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items tagged with Aline Brosh McKenna

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: "Annie" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-20 00:50:41

Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Rose Byrne in AnnieANNIE

Sony’s last-remaining grab for the holiday box office, the much-downloaded reboot of Annie, opened this weekend, and it must be said that as a musical – especially as a musically faithful interpretation of the stage show – it kind of sucks. The choreography’s a shambles and the mixing is poor and the original numbers are terrible, while familiar, enjoyable Annie tunes such as “Little Girls” and “Easy Street” are merely sampled, their melodies and lyrics awkwardly woven into new pop and hip-hop arrangements. (Three of the film’s myriad producers are Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, so I guess we should just be grateful that the titular orphan is played by Quvenzhané Wallis and not Willow. Or Jaden.)


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Near-Perfect Getaway: “Drive,” “Straw Dogs,” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-19 02:29:40

Ryan Gosling in DriveDRIVE

Drive is the first action thriller I’ve seen in ages in which the chases and threats and killings actually matter. Yet it’s also the first movie I’ve seen in ages, in any genre, in which a kiss actually matters, which is a far greater surprise. Directed by Danish helmer Nicolas Winding Refn, whose work here earned him Best Director laurels at this past spring’s Cannes Film Festival, the film is a sleek, exciting, and unexpectedly affecting tour de force of mood, like what you’d get if the Michael Mann of Manhunter and the David Lynch of Blue Velvet collaborated on a scrappy, grubby B-picture for drive-in audiences. I couldn’t possibly mean that as a higher compliment.


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Good “Morning”’s Stars Shine: “Morning Glory,” “Skyline,” and “Unstoppable”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-11-14 20:11:38

Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, and Harrison Ford in Morning GloryMORNING GLORY

The vibrant, frequently ebullient Diane Keaton and the gruff, frequently grouchy Harrison Ford have been above-the-title Hollywood stars for more than 30 years now. Why, in heaven’s name, has it taken more than three decades to get these two cute kids together?


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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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