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items tagged with action movies

"The Village" Proves Shyamalan Needs a New Formula: Also, "Catwoman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-04 00:00:00

Bryce Dallas Howard in The VillageTHE VILLAGE

Nobody likes a know-it-all, so I have nothing to gain by admitting that I figured out The Big Twist in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village after about 15 minutes. But I’ll venture that this popular writer-director has everything to lose by continuing to make his cinematic spook shows so repetitively, predictably “surprising." If you find yourself less than enthralled by The Village’s narrative, you have far too much time to ruminate on how Shyamalan will attempt, yet again, to pull the rug out from under you; he’s undermining his talent – and the man does have some – with his implied “Bet ya didn’t see that coming!” finales. (It’s becoming easy to respond with, “Oh yeah I did.”)


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Brew & View Offering the Year’s Most Satisfying Movie So Far: "Good-bye, Lenin!", "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "King Arthur," and "The Notebook"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-07-14 00:00:00

Chulpan Khamatova and Daniel Bruhl in Good-bye, Lenin!GOOD BYE, LENIN!

Around this time last year, while local audiences were flocking to Pirates of the Caribbean and Bad Boys II, the Brew & View presented the area debut of 2003’s finest film to that point – the extraordinary Capturing the Friedmans – and, amazingly, the Rock Island venue has done it again this summer.


Read More About Brew & View Offering The Year’S Most Satisfying Movie So Far: "Good-Bye, Lenin!", "Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy," "King Arthur," And "The Notebook"...


Script, Performers Elevate "Stepford" Remake to Guilty Pleasure: "The Stepford Wives," "The Chronicles of Riddick," and "Garfield: The Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-06-23 00:00:00

Matthew Broderick and Nicole Kidman in The Stepford WivesTHE STEPFORD WIVES

As crummy movies go, Frank Oz’s remake of The Stepford Wives is pretty darned terrific. The film has been plagued by rumors of trouble on the set and post-production nightmares and general confusion throughout, and you can practically see these turmoils on the screen; the movie is bizarrely assembled and terribly edited – characters’ motivations change from scene to scene with little rhyme or reason – and it all falls apart before your eyes. Oz doesn’t seem to have a clue how to treat the material, but one person does: screenwriter Paul Rudnick. He knows exactly what he’s up to – a bitchy, campy tale involving a group of nerdy men who enact revenge on the successful women they feel inferior to – and individual scenes in this Stepford Wives are so hilarious and dead-on smart that you wind up enjoying the movie despite being aware of how awful much of it is. Like last summer’s Rudnick-written Marci X, it’s a perfect example of a comedy in which individual set pieces far exceed the whole, and it can be blissfully enjoyed on its own underwhelming terms.


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"Troy" Plays Like Greek Bedtime Story: Also, "Touching the Void"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-19 00:00:00

Brad Pitt in TroyTROY

About 100 minutes into Troy – director Wolfgang Petersen’s and screenwriter David Benioff’s very loose adaptation of Homer’s The Iliad, which details the events leading up to and during The Trojan War – there’s a battle sequence that gives the audience a true rush.


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"Van Helsing" Forgets to Add a Funny Bone: Also, "Laws of Attraction" and "Elephant"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-12 00:00:00

Hugh Jackman in Van HelsingVAN HELSING

Stephen Sommers’ action thriller Van Helsing, the first of 2004’s torrent of summer blockbusters, is big, loud, frenetic, and almost no fun at all. For those who’ve missed the omnipresent previews, the film is a special-effects bonanza featuring Hugh Jackman as the titular character, a taciturn growler who spends 130 minutes attempting to rid his corner of Europe from a series of CGI-created monsters, and it’s all treated with such solemnity that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Henrik Ibsen listed as a screenwriter.


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