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items tagged with Benjamin Bratt

Fasten Your Seat Belts. It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Ride.: "Ride Along 2" and "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of the Benghazi"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-01-16 14:36:14

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in Ride Along 2RIDE ALONG 2

It’s impossible not to notice that for roughly 75 percent of Ride Along 2, even when he’s indoors, Ice Cube is wearing dark sunglasses. I’m reasonably sure it’s because he was asleep. What other excuse could there be for Cube, as one of this action comedy’s producers, allowing the witless slapstick of Kevin Hart being accosted by a CGI alligator? Or the moment in which a recently shot man sits up, and panicky Hart is convinced he’s a zombie? Or the interminable foot chase in Miami underscored by (wait for it ... ) Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga”? I mean, really – “Conga”? Still?! It’s been more than 30 years since that single was released! I’m not laying all the blame for the song’s clichéd inclusion at Cube’s feet, but surely the rap legend could’ve put one of those feet down with a practiced “Aw, hell no!” and demanded wittier musical accompaniment.
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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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Whoppers, with Extra Cheese: "The Informant!," "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," "Jennifer's Body," and "Love Happens"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-09-20 23:32:32

Matt Damon in The Informant!THE INFORMANT!

 

The film's madcap trailers -- to say nothing of the exclamation point in the title -- don't accurately capture the tone of Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! But I'll be damned if I know what kind of trailers would suggest the feel of this altogether remarkable corporate comedy, which starts off amusingly arch, becomes more funny and fascinating as it progresses, and winds up flat-out hysterical, with your laughter tempered by righteous anger, unanticipated pity, and stunned disbelief.


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"The Village" Proves Shyamalan Needs a New Formula: Also, "Catwoman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-04 00:00:00

Bryce Dallas Howard in The VillageTHE VILLAGE

Nobody likes a know-it-all, so I have nothing to gain by admitting that I figured out The Big Twist in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village after about 15 minutes. But I’ll venture that this popular writer-director has everything to lose by continuing to make his cinematic spook shows so repetitively, predictably “surprising." If you find yourself less than enthralled by The Village’s narrative, you have far too much time to ruminate on how Shyamalan will attempt, yet again, to pull the rug out from under you; he’s undermining his talent – and the man does have some – with his implied “Bet ya didn’t see that coming!” finales. (It’s becoming easy to respond with, “Oh yeah I did.”)


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