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Predicting the 2013 Academy Award Nominees PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 03 January 2013 12:44

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark ThirtyWill it be Argo’s year or Lincoln’s? Affleck’s or not-Affleck’s? Day-Lewis’ or ... ?

Well, it’s gonna be Day-Lewis’.

But before we can take stabs at guessing this year’s Oscar winners, they have to be nominated first, so the following are my predictions – subject to immediate hand-wringing and eventual embarrassment – for the 2013 Academy Award nominations, which will be officially announced on Thursday, January 10. (The ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 24.)

 
Vox Populi: "Les Misérables" and "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 31 December 2012 08:19

Isabelle Allen and Hugh Jackman in Les MiserablesLES MISÉRABLES

Director Tom Hooper’s take on the über-beloved musical Les Misérables is, in numerous regards, a maddeningly weak stage-to-screen transfer. Scenes have been bluntly presented with no discernible invention or style. The incessant employment of closeups creates stagnancy in sequences and numbers that beg for breathing room. The movie’s two most prominent actors are cast in roles for which they can’t nearly do vocal justice. And, so help me, I ravenously gobbled up every last, unsubtle, frequently disappointing morsel of the thing.

 
Mad About You: "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained," and "Parental Guidance" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 31 December 2012 08:13

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings PlaybookSILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook is a modern romantic comedy, which means that, in essence, its storyline would fit rather snugly alongside those of many offerings in the cinematic oeuvres of Katherine Heigl and Kate Hudson. But allow me to blow your minds with this little nugget of information: While its narrative arc may seem familiar, even insultingly so, almost nothing in the movie happens the way you think it will. Somehow, using author Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel as a blueprint, Russell has taken a tale involving two impossibly good-looking near-lovers, an emotionally distant family, and a big dance contest, and has ensured that you truly can’t predict whether the seemingly de rigueur unions and reconciliations and victories will actually transpire. What’s the deal with this Russell guy? Doesn’t he know that’s not the way things are done in Hollywood?

 
A Star Is Reborn: "The Guilt Trip," "This Is 40," and "Jack Reacher" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 23 December 2012 18:20

Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in The Guilt TripTHE GUILT TRIP

Aside from her appearances as Ben Stiller’s hippie mom in those increasingly labored Meet the Parents sequels, Barbra Steisand hasn’t been seen in a film since her 1996 directorial effort The Mirror Has Two Faces, and considering what an ego-fueled embarrassment that picture was, some of us have been grateful for the break. It’s worth remembering, though, that when her material doesn’t let her down (and she’s not directing her own star vehicles), Streisand can still be a fantastically smart and inventive comedienne – which, happily, she’s allowed to be in nearly every scene of The Guilt Trip.

 
Hobbit Forming: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 16 December 2012 10:12

Andy Serkis in The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyTHE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

In all honesty, I was a little bored by Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before the movie even started. A nearly three-hour fantasy adventure with a colon in the title based on (one-third of) a beloved J.R.R. Tolkein title? A tale of dwarfs and elves, and a kindly old wizard played by Ian McKellen, concerning a perilous trek across New Zealand? An epic narrative involving an innocent’s coming of age, and inanimate objects that prove surprisingly ambulatory, and a shriveled schizophrenic with bulging eyes who mourns the loss of his “Precious-s-s-s”? Haven’t we all been here before? And beyond securing gazillions of dollars for New Line Cinema, was there really any need to go back?

 
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