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Let’s Remake a Deal: "RoboCop," "About Last Night," and "Endless Love" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 16:23

Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman in RoboCopROBOCOP, ABOUT LAST NIGHT, and ENDLESS LOVE

I caught a triple-feature this past weekend, and lemme tell ya, it made me feel like a teenager again. Specifically, it made me feel 19, my age when the original RoboCop debuted; 18, my age when the original About Last Night debuted; and 13, my age when the original Endless Love debuted. I don’t know what confluence of release strategies resulted in this trifecta of Reagan-era remakes, but I guess I should be grateful to Hollywood for the collective trip down memory lane. I’d be more grateful if the movies themselves were better, but ... .

 
Plastics: "The Lego Movie," "The Monuments Men," and "Vampire Academy" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 08:28

The Lego MovieTHE LEGO MOVIE

Two of the characters in The Lego Movie are Lego Minifigures of Superman and Green Lantern, the latter of whom, here, is an obsequious suck-up whom the Man of Steel can’t stand. That’s a good joke. These decided non-friends are voiced by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, who famously played best friends in 21 Jump Street. That’s a good in-joke. The Lego Movie is directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who also directed 21 Jump Street. That’s a good in-in-joke. But the news that this new animated release is not only the cleverest, most hysterical comedy since 21 Jump Street, but an altogether stronger, more audacious piece of work than at least 90 percent of everything Hollywood gave us last year? No joke at all.

 
Peach Pits: "Labor Day" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 02 February 2014 15:18

Gattlin Griffith, Josh Brolin, and Kate Winslet in Labor DayLABOR DAY

Once upon a time, in the world of writer/director Jason Reitman, there was a magical kingdom called Labor Day.

 
There’s a Hole in Your Vessel, Dear Redford, Dear Redford … : "All Is Lost" and "That Awkward Moment" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 02 February 2014 15:13

Robert Redford in All Is LostALL IS LOST

Continuing to earn cool points following their November booking of Enough Said – a marvelous movie that finally landed in our area several months after its initial national release – schedulers for Moline’s Nova 6 Cinemas have done it again with the booking of All Is Lost, another critically acclaimed title that managed to bypass the Quad Cities’ first-run cineplexes. And given the overall strength of writer/director J.C. Chandor’s achievement, I couldn’t be happier about its arrival, late though it may be. (Not too late, however, for those of us wanting to catch as many Oscar-nominated films as possible prior to the March 2 ceremony. Chandor’s follow-up to 2011’s exquisite Margin Call – which also made its local debut at Nova 6 – is nominated for Best Sound Editing.) You may have heard about the film: It’s the one in which a lone sailor played by Robert Redford has to contend with a slowly sinking ship while adrift in the Indian Ocean, and with the exception of roughly 50 words, it’s as lacking in dialogue as The Artist. It’s also, for the majority of its 100 minutes, both wrenching and exhilarating.

 
Plains Spoken: "Nebraska," "Gimme Shelter," and "I, Frankenstein" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 17:52

Will Forte and Bruce Dern in NebraskaNEBRASKA

After opening nationally (in larger markets) in November, Alexander Payne’s comic elegy Nebraska – nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Director – finally hit Quad Cities cineplexes this past weekend. I actually saw the film in Chicagoland over the holidays, and ordinarily, when preparing to review a film I first viewed a month prior, I’d take in a second screening to reacquaint myself with the images, dialogue, and performances. But I didn’t with Payne’s latest. I took in a second screening just for the sheer pleasure of the experience. Memories of Nebraska’s marvelous images, dialogue, and performances, thank you very much, were still wonderfully fresh.

 
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