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The Running Men: "The Campaign," "The Bourne Legacy," "Nitro Circus: The Movie," and "Hope Springs" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 12 August 2012 12:38

Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dyan McDermott, and Will Ferrell in The CampaignTHE CAMPAIGN

As the movie’s trailers have been running since what feels like the last presidential campaign, it’s understandable if viewers enter the Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis political spoof The Campaign worried that all of the hilarious bits have already been spoiled for them. The wonderful surprise of director Jay Roach’s comedy, however, is that they haven’t – not unless viewers have somehow been privy to a trailer that lasts 85 minutes.

 
Really, Really Secret Agent Man: "Total Recall" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 05 August 2012 14:23

Colin Farrell in Total RecallTOTAL RECALL

Beyond its rather stunning scenic design, the best thing about director Len Wiseman’s new Total Recall update is Kate Beckinsale, which is pretty surprising, considering that this admittedly capable, inarguably gorgeous performer really hasn’t been the best thing about any of her previous movies.

 
Politics and Morals, Myths and Hope: Reading Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:55

Obviously, a lot of noise surrounded The Dark Knight Rises, starting with the hype and anticipation. Then came the extreme reactions to some early negative reviews. And then the midnight-screening mass shooting in Colorado appropriately redirected attention to important matters.

The deaths of 12 people and the injuries to dozens more in that Colorado movie theatre on July 20 highlighted that neither a movie nor Batman is anywhere near as important as human lives.

Yet the arts are still integral to our existence, and whatever you think of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy as films, these movies will stand as key markers in the lives of many millions of people and in the movie business, and they will be viewed as reflections of their cultural and political time. Like the original trio of Star Wars movies, we can already see them as significant pop-art artifacts.

For those reasons alone, Nolan’s Batman movies deserve close scrutiny. They also reward inspection and consideration, as the writer/director has conceived and executed them with a rigor and density unusual to blockbusters. (Expect spoilers, although I’ve tried to be circumspect about late developments in The Dark Knight Rises until the final section.)

 
There Goes the Neighborhood: "The Watch" and "Step Up Revolution" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 29 July 2012 10:17

Richard Ayoade, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill in The WatchTHE WATCH

A buddy and I caught a Friday-morning screening of The Watch along with roughly a dozen others, and before the end credits rolled, only four of us were still in the auditorium. Professional obligations were keeping me at director Akiva Schaffer’s comedy and I was my friend’s ride, but for the life of me, I can’t fathom what prevented those other two patrons from bolting. Lethargy? Politeness? Morbid curiosity?

 
Scraped Crusader: "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Red Stroke" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 21 July 2012 12:03

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight RisesTHE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises, as you’ve perhaps heard, is the concluding chapter in Christopher Nolan’s series of grandly scaled, intensely serious-minded Batman adventures that began with 2005’s fittingly titled Batman Begins and continued with 2008’s The Dark Knight. It is also, as you perhaps hoped, a terrifically satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy – flawed, at times distractingly flawed, but powerful and resonant and deeply emotional. After my lukewarm responses to The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, I would’ve been relieved to exit this summer’s latest superhero blockbuster merely content. Instead, I left Nolan’s 165-minute comic-book epic simultaneously jazzed and sated, and more than ready to see it again.

 
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