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#OscarsSoWhat?: How Voters, Bloggers, and Maybe Dumb Luck Upended the 2016 Academy Awards – and the Academy Itself PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 18 February 2016 06:01

#OscarsSoWhat?Last March, in promoting his eventual blockbuster Furious 7, Vin Diesel made a bold pronouncement to Variety: “It will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever.”

Predictably, Diesel’s braggadocio about his movie – the latest in a series of genially dopey action thrillers that had never garnered any previous Academy notice – was much repeated, and mocked, in the press. But here we are 11 months later, with Furious 7 nowhere near the 2016 Oscar race, and one wonders if Vin Diesel is not only buff and baritone-voiced, but quite possibly prescient.

 
Hollowed-Out Horse Race: Predicting "The Revenant" and Other 2016 Academy Award Winners PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 06:00

Leonardo DiCaprio in The RevenantThe conversation about this year’s Oscars may have been swallowed whole by the second-annual #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but there are still predictions to be made!

With Best Picture, thrillingly, the most unpredictable category of this year’s Academy Awards telecast (scheduled to air on ABC at 7 p.m. Central on Sunday, February 28), here are my educated and admittedly uneducated guesses in the evening’s 24 categories. The past two years, I guessed 18 of 24 correctly. The year before, I had a personal best of 19 out of 24. This year, I’m feeling wholly confident on about 15 of my guesses, so if you’re making bets with your co-workers or bookies, make sure not to wager a hefty amount of personal wealth.

 
Scar-Spackled Banter: "Deadpool" and "How to Be Single" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 February 2016 22:29

Ryan Reynolds in DeadpoolDEADPOOL

Your ability to find the superhero comedy Deadpool funny is dependent on your being a 14-year-old, or more precisely someone who can easily access his or her (most likely his) inner 14-year-old. For director Tim Miller’s new Marvel adventure, I couldn’t quite. But I also can’t deny the obvious pleasure many are getting from this cinematic, deservedly R-rated comic book. And if we must endure future origin stories – and trust me, we do – I’d prefer they all shared this one’s anarchic spirit and happy willingness to trash, within studio-approved reason, the tenets that make so many of them boring as sin.

 
Abercrummy & Glitch: "Zoolander 2," "45 Years," and "National Parks Adventure 3D" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 14 February 2016 22:24

Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Kyle Mooney in Zoolander 2ZOOLANDER 2

Probably no film genre currently flashes a bigger “get out of jail free” card than the Hollywood comedy, if for no other reason than there being so many outstanding comedians that any movie employing even a half-dozen of them is guaranteed to feature a fistful of reasons to attend. Zoolander 2, however, has the comics and still isn’t worth seeing.

 
Hail, Coens!: "Hail, Caesar!" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 07 February 2016 16:04

Scarlett Johansson and Josh Brolin in Hail, Caesar!HAIL, CAESAR!

When the first official trailer for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar! landed, it suggested that their latest movie – set in the glorious Technicolor Hollywood of the early 1950s – would be something increasingly rare for the siblings: the sort of unapologetically lighthearted goofball comedy they haven’t made since 2004’s The Ladykillers. Look! There’s George Clooney in heavy eyeliner and a toga! Scarlett Johansson with a mermaid tail! Channing Tatum tap-dancing in a sailor suit! By this point in their careers, however, the Coen brothers may be incapable of delivering anything lacking in subtext and social critique, and if we were paying attention, we were told as much in the second trailer for their deeply entertaining yet startlingly profound entertainment.

 
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