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items tagged with action movies

Dead Sober: "The Hangover Part III," "Epic," and "Fast & Furious 6"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-05-26 22:16:27

Bradley Cooper, Zach Gailianakis, and Ed Helms in The Hangover Part IIITHE HANGOVER PART III

Not long into The Hangover Part III, our mishap-prone heroes portrayed by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis are seen sipping beers at a karaoke bar, discussing the best way to handle their latest mess initiated by Ken Jeong’s eccentric gangster/eternal thorn-in-the-side Mr. Chow. Though this might constitute a minor spoiler, the casual drinks consumed in this scene are, to my recollection, the only drinks – indeed, the only judgment-impairing substances of any kind – consumed in the entire movie. That makes director Todd Phillips’ outing a Hangover without hangovers. In the end, it’s also a Hangover without The Hangover.


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Worst Intervention Ever: "Evil Dead," "Olympus Has Fallen," and "Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-07 17:49:05

Jane Levy in Evil DeadEVIL DEAD

While I like the movie just fine, I’m not enough of a fanatic for Sam Raimi’s 1981 splatter classic The Evil Dead to get in a twist about the existence of director Fede Alvarez’s new, definite-article-free remake Evil Dead. (It’s when Hollywood inevitably remakes Raimi’s priceless horror sequel Evil Dead II that we’re gonna have problems.) But despite being mostly entertained by Alvarez’s beyond-bloody outing, especially during its second half, I do have to question the decision to make it, for so much of its length, so bloody serious. This is a film, after all, in which a demon is released by a supernatural incantation, nail guns and electric carving knives are the weapons of choice, and one character escapes a (more-)dreadful fate by enacting a speedier version of 127 Hours. How are we not asked to laugh at all this?


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Gee, I Didn’t Hate "Joe": "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "The Host"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-01 16:52:15

Dwayne Johnson in G.I. Joe: RetaliationG.I. JOE: RETALIATION

If you handed a box of crayons to a group of eight-year-olds with action figures, they’d probably come up with a more entertaining storyline for G.I. Joe: Retaliation than the one we’re stuck with, which is your standard blockbuster nonsense about a megalomaniac’s plan for world dominion and the crack team of well-armed, quip-ready hotshots attempting to thwart him. In a welcome surprise, though, director Jon M. Chu’s follow-up to 2009’s G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra is, unlike its forebear, quite a bit of zippy, throwaway fun, a fast-moving and happily unpretentious diversion with jokes, and good ones, obviously written specifically for viewers well over the age of eight.


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Fee-Fi-Fo-Fumble: "Jack the Giant Slayer," "Phantom," "21 & Over," and "The Last Exorcism Part II"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-03-03 18:59:03

Nicholas Hoult in Jack the Giant SlayerJACK THE GIANT SLAYER

It happened to Hansel and Gretel. It happened to Red Riding Hood. It happened to Snow White. (It happened to a couple of Snow Whites, actually.) And now it’s Jack, of “... and the beanstalk” fame, who’s getting a pricey, kitschy, effects-filled makeover, serving as protagonist for director Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer. At the rate this trend is going, I can hardly wait for the inevitable big-budget updating of The Pied Piper with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, and Harvey Fierstein taking on the role of a lifetime in The Frog King.


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The Agony of the Ecstasy: "Snitch" and "Escape from Planet Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-24 17:48:56

Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, and Dwayne Johnson in SnitchSNITCH

As a film star, Dwayne Johnson possesses a lot of gifts – or, at least, sufficiently impressive gifts for what his résumé has required. Though God knows he’s physically intimidating, Johnson is also our most thoroughly genial of ass-kickers, with even his most violent of big-screen endeavors leavened by a welcome lightness of touch and hint of amused self-mockery. And as he has proved in all those bland family entertainments over the years, Johnson still manages to appear game and committed in movies that don’t deserve his considerable charisma, often salvaging entire scenes through unexpectedly silly gestures or readings that show just how inventive a comedian he can be. (I was happy for 10 whole minutes following his brief channeling of co-star Michael Caine in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. They were about the only 10 minutes during the movie in which I was happy.)


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