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items tagged with Documentaries

Happy, Grumpy, Dopey, Sleepy, Sleazy, Blissful, and Dog: Notes on Seven Movies in Two Days
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-08 08:30:39

Hollywood, in its infinite wisdom, chose to open a whopping seven wide releases this past Friday, and since the market apparently wasn't glutted enough, also expanded distribution of the Ed Harris western Appaloosa from 14 theatres to 1,045. As business strategies go, this one was a bit of a head-scratcher, but it was refreshing to see a weekend when there truly was something new for everyone - the only people screwed in the deal, it seems, were movie critics without access to press previews.

Oh hey, that's me!


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Native American Splendor: "Lost Nation: The Ioway," by Kelly and Tammy Rundle, on DVD October 7
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-01 08:18:32

Lost Nation: The Ioway

LOST NATION: THE IOWAY

Last October, Moline-based filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle debuted their documentary Lost Nation: The Ioway, a 53-minute exploration of the Native Americans for whom the state of Iowa was named. And if you were one of the lucky ones who saw this Fourth Wall Films production at its October 11 premiere in Des Moines, its October 21 engagement at the Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre, or its subsequent screenings throughout the Midwest, you likely already know that it's something special - a fantastically informative, beautifully constructed, and (not for nothing) thoroughly enjoyable piece of work.


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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"Aloha!" "Oy!": "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "88 Minutes," and "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-04-23 08:07:56

Mila Kunis and Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah MarshallFORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL

Director Nicholas Stoller's Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a happy movie about misery, but during its first half hour or so, the film's rhythms are so unusual that you might not be sure what it is.


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Gross Anatomy: "The Ruins," "Leatherheads," "Nim's Island," and "Shine a Light"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-04-09 08:00:44

Jena Malone and Laura Ramsey in The RuinsTHE RUINS

I caught The Ruins during a minimally populated Saturday-afternoon screening, so I pray that a larger, rowdier audience laughed like mad when our surgeon-to-be hero (the hilariously stalwart Jonathan Tucker) surmised the deadly situation he and his friends were in and barked, with absolute earnestness, "Four Americans on vacation don't just disappear!"

That poor, dumb kid. Never saw a horror movie.


Read More About Gross Anatomy: "The Ruins," "Leatherheads," "Nim's Island," And "Shine A Light"...





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