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items tagged with Cameron Diaz

It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Ogre: "Shrek Forever After" and "MacGruber"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-23 21:15:00
Shrek Forever After

SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.
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Marley and Me: "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "The Fourth Kind," "The Men Who Stare at Goats," and "The Box"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-08 21:18:25

Disney's A Christmas CarolDISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL

For the most part, Disney's A Christmas Carol - the third of director Robert Zemeckis' features to employ the process of performance-capture animation - is a strong, serious, stunningly well-designed piece of work, and an unexpectedly resonant take on Charles Dickens' holiday classic. But I do feel compelled to ask Mr. Zemeckis a question: Must everything be transformed into a Hollywood thrill ride?


Read More About Marley And Me: "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "The Fourth Kind," "The Men Who Stare At Goats," And "The Box"...


Charmed and Dangerous: "Public Enemies," "Away We Go," and "My Sister's Keeper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-03 12:00:00

Johnny Depp in Public EnemiesPUBLIC ENEMIES

With a low-key yet intensely charismatic Johnny Depp as its lead, you could describe Michael Mann's Public Enemies as the story behind the criminal activity of the infamous, Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. But that's not entirely accurate. The film is also about the nascent, frequently misguided authority of the FBI, personified here by a stalwart agent (a somber, less-throaty-than-usual Christian Bale) and showboating chief J. Edgar Hoover (a spectacular Billy Crudup). It's also about early media saturation in our country, and the public's complicity in turning villains into heroes, and the labyrinthine hierarchies among American gangsters, and - as embodied by a dazzlingly desirable and powerful Marion Cotillard - the ever-unpredictable nature of love. And, more than anything, it's about the exquisite craftsmanship of Michael Mann, whose Public Enemies doesn't look or sound quite like any other crime movie you've seen, and whose technical virtuosity might make Public Enemies impossible to forget.


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Running on Empty: "Speed Racer," "What Happens in Vegas...", and "Redbelt"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-14 08:13:47

Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci in Speed RacerSPEED RACER

In future years, when I'm wondering exactly when it was that I turned into a very old man, I'm hoping I'll remember the date of May 9, 2008, when I fell asleep some 45 minutes into the onslaught of candy-colored incoherence called Speed Racer. And when, after returning to consciousness a minute or so later, I made it through another couple of scenes before falling asleep again.


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Ogre the Hill: "Shrek the Third" and "Delta Farce"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-05-23 08:21:20

Shrek the ThirdSHREK THE THIRD

Shrek the Third finds its computer-animated ogre undergoing something of a mid-life crisis, and based on the evidence here, so is the series itself. In contrast to the constant hyperactivity and relentlessly aggressive pop-culture references of the first two Shrek films, this latest offering is notable for its distinct lack of aggression; the film hasn't completely shucked off the qualities that made its forbears such (literal) monster hits, but on occasion, it actually takes the time to curtail its smart-alecky, type-A tendencies and just breathe. In doing so, it stands as my favorite Shrek movie to date. Unfortunately, that isn't high praise.


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