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items tagged with Documentaries

Stars’ Wars, and the Employee Strikes Back: "Beyond the Lights," "Saving Christmas," "Dumb & Dumber To," and "Citizenfour"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-16 21:44:07

Nate Parker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the LightsFriday, November 14, 10:45 a.m.-ish: I’m beginning the day with writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights, a romantic melodrama about a troubled, Rihanna-like pop star, and it opens with its central character, as a little girl, getting reprimanded by her awful stage mother for the heinous crime of being first-runner-up in a talent show. Nearly two hours later, with the now-grown chanteuse overcoming her demons and finally scoring her long-awaited personal and professional triumphs, everything the prelude led me to expect from the movie has come to pass, but with one major exception: I’m grinning like mad and wiping away tears. How the hell did that happen?!


Read More About Stars’ Wars, And The Employee Strikes Back: "Beyond The Lights," "Saving Christmas," "Dumb & Dumber To," And "Citizenfour"...


Kill to Shoot: "Nightcrawler," "Before I Go to Sleep," "The Best of Me," "Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland," and "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-03 02:54:43

Jake Gyllenhaal in NightcrawlerNIGHTCRAWLER

Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler is the tale of an obsessive creep who becomes a dedicated entrepreneur in the field of exploitation journalism, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal. Hoo boy does it star Jake Gyllenhaal. Two days after seeing the film, I’m still not sure what it was aiming to be: a scuzzy urban thriller? A dark comedy? A withering social critique in the vein of Network? All of the above? But what it winds up being is nearly two full hours of The Jake Gyllenhaal Show, a movie that would barely exist if not for the feral, ferociously busy performance of its lead. In this particular case, not existing wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.


Read More About Kill To Shoot: "Nightcrawler," "Before I Go To Sleep," "The Best Of Me," "Galapagos 3D: Nature’S Wonderland," And "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden"...


"Women & Children" First: "Men, Women & Children," "The Book of Life," "Meet the Mormons," "The Skeleton Twins," and "Venus in Fur"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-10-19 20:56:45

Rosemarie DeWitt and Adam Sandler in Men, Women & ChildrenMEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN

The single most definitive shot in director/co-writer Jason Reitman’s “Ee-e-eek! The Internet!” melodrama Men, Women & Children is one from the previews, in which Ansel Elgort trudges toward dozens of fellow high-schoolers, all of whom are so fixated on their phones that they can’t see anything, or anyone, directly in front of them.


Read More About "Women & Children" First: "Men, Women & Children," "The Book Of Life," "Meet The Mormons," "The Skeleton Twins," And "Venus In Fur"...


Noir Is the Dullest Color: "Sin City: A Dame to Kill for" and "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-24 22:48:25

Eva Green in Sin City: A Dame to Kill forSIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

Let’s cut to the chase: I don’t like Sin City: A Dame to Kill for. But what I especially don’t like is knowing that I’ll eventually have to watch at least a portion of it again, because the only things I really cared for in this stylized noir were the scenes with Eva Green, and after waking from my brief and unanticipated nap, she was gone from the movie and never returned. What the hell happened to her? And if I was enjoying Green’s performance as much as I thought I was, why did I fall asleep in the first place?


Read More About Noir Is The Dullest Color: "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" And "Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar"...


Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger by the Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," and "Snowpiercer"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-30 19:29:48

Keira Knightley in Begin AgainLike many reviewers who publish year-end recaps featuring top-10 rankings and such, I keep a running list of every new movie I see during the year, arranged in order of preference. (Wow. Seeing it in writing, that seems really anal-retentive. Maybe only I do that.) And after updating this list over the weekend, I scanned my current 10 favorites and thought, “For July, that’s a pretty great lineup.”

Of course, that lineup is only impressive because five of its titles – Life Itself, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Stranger by the Lake, Nymphomaniac: Volume One, and Snowpiercer – are 2014 films I caught on home video and through streaming services. If I only included movies that played at area cineplexes, my top-10-to-date wouldn't look so hot. I mean, sure, Muppets Most Wanted, 22 Jump Street, and Hercules were a lot of fun, but come on ... . Two sequels, both inferior to their predecessors, and Brett Ratner directing The Rock? (With apologies to Dwayne Johnson, who’s actually awesome.) Hell, the new-to-our-area indie musical Begin Again would almost land in my cineplex top 10, and I didn’t even like it that much.


Read More About Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger By The Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," And "Snowpiercer"...





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