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items tagged with Christina Ricci

Running on Empty: "Speed Racer," "What Happens in Vegas...", and "Redbelt"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-14 08:13:47

Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci in Speed RacerSPEED RACER

In future years, when I'm wondering exactly when it was that I turned into a very old man, I'm hoping I'll remember the date of May 9, 2008, when I fell asleep some 45 minutes into the onslaught of candy-colored incoherence called Speed Racer. And when, after returning to consciousness a minute or so later, I made it through another couple of scenes before falling asleep again.


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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Graphic? Yes. Novel? No.: "300," "Amazing Grace," and "Black Snake Moan"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-03-14 08:23:29

Gerard Butler in 300300

Whatever its problems, and they are myriad, you can't say that Zack Snyder's 300 doesn't give you plenty to look at. Adapted from Frank Miller's and Lynn Varley's graphic novel, the film - which follow s the ancient Spartan army in a wildly violent, self-sacrificing battle against Persian forces - is filled with memorably outré images: an enormous tree and a 20-foot-high wall, both composed entirely of corpses; a triad of elephants, backed over a cliff, that plunge to their deaths; the sky blackening with what appear to be locusts, instead proving to be the incoming trajectory of thousands of steel-tipped arrows. In 300, Snyder shows a remarkable gift for graphic-novel composition, and continually keeps your eye engaged. Too bad the same can't be said of your brain.


Read More About Graphic? Yes. Novel? No.: "300," "Amazing Grace," And "Black Snake Moan"...


"Be Cool" a Maddening Waste of Time and Talent: Also, "The Jacket" and "Cursed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-08 00:00:00

Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Be CoolBE COOL

Granted, I’ve missed a few of the year’s more high-profile flicks – Are We There Yet?, White Noise, Son of the Mask, that thing with the Heffalumps – but, in general, the releases I have viewed have been so crummy as to be some kind of joke. (The Citizen Kane of the group would actually be the remake of Assault on Precinct 13, which should tell you everything you need to know about Hollywood’s output in early 2005.) But, with the arrival of Be Cool, the joke is no longer funny. Be Cool is worse than Elektra. Hell, it’s worse than Alone in the Dark. I literally can’t remember the last time I left a screening feeling so angered by the waste of time and talent onscreen; it’s the sort of smug, lazy Bad Movie that puts you in a foul mood for the rest of the day.


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A Hundred-Plus Reasons to Go to the Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2004-10-27 00:00:00
My first article for the River Cities’ Reader appeared in Issue 18, way back in March of 1995. (You know how long ago that was? Tom Hanks had only one Oscar.) Serving as the Reader’s film critic was, and still is, a terrific gig – for an avowed movie fanatic who loves to write, the chance to expound on the state of cinema has always been about more than giving a particular work a “yay” or “nay” vote; it’s given me, in a minor way, the opportunity to analyze an entire culture, to try to understand what’s in the heads of those who make films, and those who distribute films, and the millions of us who view them.
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