Schulz's MediaCom VOD Picks
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Give Him This Day His Daily Porn: "Don Jon," "Baggage Claim," and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 29 September 2013 21:39

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson in Don JonDON JON

Writer/director/star Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon casts its auteur as a New Jersey bartender obsessed with pornography, and you can view the film as an extremely raunchy romantic comedy, or an untraditional coming-of-age saga, or a mostly lighthearted exploration of the perils of addiction. But I prefer to think of Gordon-Levitt’s sprightly, confident filmmaking debut more as a modernized Pinocchio, in which, through lessons learned and a touch of magic, a creature made of wood – or rather, one sporting wood – eventually becomes a real live boy.

 
Race War: "Rush" and "Room 237" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 29 September 2013 21:33

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in RushRUSH

While experiencing the technical craftsmanship of director Ron Howard’s Rush, with Slumdog Millionaire cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle working at peak ability and the sound effects and editing exquisite throughout, I was frequently tempted to say, “Wow.” Too bad that the film’s overall presentation more often had me asking, “Why?”

 
Missing Inaction: “Prisoners” and “Battle of the Year” PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 21 September 2013 22:45

Jake Gyllenhaal in PrisonersPRISONERS

Prisoners, which features Jake Gyllenhaal as a feverishly driven detective, is the most exciting and emotional cop thriller we’ve been treated to since last fall’s End of Watch, which Gyllenhaal also starred in. Beyond that, director Denis Villeneuve’s effort is probably the most suspenseful, evocative, and disturbing procedural thriller since David Fincher’s 2007 Zodiac ... which also boasted Gyllenhaal in a leading role. I’m generally skeptical about the effectiveness of good-luck charms, but if the actor cared to accompany me the next time I buy a lottery ticket, you wouldn’t hear me complain.

 
Mob Mentality: "The Family" and "Insidious: Chapter 2" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 15 September 2013 08:04

Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer in The FamilyTHE FAMILY

Robert De Niro fans will likely want to catch director Luc Besson’s The Family, as it showcases one of the actor’s finest, most alert leading performances in years. Michelle Pfeiffer fans (and I’m a huge one) will definitely want to catch this new gangster comedy, as it gives the eternally radiant performer the closest she’s had to a fully fleshed-out character in over a decade, and Pfeiffer – returning to her mob-wife roots of the Scarface and Married to the Mob era – plays the role spectacularly well.

Yet there’s one demographic for whom The Family should be absolutely must-see viewing: anti-Francophiles. Though it has its problems, several of them major ones, I’m betting that most of its viewers will enjoy the film. But if you’re the sort who’s prone to make hostile remarks about the French with little or no provocation, or have ever referenced “freedom fries” completely without irony, this is, without question, the movie for you, which makes this latest effort by Parisian filmmaker Besson not just cheeky but downright subversive.

 
Objects of Riddickule: "Riddick" and "The Ultimate Life" PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 09 September 2013 07:13

Vin Diesel in RiddickRIDDICK and THE ULTIMATE LIFE

A few weeks ago, before heading off to see Kick-Ass 2, a friend asked if I thought 2013 was, as he felt, the year of the completely unnecessary, unrequested sequel. As I had, by that point, already sat through The Smurfs 2, RED 2, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Last Exorcism: Part II, and Scary Movie V – to say nothing of The Hangover: Part III, Fast & Furious 6, and Grown Ups 2, all of which someone must have requested – I told him yes.

Had he asked the same question this past Friday, before my double-feature of Riddick and The Ultimate Life, I would have told him hell yes.

 
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