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items tagged with Chris Parnell

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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Magic / Mike: Schulz’s 10(-Plus) Most Enjoyable Movies of 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-01-07 16:15:13

It’s incomplete, with such 2012 releases as Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Rust & Bone, Arbitrage, The Intouchables, Not Fade Away, and Here Comes the Boom (ha ha!) still requiring my viewing. And it’s certainly eclectic, as even I can’t fathom a double feature of titles number one and two below. But in an all-around outstanding year for movies, the following ranking of 10 selections – with a bonus inclusion – is, as of January 6, my list of the absolute best times I had as a film fanatic this past year.


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Prenuptial Agreement: “The Five-Year Engagement,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” “The Raven,” and “Safe”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-29 22:03:44

Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie in The Five-Year EngagementTHE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

Say what you will about the current state of movies. Yet in the history of the medium, have the actors who populate film comedies ever been as across-the-board-excellent as they are right now? It took about 20 minutes for this question to pop into my head during The Five-Year Engagement, and once it did, I’m not sure I ever stopped pondering it; from the stars to the supporting cast to the bit players who show up for all of three seconds, director Nicholas Stoller’s rom-com features an embarrassment of performance riches. The movie itself? Eh, it’s okay.


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Getting High School: "21 Jump Street" and "Casa de Mi Padre"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-03-20 18:14:50

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street21 JUMP STREET

As an undercover police officer who, in 21 Jump Street, can say to his platonic partner “I cherish you, man” in a way that’s both hysterical and intensely touching, Jonah Hill possesses a rare gift for completely unembarrassed sincerity. By now, it should go without saying that Hill is a sensational verbal comedian and a fearless physical one. But as in his bro-mantic scenes opposite Michael Cera in Superbad, the actor brings to this action comedy something few others would think to: absolute honesty and emotional transparency. Hill is funny as hell here, but his character is never a joke.

Yet the delightful shock of this parody of and homage to the late-’80s TV drama – a series that famously cast Johnny Depp as a pretty-boy cop who infiltrates schools and youth hangouts disguised as a student – is that Hill’s co-star actually matches him in earnestness and hilarity, and his name is Channing Tatum.


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