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"Batman Begins" Is Faithful, but Not Much Fun PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 18:00

Christian Bale in Batman BeginsBATMAN RETURNS

Many Hollywood blockbusters feel so generic as to have been formed by committee, and in Batman Begins, that committee appears to be comprised entirely of comic-book bloggers. Just how afraid of Internet fanboys have movie studios become? It has been widely reported that this new installment in the superhero franchise is a deliberate rebuke to director Joel Schumacher’s beyond-campy Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, and I couldn’t be more on board with that; Schumacher managed to turn Warner Brothers’ moody franchise into a half-assed Mardi Gras spectacle, minus the debaucherous fun. (Only in Schumacher’s hands could Uma Thurman come off as a depressed drag queen.)

 
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" Is Criminally Enjoyable: Also, "The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 14 June 2005 18:00

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. SmithMR. & MRS. SMITH

If it accomplished nothing else, Mr. & Mrs. Smith would easily nail a primal attraction for going to the movies: Getting to spend two hours staring at people who are infinitely better-looking than we are.

 
Another Ron Howard Fairy Tale: "Cinderella Man" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 07 June 2005 18:00

Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti in Cinderella ManCINDERELLA MAN

Every time Hollywood releases a prestigious drama between June and August – Saving Private Ryan, The Road to Perdition, Seabiscuit – a big deal is made about whether audiences are “ready” for weightier fare in the summer months, as if the movie-going public, en masse, annually says, “But it’s summer vacation! I don’t want to think!” To my mind, this question of “Will audiences show up?” is a mostly pointless one, because (1) these movies don’t expect you to think much, and (2) they generally go on to earn a bundle, having cornered the market on cineplex heft.

 
"Madagascar" Deserves to Be a Hit: Also, "The Longest Yard" and "Millions" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 31 May 2005 18:00

MadagascarMADAGASCAR

See enough movies, especially ones geared to the younger set, and you all but stop expecting to be surprised by the arc of the plot; our heroes will learn valuable Life Lessons, generally while embarking on A Perilous Journey, good will triumph over evil, the comforts of home, family, and friends will prove more beguiling than any possible adventure, yada yada yada. The joy – the shock – of the new computer-animated comedy Madagascar is that, from scene to scene, you might find yourself having no clue where events will lead, yet you’re laughing too hard to pay the matter much mind.

 
Lucas’ Revenge: Goodwill Triumphing Over Evil: "Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:00

Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the SithSTAR WARS, EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH

I’ve spent a lot of time – both in print and in person – making fun of George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, and for a reason: It’s pretty easy. The prosaic (and endless) exposition, the flat staging, the unspeakable dialogue, the ba-dum-ching! clunkiness of the comedy, the videogame-inspired mayhem, Jar Jar Binks … there’s practically no end of topics worth goofing on.

 
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