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items tagged with Adam Scott

Slashing through the Snow, or: A One-House Open Slay: "Krampus" and "The Letters"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-06 22:27:47

Toni Collette, Emjay Anthony, Allison Tolman, David Koechner, and Conchata Ferrell in KrampusKRAMPUS

What kind of sick bastard invented the jack-in-the-box? I mean, really: You turn a crank and hear an off-key rendition of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and, the moment you’re most lulled into its creaky sing-song, a freaking clown jumps out at you?! As children’s toys go, this one’s just the worst – and, in its scary/funny way, also kind of the best. The same could be said for the new horror comedy Krampus, which, in one memorable scene, employs a jack-in-the-box for maximum giggles and shrieks. It’s a blunt and mostly clumsy piece of work, but also admirably creepy and sometimes very funny, and definitely one of the livelier yuletide-themed films of its type since Gremlins.
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Johnny B. Bad: "Black Mass" and "Grandma"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-09-20 01:40:19

Johnny Depp in Black MassBLACK MASS

There’s a scene in the gangster thriller Black Mass that should sound bells of recognition for all fans of the genre. In it, legendary crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) and some friends are enjoying a dinner prepared by one of Bulger’s associates: FBI agent John Morris (David Harbour). Bulger compliments Morris on their steaks and asks what seasoning was used, to which the agent replies that it’s a secret family recipe whose ingredients, upon further pressing, he genially reveals. That’s when Bulger seems to snap.

His smile curls into a frown, his eyes go deader than usual, and he calmly inquires of Morris that if the agent is willing to share this “family secret” so quickly, what other secrets – perhaps secrets about Bulger – might he have shared? During the unbearably thick silence that follows, Morris and his tablemates appear nearly frozen with panic. Bulger, meanwhile, stares and stares, and we in the audience prepare for an inevitable, horrific burst of violence. And then ... Bulger laughs. A lot. Exclaiming “You should see your face!”, he insists he was just busting Morris’ balls. Very slowly, the others begin to smile, and then they, too, laugh. And as this sensationally tense sequence ends on a note of cautious cheer, it’s impossible to ignore the suggestion of what we just witnessed: GoodFellas with Johnny Depp in the Joe Pesci role. All that was missing was the psychotic query “I’m funny how?!"


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Slumberless Party: "The Overnight" and "The Wolfpack"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-07-08 19:15:46

Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling in The OvernightTHE OVERNIGHT

Even with a goatee, Adam Scott has such a sweet baby face, and can exude such endearing boyishness, that when you see him in an early playground scene in his latest film, you’re half-surprised that a more towering adult isn’t pushing him on a swing. Yet longtime fans know that Scott also possesses a canny understanding of how to employ his naturally guileless countenance for tension (as in the 2002 thriller High Crimes) or melancholy (HBO’s sadly ignored Tell Me You Love Me) or acerbic wit (Party Down, Parks & Recreation, and numerous et ceteras). And that chameleon-ic talent makes him perhaps perfectly cast in the new comedy The Overnight, writer/director Patrick Brice’s three-quarters-successful chronicling of an alternately invigorating and deeply uncomfortable grown-up sleepover.


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Running, DUFFing, Tubbing: "McFarland USA," "The DUFF," and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-02-23 15:29:26

Kevin Coster and Ramiro Rodriguez in McFarland USAMCFARLAND USA

God, I hate Disney. Not all the time, of course, and in any case, “hate” is probably a strong word. But why does the studio have to keep releasing live-action movies that are inseparable from cartoons, with all of the potentially legitimate conflict inevitably dulled down and scrubbed squeaky-clean? And why does its succession of inspirational sports dramas never feature any actual coaching beyond bland and clichéd motivational speeches? And why do these damned things keep making me weep like a baby?


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Días de los Muertos: "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" and "47 Ronin"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-05 20:14:04

Andrew Jacobs in Paranormal Activity: The Marked OnesPARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

Do you recall how, in the first Paranormal Activity, Katie and Micah attempted to communicate with the malevolent spirit haunting their home through a Ouija board that, later, spontaneously burst into flames? So-o-o 2009. In the new Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – the fifth installment in this apparently unkillable scare-flick series – our teenage protagonists aren’t about to use anything as passé as a board game to connect with their unseen house guest. Not when they have access to ... Simon.


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