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items tagged with Cate Blanchett

Bad Boys, Too: "Hot Fuzz," "Fracture," and "Perfect Stranger"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-04-25 08:10:30

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Hot FuzzHOT FUZZ

Not that many of you have seen them, but in between Rodriguez's and Tarantino's Grindhouse offerings, there are faux "coming attractions" for forthcoming trash flicks, one of which is directed by Edgar Wright. The trailer in question is for a slasher film called Don't, and in about 90 seconds of screen time, Wright - director/co-writer of the peerless zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and the new action spoof Hot Fuzz - manages to lampoon (and celebrate) just about every cliché in the horror-preview bible: the insidiously throaty voice-over announcer; the shock edits, punctuated by screams; the sudden bursts of outré violence. It's a brilliant, savage parody, yet the trailer's ultimate joke is that it's legitimately effective; you find yourself actually wanting to see Don't. Wright tweaks genre previews and outdoes them in the same breath.


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A "Scandal"-ous Waste of Skill: "Notes on a Scandal," "Volver," "Smokin' Aces," and "The Hitcher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-31 09:33:08

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench in Notes on a ScandalNOTES ON A SCANDAL

In Richard Eyre's Notes on a Scandal, Judi Dench appears to be having an amazingly fine time playing an evil harridan. Why does the movie itself have to be such a dud? In the film, Dench portrays prickly history teacher Barbara Covett, who becomes pathologically obsessed with Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a younger colleague in the art department. (As Barbara's last name suggests, Eyre's film, based on the novel by Zoë Heller, won't be much concerned with subtlety.) When Barbara discovers that the married Sheba has been carrying on with a 15-year-old student (Andrew Simpson), she uses the knowledge to surreptitiously gain Sheba's trust, in the hopes of turning their friendship into something more, shall we say, Sapphic. Subsequently, threats are made, careers are jeopardized, relationships are destroyed ... and why oh why isn't the movie more fun?


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Culture Clashes: “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” and “Babel”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-15 08:17:25

Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of KazakhstanBORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

How could any film live up to the hype that preceded Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan? Even before the movie's national release - which occurred a week before its appearance in our area - everyone, it seems, was abuzz. Borat made early splashes at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, critics were searching high and low for superlatives, and for its October 20 issue, Entertainment Weekly put star Sacha Baron Cohen on the cover, accompanied by the teaser "Has this man made the funniest movie ever, or simply the most outrageous, offensive one?" Following Borat's opening weekend, box-office records were shattered while the displeasure of many - Kazakh officials, the Anti-Defamation League, a pair of litigious frat guys - was duly recorded, and by the time it opened here on Friday, desire to see the movie was replaced by desire to be in on the event. Could this 85-minute, low-budget endeavor possibly be as great as our expectations of it?

Well, it is and it isn't.


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2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-02-16 00:00:00
After the announcement of last year’s Oscar nominations, in which the Academy made almost shockingly inspired choices across the board, this year’s slate of nominees was bound to be a more predictable lot; barring a few minor surprises – the director and screenplay nods for Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake (still unseen by me) chief among them – voters opted for traditional, safe choices in 2004, especially among the squarer-than-usual Best Picture contenders.
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