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items tagged with action movies

Period Piece: "Carrie," "The Fifth Estate," and "Escape Plan"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-10-20 22:31:31

Chloe Grace Moretz in CarrieCARRIE

(Author’s note: Spoilers will abound. Given that the movie under consideration is an oftentimes word-for-word updating of a 37-year-old work, I hope I’ll be forgiven for them.)

As remakes of beloved genre classics go, I suppose there’s little point in being bothered by the new Carrie. Director Kimberly Peirce’s outing, after all, is easy to sit through, smartly staged, generally well-acted, and, in most regards, incredibly faithful to Brian De Palma’s 1976 original (which was, itself, reasonably faithful to Stephen King’s debut novel of 1974). The CGI effects are pretty weak, and the movie isn’t even slightly scary, and considering that nearly all sentient beings know what happens to poor Carrie White at the prom – with the movie’s entire advertising campaign based on post-prom imagery – there’s almost nothing in the way of storyline surprise, but whatever. It’s fine.


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Blues 2 Men: "The Smurfs 2" and "2 Guns"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-08-05 10:09:46

Hank Azaria in The Smurfs 2THE SMURFS 2

Upon returning from my screening of The Smurfs 2, a buddy asked what I thought of the film, and I told him that Hank Azaria – the comic genius who plays the nefarious, Smurf-loathing wizard Gargamel – was awfully funny in it. My friend asked, “When isn’t he?”, and beyond the TV-movie tearjerker Tuesdays with Morrie, I couldn’t provide an example. (And in truth, at appropriate moments in his Emmy-winning dramatic turn, the actor is awfully funny in Tuesdays with Morrie.) Consequently, as he’s nearly always this inspired on-screen, Azaria’s hilariously outlandish performance probably isn’t reason enough to see director Raja Gosnell’s blue-hued sequel, at least if you don’t have small children pressuring you to do so.

If, however, you’re a childless adult who chooses to attend The Smurfs 2 anyway, your secret’s totally safe with me, because Azaria actually does make this kiddie comedy worth sitting through – though perhaps only if you catch it during bargain-matinée hours, or have a cineplex gift card that you were just gonna throw out otherwise.


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Ghost World: "The Conjuring," "R.I.P.D.," "RED 2," and "Turbo"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-21 16:59:39

Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga, and Ron Livingston in The ConjuringTHE CONJURING

I was about halfway through my screening of The Conjuring when I noticed that I was having a most unusual reaction to director James Wan’s haunted-house opus: For the life of me, I couldn’t stop smiling.


Read More About Ghost World: "The Conjuring," "R.I.P.D.," "RED 2," And "Turbo"...


Unhappy Madison: "Grown Ups 2" and "Pacific Rim"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-14 17:59:45

Kevin James, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock in Grown Ups 2GROWN UPS 2

I’m presuming that you’re reading this while seated. But just in case you aren’t, you might want to grab the nearest chair, because in Grown Ups 2, the strongest, funniest, and damn near only performance in the movie is given by Taylor Lautner.

Yes. Taylor Lautner.

And the apocalypse just got a little bit closer.


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Guns and Blammo: "White House Down" and "The Heat"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-29 21:27:33

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House DownWHITE HOUSE DOWN

At the start of the Roland Emmerich thriller White House Down, Channing Tatum’s military veteran John Cale is seen applying for a position with the president of the United States’ Secret Service detail. By the film’s end, he’ll have rescued hostages, shot innumerable bad guys, ensured peace in the Middle East, averted nuclear apocalypse, and saved the commander in chief’s life several times over. In short: most impressive job interview ever.


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