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items tagged with dramas

Play the Music! Light the Lights!: "The Muppets" and "Hugo"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-11-28 14:22:42

Amy Adams, Jason Segel, and The MuppetsTHE MUPPETS

I adored nearly every minute of the big-screen reunion The Muppets, the musical-comedy brainchild of screenwriters Jason Segel (who also co-stars) and Nicholas Stoller. But before commencing with the rave, I should probably offer a caveat, because I can barely imagine the conditions under which I wouldn’t have adored this movie.


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Secrets and Lies: “J. Edgar,” “Immortals,” and “Jack & Jill”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-11-13 19:56:39

Armie Hammer and Leonardo DiCaprio in J. EdgarJ. EDGAR

Pretty much everything that’s bothersome about director Clint Eastwood’s biographical drama J. Edgar is only bothersome for the movie’s first half hour. That may sound like a lot of time spent bothered. But the film does run 135 minutes, even its weakest moments are by no means awful, and in the end, it emerges as a really fine work with a really fine central performance. So as a nod to J. Edgar (the movie, not the man), let's just get it out of the way and address its failings at the start.


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Bard None: “Anonymous” and “The Way”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-11-06 20:24:36

Vanessa Redgrave and Rhys Ifans in AnonymousANONYMOUS

Heaven knows that no one goes to a film by the director of Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 B.C., and 2012 for the cinéma vérité. But how are thinking audiences supposed to react to Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, a tale of Machiavellian intrigue so sincere about its high-minded yet ludicrously silly drivel that one has little choice but to snicker at it?


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Primary Concern: "The Ides of March," "Real Steel," and "Courageous"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-09 21:02:46

Philip Seymour Hoffman and George Clooney in The Ides of MarchTHE IDES OF MARCH

Audiences demanding insight, or even much depth, from director George Clooney’s The Ides of March will no doubt leave the film disappointed – unless, that is, the revelation that political candidates and their staffers routinely lie and spin and backstab strikes any of those viewers as a newsflash. Yet if you enter this tale of Machiavellian (and, as its title suggests, Shakespearean) intrigue not expecting trenchant analysis so much as a good, gripping yarn supremely well-told, you’re in for a major treat. Smart and fast and gratifyingly vicious, Clooney’s latest is a drama that plays like a thriller, and it’s full-to-brimming with sequences you want to watch over and over again; for those conversant in West Wing-ese, the movie suggests a juicy episode of Aaron Sorkin’s TV series if every character in it was played by Ron Silver.


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Given Half a Chance: “50/50,” “What’s Your Number?”, “Dream House,” and “Dolphin Tale”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-02 19:17:46

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in 50/5050/50

Director Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man afflicted with a rare form of spinal cancer, and Seth Rogen as his loud, loutish, perpetually stoned best friend. Consequently, I expected the film’s title and my chances of actually enjoying the movie to be one and the same. It’s always great seeing Gordon-Levitt onscreen, but is there anyone left who isn’t longing for a break from Rogen’s braying, one-note shtick, even if, as he is here, the man isn’t just presumably but damn near literally playing himself? (50/50’s script is loosely autobiographical, and Rogen and author Will Reiser are real-life pals and frequent writing partners.)


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