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items tagged with Amy Adams

Tilt 'n' Whirl: "Adventureland" and "Sunshine Cleaning"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-04-05 22:41:31

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart in AdventurelandADVENTURELAND

My first awareness of writer/director Greg Mottola's Adventureland came at Christmastime, when some family members and I saw a trailer for the comedy before, of all things, a screening of Doubt. The movie's my-summer-at-an-amusement-park setup looked kind of promising, but given the preview's one-liners and visual gags, the supporting cast (Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig), and Mottola's credit as the director of Superbad, it seemed like an incredibly inappropriate teaser to run before John Patrick Shanley's nonsecular drama. When the trailer ended, my brother and I shared an incredulous look and a chuckle at the apparent incongruity. "Know your audience," he said with a laugh.


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Star Wars: "Doubt," "Valkyrie," "The Reader," "Bedtime Stories," and "Marley & Me"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-07 16:38:13

Meryl Streep in DoubtDOUBT

Based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, writer/director John Patrick Shanley's period drama Doubt - set in 1964, and concerning a nun who suspects a priest of sexual misconduct with an altar boy - isn't much of a movie. Shanley's previous directorial effort was 1990's Joe Versus the Volcano, and it's a shame he wasn't able to get in more practice over the last 18 years; in an attempt to gussy up the visual blandness that accompanies most theatrical adaptations, Shanley opts for a series of high- and low-angle shots and symbolic thunder, lightning, and wind effects that oftentimes make Doubt resemble a satire of a low-budget horror flick. And it's still visually bland.


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Man Handling: "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "10,000 B.C."
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-03-12 08:29:09

Amy Adams and Frances McDormand in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a DayMISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, in which an unemployed British governess becomes the accidental social secretary to a ditzy American chanteuse, is the sort of movie that's likely to be (agreeably) written off as "lighthearted." But that description doesn't suggest just how exhilarating this "lighthearted" outing actually is, or just how remarkable Frances McDormand and Amy Adams are in it. I'm the type of person who instinctively rolls his eyes at the "you'll laugh, you'll cry" plaudit, but at director Bharat Nalluri's Miss Pettigrew, I laughed, I cried, and I don't think a minute passed in its hour-and-a-half running length in which I didn't grin from ear to ear.


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Razor D’etre: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "The Great Debaters," and "Charlie Wilson's War"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-02 08:26:47

Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetSWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

As the title character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Johnny Depp gives a controlled, admirable one-note performance in a role that calls for many more notes. This isn't a knock - well, not a huge knock - on his singing of this legendary Stephen Sondheim musical; Depp may not have the vocal power or range to do full justice to Sondheim's and book-writer Hugh Wheeler's masterful creation, but he gives it a good shot, and his morose speak-singing fits director Tim Burton's interpretation of the work. It's the interpretation that's the problem.


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Out of ’Toon: "Enchanted" and "The Mist"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-11-28 08:43:35

Amy Adams in EnchantedENCHANTED

Disney's Enchanted is a diverting, reasonably clever movie, but boy, does lead actress Amy Adams deserve a better one. Playing a relentlessly cheerful animated heroine who finds herself transported to modern-day Manhattan, Adams assumes a character that could be a one-joke conceit and delivers a stunningly vibrant and committed tour-de-force performance; you could call her a three-dimensional presence in a two-dimensional role if the actress didn't give the impression of playing far more dimensions than that. Adams is heavenly. The film itself is decidedly more earthbound.


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