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items tagged with Comedies

"Harry Potter" Series Finally Finds Its Magic: "Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Saved!"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-06-16 00:00:00

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter & the Prisoner of AzkabanHARRY POTTER & THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN

Anyone interested in the distinction between routine direction and inspired direction – anyone who has ever wondered what, exactly, it is that a director brings to a movie – should compare Chris Columbus’ first two Harry Potter films with Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban, helmed by Alfonso Cuaron; Columbus’ films are the work of a by-the-numbers craftsman, and Cuaron’s is the work of an artist. (Which isn’t to say that everyone will prefer Cuaron’s style; many people would rather dine on Big Macs than filet mignon.) Cuaron isn’t quite able to overcome the series’ built-in limitations – the familiarity of the storytelling arc, the “surprising” character reversals that aren’t really much of a surprise, the fact that all three movies are too damned long – but for those viewers, like me, who’ve never been overly enamored of the Harry Potter film series, Azkaban is as fine an entertainment as you could hope for, a visually audacious work with moments of true magic, and it improves on Chris Columbus’ vision tenfold.


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Latest Disaster Flick a Moronic Mess: "The Day After Tomorrow," "Raising Helen," and "This Old Cub"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-06-09 00:00:00

The Day After TomorrowTHE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

Despite all the hullabaloo about the film re-opening vociferous debate about global warming and its possible effects, Roland Emmerich’s disaster saga The Day After Tomorrow winds up begging exactly one question: Just how much stupidity are mass audiences willing to accept in their summer blockbusters? In any disaster movie, rolling your eyes at the ridiculous onscreen events comes with the territory, but the enjoyable ones temper that reaction with speed and laughs; Emmerich’s cheeky, entertaining Independence Day managed the feat of making the end of the world look like an absolute hoot, and that film, within its sci-fi format, is probably the most sheerly pleasurable disaster flick of the past 20 years.


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"Shrek 2" Won’t Win New Converts: Also, "Breakin' All the Rules"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-26 00:00:00

Shrek 2SHREK 2

If a sequel manages to make any improvements on the original, it’s usually cause for at least minor celebration, so I was pleased to see a few changes for the better in Dreamworks’ computer-animated Shrek 2.


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Make a Date with "Mean Girls": Also, "Man on Fire," "Godsend," and "The Barbarian Invasions"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-05 00:00:00

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Rachel McAdams in Mean GirlsMEAN GIRLS

Recently, some friends introduced me to the considerable pleasures of Freaks & Geeks on DVD, and I understood why the show barely lasted a season; it was a nearly pitch-perfect rendering of high school’s everyday horrors and comic humiliations, and what mass audience, hoping for mindless entertainment, wants to subject themselves to that? And just like that sublime TV series, Mean Girls, the new teen comedy directed by Mark Waters and written by Tina Fey, is so wickedly sharp and achingly funny that its target audience probably won’t know what to make of it.(At the screening I attended, everyone laughed like hell at the overt physical comedy, but the movie’s most hilarious dialogue fell on deaf ears.)


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Garner’s Pluck Can’t Salvage "13 Going on 30": Also, "The Punisher" and "Connie & Carla"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-04-28 00:00:00

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 3013 GOING ON 30

When you watch a body-switching comedy such as Big or Freaky Friday, you know immediately that the movie is going to require a huge suspension of disbelief; these are comedy fantasies, after all, and bitching about logic and realistic plotting is the surest way to kill your good time.


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