Schulz's MediaCom VOD Picks
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Godz Not Dead: "Godzilla" and "Million Dollar Arm" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 18 May 2014 08:16

GodzillaGODZILLA

To get the inarguable out of the way, director Gareth Edwards’ new take on Godzilla is an incalculably stronger piece of work than Roland Emmerich’s woebegone 1998 version. Its visual effects are superb, and occasionally stunning. Its supporting cast boasts some obscenely gifted actors. It has been crafted with professionalism, confidence, seriousness of purpose, and obvious respect for its cinematic forebears. And taken overall, I found the experience so deathly boring that in the midst of its incredibly loud, debris-strewn action finale, I actually fell asleep. On two separate occasions.

 
Fraternity, Leave!: "Neighbors" and "Moms' Night Out" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 11 May 2014 16:26

Zec Efron, Seth Rogen, and Rose Byrne in NeighborsNEIGHBORS

Director Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is being marketed as a slapstick sausage fest in which that eternal frat guy Seth Rogen, playing a beleaguered suburbanite, wages war against a houseful of more age-appropriate frat guys led by Zac Efron. That’s why it’s both unexpected and kind of awesome to find that this meandering, intermittently hilarious movie is actually stolen by a female – or two, if you count the voiceless, ridiculously adorable Elise Vargas as a grinning newborn who would melt the heart of W.C. Fields himself. Really, though, the film belongs to no one so much as Rose Byrne as Rogen’s former-party-girl wife, and considering how riotous the performer was in Bridesmaids and Stoller’s Get Him to the Greek, this probably isn’t the surprise I’m making it out to be.

 
A Work of Art ... I Think: "Under the Skin" and "Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 11 May 2014 16:19

Scarlett Johansson in Under the SkinUNDER THE SKIN

Under the Skin, a dreamlike sci-fi/horror tale by director Jonathan Glazer, might just be the most fascinating, entrancing, thrilling movie I’ve ever seen given nearly unbearable viewing conditions.

 
Static Electricity: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "As High as the Sky" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 04 May 2014 12:33

Jamie Foxx and Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

The biggest problem I had with 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man was that director Marc Webb’s superhero-origin tale – with its “let’s get this tiresome exposition over with” vibe and general lack of personality – felt merely like the setup for more interesting web-slinging adventures to come. The biggest problem I have with Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that it feels almost exactly the same, like a character- and conflict-building preamble that we have to endure to get to the eventual good stuff. Things certainly happen in Webb’s latest cinematic comic book, but they appear to happen solely because its surviving characters need to be positioned properly for their roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, the inevitable outing in which maybe, finally, the series will start living up to the imposed adjective in its title.

 
Parrots and Cats and a Pageant for Bunnies: "Video Art from Israel," May 4 at the Figge PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 06:00

The Days of the Family of the BellOn May 4, in an event co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, the Figge Art Museum will host the screenings of a feature-length documentary and seven shorter works, all of them by award-winning Israeli filmmakers. Yet if the you enter the Video Art from Israel: A One-Day Sensory Experience presentation with preconceived notions about the films’ collective subject matter – anticipating explorations of Israel’s foreign policy, say, or the country’s ongoing struggle with Palestine – you’re likely to be in for a surprise or two. Or eight.

 
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