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items tagged with David R. Ellis

You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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Scary Movies, Two: "The Final Destination," "Halloween II," and "Taking Woodstock"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-08-30 20:05:37

Haley Webb and Nick Zano in The Final DestinationTHE FINAL DESTINATION and HALLOWEEN II

In a somewhat odd scheduling decision, this past weekend saw the release of both The Final Destination - the fourth in the popular series of cheat-death-and-pay-the-price splatter flicks, presented (on some screens) in eyeball-gouging 3D - and Halloween II, writer/director Rob Zombie's sequel to his 2007 remake of John Carpenter's horror classic. But for fellow genre fans wondering which of the two makes for a more gratifying fright film, I'm afraid it's a draw; the former is kind of fun but mostly terrible, while the latter is kind of fascinating but almost no fun at all.


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Schlock Appeal: “Snakes on a Plane,” “Step Up,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Pulse”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-23 04:18:23

Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a PlaneSNAKES ON A PLANE

Incessant buildup for a potential Hollywood blockbuster is nothing new, of course. But in the case of Snakes on a Plane, it was the nature of the buildup that proved fascinating; everything hyped about this cheesy scare flick - the hysterically candid title, the presence of Samuel L. Jackson in bellowing motherf---er mode, the re-tooling to secure an R rating from its original PG-13 - seemed to promise, "This movie is gonna suck, and you're gonna love it." Offhand, I can't think of another movie that was so aggressively - one might say honestly - marketed as the schlock it was almost certain to be. By the time the movie opened last Friday, the anticipation among connoisseurs of cinematic crap had reached such a fever pitch that nothing less than the Best Bad Movie of All Time would do.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Snakes on a Plane isn't the best bad movie of all time. But it'll still do.


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