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items tagged with action movies

Coasting: “The Guardian,” “Jet Li’s Fearless,” and “Open Season”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-04 04:38:15

Kevin Costner in The GuardianTHE GUARDIAN

If I were trapped in the middle of a violent storm, and drowning, and being rescued by a member of the Coast Guard, I would hope that my savior was just like Kevin Costner in The Guardian - someone stalwart, sincere, and able to convince me that everything was going to be all right, even when he was shouting at me.

If I'm watching a movie involving this exact same scenario, though, I'm sorry - Kevin Costner is just about the last person I want to see, at least given his performance in director Andrew Davis' Coast Guard drama.


Read More About Coasting: “The Guardian,” “Jet Li’S Fearless,” And “Open Season”...


A Lighter Shade of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” and “The Protector”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:34:58

Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett in The Black DahliaTHE BLACK DAHLIA

The opening sequence of Brian De Palma's L.A. noir The Black Dahlia is so busily choreographed that, at first, you think it has to be some sort of put-on. A melee involving a street full of cops and sailors in downtown Los Angeles circa 1946, the balletic, slow-motion punching and flailing is orchestrated within an inch of its life; nothing about it seems real, but it's so dazzlingly executed that you hardly care. But with Josh Hartnett's ersatz tough-guy narration droning away, it quickly becomes clear that the scene isn't meant to be funny. It isn't comedy that De Palma's going after here but stylization, and as The Black Dahlia progresses, it's obvious that the director doesn't have the cast or screenwriter required to give his baroque touches a context. A few nastily enjoyable moments aside, the film is dour, dull, and confusing, enlivened only by a few zesty supporting portrayals and whatever directorial wit De Palma can bring to it.


Read More About A Lighter Shade Of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” And “The Protector”...


Shooting Stars: “Hollywoodland,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Invincible,” “The Illusionist,” "Crank," and "The Wicker Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-13 04:49:56

Ben Affleck and Diane Lane in HollywoodlandHOLLYWOODLAND

Against all expectation, the most touching performance in current releases is probably Ben Affleck's turn as George Reeves in the Tinseltown drama Hollywoodland. Director Allen Coulter's work centers around the mysterious shooting death of the famed Superman star of '50s television, and Affleck is just about perfect here. Seen in flashbacks, he plays Reeves' heartrending rise and fall with the abashed sweetness of a man who knows his good looks and moderate talent will only carry him so far, and Affleck's strong, subtle turn is effortlessly moving. And as trophy wife Tony Mannix, Diane Lane nearly matches him, suggesting entire generations of women carelessly tossed away by Hollywood's obsession with youth and beauty; Hollywoodland's tragedy is hers as much as Reeves', and the emotionally naked Lane turns in a fierce, brave portrayal.


Read More About Shooting Stars: “Hollywoodland,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Invincible,” “The Illusionist,” "Crank," And "The Wicker Man"...


Chris Almighty: “Click,” “Waist Deep,” and “The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-06-28 05:13:58

Adam Sandler in ClickCLICK

A quick scan of Adam Sandler's screen credits reveals that - if you include his cameos in pal Rob Schneider's comedies - Click is the 13th Sandler film I've reviewed over the past decade-plus, and of this baker's dozen, it's easily my favorite. Mind you, I still didn't like it much. Yet despite Click's predictable story arc and the inability of its star to shake off the Sandler Movie staples that generally make his films so wretched, it isn't bad. With its script by Steve Coren and Mark O'Keefe, Click has more than a few moments of true invention, and director Frank Coraci provides some unexpectedly clever visuals. And, best of all, it has Christopher Walken.


Read More About Chris Almighty: “Click,” “Waist Deep,” And “The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift”...


Cruise in for a Bruisin’: "Mission: Impossible III"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-10 09:00:17

Tom Cruise and Keri Russell in Mission: Impossible IIIMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

Call it envy, call it sour grapes, call it schadenfreude, but I’ll admit to hugely enjoying the public meltdown of Tom Cruise, mostly because it’s finally making him interesting. Cruise has always been too bland to be true. He’s moderately proficient, and in several of his films – most recently Collateral and Minority Report – he’s even been impressive. But he has too few resources to draw upon as a performer. It would be hard to accuse Cruise of slouching on the job – he’s determined and earnest, and you can sense him trying to suggest interior life. But his line readings have no surprise and his on-screen performances rarely build; whenever a new scene begins, Cruise appears to have forgotten everything his character experienced in his previous scenes. He can’t seem to play more than one emotion, or one thought, at a time.


Read More About Cruise In For A Bruisin’: "Mission: Impossible III"...





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