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items tagged with dramas

Fuzzy and Furry: "Ted 2" and "Max"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-06-29 02:30:27

Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane-ish in Ted 2TED 2

Every fan of Family Guy knows that when he wants to, Seth MacFarlane can be really offensive. (I am in no way a fan of Family Guy, and even I know that.) But the biggest problem with MacFarlane’s Ted 2 – which is likely to at least occasionally infuriate anyone who isn’t a white, straight alpha-bro – isn’t that it’s offensive; it’s that it’s too often sincere. This is a movie in which Morgan Freeman, as a benevolent civil-rights attorney, invokes the 16th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation when arguing for the rights of a talking teddy bear, with the scene’s moved onlookers and swelling score matching him in earnestness and integrity. My audience, meanwhile, watched and listened to Freeman’s impassioned oration in what felt like stunned silence. Can MacFarlane possibly be serious about this – that his foul-mouthed teddy’s rights are equal to those of hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised human beings? And if he’s not serious, why isn’t this scene in any way funny?
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Life’s a Beach, Then You Get Meds: "Love & Mercy" and "Dope"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-06-21 01:07:38

Paul Dano in Love & MercyLOVE & MERCY

Receiving a wide national release on the same weekend as Inside Out’s debut, director Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy is also an exploration of the brain – specifically, the brain of Beach Boys wunderkind Brian Wilson, alternately portrayed by Paul Dano (during the film’s Pet Sounds-era 1960s sequences) and John Cusack (during Wilson’s heavily-, and incorrectly-, medicated period in the late 1980s). And rather astonishingly for a work of its type, it boasts numerous scenes in which it really, truly feels like we’re allowed to roam around in a legendary musician’s head, feeling what he feels and, even more importantly, hearing what he hears.


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Off-Key: "Pitch Perfect 2" and "Where Hope Grows"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-05-17 17:28:41

Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Kendrick, and Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect 2PITCH PERFECT 2

Pitch Perfect 2 opens strongly, with the peerlessly funny Elizabeth Banks (who also directed the film) and John Michael Higgins performing an a cappella rendition of the Universal Pictures theme song and launching into the hilariously bitchy byplay that made their vocal-contest judges among Pitch Perfect’s many highlights. And while it’s true that this musical-comedy follow-up, like director Jason Moore’s 2012 predecessor, is set in the world of collegiate a cappella groups – and specifically the world of Anna Kendrick’s fledgling mash-up artist Beca – it’s more accurately set atop a steep precipice. Because although it starts promisingly, as the saying goes, it’s all downhill from there.


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Feminine Protection: "Hot Pursuit" and "Clouds of Sils Maria"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-05-11 01:41:23

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon in Hot PursuitHOT PURSUIT

All movies provide at least one reason to feel grateful, because even the worst movies eventually, mercifully end. Director Anne Fletcher’s action comedy Hot Pursuit provides exactly one reason to feel grateful.


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The Crash of 29: “The Age of Adaline," "Little Boy," and "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-04-26 21:54:06

Michiel Huisman and Blake Lively in The Age of AdalineTHE AGE OF ADALINE

In director Lee Toland Krieger’s The Age of Adaline, Blake Lively plays a 29-year-old who, following a supernatural accident involving a car crash and a bolt of lightning, goes through life never again aging a day, and 82-year-old Ellen Burstyn plays her daughter. You may recall that Burstyn also recently portrayed Matthew McConaughey’s elderly daughter in Interstellar. If this is the continuation of a trend for the magnificent actress, I’m really hoping she keeps acting for another decade or more, because I’m dying to eventually see her cast as the great-grand-niece to that adorable little girl on Modern Family.


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