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items tagged with Benedict Cumberbatch

Period Piece: "Carrie," "The Fifth Estate," and "Escape Plan"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-10-20 22:31:31

Chloe Grace Moretz in CarrieCARRIE

(Author’s note: Spoilers will abound. Given that the movie under consideration is an oftentimes word-for-word updating of a 37-year-old work, I hope I’ll be forgiven for them.)

As remakes of beloved genre classics go, I suppose there’s little point in being bothered by the new Carrie. Director Kimberly Peirce’s outing, after all, is easy to sit through, smartly staged, generally well-acted, and, in most regards, incredibly faithful to Brian De Palma’s 1976 original (which was, itself, reasonably faithful to Stephen King’s debut novel of 1974). The CGI effects are pretty weak, and the movie isn’t even slightly scary, and considering that nearly all sentient beings know what happens to poor Carrie White at the prom – with the movie’s entire advertising campaign based on post-prom imagery – there’s almost nothing in the way of storyline surprise, but whatever. It’s fine.


Read More About Period Piece: "Carrie," "The Fifth Estate," And "Escape Plan"...


Lively, Long, and Prosperous: "Star Trek Into Darkness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-05-18 18:09:57

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Star Trek Into DarknessSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Star Trek Into Darkness opens on a note of frenzied, almost satiric busyness. For reasons initially left unexplained, and in a set piece suggesting a futuristic Raiders of the Lost Ark, Captain Kirk and “Bones” McCoy are first seen racing through a jungle of crimson foliage on a foreign planet, attempting to escape the clutches of dozens of yowling savages with black eyeballs and papier-mâché skin. The chase eventually leads the pair to the edge of a cliff where they leap into the water below, just as Mr. Spock – much to the concern of his unusually panicked fellow crew members – beams into the belly of an active, ready-to-burst volcano. Director J.J. Abrams’ franchise extender isn’t even five minutes old, and between the shouting, the manically staged mayhem, the whiplash editing, and composer Michael Giacchino’s pummeling score, it already feels like a typically overstuffed blockbuster sequel, yet one without any of the wit that Abrams brought to 2009’s terrifically witty Star Trek reboot. But then something wonderful happens.
Read More About Lively, Long, And Prosperous: "Star Trek Into Darkness"...


Smarter Denser Colder Meh: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "The Devil Inside"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-01-09 15:36:16

Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyTINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

You know that handy, lame, relationship-ending sentiment “It’s not you; it’s me”? That’s what I feel like saying to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the new adaptation of the famed John le Carré novel. I readily concede that director Tomas Alfredson’s spy thriller is beautifully made, boasting engaged, cagey performances and a number of superbly shot set pieces. But for all of the film’s merits, I found myself hugely relieved when its end credits rolled, because Alfredson’s intensely complicated endeavor appeared so much smarter than I am that I took almost no pleasure from the experience. My issue isn’t that the movie is a dog. It’s that, for most of Tinker Tailor’s 125 minutes, I felt like a dog watching a movie.


Read More About Smarter Denser Colder Meh: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" And "The Devil Inside"...


Graphic? Yes. Novel? No.: "300," "Amazing Grace," and "Black Snake Moan"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-03-14 08:23:29

Gerard Butler in 300300

Whatever its problems, and they are myriad, you can't say that Zack Snyder's 300 doesn't give you plenty to look at. Adapted from Frank Miller's and Lynn Varley's graphic novel, the film - which follow s the ancient Spartan army in a wildly violent, self-sacrificing battle against Persian forces - is filled with memorably outré images: an enormous tree and a 20-foot-high wall, both composed entirely of corpses; a triad of elephants, backed over a cliff, that plunge to their deaths; the sky blackening with what appear to be locusts, instead proving to be the incoming trajectory of thousands of steel-tipped arrows. In 300, Snyder shows a remarkable gift for graphic-novel composition, and continually keeps your eye engaged. Too bad the same can't be said of your brain.


Read More About Graphic? Yes. Novel? No.: "300," "Amazing Grace," And "Black Snake Moan"...





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