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items tagged with dramas

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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My House, My Ruler: "The King's Speech," "Little Fockers," and "Gulliver's Travels"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-30 12:00:00

Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's SpeechTHE KING’S SPEECH

A tony odd-couple comedy in the guise of a historical prestige pic, The King’s Speech boasts a pair of exceptional performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, and is a terrific amount of fun. But am I alone in thinking that its central storyline is the least interesting thing about it?


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En Pointe, on Edge: "Black Swan" and "The Fighter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-20 00:02:21

Natalie Portman in Black SwanBLACK SWAN

In director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, the first words we hear are uttered by professional ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), who tells her mother, “I had the craziest dream last night.” And for the next 105 minutes, the movie unfurls like a crazy dream itself – a crazy, fascinating, terrifying, exhilarating dream that you have no desire to wake from. You can label the film a psychological drama, or a hallucinogenic thriller, or an art-house horror flick, and each would be appropriate. But none of those tags really hints at how much delectable fun Black Swan is. As with a dream that you want to return to the moment you wake up, you want to experience the intoxicating, rapturous weirdness of Aronofsky’s vision all over again the minute the end credits start to roll.


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Secret Agent Woman: "Fair Game" and "The Warrior's Way"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-05 19:03:54

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Fair GameFAIR GAME

Presuming that it might not open locally, I caught director Doug Liman’s Fair Game – in which Naomi Watts plays outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, and Sean Penn plays Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson – in Chicagoland on Thanksgiving night. I thought the movie was intelligent and intensely well acted, but still didn’t feel much toward it, and with so many of the film’s characters arguing over events that, by 2010, have become old (if still infuriating) news, my eyelids grew droopy during a few scenes too many.


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