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items tagged with Annie

Cartoon Nut Work: “Despicable Me” and “Predators”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-07-11 19:33:40

Despicable MeDESPICABLE ME

When a computer-animated feature doesn't have the Pixar label attached to it, I tend to be grateful for whatever flashes of true cleverness I can get, and it's a pleasure to report that Despicable Me delivers hundreds, if not thousands, of these flashes. They arrive in the form our protagonist's minions, and are called Minions, and resemble canary-yellow gel capsules with functioning limbs and one or two eyes. They're also just about the cutest, silliest, funniest damned creatures that have ever waddled, bounced, and shrieked through an animated outing (excepting your own children, of course). I liked Despicable Me just fine, but I never loved the movie more than when these miniature slapstick wonders were on-screen; the Minions' boss may be a super-thief, but these goofy little buggers easily steal the show.
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Stage (Dumb)Struck: Summer Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2010-05-24 12:00:00
J. Adam Lounsberry, Tracy Pelzer-Timm, Jenny Winn, and Nathan Bates in Quad City Music Guild's Guys & DollsAs with summer movies, the area's summer-theatre scene - featuring, at last count, a whopping 68 productions scheduled by 22 organizations - is jam-packed with escapist fare: musicals, comedies, mysteries, musical-comedy mysteries. But like the random art-house release that manages to sneak into Hollywood's blockbuster-centric season, this summer will also feature occasional dramas and classical works, plus no less than four Pulitzer Prize-winners - five, if you count one of them being produced at two separate venues.
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In the Face of an Unseen Enemy: Cancer Survivor Christina Marie Myatt Performs an April 3 Benefit for the Genesis Center of Breast Health
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-03-15 12:00:00

Christina Marie MyattIn 2005, Christina Marie Myatt - president of the Countryside Community Theatre's board of directors and owner/artistic director of Davenport's Center Stage Performing Arts Academy - was diagnosed with breast cancer. And not long afterward, as she recalled in our interview, she received a visit from her parents.

"They came out when I was getting ready to go for chemotherapy for the first time," says Myatt, "and my dad said, 'I brought you a gift.' I opened it, and it was his Purple Heart from when he was in Vietnam. And I said, 'Why would you give this to me? I can't take this.' And he said, 'When they hand you this medal, they tell you that this medal is for bravery in the face of an unseen enemy. And watching you, that is what you are doing right now.'"
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Fall’s Swell, and Ends Well: Fall Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-08-31 12:00:00

Kathi Osborne, Carrie Saloutos, and Jessica Swersey in Circa '21's Mid-Life! The Crisis MusicalAt last count, there were a whopping 46 area-theatre productions scheduled between September and December, and included among the titles are A Dog's Life, The Big Funk, Scrooge!, Don't Hug Me, and Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical. It's the season that my editor, Jeff, has been waiting for!


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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