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Fraternity, Leave!: "Neighbors" and "Moms' Night Out" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 11 May 2014 16:26

Zec Efron, Seth Rogen, and Rose Byrne in NeighborsNEIGHBORS

Director Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is being marketed as a slapstick sausage fest in which that eternal frat guy Seth Rogen, playing a beleaguered suburbanite, wages war against a houseful of more age-appropriate frat guys led by Zac Efron. That’s why it’s both unexpected and kind of awesome to find that this meandering, intermittently hilarious movie is actually stolen by a female – or two, if you count the voiceless, ridiculously adorable Elise Vargas as a grinning newborn who would melt the heart of W.C. Fields himself. Really, though, the film belongs to no one so much as Rose Byrne as Rogen’s former-party-girl wife, and considering how riotous the performer was in Bridesmaids and Stoller’s Get Him to the Greek, this probably isn’t the surprise I’m making it out to be.

 
A Work of Art ... I Think: "Under the Skin" and "Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 11 May 2014 16:19

Scarlett Johansson in Under the SkinUNDER THE SKIN

Under the Skin, a dreamlike sci-fi/horror tale by director Jonathan Glazer, might just be the most fascinating, entrancing, thrilling movie I’ve ever seen given nearly unbearable viewing conditions.

 
Static Electricity: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "As High as the Sky" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 04 May 2014 12:33

Jamie Foxx and Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

The biggest problem I had with 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man was that director Marc Webb’s superhero-origin tale – with its “let’s get this tiresome exposition over with” vibe and general lack of personality – felt merely like the setup for more interesting web-slinging adventures to come. The biggest problem I have with Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that it feels almost exactly the same, like a character- and conflict-building preamble that we have to endure to get to the eventual good stuff. Things certainly happen in Webb’s latest cinematic comic book, but they appear to happen solely because its surviving characters need to be positioned properly for their roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, the inevitable outing in which maybe, finally, the series will start living up to the imposed adjective in its title.

 
Cheat Wave: "The Other Woman," "The Quiet Ones," and "Brick Mansions" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 27 April 2014 19:16

Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton, and Leslie Mann in The Other WomanTHE OTHER WOMAN

Unduly high expectations, as we all know, can sometimes ruin your movie-going experience. Unduly low expectations, on the other hand, generally yield nothing but benefits, and so I’d like to thank film-critic consensus for making me so fearful of Nick Cassavetes’ The Other Woman. This revenge comedy may be indefensibly weak, but the unbridled and unwarranted zeal with which so many people are attacking it – The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus used Richard Roeper’s description “excruciatingly awful” as the review’s headline – makes me feel that some defense might be necessary.

 
Near-Def Experience: "Heaven Is for Real," "Transcendence," "Bears," and "A Haunted House 2" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 21 April 2014 12:25

Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly in Heaven Is for RealHEAVEN IS FOR REAL

So far this year, audiences for faith-based films at the multiplex have been treated to Son of God, God’s Not Dead, and Noah, and now there’s director Randall Wallace’s Heaven Is for Real to add to the mix. Have the Hollywood powers-that-be heard something about an imminent Rapture that the rest of us haven’t? Should I now be feeling awkward and guilty about my raucous laughter at This Is the End?

 
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