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items tagged with Brian Helgeland

And Here's to You, Mr. Robinson: "42" and "Scary Movie 5"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-13 20:58:35

Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman in 4242

42, writer/director Brian Helgeland’s dramatization of three years in the life of baseball trailblazer Jackie Robsinson, is an earnest, deliberately old-fashioned entertainment, an inspirational bio-pic made with professionalism and care but little in the way of emotional or thematic nuance – it’s the very definition of what-you-see-is-what-you-get filmmaking. In three specific scenes, though, this seemingly prototypical triumph-of-the-underdog sports flick also achieves a legitimate, rousing greatness, and it’s the sort of expansive and lingering greatness that makes you leave the picture feeling, with few reservations, that the movie as a whole was truly great.


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Not-So-Merry Men: “Robin Hood” and “Letters to Juliet”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-17 12:51:04

Russell Crowe in Robin HoodROBIN HOOD

With director Ridley Scott's heavy-spirited adventure Robin Hood, the audience waits nearly an hour for its first reprieve from the grimness and grime, and when it finally arrives, the moment consists of Max von Sydow's blind land baron getting a whiff of Russell Crowe's gamy Robin and growling, "You stink." As mood lighteners go, so does that gag. And so, for the most part, does the movie.
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Mishmash Accomplished: "Green Zone," "Remember Me," "She's Out of My League," and "Our Family Wedding"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-14 20:42:47

Matt Damon in Green ZoneGREEN ZONE

 

Set in Baghdad during the early months of 2002, director Paul Greengrass' action thriller Green Zone casts Matt Damon as a stalwart, driven military officer who gradually discovers that the American government lied about the proliferation - even the existence - of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This might strike you as old news, and it is. The disappointing surprise of Green Zone, though, is that the movie itself should feel like such old news, and in ways that have nothing to do with Greengrass and Damon re-teaming after the considerable artistic and popular successes of their Bourne Supermacy and Bourne Ultimatum films.
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The Pop of the King: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Astro Boy,” and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-01 18:57:10

Michael Jackson's This Is ItMICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT

For a film that seemed to have "commercial exploitation" written all over it, Michael Jackson's This Is It is an intensely loving and even indispensable piece of work -- a joyous celebration of performance drive, hard work, and a fearsome amount of skill. Culled from roughly 100 hours of rehearsal footage from the late star's planned concert tour, director Kenny Oretga's behind-the-scenes account doesn't offer much in the way of insight, nor is it meant to. Yet it's still a first-rate spectacle that, at times, provides an almost ridiculous amount of pleasure; somehow, miraculously, Ortega and his editors have shaped their footage into a documentary that boasts the kineticism, excitement, and boundless ebullience of a kick-ass movie musical.


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Subway Training Day: "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" and "Imagine That"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-06-14 21:51:47

Denzel Washington in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3

Set in modern-day New York City, director Tony Scott's action-thriller The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 finds Denzel Washington playing transit-authority executive Walter Garber, a conscientious worker and devoted family man accused of accepting bribes, and consequently - 799 WORDS TO GO!!! - demoted to the rank of dispatcher. One afternoon, while monitoring routine subway transport, Garber notices an irregular stop made by one particular train, and attempts to make radio contact with its motorman. Instead, he makes contact with the train's hijacker, a tattooed psychopath who calls himself Ryder, and - 751 WORDS TO GO!!! - is played by John Travolta. Ordering Garber to secure a ransom of $10 million, Ryder insists that he'll begin shooting passengers if his demands aren't met, and given an hour to procure the money, Garber, a hostage negotiator (John Turturro), and the city's mayor (James Gandolfini) unite to stop the - 700 WORDS TO GO!!! - madman from ... .

Oh, I'm sorry, are those interruptions irritating? Well, you'd better get used to it - gripping and entertaining though it mostly is, Scott's movie oftentimes feels like the cinematic equivalent of that opening paragraph.


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