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items tagged with dramas

"Girls" Power: “Dreamgirls” and “The Good Shepherd”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-03 08:19:12

Anika Noni Rose, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Hudson in DreamgirlsDREAMGIRLS

You may have heard that, in the middle of Bill Condon's Dreamgirls, former American Idol belter Jennifer Hudson lets loose with a power ballad that has the audience cheering and applauding at its finish. If the screening I attended is any indication, this rumor is untrue. The audience cheers and applauds the number way before Hudson's finale. And no one in their right mind could blame them.


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It’s Cryin’ Time: "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Charlotte's Web"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-12-20 08:17:53

Jaden and Will Smith in The Pursuit of HappynessTHE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS and CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A few days ago, in preparation for my forthcoming year-end recap, I was perusing the list of movies I've caught in 2006, and among my favorite cineplex offerings, I noticed several rather surprising themes. Very few family-friendly works, and none that were animated, despite the release of what felt like a new one every other week. An unusual preponderance of sequels and remakes. And, oddly, almost no works that really got to me emotionally - very few that made me cry.


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Manger Danger: “The Nativity Story,” “Bobby,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-12-06 08:23:37

Keisha Castle-Hughes in The Nativity StoryTHE NATIVITY STORY

After more than an hour of noble attempts and unfortunate - though unembarrassing - failings, director Catherine Harwicke, in her biblical tale of The Nativity Story, finally lands upon the style she appears to have been aiming for all along. Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) has just given birth to Jesus, and as she lies in the manger alongside her husband, Joseph (Oscar Isaac), a blinding shaft of light descends from the heavens and lands directly on the holy family, creating a tableaux that is at once instantly familiar and freshly moving.


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Be Our Guest: “For Your Consideration,” “The Queen,” “Casino Royale,” and “Happy Feet”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-29 09:02:56

Christopher Moynihan, Harry Shearer, Catherine O'Hara, and Parker Posey in For Your ConsiderationFOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

I love Christopher Guest's improvisational comedies with a passion bordering on mania, and he and co-scenarist Eugene Levy have been wonderfully consistent about treating fans to a new one every three years; 1997's Waiting for Guffman led to 2000's Best in Show and 2003's peerless A Mighty Wind. Now we have For Your Consideration, a skewering of the annual Oscar-derby madness, and I couldn't have been more excited about seeing it. So why, despite its many, many great moments, does reflecting on the director's latest leave me feeling disappointed, and a little depressed?


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Culture Clashes: “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” and “Babel”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-15 08:17:25

Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of KazakhstanBORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

How could any film live up to the hype that preceded Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan? Even before the movie's national release - which occurred a week before its appearance in our area - everyone, it seems, was abuzz. Borat made early splashes at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, critics were searching high and low for superlatives, and for its October 20 issue, Entertainment Weekly put star Sacha Baron Cohen on the cover, accompanied by the teaser "Has this man made the funniest movie ever, or simply the most outrageous, offensive one?" Following Borat's opening weekend, box-office records were shattered while the displeasure of many - Kazakh officials, the Anti-Defamation League, a pair of litigious frat guys - was duly recorded, and by the time it opened here on Friday, desire to see the movie was replaced by desire to be in on the event. Could this 85-minute, low-budget endeavor possibly be as great as our expectations of it?

Well, it is and it isn't.


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