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items tagged with Amanda Peet

Spawn of the Dead: "28 Weeks Later," "The Ex," and "Lucky You"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-05-16 08:21:01

28 Weeks Later28 WEEKS LATER

In any given year, I see a lot of horror movies at the cineplex. But I remember one moment from watching the 2002 zombie flick 28 Days Later like it was yesterday: when that drop of infected blood landed on Brendan Gleeson, and the audience didn't just gasp, we practically moaned. It was the most spontaneously empathetic group response I'd ever heard during a fright film - a hundred people simultaneously reacting with "No, not him" anguish - and it underlined what made Danny Boyle's nerve-racking thriller so strong.


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For the Children, or Merely Childish?: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe" and "Syriana"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-14 00:00:00

Tilda Swinton and Skandar Keynes in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson’s imagining of the first book in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, is almost childishly clunky, but it’s nearly impossible to dislike. Geared, as it appears, toward a very young audience – I’d say seven or eight – the movie is sweet, and it’s sincere, and it displays a welcome touch of fairy-tale simplicity. Despite the rather prosaic nature of its presentation, Narnia is one of those movies that, if it catches children at the right age, might linger in their memories for some time to come; it’s just magical enough to suggest how magical it should have been. For kids who are finally seeing their beloved Narnia novel translated to the big screen, Adamson’s Narnia will be good enough. It just doesn’t have much to offer the rest of us. Adamson is co-director of the Shrek movies, and he does a fair enough job with the movie’s CGI wonders; the lion Messiah Aslan (voiced, to the surprise of no one, by Liam Neeson) moves with regal grace, and the beavers who accompany the Pevensie children on their quest seem to be, for kids in the audience, enjoyably frisky characters. But all throughout the film, I had the nagging feeling that, if he was allowed, Adamson would have happily computer-generated his humans, too.


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Explosive "Crash" an Early Contender for Best of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" and "XXX: State of the Union"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-11 00:00:00

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in CrashCRASH

Crash, the magnificent drama by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, fits alongside such sprawling, ensemble-driven works as Grand Canyon, Short Cuts, and Magnolia, movies in which plotlines dovetail within one another and themes enmesh, and where bitter, dissatisfied characters might not wind up more content than before – some might not even wind up alive – but they will definitely have shared, for better or worse, An Experience. (These characters might not receive traditional happy endings, yet they almost invariably find degrees of solace and a measure of hope.) Moviegoers who crave a clearly delineated moral to their stories can be driven batty by films of this ilk; more than once I’ve heard someone ask, apropos of one of these works, “But what was its point?” Crash, like its predecessors, explores characters so hungry for contact and meaning and understanding in a chaotic universe that they’re ready to explode, and oftentimes do. That hunger becomes the point.


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"Hitchhiker’s Guide" a Free-Wheeling Joy: "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "King's Ransom," and "A Lot Like Love"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-04 00:00:00

Mos Def and Martin Freeman in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyTHE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is something unusual: a movie wherein everyone involved appears to be having a good time. Of course, you could say the same about Cannonball Run or Ocean’s Twelve, but the difference here is that the audience is allowed to have a good time, too. Based on Douglas Adams’ cheeky, beloved sci-fi novel, Hitchhiker’s Guide, which has been in various stages of film development for the better part of two decades, is a goofy, oftentimes glorious mess of a movie. If George Lucas and the Monty Python troupe ever spawned, the results would look something like this; I started smiling during the film’s opening credits and only stopped to occasionally laugh out loud.


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"Kill Bill"’s Second Act More than Compensates for the First: "Kill Bill Volume 2," "The Whole Ten Yards," and "Bubba Ho-Tep"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-04-21 00:00:00

David Carradine and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Volume 2KILL BILL: VOLUME 2

Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 2 is everything I hoped last autumn’s predecessor would be (and, for me, wasn’t): thrilling, surprising, deeply emotional, and very, very funny.


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