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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?

 
Got MILF?: "Playing for Keeps" and "Anna Karenina" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 10 December 2012 10:27

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Gerard Butler in Playing for KeepsPLAYING FOR KEEPS

In director Gabriele Muccino’s dramatic comedy Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler portrays a former star athlete who hopes to reconnect with his ex-wife and son by coaching the kid’s pee-wee soccer team, and who is consequently forced to (try to) resist the advances of a trio of beautiful, aggressive, lascivious soccer moms who can’t keep their hands off him. This, in the language of Hollywood screenwriters, is what is known as “a problem.”

 
Ho Ho Horrible: "Rise of the Guardians," "Killing Them Softly," and "The Collection" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 03 December 2012 07:45

Rise of the GuardiansRISE OF THE GUARDIANS

There appears to be a certain amount of bafflement, among those who track such things, as to why Rise of the Guardians has failed to make its expected dent on the late-autumn box office. Did the action comedy open too soon after the release of the similarly animated Wreck-It Ralph, thereby splintering its audience? Was the casting of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy as makeshift superheroes an idea deemed too juvenile for viewers over the age of three? Was the film’s title generic and confusing, leading potential crowds to expect the arrival of the owls of Ga’Hoole?

If I may, I’d like to posit a different, simpler theory: The movie just sucks.

 
Tiger Beat: "Life of Pi" and "Red Dawn" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 25 November 2012 16:25

Suraj Sharma in Life of PiLIFE OF PI

Some 45 minutes into director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, there’s an image that’s so deeply resonant and beautiful and sad – one that’s presented with so little melodrama or fuss – that I immediately welled up and felt compelled to stifle a sob. I remember the image clearly because I rarely stopped feeling that way for almost the entire hour-and-a-half that followed.

 
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