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items tagged with Dave

Booty Texts: “No Strings Attached” and “The Way Back”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-23 20:35:41

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings AttachedNO STRINGS ATTACHED

Against all expectations, at least my expectations, director Ivan Reitman’s No Strings Attached is a perfectly enjoyable piece of midwinter fluff, engaging and breezy and of no consequence whatsoever. Yet I’ll admit to being somewhat shocked when, two days after seeing it, I replayed the notes I quietly recorded during my screening, and discovered that I didn’t whisper even one criticism or complaint in the whole of its 105 minutes, which is a claim I can’t even make about The Social Network.

Then again, the movie is a formulaic romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, so I suppose the complaints do take care of themselves.


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Just Say “No”: "Yes Man" and "The Tale of Despereaux"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-12-23 08:19:42

Jim Carrey and Terence Stamp in Yes ManYES MAN

It feels as though the teasers for Yes Man have been running since the first Bush administration, so I'm assuming everyone is aware of the film's 10-word comic premise: Jim Carrey always says "no," then learns to say "yes." If you're thinking the setup sounds an awful lot like the conceit behind 1997's Liar Liar, you're not wrong, and in his one-joke role as a depressed loan officer who decides to embrace life by acting against his natural impulses, Yes Man also requires Carrey to goose the proceedings with the sorts of rubber-faced buffoonery and "spontaneous" madness that the actor can pull off in his sleep. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he appears to be doing here.


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Tape Dispensers: "Be Kind Rewind," "Vantage Point," and "Witless Protection"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-02-27 08:17:59

Jack Black and Mos Def in Be Kind RewindBE KIND REWIND

It's easy to enjoy writer/director Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, but it's not the sort of enjoyment that lasts longer than your drive home from the cineplex, and the disappointment of the movie is that you really want it to be.


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The Value of Words: Tom Dugan and Mel Johnson Jr. Return to QC Arts with "In the Shadow of Slavery"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2008-01-30 08:37:23

Mel Johnson Jr. as Frederick Douglass Last winter, in conjunction with his impending Visiting Artist residency with Quad City Arts, I had the opportunity to interview Los Angeles-based actor/director/playwright Tom Dugan. He was heading to our area to perform Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray - a self-written solo production in which he portrayed the Confederate general under the direction of Mel Johnson Jr. - and during our phone conversation, Dugan recalled the process by which much of the play was written: In the back of a van, surrounded by books, while touring On Golden Pond with Jack Klugman.


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Judges of Posterity: Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Tom Dugan Portrays Robert E. Lee
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2007-01-17 08:22:52

Tom Dugan as Robert E. Lee When actor/playwright Tom Dugan premiered his one-man show Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray in Richmond, Virginia, in 2004, the packed audience at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts gave the production a standing ovation. Crowds were similarly enthusiastic after subsequent performances in Tennessee, West Virginia, and Georgia, and when Dugan performed Shades of Gray in Lexington mere days before his Quad Cities arrival, the show was sold-out long in advance of its January 11 opening.

Southern audiences, it seems, have been most appreciative of Dugan's historical endeavor. But what of Northern audiences?

"I'll let you know after I get through Davenport," says Dugan during a recent phone interview. "You guys - you count as the north, don'tcha?"

We certainly do.

Dugan laughs. "I'm finally invading the north!"


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