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items tagged with dramas

A-Stabbin' the Dorks: "Scream 4," "The Conspirator," "Soul Surfer," and "Your Highness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-18 17:44:08

Neve Campbell in Scream 4SCREAM 4

Directed, as all of the franchise’s outings have been, by Wes Craven, and written by Kevin Williamson, Scream 4 is a sequel, a reboot, and a big middle finger to reboots, all in one bloody, meta, mostly tedious package. It opens beautifully and features a bunch of (mostly verbal) horror-comedy pleasures, yet its overall effect is wearying; Craven and Williamson are so focused on deconstructing the genre – the Scream series in particular – for a media-soaked, hipper-than-thou young audience that even its “surprises” are in quotation marks. Watching Scream 4 is like watching a movie with its commentary track running before you’ve had a chance to experience the film without it.


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Hare, Hare!: “Rabbit Hole,” “Sanctum,” “The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti,” and “The Roommate”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-02-06 22:04:59

Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit HoleRABBIT HOLE

John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, which stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a married couple coping with the loss of their four-year-old son, is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire, and there’s probably not much reason for the film to exist. Happily, though, it appears that nobody brought that to the director’s or the author’s attention, because as unnecessary movies go, Rabbit Hole is a mostly exemplary one – a stagey yet emotionally incisive, ultimately cathartic experience blessed with the sort of powerhouse cast that could never be assembled, in full, on a stage.


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Out on a Limb: "127 Hours" and "The Rite"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-30 22:23:03

James Franco in 127 Hours127 HOURS

At my first screening of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours (which I initially caught in Chicagoland over Thanksgiving weekend), I was immediately knocked out by how vibrantly entertaining it was – hardly a fait accompli when a movie climaxes with a bloody act of self-amputation.


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Booty Texts: “No Strings Attached” and “The Way Back”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-23 20:35:41

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings AttachedNO STRINGS ATTACHED

Against all expectations, at least my expectations, director Ivan Reitman’s No Strings Attached is a perfectly enjoyable piece of midwinter fluff, engaging and breezy and of no consequence whatsoever. Yet I’ll admit to being somewhat shocked when, two days after seeing it, I replayed the notes I quietly recorded during my screening, and discovered that I didn’t whisper even one criticism or complaint in the whole of its 105 minutes, which is a claim I can’t even make about The Social Network.

Then again, the movie is a formulaic romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, so I suppose the complaints do take care of themselves.


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The Plague Is the Thing: “Season of the Witch” and “Country Strong”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-09 21:49:11

Nicolas Cage in Season of the WitchSEASON OF THE WITCH

For one of my New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d attempt a pretty tough one: To not accidentally (or intentionally) doze off during any 2011 movies. Mind you, this isn’t something I do at a lot of screenings – a Skyline here, a Speed Racer there. But falling asleep at the cineplex is, for me, rather like snoozing while in your office cubicle; it seems the least I can do during a stretch of daytime work is stay conscious. And as a test for my new resolve, what trickier challenge could I have asked for than the very first 2011 feature out of the gate: Season of the Witch?


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