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items tagged with Chris Rock

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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"Madagascar" Deserves to Be a Hit: Also, "The Longest Yard" and "Millions"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-06-01 00:00:00

MadagascarMADAGASCAR

See enough movies, especially ones geared to the younger set, and you all but stop expecting to be surprised by the arc of the plot; our heroes will learn valuable Life Lessons, generally while embarking on A Perilous Journey, good will triumph over evil, the comforts of home, family, and friends will prove more beguiling than any possible adventure, yada yada yada. The joy – the shock – of the new computer-animated comedy Madagascar is that, from scene to scene, you might find yourself having no clue where events will lead, yet you’re laughing too hard to pay the matter much mind.


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"Phone Booth" the Class of 2003 So Far: Also, "Basic" and "Head of State"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-04-09 00:00:00

Colin Farrell in Phone BoothPHONE BOOTH

Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth starts off so poorly that it’s a major surprise – a shock, really – when the movie winds up being thrilling, even exhilarating; it proves that a great, meaty premise can overcome almost all obstacles.


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