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items tagged with Christopher Walken

PETA Principle: "The Jungle Book," "Barbershop: The Next Cut," and "Criminal"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-04-18 20:40:00

The Jungle BookTHE JUNGLE BOOK

Nearly all action movies, even those in which the action is determinedly family-friendly, live or die by their villains, and director Jon Favreau’s remake of Disney’s The Jungle Book has a phenomenal one: the Bengal tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba. Scarred from a murderous tussle with a human and left with only one functional eye, this creature – created, as all the film’s animals and landscapes are, via the magic of CGI – prowls his kingdom with lithe, dangerous authority, and manages to one-up even Jeremy Irons’ Lion King meanie in terms of fierceness and frightening malevolence. Yet Shere Khan’s visage and movements aren’t half as scary as Elba’s maliciously insinuating vocals that fall somewhere between a purr and a growl, and while listening to these deliciously evil readings, I had a perhaps heretical thought regarding this movie and its reported $175-million budget: Wouldn’t all this have worked much better as a radio play?
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Under the Streetlamp: "Jersey Boys" and "Think Like a Man Too"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-06-22 20:41:03

Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen, John Llyod Young, and Michael Lomenda in Jersey BoysJERSEY BOYS

Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood’s film version of 2005’s still-running Broadway smash, is a big, bizarre, cornball, clever, terrible, wonderful movie. It’s hard to fathom what, beyond its inherent appeal, made Eastwood want to take on the project; this bio-musical about 1960s pop sensations the Four Seasons seems so clearly designed for Scorsese that’s it’s almost some kind of joke that it instead wound up in the hands of a man who, stylistically and temperamentally, is Scorsese’s polar opposite. Yet somehow, astonishingly, the damned thing works. Its parts may be stronger than the whole – at least if you’re allowed to cherry-pick the parts – but the film is affecting and entertaining and alive, and exudes more sheer joy than any other title on Eastwood’s 43-year directing résumé.


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Eat and Greet: "Warm Bodies" and "Stand Up Guys"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-03 15:23:31

Rob Corddry and Nicholas Hoult in Warm BodiesWARM BODIES

See if this sounds familiar: A sweet, lonely, non-human – but decidedly male – being with a limited vocabulary toils through a portion of Earth all but completely devoid of life, performing the same mundane, regimented activities day after day. Occasionally, he augments the dreariness by collecting tchotchkes from more civilized days, which he stores in his makeshift home-slash-warehouse, and comforts himself by playing old music on a recognizably antiquated device. One day, a beautiful female enters his life, and although he’s initially nervous about making contact, he proceeds to woo her by offering safety and shelter, making her laugh, and subtly expressing his undying devotion. The female, however, soon leaves, but our protagonist doesn’t take her evacuation lying down. Instead, he follows his beloved, and subsequently sets into motion events that not only might reunite the pair, but might lead to the rejuvenation – indeed, the very survival – of the entire human race.

If you didn’t know the movie in question was titled Warm Bodies, and didn’t know it was a romantic comedy about a zombie who becomes enamored with a girl with a pulse, wouldn’t that description sound just a teensy bit reminiscent of WALL•E?


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Rescue Mission Impossible: "Argo," "Seven Psychopaths," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and "Sinister"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-15 05:28:26

John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Ben Affleck in ArgoARGO

It sounds like an all-too-Hollywood idea for a high-concept suspense thriller: A sextet of State Department employees are trapped in Iran, and their only hope for escape lies with an ingenious CIA official who plans to free the Americans by having them pose as a location-scouting team for a Canadian science-fiction movie. Yet within its first minutes, director/star Ben Affleck’s Argo – based on a recently declassified chapter of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80 – registers as terrifically, nerve-rackingly authentic, even if the film’s most enjoyable elements are, in truth, as Hollywood as they come.


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Rotted Pumpkin: “Halloween” and “Balls of Fury”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-09-05 08:33:44

Tyler Mane in HalloweenHALLOWEEN

On the list of 1970s horror films that absolutely, positively did not demand a remake, John Carpenter's spare, suggestive, and deeply frightening Halloween would have to place right near the top. If, however, a 21st Century revamp was inevitable (and, Hollywood being Hollywood, it was), I would have thought Rob Zombie the ideal choice for the task, as the director's House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects were relentless, darkly funny, and unapologetically nasty entertainments with a low-rent style that captured the spirit of '70s exploitation terror to perfection. Who better suited to bring Michael Myers back to life?

Having seen Zombie's offering, I'm thinking the answer might be: just about anyone else.


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