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items tagged with American Idol

You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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So, You Think You Can Dance? And Sing? And Act?: "Fame" and "Surrogates"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-09-27 23:53:50

Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Cody Longo, Paul Iacono, Kay Panabaker, and Asher Brook in FameFAME

Not long into Kevin Tancharoen's remake of Fame, there's a brief sequence that completely underscores the difficulty - if not impossibility - of successfully updating Alan Parker's R-rated musical drama from 1980 for young audiences in 2009.


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86ed: "Get Smart" and "The Love Guru"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-06-25 08:18:23

Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell in Get SmartGET SMART

I can only imagine the business conversation that led to remaking TV's Get Smart as a big-budget summertime blockbuster. But I'm guessing it went something like this: "Let's remake TV's Get Smart as a big-budget summertime blockbuster!" "Okay! Let's!"


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Survivor: Manhattan - "I Am Legend" and "Alvin & the Chipmunks"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-12-19 08:22:07

Will Smith in I Am LegendI AM LEGEND

In Francis Lawrence's sci-fi/thriller I Am Legend, the images of a desolated Manhattan island are so extraordinarily rendered, and Will Smith is such an appealing one-man-show, that it's heartbreaking - and more than a little annoying - that the movie itself isn't better than it is. Based on Richard Matheson's novel, the film concerns a virus that has (seemingly) annihilated the entire human race save for Smith and a pack of predatory, zombie-like humanoids, and it presents a weird dichotomy; everything about the digitally-enhanced locale, and much of Smith's performance, feels absolutely real, and nothing else feels nearly real enough. It's B-grade comic-book material severely outclassed by its visuals and leading man.


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"Girls" Power: “Dreamgirls” and “The Good Shepherd”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-03 08:19:12

Anika Noni Rose, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Hudson in DreamgirlsDREAMGIRLS

You may have heard that, in the middle of Bill Condon's Dreamgirls, former American Idol belter Jennifer Hudson lets loose with a power ballad that has the audience cheering and applauding at its finish. If the screening I attended is any indication, this rumor is untrue. The audience cheers and applauds the number way before Hudson's finale. And no one in their right mind could blame them.


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