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To Be Continuum-ed: "Interstellar" and "Big Hero 6" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 07 November 2014 13:43

Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey in InterstellarINTERSTELLAR

With his breathlessly anticipated, behemoth-sized space opera Interstellar, has Christopher Nolan finally bitten off more than he can chew, or simply more than I can chew? I’d like to believe the latter, considering I like three of Nolan’s eight previous features and adore four others (with apologies to Batman Begins, which I merely tolerate), and considering half the movie’s dialogue is elaborate techo-jargon that I was predisposed not to understand. But like an itchy lover who says “It’s not you; it’s me” when he really means the opposite, I’m still laying most of my dissatisfaction at Nolan’s feet, and for a pretty basic reason: For all of its narrative and technical razzle-dazzle, Interstellar is the man’s first film that’s expressly about humans, and humans aren’t remotely close to being Nolan’s strong suit.

 
Kill to Shoot: "Nightcrawler," "Before I Go to Sleep," "The Best of Me," "Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland," and "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 02 November 2014 20:54

Jake Gyllenhaal in NightcrawlerNIGHTCRAWLER

Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler is the tale of an obsessive creep who becomes a dedicated entrepreneur in the field of exploitation journalism, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal. Hoo boy does it star Jake Gyllenhaal. Two days after seeing the film, I’m still not sure what it was aiming to be: a scuzzy urban thriller? A dark comedy? A withering social critique in the vein of Network? All of the above? But what it winds up being is nearly two full hours of The Jake Gyllenhaal Show, a movie that would barely exist if not for the feral, ferociously busy performance of its lead. In this particular case, not existing wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.

 
How the Grinch Stole Brooklyn: "St. Vincent," "John Wick," and "Ouija" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 17:15

Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Murray in St. VincentST. VINCENT

St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as the titular (if decidedly un-saintly) Vincent, a cranky, disheveled grump who may be the meanest man in Brooklyn, if not all of New York. He speaks in a honking regional dialect and guzzles brown liquor by the quart, and his only pals are a pair of fellow barflies and the local hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. He’s frequently seen chain-smoking in a porkpie hat with oversize sunglasses, and spends his days at the track making losing bets with his bookie. At his ramshackle home, he watches old Abbott & Costello movies on an ancient television and, when drunk, drives straight over his white picket fence. When a neighbor kid needs to use a pay phone, Vincent begrudgingly gives him a dime for the call. Given all this, in what year would you guess St. Vincent takes place? 1957? 1958?

 
Tanks. A Lot.: "Fury" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 19 October 2014 15:06

Brad Pitt in FuryFURY

Granted, I haven’t seen Birdman yet, but it’s hard to imagine any movie this year featuring a more kick-ass title character than the one in writer/director David Ayer’s Fury. A battered but still indomitable Sherman tank plowing through Nazi Germany at the tail end of World War II – its name imprinted, twice, on the tank’s cannon – Fury is both an amazing destructive force and a desperately needed safe haven for its five-man platoon. Our heroic tank also boasts more personality than any human on-screen, but in the case of this particular film, that’s relatively easy to forgive.

 
"Women & Children" First: "Men, Women & Children," "The Book of Life," "Meet the Mormons," "The Skeleton Twins," and "Venus in Fur" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 19 October 2014 14:56

Rosemarie DeWitt and Adam Sandler in Men, Women & ChildrenMEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN

The single most definitive shot in director/co-writer Jason Reitman’s “Ee-e-eek! The Internet!” melodrama Men, Women & Children is one from the previews, in which Ansel Elgort trudges toward dozens of fellow high-schoolers, all of whom are so fixated on their phones that they can’t see anything, or anyone, directly in front of them.

 
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