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items tagged with Barry Pepper

William Tell Overtures: "The Lone Ranger" and "Despicable Me 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-07 18:00:48

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone RangerTHE LONE RANGER

Youll have to wait more than two hours for it, but in director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, you’ll finally be treated to a scene that makes sitting through this hugely budgeted action-adventure-Western-comedy totally worth your ... .

Oh, who am I kidding? The movie still isn’t worth your time. But as the scene in question is the only truly exhilarating one in the whole of this wildly over-produced and exhaustingly frenetic outing – an updating of the beloved radio and television serial that famously asked, “Who was that masked man?” – I might as well give it the praise it deserves.


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The Agony of the Ecstasy: "Snitch" and "Escape from Planet Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-24 17:48:56

Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, and Dwayne Johnson in SnitchSNITCH

As a film star, Dwayne Johnson possesses a lot of gifts – or, at least, sufficiently impressive gifts for what his résumé has required. Though God knows he’s physically intimidating, Johnson is also our most thoroughly genial of ass-kickers, with even his most violent of big-screen endeavors leavened by a welcome lightness of touch and hint of amused self-mockery. And as he has proved in all those bland family entertainments over the years, Johnson still manages to appear game and committed in movies that don’t deserve his considerable charisma, often salvaging entire scenes through unexpectedly silly gestures or readings that show just how inventive a comedian he can be. (I was happy for 10 whole minutes following his brief channeling of co-star Michael Caine in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. They were about the only 10 minutes during the movie in which I was happy.)


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It Takes a Vile Witch to Raise a Child: "Mama," "Broken City," and "The Last Stand"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-20 18:28:33

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Nélisse, and Megan Charpentier in MamaMAMA

A new film titled Mama opened this past weekend, and it stars Jessica Chastain. Given the current Oscar nominee’s cinematic omnipresence over the past two years, you may be inclined to say, “Well, of course it does.” But I’m leading with that information because in addition to being almost insanely prolific, Chastain (whose recent résumé also boasts The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, and, of course, Zero Dark Thirty) is about as reliable an indicator of quality as this decade’s movies have provided. And against considerable odds, not the least being its unpromising January release date, director Andrés Muschietti’s outing is a supernatural fright flick of considerable quality – gripping and nerve-racking and sensationally well-made, and yet another showcase for Chastain’s stirring soulfulness and remarkable versatility.


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The Flicks Are All Right: Mike Schulz’s 10 Most Enjoyable Movies of 2010
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2011-01-03 12:00:00

Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in The Social NetworkBefore commencing with the annual fawning, I thought I’d begin by exercising one of my God-given rights as a reviewer: the right to bitch about the sorry state of movies. I think it’s supposed to go something like this:

Boy, are the movies in a sorry state!


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Hello. My Name Is Mattie Ross. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die.: “True Grit” and “Yogi Bear”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-23 17:43:50

Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in True GritTRUE GRIT

Over the course of their careers, the films of Joel and Ethan Coen have, of course, inspired a wide variety of responses: amusement (and quite a lot of it), excitement, fascination, terror, confusion, astonishment, mortification. (Oh, the depressing spectacle of Intolerable Cruelty ... .) But while we audiences have laughed and gasped and occasionally scratched our heads, we haven’t, prior to the Coen brothers’ True Grit, been moved to tears by scenes of unbridled yet honestly earned sentiment. Guess we can now scratch that one off the list, too.


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