Going to the cineplex this weekend? Every Friday morning at 9 a.m. you can listen to Mike Schulz dish on recent movie releases & talk smack about Hollywood celebs on the Quad City Rocker 104.9FM, with the fabulous morning team of Dave and Darren. The morning crew previews upcoming releases, too.
Or you can check the Reader Web site and listen to their latest conversation by the warm glow of your computer.
Never miss a pithy comment from these three scintillating pundits again.
Friday, December 20, 2013: On the guys' last segment of 2013, they preview Saving Mr. Banks and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, discuss The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, and preview and discuss American Hustle and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Prepare to want to listen to that last clip a few times over-- Steve Carell kills it. Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
The first great sequence in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – and, sadly, one of the few truly great sequences in Peter Jackson’s second (or fifth, if you’d rather) J.R.R. Tolkien installment – is an escape scene. At its start, hobbit protagonist Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf companions sneak out of the Elven dungeon cells in which they’ve been imprisoned, and hope for clean getaways by stashing themselves in empty wine barrels and floating down a nearby river. Sounds simple. And it might have been if it weren’t for the rapids, and the waterfalls, and the whizzing arrows, and the savage orcs, and Orlando Bloom gingerly bouncing atop our heroes’ heads.
When it comes to films vying for Academy Awards attention, there are several themes and subjects generally guaranteed to pique voters’ interest: post-war trauma; post-incarceration estrangement; the Holocaust; Judi Dench. Yet while a trio of recently released titles collectively addresses these and other Oscar-bait-y topics, I can’t help feeling that the talents behind all three might wind up disappointed come nominations-announcement morning. Well, except for Judi Dench. There’s just no stopping that Dame.
As its fans (and I’m one of them) will gladly attest, Disney’s Frozen is a bit of a throwback to the studio’s recent golden age of animated entertainments – that period from the late ’80s to the mid-’90s that found more-or-less traditional fairy and folk tales goosed with healthy portions of Broadway razzmatazz. (Those in the press championing this new work as a welcome and rather bold return to form, however, do seem to have conveniently forgotten about 2009’s excellent The Princess & the Frog and 2010’s near-excellent Tangled.) But while much of the film follows the standard Disney-in-its-prime formula to the letter – big-eyed ingénue heroine, check; wacky animal sidekick, check; rafter-shaking power ballad destined to win an Oscar, check – there is one aspect to Frozen that separates it from the Little Mermaid/Beauty & the Beast/Lion King herd: The movie is kind of bonkers.