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items tagged with Christopher Nolan

Imaginary Heroes: “Flags of Our Fathers,” “The Prestige,” and “Marie Antoinette”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-25 04:18:45

Flags of Our FathersFLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is serious and noble, but it isn't resonant - despite some harrowing battle scenes, this World War II drama is surprisingly easy to brush off. Based on the James Bradley book, the film provides the back story to the historic raising of the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima - a moment eternalized in Joe Rosenthal's famed photograph - and then follows the flag-raisers as they cope with their newfound status as American heroes, sent on a nationwide tour promoting war bonds. Yet with the exception of Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), who is seduced by the limelight, the men don't feel heroic - John Bradley (Ryan Phillippe) falls into a jittery depression, and Native American Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) becomes a despondent alcoholic. These men didn't ask to be heroes. They just wanted to stay alive.


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Superhero Worship: "Superman Returns" and "Poseidon: The IMAX Experience"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-07-05 04:28:14

Brandon Routh in Superman ReturnsSUPERMAN RETURNS

It takes a while - nearly half an hour - to reach the first truly wonderful scene in Superman Returns. In it, a group of reporters (including Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane) are on an airborne jet's P.R. junket when the electronics suddenly fail, causing the plane to hurtle toward the earth. Thankfully, Superman (Brandon Routh), who has been M.I.A. for the past five years, is there to save the day, which he does by catching the jet and gently guiding it to the middle of a major-league ballpark (during game play, no less). He checks on the passengers, makes a comment (echoing a similar line in Richard Donner's 1978 Superman) about how air flight is "still the safest way to travel," and exits the plane to the deafening cheers of the baseball fans in the stands, and the rousing Americana of it all - baseball and Superman! - produces an extraordinary, joyful rush; you're hard-pressed not to cheer along.


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A Surprisingly "Fantastic Four": Also, "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "Rebound"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-07-13 00:00:00

Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, and Michael Chiklis in Fantastic FourFANTASTIC FOUR

Fantastic Four is the first comic-book adaptation in ages that doesn’t seem ashamed to be a comic-book adaptation, for which I applaud it. No one could possibly argue that the film is better-made than something such as Batman Begins, but I, for one, certainly preferred it; given the choice between this obvious, goofy time-waster or Christopher Nolan’s dour mope-fest, I’d go with Fantastic Four every time. What we might lose in subtext, technical precision, and performance quality is more than made up for in inspiration and good humor, and the film has a true sense of playfulness. Finally – screen superheroes who are actually enjoying themselves!


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"Batman Begins" Is Faithful, but Not Much Fun
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-06-22 00:00:00

Christian Bale in Batman BeginsBATMAN RETURNS

Many Hollywood blockbusters feel so generic as to have been formed by committee, and in Batman Begins, that committee appears to be comprised entirely of comic-book bloggers. Just how afraid of Internet fanboys have movie studios become? It has been widely reported that this new installment in the superhero franchise is a deliberate rebuke to director Joel Schumacher’s beyond-campy Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, and I couldn’t be more on board with that; Schumacher managed to turn Warner Brothers’ moody franchise into a half-assed Mardi Gras spectacle, minus the debaucherous fun. (Only in Schumacher’s hands could Uma Thurman come off as a depressed drag queen.)


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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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