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Predicting the 2014 Academy Award Nominees PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 09:55

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a SlaveHeading toward January 16’s announcement of this year’s Academy Award nominees, I think it’s safe to say that we know a few things.

We know, for instance, that it’ll be a big day for 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, and most likely for American Hustle. We know the Best Supporting Actor category (which, last year, was populated entirely with previous Oscar winners) will be top-heavy with relatively new talent, and the Best Actress category (which, last year, was top-heavy with relatively new talent) will be mostly, perhaps entirely, populated with previous Oscar winners. We know members of the Academy’s music branch will throw some loopy, out-of-left-field choice into the Best Original Song lineup, because they always do.

And we know, come January 16, that some incredibly worthy titles are going to get royally screwed.

 
Out of This World: The Most Enjoyable Movies of 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 06:00

I can’t remember which Web site I read it on, but in prefacing his 10-best list, one movie-reviewing pundit expressed his wish that rankings of this sort be published 10 years after the fact, so he could have a full decade to digest, re-re-view, and potentially re-evaluate what he initially decreed were his favorite films for a particular calendar year. I love that idea, but would also be grateful for a just few extra weeks.

 
Días de los Muertos: "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" and "47 Ronin" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 05 January 2014 14:14

Andrew Jacobs in Paranormal Activity: The Marked OnesPARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

Do you recall how, in the first Paranormal Activity, Katie and Micah attempted to communicate with the malevolent spirit haunting their home through a Ouija board that, later, spontaneously burst into flames? So-o-o 2009. In the new Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – the fifth installment in this apparently unkillable scare-flick series – our teenage protagonists aren’t about to use anything as passé as a board game to connect with their unseen house guest. Not when they have access to ... Simon.

 
Stocks and Stoned: "The Wolf of Wall Street" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 29 December 2013 20:20

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall StreetTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET

The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese’s three-hour black comedy about the grotesquely indulgent life of felonious stock trader Jordan Belfort, and Leonardo DiCaprio gives a ferociously alert performance as the title character, even when, in a scene of perfectly executed physical slapstick, a Quaalude high gone wrong leaves him nearly, and hilariously, immobile. The movie is filled with memorable set pieces and blisteringly profane dialogue, and several supporting actors – Kyle Chandler and Matthew McConaughey especially – are in utterly spectacular form. There’s filmmaking energy, even bravado, on display in just about every scene. And after dozens of releases in a career spanning more than four decades, it’s the first Scorsese picture that I’ve ever actively hated.

 
O Christmas Three, O Christmas Three ... : "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," and "Grudge Match" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 29 December 2013 20:16

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter MittyTHE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, and GRUDGE MATCH

With apologies to Keanu Reeves fans and the true Beliebers among you, I still haven’t gotten around to 47 Ronin or Justin Bieber’s Believe. (In the case of the latter, I’m not sure I ever will, although stranger things have happened, I guess ... .) But among the numerous titles that opened opposite The Wolf of Wall Street on Christmas Day, I did manage to catch a few of ’em ... .

 
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