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items tagged with Angela Bassett

Disney on Ice: "Frozen," "Black Nativity," and "Homefront"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-02 15:57:22

FrozenFROZEN

As its fans (and I’m one of them) will gladly attest, Disney’s Frozen is a bit of a throwback to the studio’s recent golden age of animated entertainments – that period from the late ’80s to the mid-’90s that found more-or-less traditional fairy and folk tales goosed with healthy portions of Broadway razzmatazz. (Those in the press championing this new work as a welcome and rather bold return to form, however, do seem to have conveniently forgotten about 2009’s excellent The Princess & the Frog and 2010’s near-excellent Tangled.) But while much of the film follows the standard Disney-in-its-prime formula to the letter – big-eyed ingénue heroine, check; wacky animal sidekick, check; rafter-shaking power ballad destined to win an Oscar, check – there is one aspect to Frozen that separates it from the Little Mermaid/Beauty & the Beast/Lion King herd: The movie is kind of bonkers.


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Worst Intervention Ever: "Evil Dead," "Olympus Has Fallen," and "Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-07 17:49:05

Jane Levy in Evil DeadEVIL DEAD

While I like the movie just fine, I’m not enough of a fanatic for Sam Raimi’s 1981 splatter classic The Evil Dead to get in a twist about the existence of director Fede Alvarez’s new, definite-article-free remake Evil Dead. (It’s when Hollywood inevitably remakes Raimi’s priceless horror sequel Evil Dead II that we’re gonna have problems.) But despite being mostly entertained by Alvarez’s beyond-bloody outing, especially during its second half, I do have to question the decision to make it, for so much of its length, so bloody serious. This is a film, after all, in which a demon is released by a supernatural incantation, nail guns and electric carving knives are the weapons of choice, and one character escapes a (more-)dreadful fate by enacting a speedier version of 127 Hours. How are we not asked to laugh at all this?


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Emerald Rhymes-with-City: "Green Lantern," "Mr. Popper's Penguins," and "The Art of Getting By"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-06-18 23:12:53

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in Green LanternGREEN LANTERN

I won’t bore you by trying, but I’m reasonably sure I could devote a few thousand words to what I didn’t like about the (presumed) franchise-starter Green Lantern, an effects-heavy superhero adventure that might mark a new first for the on-screen-comic-book canon: Director Martin Campbell’s movie is dully sardonic and dully sincere. I only need two words, however, to pinpoint everything I loved about the film: Peter Sarsgaard.


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Single Wiped Female: “Bridesmaids,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Priest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 00:07:46

Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig in BridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS

You wouldn’t necessarily think that exhaustion and depression would be fertile subjects for a big-screen slapstick – at least, for a big-screen slapstick that didn’t star Paul Giamatti. Yet in director Paul Feig’s buoyant and brainy Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig plays a sad, discouraged, frequently humiliated maid of honor with such inventiveness and style that she seems to be creating a new comic archetype right before your eyes. Hiding her misery behind a thinly veiled mask of courtesy and good cheer, and letting her anger and resentment spill out in sarcastic asides and messy, chaotic bursts, Wiig’s Annie – like many of the brilliantly talented performer’s most memorable characters – is a singular creation. And so, too, is Bridesmaids, a female-driven Judd Apatow comedy (he’s a co-producer) with the rare distinction of being smarter than it is funny, though it’s still plenty funny.


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The Blond Leading the Bland: "Drillbit Taylor," "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns," and "Shutter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-03-26 08:16:18

Nate Hartley, Owen Wilson, David Dorfman, and Troy Gentile in Drillbit TaylorDRILLBIT TAYLOR

Last summer, when Superbad hit it big, we learned that co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote a first draft of the script when they were 13. Rogen is now credited as co-writer (with Kristofer Brown) for the revenge-of-the-nerds comedy Drillbit Taylor, and although I haven't done any research on the film's history, I'm kind of hoping it's something he began working on when he was, say, eight or nine. Juvenile is one thing, but remedial is quite another, and unfortunately, Drillbit Taylor feels as though it was hastily assembled during a grade-school sleepover in which Rogen began prepping Superbad, with My Bodyguard and Ferris Bueller's Day Off used as additional "inspiration."

 


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