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Whip Lass: "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Old Fashioned," and "Kingsman: The Secret Service" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 15 February 2015 18:00

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades of GreyFIFTY SHADES OF GREY

Everyone knows that movies aren’t books. Yet it’s amazing how many people – critics, specifically – have chosen to forget that fact when discussing Fifty Shades of Grey, director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s and screenwriter Kelly Marcel’s adaptation of E.L. James’ pop-porn phenomenon.

He Swoops, He Scores: Predicting "Birdman" and the Other 2015 Oscar Winners PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:22


Michael Keaton in BirdmanA big Birdman night but nothing for Michael Keaton? A not-bad Boyhood night but nothing for Richard Linklater? A year in which every single Best Picture nominee will go home with at least one lovely, gold-plated parting gift? Yes, yes, and yes – so long as those “yes”es have asterisks behind them signifying “maybe.”

Blow It Out Uranus: "Jupiter Ascending," "Seventh Son," "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," and "Two Days, One Night" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 08 February 2015 18:20

Mila Kunis in Jupiter AscendingJUPITER ASCENDING

After months of previews in the wake of its delayed release, the big-budget sci-fi spectacle Jupiter Ascending – originally scheduled for summer 2014 – finally landed this past weekend. And with its opening, a question can now be asked: Was there any point at which Warner Bros. executives seriously considered pulling the plug on writers/directors/siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski’s epic stinker? Maybe when Channing Tatum was cast as a human/wolf hybrid with a blond goatee and pointy ears? Or when an incensed Russian beat the hell out of his son with a throw pillow? Or when, for the performer’s first scene, the Wachowskis handed Mila Kunis an all-too-symbolic toilet brush?

Qualms Before the Storm: "A Most Violent Year," "Journey to Space 3D," "Black or White," "The Loft," and "Project Almanac" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 01 February 2015 17:39

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent YearLike a squirrel gathering nuts before winter, I made a conscious effort to catch all five of this past weekend’s debuting releases before our area was hit by the blizzard from Hell. (An oxymoronic expression, but whatever.) And because, with the exception of the museum’s feature, even the really good one will likely be gone before the snowy onslaught begins to melt, let’s take care of ’em quickly. In descending order of preference ... .

In Too Depp: "Mortdecai," "The Boy Next Door," and "Strange Magic" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:38

Johnny Depp in MortdecaiMORTDECAI

Mortdecai, a Clouseau-esque slapstick about a bumbling art dealer and a missing Goya, isn’t so much a movie as it is a test, and one with a single question: Just how much Johnny Depp can you still stomach? For me, the answer turned out to be “more than I expected,” because while director David Koepp’s comedy is crummy in many ways, it did crack me up a good dozen times, and every time because its generally overexposed star did or said something that caught me completely, joyously off-guard.

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