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items tagged with Amanda Peet

New Year’s Resolution: "Fruitvale Station" and "The Way Way Back"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-28 21:56:35

Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz in Fruitvale StationFRUITVALE STATION

Marvel Studios’ recent spate of superhero movies has trained us – or tried to train us, at any rate – to stick around for at least the first few minutes of the end credits, offering the promise of a bonus scene designed to build excitement for comic-book adventures yet to come. (Not to give the details away, but Marvel’s new The Wolverine features a happy doozy of one promoting 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.) Yet while they couldn’t possibly have been expecting this same sort of credit cookie at the independent drama Fruitvale Station, the audience members with whom I saw the film stayed similarly glued to their seats, almost as though none of them was quite ready for the experience to be over. Given how haunting and emotionally overpowering writer/director Ryan Coogler’s debut feature is, it would be impossible to blame them.


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Lady and the Chump: "Identity Thief" and "Side Effects"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-11 14:54:33

Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman in Identity ThiefIDENTITY THIEF

Near the very start of the Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief, Bateman’s character, the mild-mannered businessman Sandy Patterson, is enjoying a birthday party thrown by his wife (Amanda Peet) and two adorable daughters. After blowing out his birthday candles, Sandy scoops his younger daughter in the air – she looks about four or five – and, in what seems like a totally improvised gesture, turns her upside down, playfully plopping her face-first into the cake. The whole family laughs, but no one laughs harder than that cake-smeared little girl, who takes a second to wipe frosting from her eyes and mouth before exclaiming, to our utter delight, “Oh my God!”

Just thought I’d share that in case you were curious about the movie’s funny moments, because for me, that was the only one.


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My House, My Ruler: "The King's Speech," "Little Fockers," and "Gulliver's Travels"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-30 12:00:00

Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's SpeechTHE KING’S SPEECH

A tony odd-couple comedy in the guise of a historical prestige pic, The King’s Speech boasts a pair of exceptional performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, and is a terrific amount of fun. But am I alone in thinking that its central storyline is the least interesting thing about it?


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End-of Daze: “2012” and “Pirate Radio”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-15 22:38:13

Morgan Lily and John Cusack in 20122012

After 2012 - the movie, not the year - it will be exceedingly difficult for Roland Emmerich to deliver yet another of his expensive, apocalyptic disaster cartoons. So, you know, I guess we should be grateful for small favors.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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