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items tagged with D.J. Caruso

Rebel without a Planet: “I Am Number Four,” “Unknown,” and “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-02-20 20:08:57

Dianna Agron and Alex Pettyfer in I Am Number FourI AM NUMBER FOUR

A handsome, troubled, rebellious transfer student dealing with alienation and the wrath of bullies at his new high school. The kid’s ineffectual father, shrugging off his child’s loneliness and conflicts with the authorities. The kid’s one new friend, a withdrawn, frequently picked-on nerd with his own parental hang-ups. The kid’s potential love interest, a pretty, popular girl who feels like an outsider herself, and appears to be the property of the kid’s chief tormentor. If you’ve seen a certain iconic drama starring Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, and a red-jacket-wearing James Dean, the aforementioned character descriptions might sound a teensy bit familiar.


Read More About Rebel Without A Planet: “I Am Number Four,” “Unknown,” And “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son”...


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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Billion Airs: "The Hoax," "Disturbia," "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters," and "Are We Done Yet?"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-04-18 08:13:53

Richard Gere and Julie Delpy in The HoaxTHE HOAX

Offhand, I can think of no performer less well-suited to play a desperate, talkative, Jewish novelist than Richard Gere. Yet in Lasse Hallström's The Hoax, Gere is asked to portray exactly that - real-life author Clifford Irving, who, in 1971, received a $1-million advance for concocting a fictional autobiography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes - and the perceived miscasting turns out to be the movie's subtlest masterstroke.


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"The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another for the Ages by the Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Taking Lives"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-31 00:00:00

Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks in The LadykillersTHE LADYKILLERS

Just about every Coen brothers comedy is more enjoyable on a second or third (or fourth or fifth) viewing than it is on a first; once you adjust to Joel’s and Ethan’s Byzantine plotting, affected wordplay, and in-your-face staging – culminating in a style that can make their works seem, initially, show-offy and too quirky by half – the brothers’ filmmaking exuberance eventually wears down your resistance, and their scripts feature some of the funniest non sequiturs you’ll ever hear. (Nearly every movie fan I know can recite reams of dialogue from Raising Arizona and Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) The Ladykillers, the Coens’ adaptation of a 1955 Alec Guinness comedy, is mostly on the hit side of hit-or-miss, and I’m guessing that it, too, will eventually become a beloved treasure trove of quotable quotes, mostly because, on a first go-around, it takes diligence to decipher exactly what Tom Hanks is saying in it.


Read More About "The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another For The Ages By The Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind," "Dawn Of The Dead," And "Taking Lives"...





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