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items tagged with David Benioff

Death Wishes: "The Bucket List," "The Kite Runner," and "First Sunday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-16 08:18:31

Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket ListTHE BUCKET LIST

I can't begin to describe how much I was looking forward to making fun of The Bucket List. A Rob Reiner-directed dramedy about two squabbling terminal-cancer patients -Jack Nicholson, cackling and flexing his eyebrows, and Morgan Freeman, providing soothing, pithy bromides and the inevitable voice-over narration - who gradually become friends and live out their final days skydiving and race-car driving and scaling the pyramids ... . Was there any way this wouldn't be a syrupy disaster of epic proportions?


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"Saw II" Effective, But Not Much Fun: Also, "Doom," "Stay," and "Prime"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-02 00:00:00

Saw IISAW II

Since we’re no longer forced to endure Cary Elwes shrieking his hammy little head off for 90 minutes, Saw II was inevitably going to be a less annoying experience than 2004’s Saw, but the movie is pretty effective in its own right. Not entertaining, mind you, but effective. Last fall’s surprise horror hit saw Elwes and another mad overactor at the mercy of the serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) – who devises for his prey wildly elaborate devices of torture that defy both description and belief – and in one of Saw II’s few impressive twists, he’s apprehended at the end of the movie’s first reel. What follows resembles what might result if you watched The Silence of the Lambs and Seven in picture-in-picture format. As Jigsaw – in sinister, I-know-something-that-you-don’t Hannibal Lecter mode – is interrogated, and his master plan dissected, by Donnie Wahlberg’s quick-to-boil cop, a whole new slew of potential victims, including Wahlberg’s teenage son, try to survive a vicious spook house by evading Jigsaw’s contraptions and deconstructing the maddeningly obtuse sets of clues the killer has left them. (Like its precursor, Saw II makes explicit what Seven left to your imagination.)


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"Troy" Plays Like Greek Bedtime Story: Also, "Touching the Void"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-19 00:00:00

Brad Pitt in TroyTROY

About 100 minutes into Troy – director Wolfgang Petersen’s and screenwriter David Benioff’s very loose adaptation of Homer’s The Iliad, which details the events leading up to and during The Trojan War – there’s a battle sequence that gives the audience a true rush.


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Lee’s Latest Should Not Be Missed: "25th Hour," "A Man Apart," "Dysfunktional Family," and "Anger Management"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-04-16 00:00:00

Barry Pepper, Edward Norton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 25th Hour25TH HOUR

I wish my schedule had allowed me to catch Spike Lee’s 25th Hour sooner, as I would have happily spent the last two weeks extolling its merits to everyone I saw. (It ends its run at the Quad Cities Brew & View on April 17.) The film, wherein a convicted drug dealer (Edward Norton) spends his last free day in New York tying up loose ends among family and friends, is probably Lee’s most passionate, exemplary work since 1989’s Do the Right Thing. Though the movie showcases Lee’s trademark anger, profane humor, and uncommon vibrancy, what sets the film apart from his usual fare is its sadness; it has an aura of melancholy that keeps the director’s more bombastic impulses in check. (He even pulls off a beauty of a lullaby ending, one which, in lesser lands, could have been disastrous.)


Read More About Lee’S Latest Should Not Be Missed: "25th Hour," "A Man Apart," "Dysfunktional Family," And "Anger Management"...





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