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items tagged with Cate Blanchett

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: "Annie" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-20 00:50:41

Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Rose Byrne in AnnieANNIE

Sony’s last-remaining grab for the holiday box office, the much-downloaded reboot of Annie, opened this weekend, and it must be said that as a musical – especially as a musically faithful interpretation of the stage show – it kind of sucks. The choreography’s a shambles and the mixing is poor and the original numbers are terrible, while familiar, enjoyable Annie tunes such as “Little Girls” and “Easy Street” are merely sampled, their melodies and lyrics awkwardly woven into new pop and hip-hop arrangements. (Three of the film’s myriad producers are Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, so I guess we should just be grateful that the titular orphan is played by Quvenzhané Wallis and not Willow. Or Jaden.)


Read More About Where There’S A Will, There’S A Way: "Annie" And "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies"...


Kill to Shoot: "Nightcrawler," "Before I Go to Sleep," "The Best of Me," "Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland," and "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-03 02:54:43

Jake Gyllenhaal in NightcrawlerNIGHTCRAWLER

Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler is the tale of an obsessive creep who becomes a dedicated entrepreneur in the field of exploitation journalism, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal. Hoo boy does it star Jake Gyllenhaal. Two days after seeing the film, I’m still not sure what it was aiming to be: a scuzzy urban thriller? A dark comedy? A withering social critique in the vein of Network? All of the above? But what it winds up being is nearly two full hours of The Jake Gyllenhaal Show, a movie that would barely exist if not for the feral, ferociously busy performance of its lead. In this particular case, not existing wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.


Read More About Kill To Shoot: "Nightcrawler," "Before I Go To Sleep," "The Best Of Me," "Galapagos 3D: Nature’S Wonderland," And "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden"...


From Sequel to Shining Sequel: "22 Jump Street" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-06-15 21:27:03

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street22 JUMP STREET and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

This past Friday was my birthday. (Aw, thank you for asking! Belated gifts can be sent care of the Reader!) And like a present delivered specifically for me, the day brought with it not only two movies featuring Jonah Hill – even if one only features the voice of Jonah Hill – but two follow-ups I wasn’t at all dreading: 22 Jump Street, the sequel to a comedy I loved, and How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to an animated adventure I liked just fine. I suppose it was both fitting and inevitable, then, that I wound up liking the former just fine, and the latter ... well, I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it a heck of a lot more than the original.


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Plastics: "The Lego Movie," "The Monuments Men," and "Vampire Academy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-11 14:28:21

The Lego MovieTHE LEGO MOVIE

Two of the characters in The Lego Movie are Lego Minifigures of Superman and Green Lantern, the latter of whom, here, is an obsequious suck-up whom the Man of Steel can’t stand. That’s a good joke. These decided non-friends are voiced by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, who famously played best friends in 21 Jump Street. That’s a good in-joke. The Lego Movie is directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who also directed 21 Jump Street. That’s a good in-in-joke. But the news that this new animated release is not only the cleverest, most hysterical comedy since 21 Jump Street, but an altogether stronger, more audacious piece of work than at least 90 percent of everything Hollywood gave us last year? No joke at all.


Read More About Plastics: "The Lego Movie," "The Monuments Men," And "Vampire Academy"...


Song of Solomon: "12 Years a Slave" and "The Best Man Holiday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-11-18 19:20:09

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave12 YEARS A SLAVE

It’s impossible to imagine any viewer of director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave not haunted for hours, if not days or weeks, by its potent, frequently horrific imagery. Be it the protracted sight of protagonist Solomon Northrup hanging from a tree, his wiggling toes barely touching the dirt, or the early shot of Northrup caged in a Washington, D.C., prison with the camera slowly tilting upward to implicate Capitol Hill in his (and all slaves’) ordeal, McQueen continually delivers wrenching visual representations to match this already-wrenching tale. Yet if pressed for the one image that I find lingering above all others in this magnificent, devastating film, it would simply be the face of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who, in one unbroken take near the finale, almost seems to encapsulate hundreds of years of injustice in one anguished stare.


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