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items tagged with Denzel Washington

Gridiron Man: "When the Game Stands Tall" and "If I Stay"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-24 22:52:41

When the Game Stands TallWHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL

Inspirational sports dramas, particularly inspirational high-school-sports dramas, can boast many virtues, and even the crummier ones can be a lot of fun. But one thing they’re not generally known for is surprise, which is why it’s all the more flabbergasting that When the Game Stands Tall has such a doozy of one at its center: the leading performance, and maybe the finest one yet, by Jim Caviezel. Director Thomas Carter’s football saga is actually pretty terrific for a number of reasons. Yet despite working within a formula, and with the type of role, in which beats and arcs so often feel preordained, Caviezel provides one happy surprise after another, principally – and misleadingly – by appearing to do next to nothing at all.


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Blues 2 Men: "The Smurfs 2" and "2 Guns"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-08-05 10:09:46

Hank Azaria in The Smurfs 2THE SMURFS 2

Upon returning from my screening of The Smurfs 2, a buddy asked what I thought of the film, and I told him that Hank Azaria – the comic genius who plays the nefarious, Smurf-loathing wizard Gargamel – was awfully funny in it. My friend asked, “When isn’t he?”, and beyond the TV-movie tearjerker Tuesdays with Morrie, I couldn’t provide an example. (And in truth, at appropriate moments in his Emmy-winning dramatic turn, the actor is awfully funny in Tuesdays with Morrie.) Consequently, as he’s nearly always this inspired on-screen, Azaria’s hilariously outlandish performance probably isn’t reason enough to see director Raja Gosnell’s blue-hued sequel, at least if you don’t have small children pressuring you to do so.

If, however, you’re a childless adult who chooses to attend The Smurfs 2 anyway, your secret’s totally safe with me, because Azaria actually does make this kiddie comedy worth sitting through – though perhaps only if you catch it during bargain-matinée hours, or have a cineplex gift card that you were just gonna throw out otherwise.


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Pilot Lit: "Flight," "Wreck-It Ralph," and "The Man with the Iron Fists"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-11-05 03:04:15

Denzel Washington in FlightFLIGHT

Within the first 15 minutes of director Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, you’ll witness what must rank as one of cinema’s most frightening, emotionally wrenching plane crashes. Yet in the end, and as harrowing as this passage is, I’m not sure that it’s actually more terrifying or heartbreaking than the scenes of Denzel Washington’s Whip Whitaker – the pilot whose heroic actions save 96 lives aboard that ill-fated flight – battling his urge to drink and, with only the mildest feelings of regret, losing that battle again and again and again.


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The Time-Traveler Wife: "The Vow," "Safe House," and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-02-12 18:42:17

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in The VowTHE VOW

Even though I’m frequently annoyed, if not downright appalled, by them, I really don’t ask a lot from traditional romantic weepies. If the actors involved share more-than-sufficient chemistry, and the film provides at least a decent amount of legitimate passion and pathos – with a few good jokes thrown in to keep the proceedings human – I’ll generally feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth. And happily, I got my money’s worth at The Vow. I’d hardly argue that director Michael Sucsy’s love-among-the-mental-ruins effort is a good movie, but despite never being as interesting as it keeps threatening to be, this audience-friendly drama fulfills its basic requirements with the utmost sincerity and even something approaching wit.


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Good “Morning”’s Stars Shine: “Morning Glory,” “Skyline,” and “Unstoppable”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-11-14 20:11:38

Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, and Harrison Ford in Morning GloryMORNING GLORY

The vibrant, frequently ebullient Diane Keaton and the gruff, frequently grouchy Harrison Ford have been above-the-title Hollywood stars for more than 30 years now. Why, in heaven’s name, has it taken more than three decades to get these two cute kids together?


Read More About Good “Morning”’S Stars Shine: “Morning Glory,” “Skyline,” And “Unstoppable”...





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