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items tagged with action movies

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"...


Host with the Most: "Dave Chappelle's Block Party," "Madea's Family Reunion," "16 Blocks," "Running Scared," "The World's Fastest Indian," and "Doogal"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-03-08 00:00:00

Dave Chappelle in Dave Chappelle's Block PartyDAVE CHAPPELLE'S BLOCK PARTY

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party is teeming with something that has been sorely absent from 2006’s movie crop: joy. In the late summer of 2004, Chappelle, fresh from signing his now-legendary – and currently defunct – $50-million contract with Comedy Central, spontaneously decided to throw a block-wide bash, and recruited a batch of rap and R&B performers (including Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Jill Scott, and Lauryn Hill and the reunited Fugees) to perform a day-long gig in Brooklyn; the resulting concert doc features highlights from the concert interspersed with scenes of Chappelle kicking back with the stars and the block-party attendees, and the movie, directed by Michel Gondry, is a giddy, oftentimes exhilarating spectacle. It’s hard to determine who’s having more fun – the musicians, whose on-stage performances are heartfelt and vital; the Brooklyn masses, whose enjoyment of the show is palpable; or the movie’s audience.


Read More About Host With The Most: "Dave Chappelle's Block Party," "Madea's Family Reunion," "16 Blocks," "Running Scared," "The World's Fastest Indian," And "Doogal"...


"Saw II" Effective, But Not Much Fun: Also, "Doom," "Stay," and "Prime"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-02 00:00:00

Saw IISAW II

Since we’re no longer forced to endure Cary Elwes shrieking his hammy little head off for 90 minutes, Saw II was inevitably going to be a less annoying experience than 2004’s Saw, but the movie is pretty effective in its own right. Not entertaining, mind you, but effective. Last fall’s surprise horror hit saw Elwes and another mad overactor at the mercy of the serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) – who devises for his prey wildly elaborate devices of torture that defy both description and belief – and in one of Saw II’s few impressive twists, he’s apprehended at the end of the movie’s first reel. What follows resembles what might result if you watched The Silence of the Lambs and Seven in picture-in-picture format. As Jigsaw – in sinister, I-know-something-that-you-don’t Hannibal Lecter mode – is interrogated, and his master plan dissected, by Donnie Wahlberg’s quick-to-boil cop, a whole new slew of potential victims, including Wahlberg’s teenage son, try to survive a vicious spook house by evading Jigsaw’s contraptions and deconstructing the maddeningly obtuse sets of clues the killer has left them. (Like its precursor, Saw II makes explicit what Seven left to your imagination.)


Read More About "Saw II" Effective, But Not Much Fun: Also, "Doom," "Stay," And "Prime"...





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