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items tagged with action movies

Man Handling: "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "10,000 B.C."
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-03-12 08:29:09

Amy Adams and Frances McDormand in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a DayMISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, in which an unemployed British governess becomes the accidental social secretary to a ditzy American chanteuse, is the sort of movie that's likely to be (agreeably) written off as "lighthearted." But that description doesn't suggest just how exhilarating this "lighthearted" outing actually is, or just how remarkable Frances McDormand and Amy Adams are in it. I'm the type of person who instinctively rolls his eyes at the "you'll laugh, you'll cry" plaudit, but at director Bharat Nalluri's Miss Pettigrew, I laughed, I cried, and I don't think a minute passed in its hour-and-a-half running length in which I didn't grin from ear to ear.


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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"...


It Coulda Been Worse: "Rambo" and "Meet the Spartans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-30 08:23:21

Sylvester Stallone in RamboRAMBO and MEET THE SPARTANS

In recent articles, I've mentioned how thoroughly I'd been looking forward to There Will Be Blood, and some might wonder whether my anticipation had me predestined to love the film, regardless of what was actually on-screen. I'd like to think not, but it's hard to deny that expectations do play an enormous part in one's enjoyment - or lack thereof - of any movie.


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Thanksgiving Leftovers: "August Rush," "This Christmas," "Hitman," and "Awake"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-12-05 08:30:51

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Freddie Highmore in August RushAUGUST RUSH

There's a scene in the tear-jerker August Rush in which the titular musical prodigy (Freddie Highmore) and a friendly Irish rocker (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) - unaware that they're father and son - engage in a happy bit of dueling guitars in Central Park, their matching grins widening as the improvised strumming reaches its climax. It's a great moment, and I mention it because it's the only one in the film that I didn't find excruciating.


Read More About Thanksgiving Leftovers: "August Rush," "This Christmas," "Hitman," And "Awake"...


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.


Read More About Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007...





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