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items tagged with Agatha Christie

The Billy Goat’s Gruff: "The Witch," "Risen," "Race," and "The Lady in the Van"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-02-22 04:54:51

Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw in The WitchTHE WITCH

Good horror movies make you jump. Great ones make you unable to move. And writer/director Robert Eggers’ feature-film debut The Witch may be as close to great as this decade’s horror movies have yet come – a mesmerizing, stomach-tightening descent into madness completely devoid of irony. Its trappings may portend a literal-minded take on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, but the wickedness here is in no way theoretical or the product of mass (McCarthy-influenced) hysteria. Eggers’ ballsy achievement suggests, rather, that true evil can be an entity as real as those who believe in it, a physical presence conjured through excessive pride, fear, suspicion, lust, and, most critically, lack of faith. The Witch is a haunting experience, and the more you think about it, the more haunting it gets.
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Quentin Unchained: "The Hateful Eight"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-01-03 01:38:03

Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful EightTHE HATEUL EIGHT

Its opening credits remind us that the vengeance-minded Western The Hateful Eight is “the 8th film by Quentin Tarantino.” That’s actually helpful. Because by the time the closing credits roll some two-and-three-quarter-hours later (the movie’s 70-millimeter “roadshow” version lasting some 20 minutes more), you’d swear it was at least the 28th film by Quentin Tarantino. I admire the man’s output to no end, and five of his seven previous features are firmly entrenched amidst my 10 favorites for their particular years. But despite its flashes of brilliance, I found myself as annoyed with The Hateful Eight as I was with 2012’s Django Unchained, and for much the same reason: Its auteur, by now, appears so immersed in the act of loving Quentin Tarantino that he leaves almost no room for us to love him, or his films, back.
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How to Build a Better Mousetrap: "The Mousetrap," at the District Theatre through March 22
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-10 11:00:00

Mike Kelly and Doug Kutzli in The MousetrapAgatha Christie’s whodunit The Mousetrap is among my favorites in the genre, mostly due to the humor the author wrote into it, as well as the clues she included that make it possible to actually discern who did do it. Although the murderer’s identity still comes as something of a shock, the game of figuring out the killer remains fun. I just wish the District Theatre’s current production of the piece were as enjoyable.


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Qualms Before the Storm: "A Most Violent Year," "Journey to Space 3D," "Black or White," "The Loft," and "Project Almanac"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-02-01 23:39:41

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent YearLike a squirrel gathering nuts before winter, I made a conscious effort to catch all five of this past weekend’s debuting releases before our area was hit by the blizzard from Hell. (An oxymoronic expression, but whatever.) And because, with the exception of the museum’s feature, even the really good one will likely be gone before the snowy onslaught begins to melt, let’s take care of ’em quickly. In descending order of preference ... .


Read More About Qualms Before The Storm: "A Most Violent Year," "Journey To Space 3D," "Black Or White," "The Loft," And "Project Almanac"...


Snap, Cackles, Pop: "Something's Afoot," at Augustana College through May 11
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-05 12:00:00

Steven Mondloch, Elyssa LeMay, and Ellenelle Gilliam in Something's AfootI am not a fan of the murder-mystery-comedy genre – but make the show a musical, and I’m not only interested, but eager to see it. Such is the case with Augustana College’s Something’s Afoot, a song-filled, murder-mystery romp reminiscent of an Agatha Christie story. Though not bad, the songs by James McDonald, David Vos, and Robert Gerlach, for the most part, aren’t great, nor particularly memorable. But happily, the production as a whole is still amusing from beginning to satisfying-and-unexpected end.


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