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items tagged with Documentaries

Bridges Over Troubled Waters: “Crazy Heart,” “An Education,” “From Paris with Love,” and “Australia: Land Beyond Time”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-08 14:47:00

Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy HeartCRAZY HEART

Writer/director Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart is a character drama of gentle, lulling rhythms -- so lulling, in truth, that I momentarily dozed off halfway through the film. But I'm pretty sure that I was smiling as I slept, because the steady, deliberate pacing feels just right for the tale Cooper's telling, and because star Jeff Bridges is so masterfully assured as down-and-out country singer Bad Blake that he leaves you in a state of utter, unadulterated happiness and calm. (The actor might almost be saying, "Go ahead and nap. I'll be here when you wake up.") There may have been more exciting screen performances amidst 2009's releases, but possibly none as thoughtful, lived-in, and moving as Bridges'; in his hands, a role that easily could've been a one-note conceit is nothing short of symphonic.


Read More About Bridges Over Troubled Waters: “Crazy Heart,” “An Education,” “From Paris With Love,” And “Australia: Land Beyond Time”...


Fangs, but No Fangs: “Daybreakers,” “Youth in Revolt,” “The Young Victoria,” and “Wild Ocean 3-D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-01-11 12:00:00

Ethan Hawke in DaybreakersDAYBREAKERS

There are probably perfectly valid reasons that I'm unaware of, but for all the wonders that CGI effects have delivered over the years, why is it so hard to produce a decent fireball?


Read More About Fangs, But No Fangs: “Daybreakers,” “Youth In Revolt,” “The Young Victoria,” And “Wild Ocean 3-D”...


The Pop of the King: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Astro Boy,” and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-01 18:57:10

Michael Jackson's This Is ItMICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT

For a film that seemed to have "commercial exploitation" written all over it, Michael Jackson's This Is It is an intensely loving and even indispensable piece of work -- a joyous celebration of performance drive, hard work, and a fearsome amount of skill. Culled from roughly 100 hours of rehearsal footage from the late star's planned concert tour, director Kenny Oretga's behind-the-scenes account doesn't offer much in the way of insight, nor is it meant to. Yet it's still a first-rate spectacle that, at times, provides an almost ridiculous amount of pleasure; somehow, miraculously, Ortega and his editors have shaped their footage into a documentary that boasts the kineticism, excitement, and boundless ebullience of a kick-ass movie musical.


Read More About The Pop Of The King: “Michael Jackson’S This Is It,” “Astro Boy,” And “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’S Assistant”...


Pilot Lite: “Amelia,” “Saw VI,” “Law-Abiding Citizen,” and “Good Hair”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-25 21:39:21

Hilary Swank and Richard Gere in AmeliaAMELIA

As barrier-breaking aviatrix Amelia Earhart in director Mira Nair's Amelia, Hilary Swank is stylized yet approachable - exactly the kind of down-to-earth, pre-feminist spitfire that a squarely reverential bio-pic calls for. Her Katharine Hepburn cadences take some getting used to, but Swank charges through her scenes with natural authority and winning gumption, and when she smiles, the whole of Earhart's glorious aerial experiences seems to shine through her toothy grin. It's a lovely, sincere Earhart impression, and might've really been something if the actress wasn't being continually undermined by the direction, the script, the score, and most of her co-stars.


Read More About Pilot Lite: “Amelia,” “Saw VI,” “Law-Abiding Citizen,” And “Good Hair”...


Beach Bums: "Couples Retreat," "Van Gogh: Brush with Genius," and "Anvil! The Story of Anvil"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-11 21:32:57

Carlos Ponce, Vince Vaughn, and Malin Akerman in Couples RetreatCOUPLES RETREAT

The trouble-in-paradise comedy Couples Retreat may be criminally inane, yet you can't say that co-writers/co-stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau aren't smart as tacks. Together with collaborator Dana Fox, they scripted a breathtakingly lazy and insipid vehicle that guaranteed them a two-month vacation on locales in Bora Bora and Tahiti, and somehow convinced Universal Pictures to pick up the tab. How ever did they do it? And how can we ensure that they never, ever do it again?


Read More About Beach Bums: "Couples Retreat," "Van Gogh: Brush With Genius," And "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil"...





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