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Life’s a Beach, Then You Get Meds: "Love & Mercy" and "Dope" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 20 June 2015 19:07

Paul Dano in Love & MercyLOVE & MERCY

Receiving a wide national release on the same weekend as Inside Out’s debut, director Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy is also an exploration of the brain – specifically, the brain of Beach Boys wunderkind Brian Wilson, alternately portrayed by Paul Dano (during the film’s Pet Sounds-era 1960s sequences) and John Cusack (during Wilson’s heavily-, and incorrectly-, medicated period in the late 1980s). And rather astonishingly for a work of its type, it boasts numerous scenes in which it really, truly feels like we’re allowed to roam around in a legendary musician’s head, feeling what he feels and, even more importantly, hearing what he hears.

Dino Might: "Jurassic World" and "D-Day: Normandy 1944" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 June 2015 10:46

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic WorldJURASSIC WORLD

Hopefully it won’t happen for many, many years. But when Steven Spielberg eventually passes away, will any of us be allowed to notice?

CIA / ESP / WTF: "Spy," "Insidious: Chapter 3," and "Entourage" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 05 June 2015 14:09

Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, and Jamie Denbo in SpySPY

Writer/director Paul Feig’s Spy opens with an incredibly funny gross joke involving a sneeze, closes with an incredibly funny reveal involving a one-night stand, and somehow manages to stay incredibly funny – in addition to smart and clever and sweet – for most of the two hours in between. It’s an action spoof about a gifted yet timidly self-conscious CIA desk jockey (Melissa McCarthy) who finally gets to release her inner Jane Bond, but the numerous vehicular chases and shoot-outs and danglings from helicopters are practically beside the point. Here, the comedy is the action.

Hawaiian Punch: "Aloha," "San Andreas," and "Far from the Madding Crowd" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 31 May 2015 14:59

Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone in AlohaALOHA

On three separate occasions this past weekend, after mentioning that I’d seen Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, I had friends or family members reply with some variant on “Ugh, how bad was it?” That’s usually the response I get after telling people I just came back from the latest Happy Madison flick or Paranormal Activity: Yup, We’re Still Churning These Out. But to hear that kind of pitying condolence regarding a new Crowe endeavor was troubling. Sure, the reviews were largely dreadful, and the previews leaned toward the achingly twee, and the movie’s reputation in the hacked Sony e-mails (“the script is ridiculous”) didn’t help matters. Beyond all that, though, is the collective disappointment of Vanilla Sky, Elizabethtown, and We Bought a Zoo so pervasive and infuriating that it overwhelms the memory of Say Anything ... , Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous?

It’s a Pall World After All: "Tomorrowland" and "Poltergeist" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 25 May 2015 13:45

Britt Robertson in TomorrowlandTOMORROWLAND

To the credit of Disney’s marketing team, the intriguingly vague previews for Tomorrowland provided just enough (a grizzled George Clooney, “directed by Brad Bird” in the credits, no number at the title’s end or colon in its middle) to make the film appear promising without explicitly stating what it was about, or whom it was meant for. Having now seen Bird’s futuristic adventure, I know what it’s about – mainly because, from its first seconds, Disney’s latest live-action endeavor keeps spelling out its themes in big block letters. Whom it’s meant for, however, remains a mystery.

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