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items tagged with Chris Rock

National Buffoons’ Vacation: “Grown Ups” and “Knight & Day”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-28 00:20:42

Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Adam Sandler, and David Spade in Grown UpsGROWN UPS

In basic outline, director Dennis Dugan's Grown Ups is similar to last autumn's Couples Retreat, that witless, odious comedy in which a gaggle of Hollywood stars enjoyed a luxury weekend on a tropical isle and demanded that audiences pick up the tab. (More than $100-million worth of ticket buyers actually did. Staggering.) Beyond their locales, though, the main difference between them is that Couples Retreat starred Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, and Malin Akerman, while Dugan's film top-bills Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and the entertainment vacuum known as Rob Schneider. Was this Happy Madison production - written by Sandler and Fred Wolf - going to pull off the borderline-miraculous feat of being the lesser of the two movies?
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Not So Much, No: “Kick-Ass” and “Death at a Funeral”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-19 13:48:01

Aaron Johnson in Kick-AssKICK-ASS

Considering that its climax finds 46-year-old actor Mark Strong beating the holy hell out of 13-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz - who was 11 during filming - I didn't hate the comic-book adaptation Kick-Ass the way I thought I would. I actually hated it in a completely different way.
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Pilot Lite: “Amelia,” “Saw VI,” “Law-Abiding Citizen,” and “Good Hair”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-25 21:39:21

Hilary Swank and Richard Gere in AmeliaAMELIA

As barrier-breaking aviatrix Amelia Earhart in director Mira Nair's Amelia, Hilary Swank is stylized yet approachable - exactly the kind of down-to-earth, pre-feminist spitfire that a squarely reverential bio-pic calls for. Her Katharine Hepburn cadences take some getting used to, but Swank charges through her scenes with natural authority and winning gumption, and when she smiles, the whole of Earhart's glorious aerial experiences seems to shine through her toothy grin. It's a lovely, sincere Earhart impression, and might've really been something if the actress wasn't being continually undermined by the direction, the script, the score, and most of her co-stars.


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Continental Divide: "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," "Soul Men," and "Role Models"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-12 08:05:32

Madagascar: Escape 2 AfricaMADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA

Dreamworks' animated hit Madagascar concerned a group of Central Park Zoo denizens who, en route to Africa, find themselves stranded on the island of the film's title, and ended with the citified animals forcibly, though not unhappily, taking residence in their newfound environs. Not having seen Madagascar since its 2005 release, I'll admit that I had to look up this last bit of information before catching Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. And if and when there's a Madagascar 3, I'll no doubt have to look up the details on its predecessor, because a mere two days after attending this sequel, I've already forgotten nearly everything about it.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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