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items tagged with dramas

Airport '14: "Non-Stop" and "Son of God"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-03-01 19:02:44

Liam Neeson in Non-StopNON-STOP

Every Academy Awards season, the idea of adding a Best Casting category appears to gain some traction among film journalists and professionals. (This past autumn saw the limited release of a documentary – Tom Donahue’s Casting by – devoted to the subject, and Woody Allen, whom one would’ve thought indifferent to the Oscars at best, even wrote an open letter to the Hollywood Reporter in support of a casting trophy.) I’m personally fine with restricting the ceremony to the two dozen categories we do have, but if such recognition were to be included, voters could do worse than to consider Amanda Mackey and Cathy Sandrich Galfond – casting directors for the enjoyably ludicrous Non-Stop – for the prize. To be sure, it doesn’t take much wit to suggest that Liam Neeson play a grieving alcoholic with a bad temper and a gun. But casting, as two beleaguered flight attendants, 12 Years a Slave’s abused slave Patsey opposite Downton Abbey’s rigid Lady Mary? Now that’s witty.


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There’s a Hole in Your Vessel, Dear Redford, Dear Redford … : "All Is Lost" and "That Awkward Moment"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-02 21:13:59

Robert Redford in All Is LostALL IS LOST

Continuing to earn cool points following their November booking of Enough Said – a marvelous movie that finally landed in our area several months after its initial national release – schedulers for Moline’s Nova 6 Cinemas have done it again with the booking of All Is Lost, another critically acclaimed title that managed to bypass the Quad Cities’ first-run cineplexes. And given the overall strength of writer/director J.C. Chandor’s achievement, I couldn’t be happier about its arrival, late though it may be. (Not too late, however, for those of us wanting to catch as many Oscar-nominated films as possible prior to the March 2 ceremony. Chandor’s follow-up to 2011’s exquisite Margin Call – which also made its local debut at Nova 6 – is nominated for Best Sound Editing.) You may have heard about the film: It’s the one in which a lone sailor played by Robert Redford has to contend with a slowly sinking ship while adrift in the Indian Ocean, and with the exception of roughly 50 words, it’s as lacking in dialogue as The Artist. It’s also, for the majority of its 100 minutes, both wrenching and exhilarating.


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Plains Spoken: "Nebraska," "Gimme Shelter," and "I, Frankenstein"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-26 23:52:43

Will Forte and Bruce Dern in NebraskaNEBRASKA

After opening nationally (in larger markets) in November, Alexander Payne’s comic elegy Nebraska – nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Director – finally hit Quad Cities cineplexes this past weekend. I actually saw the film in Chicagoland over the holidays, and ordinarily, when preparing to review a film I first viewed a month prior, I’d take in a second screening to reacquaint myself with the images, dialogue, and performances. But I didn’t with Payne’s latest. I took in a second screening just for the sheer pleasure of the experience. Memories of Nebraska’s marvelous images, dialogue, and performances, thank you very much, were still wonderfully fresh.


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O Christmas Three, O Christmas Three ... : "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," and "Grudge Match"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-30 02:16:09

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter MittyTHE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, and GRUDGE MATCH

With apologies to Keanu Reeves fans and the true Beliebers among you, I still haven’t gotten around to 47 Ronin or Justin Bieber’s Believe. (In the case of the latter, I’m not sure I ever will, although stranger things have happened, I guess ... .) But among the numerous titles that opened opposite The Wolf of Wall Street on Christmas Day, I did manage to catch a few of ’em ... .


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The Fraudulent World of Disney: "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Walking with Dinosaurs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-22 21:39:01

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. BanksSAVING MR. BANKS

Saving Mr. Banks concerns the efforts of the crinkly-eyed Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) in getting the persnickety, Hollywood-averse British author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to sign over the book rights to Mary Poppins. (Spoiler Alert: He does.) And as it’s a Disney movie about a Disney movie with Disney products and Disney people – including Uncle Walt himself – popping up nearly every time you blink, the cynic in me resisted director John Lee Hancock’s dramatic comedy for as long as humanly possible. Then Thompson’s seemingly impenetrable Travers broke down while watching the Banks family sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” at Mary Poppins’ first public screening, and I was a goner. Aw crap, I thought while wiping away tears. Two more minutes and I would’ve been fine.


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