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Now Playing: Friday, April 29, through Thursday, May 5 PDF Print E-mail
Now Playing
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 06:50

KeanuFor show schedule information, visit:

61 Drive-in Theatre, Maquoketa

Blue Grass Drive-in Theatre, Blue Grass

FilmScene, Iowa City

Marcus Sycamore Cinema, Iowa City

Putnam Museum, Davenport

Rave Cinemas Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Davenport

Regal Moline Stadium 14, Moline

 

(Hyperlinked titles take you to Mike Schulz's full reviews; the IMDb hyperlinks take you to the films' Internet Movie Database pages.)

 
A Song of Ice and Mire: "The Huntsman: Winter's War" and "Elvis & Nixon" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 24 April 2016 16:19

Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain in The Huntsman: Winter's WarTHE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR

Imagine a live-action version of Disney’s Frozen minus the songs and charm, and designed by the production team behind HBO’s Game of Thrones. That’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Now stop imagining that, because it’ll give you nightmares – though probably more coherent ones than the nightmare that is this tonally baffling hodgepodge of suffocating seriousness, incoherently staged combat, and baggy-pants comedy.

 
PETA Principle: "The Jungle Book," "Barbershop: The Next Cut," and "Criminal" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 18 April 2016 14:40

The Jungle BookTHE JUNGLE BOOK

Nearly all action movies, even those in which the action is determinedly family-friendly, live or die by their villains, and director Jon Favreau’s remake of Disney’s The Jungle Book has a phenomenal one: the Bengal tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba. Scarred from a murderous tussle with a human and left with only one functional eye, this creature – created, as all the film’s animals and landscapes are, via the magic of CGI – prowls his kingdom with lithe, dangerous authority, and manages to one-up even Jeremy Irons’ Lion King meanie in terms of fierceness and frightening malevolence. Yet Shere Khan’s visage and movements aren’t half as scary as Elba’s maliciously insinuating vocals that fall somewhere between a purr and a growl, and while listening to these deliciously evil readings, I had a perhaps heretical thought regarding this movie and its reported $175-million budget: Wouldn’t all this have worked much better as a radio play?

 
Half-Baked Goods: "The Boss," "Demolition," and "Hardcore Henry" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 10 April 2016 17:00

Kristen Bell and Melissa McCarthy in The BossTHE BOSS

As far as her recent movies are concerned, only one thing separates a good Melissa McCarthy comedy from a bad one, and that thing is Paul Feig. (Those awkwardly unfunny previews for Feig’s forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot, however, make me wonder how long that’ll be the case.) In the director’s Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy, McCarthy has been a blistering and wonderfully human riot, but the films themselves are so solidly constructed that you know they would’ve worked even with someone less naturally gifted in her roles. Yet the same can’t be said for the dismal Identity Thief, or the tonally nuts Tammy, or the debuting The Boss, which finds McCarthy’s ex-con entrepreneur Michelle Darnell seeking redemption through a makeshift Girl Scout troop, homemade brownies, and excessive bullying techniques. In each one, when she isn’t being humiliated, McCarthy is the best thing in it. In each one, that’s hardly saying much.

 
Drones: "Eye in the Sky" and "Hello, My Name Is Doris" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 03 April 2016 16:08

Helen Mirren in Eye in the SkyEYE IN THE SKY

Eye in the Sky concerns an impending act of drone warfare on a seemingly peaceful village in Kenya, and it’s one of the few films of its type released since 1964’s Fail-Safe: a pulse-pounding, nerve-racking inaction thriller. One scene after another finds individuals or cloistered rooms of military officials doing little more than staring at screens – in governmental war rooms, in flight simulators, on iPhones – and awaiting orders from higher-ups before they themselves can make any decisive moves. Yet the experience of director Gavin Hood’s thoughtful nail-biter is nonetheless spellbinding. The seconds feel as though they last many minutes (in the best way), and the cumulative 100 minutes feel like they’re over in a flash.

 
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