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items tagged with action movies

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"...


"North Country" - For the Easily Outraged: Also, "Domino"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-10-26 00:00:00

Frances McDormand and Charlize Theron in North CountryNORTH COUNTRY

At a serious, well-intentioned “issue movie,” you will periodically hear from a sect of the audience whom I refer to as the tsk-ers. Tsk-ers are especially vocal at works in which the leading figure – always righteous and noble, and prone to suffering in silence – finds him- or (generally) herself experiencing painful hardships in the cause of Doing the Right Thing, while their families, friends, and the world at large all turn against them.


Read More About "North Country" - For The Easily Outraged: Also, "Domino"...


"Stealth" Bomb: Also, "Bad News Bears," "Mad Hot Ballroom," and "The Devil's Rejects"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-08-03 00:00:00

Jamie Fozz, Jessica Biel, and Josh Lucas in StealthSTEALTH

If you can love a movie, and hate a movie, I guess there’s no reason you can’t feel sorry for a movie, and boy, does my heart go out to Stealth. It’s the kind of dear, sad little flick that makes you want to pat it on the head and whisper, “It’s okay, it’ll all be over soon … They’ll make fun of you for two weeks and then no one will even remember your name.”


Read More About "Stealth" Bomb: Also, "Bad News Bears," "Mad Hot Ballroom," And "The Devil's Rejects"...





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