coen brothers may be incapable of delivering anything lacking in subtext and social critique, and if we were paying attention, we were told as much in the second trailer for their deeply entertaining yet startlingly profound entertainment.

 
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