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Tony Soprano and a Pit Bull Walk into a Bar ... : "The Drop," "Dolphin Tale 2," and "No Good Deed" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 September 2014 14:02

Tom Hardy in The DropTHE DROP

Tom Hardy, by this point in his career, has had enough major roles in enough major movies to qualify as a familiar face. And a good thing, too, because if we were forced to rely on his voice and specific screen type, how, from film to film, would we ever recognize him? The British star’s latest is the crime thriller The Drop, and it’s a solid piece of work – hardly novel, but gripping and enjoyable nonetheless. Yet it’s tough to imagine any Hardy fan even thinking about skipping it, considering that, much like the recent home-video release Locke, the movie allows this brilliantly chameleon-like character actor to perform an exquisite slow burn that lasts 90-ish minutes, and to sound and seem quite unlike anyone he’s ever played before.

 
Now Playing: Friday, September 12, through Thursday, September 18 PDF Print E-mail
Now Playing
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 10:20

Dolphin Tale 2For show schedule information, visit:

Cinemark Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Davenport

FilmScene, Iowa City

Putnam Museum, 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.)

 
The King, and More Royal Subjects: "The Identical," "Locke," "Only Lovers Left Alive," "The Normal Heart," and "The Spoils of Babylon" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 08 September 2014 08:51

Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta in The IdenticalDirector Dustin Marcellino’s The Identical is for anyone who ever wanted to see a fictionalized account of the birth of the Elvis-impersonator movement. Or anyone who’d enjoy Presley’s songs more if their melodies weren’t so complex and their lyrics weren’t so depraved. Or anyone who’s been yearning to see Ray Liotta play a devout evangelist who explains to his congregation why he just lit eight candles on a menorah, when, as we can see, he clearly lit nine.

 
Midnight Below Paris: "As Above, So Below" and "The November Man" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 31 August 2014 18:58

Marion Lambert and Perdita Weeks in As Above, So BelowAS ABOVE, SO BELOW

Sometimes, because our expectations for it are usually so low, all a horror film needs to get by is a really juicy setting. Of course, it helps if there’s also some talent involved, and I’m pleased to report that John Erick Dowdle’s As Above, So Below actually has both. This claustrophobic creep-out may be frequently silly and too inscrutable for its own good, but it boasts a spectacularly eerie locale in its Parisian catacombs (home to the remains of 6 million deceased), and Quarantine and Devil director Dowdle continues his impressive run of lending superb craftsmanship to routine scare-flick scenarios.

 
Gridiron Man: "When the Game Stands Tall" and "If I Stay" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 16:52

When the Game Stands TallWHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL

Inspirational sports dramas, particularly inspirational high-school-sports dramas, can boast many virtues, and even the crummier ones can be a lot of fun. But one thing they’re not generally known for is surprise, which is why it’s all the more flabbergasting that When the Game Stands Tall has such a doozy of one at its center: the leading performance, and maybe the finest one yet, by Jim Caviezel. Director Thomas Carter’s football saga is actually pretty terrific for a number of reasons. Yet despite working within a formula, and with the type of role, in which beats and arcs so often feel preordained, Caviezel provides one happy surprise after another, principally – and misleadingly – by appearing to do next to nothing at all.

 
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