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items tagged with Danny Huston

The Needle in the Haystack: "Zero Dark Thirty," "Gangster Squad," "A Haunted House," and "Hitchcock"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-14 18:45:03

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark ThirtyZERO DARK THIRTY

As an orchestrator of cinematic suspense, Kathryn Bigelow might currently be without peer in American movies. The sequences of Jeremy Renner dismantling explosives in the director’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker were miniature masterpieces of sustained excitement; despite our knowing, through much of the film, that it was too early for Renner’s Sergeant William James to be killed off, each masterfully shot and edited act of bomb disposal vibrated with legitimate threat. In Zero Dark Thirty – Bigelow’s and screenwriter Mark Boal’s fictionalized docu-drama about the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden – nearly every scene feels like a ticking time bomb. There is, of course, never any doubt about the narrative’s outcome, yet Bigelow’s gifts for composition and pacing ensure that you still watch the picture with rapt attention and dread. And blessedly, she’s also a spectacular entertainer. The movie is tough-minded and sometimes tough to watch, but even when Bigelow is fraying your nerves, she’s tickling your senses.


Read More About The Needle In The Haystack: "Zero Dark Thirty," "Gangster Squad," "A Haunted House," And "Hitchcock"...


A-Stabbin' the Dorks: "Scream 4," "The Conspirator," "Soul Surfer," and "Your Highness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-18 17:44:08

Neve Campbell in Scream 4SCREAM 4

Directed, as all of the franchise’s outings have been, by Wes Craven, and written by Kevin Williamson, Scream 4 is a sequel, a reboot, and a big middle finger to reboots, all in one bloody, meta, mostly tedious package. It opens beautifully and features a bunch of (mostly verbal) horror-comedy pleasures, yet its overall effect is wearying; Craven and Williamson are so focused on deconstructing the genre – the Scream series in particular – for a media-soaked, hipper-than-thou young audience that even its “surprises” are in quotation marks. Watching Scream 4 is like watching a movie with its commentary track running before you’ve had a chance to experience the film without it.


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Secret Agent Woman: "Fair Game" and "The Warrior's Way"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-05 19:03:54

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Fair GameFAIR GAME

Presuming that it might not open locally, I caught director Doug Liman’s Fair Game – in which Naomi Watts plays outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, and Sean Penn plays Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson – in Chicagoland on Thanksgiving night. I thought the movie was intelligent and intensely well acted, but still didn’t feel much toward it, and with so many of the film’s characters arguing over events that, by 2010, have become old (if still infuriating) news, my eyelids grew droopy during a few scenes too many.


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Not-So-Merry Men: “Robin Hood” and “Letters to Juliet”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-17 12:51:04

Russell Crowe in Robin HoodROBIN HOOD

With director Ridley Scott's heavy-spirited adventure Robin Hood, the audience waits nearly an hour for its first reprieve from the grimness and grime, and when it finally arrives, the moment consists of Max von Sydow's blind land baron getting a whiff of Russell Crowe's gamy Robin and growling, "You stink." As mood lighteners go, so does that gag. And so, for the most part, does the movie.
Read More About Not-So-Merry Men: “Robin Hood” And “Letters To Juliet”...


Taken, Too: "Edge of Darkness" and "When in Rome"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-01 14:48:30

Mel Gibson in Edge of DarknessEDGE OF DARKNESS

For better and/or worse, Mel Gibson hasn't exactly vanished from the public eye since his last starring role on-screen, in 2002's Signs. Yet even if, like me, you've spent an inordinate amount of time bemoaning the Crazy Mel antics - both public and directorial - of recent years, you might find it hard to resist his turn in director Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness: Gibson's back, and, happily, he's pissed. The movie is a frequently ludicrous and borderline incoherent revenge thriller, but its leading man, busting heads and blasting weaponry, is in excellent form, lending his bereaved-dad role considerable passion and emotional urgency. Between the mid-'80s and late-'90s, no one delivered anguished-and-wrathful acting better than Gibson. Ten-plus years later, there's still no one who does.


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