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The Unnecessarily Dark Knight: "Man of Steel" and "This Is the End" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 17 June 2013 05:25

Henry Cavill in Man of SteelMAN OF STEEL

During the final third of director Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, Henry Cavill’s caped crusader and Michael Shannon’s villainous General Zod take turns pummeling each other into Smallville storefronts and Metropolis skyscrapers, and the combined force of their Kryptonian blows routinely causes the edifices to tumble to the ground. For most of the length of this relentlessly noisy and dour superhero outing, it felt as though they were tumbling directly on my head.

 
Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk: "Before Midnight" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 17 June 2013 05:11

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before MidnightBEFORE MIDNIGHT

Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight – the third and possibly final installment in the director’s ongoing screen romance that began with 1995’s Before Sunrise and continued with 2004’s Before Sunset – climaxes with a half-hour-long fight. You could, of course, say the same about most every superhero or Transformers picture released nowadays. The big difference, however, is that this particular battle royale takes place in the confines of one room and involves all of two characters. The bigger difference, speaking personally, is that this is one 30-minute screen fight that I actually wished would go on forever – though an eternal loop of the movie’s first 70 minutes wouldn’t have been unwelcome, either.

 
Lawless Execution: "The Purge" and "The Internship" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 09 June 2013 12:40

Ethan Hawke in The PurgeTHE PURGE

If you blended The Hunger Games, David Fincher’s Panic Room, and Shirley Jackson’s classic short story “The Lottery” with generous helpings of ice, you’d wind up with the scare-flick smoothie that is The Purge. An eventually underwhelming yet bluntly effective chiller by writer/director James DeMonaco, the movie, admittedly, does lose its way before its 90 minutes are up. But considering how few modern releases in its genre find their way at all, it’s hard to deny the primal pleasures of DeMonaco’s outing, even if the film remains more thought-provoking in concept than it proves to be on-screen.

 
Hocus Bogus: "Now You See Me" and "After Earth" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 02 June 2013 16:49

Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco in Now You See MeNOW YOU SEE ME

Given its premise, its cast, and the fact that it’s a summertime release without a superhero or a number (or both) in the title, it was easy to feel jazzed about the prospect of Now You See Me, director Louis Leterrier’s effects-driven caper about larcenous Las Vegas magicians scoring the heist of the century. Unfortunately, it took all of three minutes for that anticipatory excitement to turn, for me, into irritation, which then turned into active aggravation, which then turned into a disengaged torpor that lasted until the end credits rolled. Ta da.

 
Dead Sober: "The Hangover Part III," "Epic," and "Fast & Furious 6" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 26 May 2013 16:16

Bradley Cooper, Zach Gailianakis, and Ed Helms in The Hangover Part IIITHE HANGOVER PART III

Not long into The Hangover Part III, our mishap-prone heroes portrayed by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis are seen sipping beers at a karaoke bar, discussing the best way to handle their latest mess initiated by Ken Jeong’s eccentric gangster/eternal thorn-in-the-side Mr. Chow. Though this might constitute a minor spoiler, the casual drinks consumed in this scene are, to my recollection, the only drinks – indeed, the only judgment-impairing substances of any kind – consumed in the entire movie. That makes director Todd Phillips’ outing a Hangover without hangovers. In the end, it’s also a Hangover without The Hangover.

 
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