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items tagged with Abigail Breslin

Charmed and Dangerous: "Public Enemies," "Away We Go," and "My Sister's Keeper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-03 12:00:00

Johnny Depp in Public EnemiesPUBLIC ENEMIES

With a low-key yet intensely charismatic Johnny Depp as its lead, you could describe Michael Mann's Public Enemies as the story behind the criminal activity of the infamous, Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. But that's not entirely accurate. The film is also about the nascent, frequently misguided authority of the FBI, personified here by a stalwart agent (a somber, less-throaty-than-usual Christian Bale) and showboating chief J. Edgar Hoover (a spectacular Billy Crudup). It's also about early media saturation in our country, and the public's complicity in turning villains into heroes, and the labyrinthine hierarchies among American gangsters, and - as embodied by a dazzlingly desirable and powerful Marion Cotillard - the ever-unpredictable nature of love. And, more than anything, it's about the exquisite craftsmanship of Michael Mann, whose Public Enemies doesn't look or sound quite like any other crime movie you've seen, and whose technical virtuosity might make Public Enemies impossible to forget.


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Gross Anatomy: "The Ruins," "Leatherheads," "Nim's Island," and "Shine a Light"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-04-09 08:00:44

Jena Malone and Laura Ramsey in The RuinsTHE RUINS

I caught The Ruins during a minimally populated Saturday-afternoon screening, so I pray that a larger, rowdier audience laughed like mad when our surgeon-to-be hero (the hilariously stalwart Jonathan Tucker) surmised the deadly situation he and his friends were in and barked, with absolute earnestness, "Four Americans on vacation don't just disappear!"

That poor, dumb kid. Never saw a horror movie.


Read More About Gross Anatomy: "The Ruins," "Leatherheads," "Nim's Island," And "Shine A Light"...


Are You My Mother?: "Definitely, Maybe," "The Spiderwick Chronicles," and "Jumper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-02-20 08:36:25

Rachel Weisz and Ryan Reynolds in Definitely, MaybeDEFINITELY, MAYBE

If anyone's keeping track, writer-director Adam Brooks' Definitely, Maybe is the third romantic comedy of 2008 to climax with its protagonist taking a hasty cab ride to an inevitable romantic clinch and subsequent Happily Ever After. And that's about the only conventional element in it. I'm a little staggered by just how wonderful this movie is, as nothing about the film, from its cutesy setup to the presence of leading actor Ryan Reynolds, appeared to suggest anything more than the latest spin on a tireless (and, by now, tiresome) genre. Yet Definitely, Maybe is sensational, so smart and witty and refreshingly grown-up that, hours after seeing it, you may still find yourself in a great mood; the only times I stopped smiling at the movie were when I was laughing out loud.


Read More About Are You My Mother?: "Definitely, Maybe," "The Spiderwick Chronicles," And "Jumper"...


Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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Schlock Appeal: “Snakes on a Plane,” “Step Up,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Pulse”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-23 04:18:23

Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a PlaneSNAKES ON A PLANE

Incessant buildup for a potential Hollywood blockbuster is nothing new, of course. But in the case of Snakes on a Plane, it was the nature of the buildup that proved fascinating; everything hyped about this cheesy scare flick - the hysterically candid title, the presence of Samuel L. Jackson in bellowing motherf---er mode, the re-tooling to secure an R rating from its original PG-13 - seemed to promise, "This movie is gonna suck, and you're gonna love it." Offhand, I can't think of another movie that was so aggressively - one might say honestly - marketed as the schlock it was almost certain to be. By the time the movie opened last Friday, the anticipation among connoisseurs of cinematic crap had reached such a fever pitch that nothing less than the Best Bad Movie of All Time would do.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Snakes on a Plane isn't the best bad movie of all time. But it'll still do.


Read More About Schlock Appeal: “Snakes On A Plane,” “Step Up,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” And “Pulse”...





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