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items tagged with Comedies

A Supposedly Fun Thing He’ll Never Do Again: "The End of the Tour," "Tangerine," and "The Tribe"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-08-24 01:03:04

Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel in The End of the TourTHE END OF THE TOUR

An interviewer for Rolling Stone travels to Bloomington, Illinois, to meet his subject: an author embarking on the last leg of his book tour. They make small talk at the author’s house. They smoke incessantly. They gorge on junk food. They travel to Minnesota for a reading and radio segment. They visit the Mall of America. They catch a multiplex movie. They hang out with a couple of young women. They consume more junk food. They return to Bloomington. They part ways.

In broad outline, that is the entire plot of director James Ponsoldt’s and screenwriter Donald Margulies’ The End of the Tour. And with the possible exception of Mad Max: Fury Road, no other 2015 release, to date, has entertained, thrilled, and devastated me quite as much as this one. (The film is currently playing at Iowa City’s Marcus Sycamore Cinema.) I’ll concede that much of the reason for my enjoyment might be strictly personal, or at least intensely specific. But I also don’t think anyone needs to have been an interviewer, or an interviewee, to be dazzled by the film’s intelligence, emotional complexity, and deep empathy, or by the insight it demonstrates regarding the oddly fraught practice of the celebrity profile. You probably also don’t need to be an admirer of David Foster Wallace to find yourself frequently moved to tears, but if you are one, consider yourself warned.
Read More About A Supposedly Fun Thing He’Ll Never Do Again: "The End Of The Tour," "Tangerine," And "The Tribe"...


Deputy Dogged: "Sinister 2," "Hitman: Agent 47," and "American Ultra"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-08-23 04:00:52

James Ransone in Sinister 2SINISTER 2

You know the feeling you get when you go to summer camp and make a great new friend, but he/she isn’t there the next summer, or the summer after that, and you end up forgetting about that friend until the next summer, when, all of a sudden, there he/she is? I don’t, because I never went to summer camp. But I’m betting that sensation is similar to what I felt in the first minutes of Sinister 2 once I recognized James Ransone, who played Ethan Hawke’s adorably dippy deputy pal in 2012’s Sinister. Although the actor has amassed a bunch of film and TV credits since then (albeit not in anything I’ve seen), I can’t say I’ve thought of him even once since the release of that low-budget horror hit. Yet the second Ransone’s character showed up in director Cirián Foy’s follow-up, with his chronic awkwardness and puppy-dog eyes and intense likability, it was like being reunited with a long-lost buddy whom you’re ashamed to have let slip away. Ransone’s presence here – as our romantic lead, no less! – was a hugely welcome surprise. That Sinister 2 didn’t at all suck might’ve been a bigger one.
Read More About Deputy Dogged: "Sinister 2," "Hitman: Agent 47," And "American Ultra"...


Septet-à-tête: "Shaun the Sheep Movie," "Ricki & the Flash," "Fantastic Four," "Irrational Man," "The Gift," "Infinitely Polar Bear," and "Amy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-08-10 13:53:58

Shaun the Sheep MovieYou can tell it’s August at the cineplex, not because the newly released movies are so terrible (though a couple of them definitely are), but because there are so many of them. This annual dumping-ground month for films generally considered too weak to score summer-blockbuster dollars and too insignificant to pass as autumnal prestige fare has also, in recent years, become the cinematic equivalent of a Sam’s Club or Costco: a little bit of everything, in bulk. And over four consecutive days, I caught up with seven of these debuting area titles – a collective experience that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous ... and back to the sublime.


Read More About Septet-à-TêTe: "Shaun The Sheep Movie," "Ricki & The Flash," "Fantastic Four," "Irrational Man," "The Gift," "Infinitely Polar Bear," And "Amy"...


Luxury Cruise, and a Long Road Trip: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" and "Vacation"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-08-01 19:31:45

Rebecca Ferguson and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue NationMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION

Before a recent screening, I saw one of those previews in which a Hollywood star welcomes you to your local Cinemark chain, and as soon as that star said, “Hi, I’m Tom Cruise,” a woman in the front row let out a loud, seemingly involuntary “Yech.” The preview, of course, was for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and perhaps the best solace I can offer that woman is that while I frequently find Crusie yech-y, too, the movie itself is a lot of fun. It’s even more fun if you can forget that Cruise is starring in it. But, y’know ... good luck with that.


Read More About Luxury Cruise, And A Long Road Trip: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" And "Vacation"...


True Detective / Truly Defective: "Mr. Holmes," "Southpaw," "Paper Towns," and "Pixels"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-07-25 22:42:58

Ian McKellen and Milo Parker in Mr. HolmesFriday, July 24, 10:40 a.m.-ish: It’s been so long since my last quadruple-feature – a miraculous six months plus! – that I’m only mildly dreading today’s, and only then because I know it’s ending with Adam Sandler. It’s beginning, however, with Mr. Holmes, and while I can’t imagine the world needing yet another showcase for Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary sleuth, I’m psyched knowing this latest iteration will reunite director Bill Condon with his Gods & Monsters star Ian McKellen and Kinsey co-star Laura Linney. Most of the movie consists of McKellen’s 93-year-old Sherlock, in 1947, contending with failing memory and the haunting case that forced his retirement, while Linney’s Irish housekeeper Mrs. Munro cooks and tidies up. But while several mysteries arise and are duly resolved in the film, I am distracted throughout by two unresolved questions. (1) Who is this little kid Milo Parker who plays Sherock’s protégé (and Mrs. Munro’s son) Roger? And (2) How is this boy giving a performance that might be topping those of the excellent McKellen and Linney?
Read More About True Detective / Truly Defective: "Mr. Holmes," "Southpaw," "Paper Towns," And "Pixels"...





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