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items tagged with dramas

The Blunder Years: "Flipped," "16 to Life," and "Resident Evil: Afterlife"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-09-12 19:47:14

Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe in FlippedFLIPPED

Rob Reiner’s 1986 Stand by Me told us that we’ll never have better, more meaningful friends than the ones we had when we were 12. His new film, Flipped, tells us that we’ll never have better, more meaningful romances than the ones we had when we were 12. It’s touching, if a little sad, that it’s all apparently been downhill for the director since hitting his teen years, but does Reiner’s nostalgic yearning somehow excuse his latest for being so bland, saccharine, and childish? Set just a few years after Reiner’s summer-of-’59 hit, Flipped is like Stand by Me without profanity, dirty jokes, unforced camaraderie, and Kiefer Sutherland. In other words, it’s just a stone’s throw away from utterly excruciating.


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Devilish Fun: "The Last Exorcism," "Get Low," and "Takers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-30 01:09:19

Ashley Bell in The Last ExorcismTHE LAST EXORCISM

For the majority of its length, The Last Exorcism is a hell of a good time. I'd love to say that's because the movie is terrifying, but it isn't, really; the biggest jolt you're likely to experience comes in the first 20 minutes, when a teen unexpectedly hits a car's rear window with a rock. Yet until it goes seriously off the rails in its final third, director Daniel Stamm's low-tech scare flick is clever and engrossing (without being all that gross), and it boasts a protagonist who's something unique for his genre: a funny, friendly sort whom you're still aching to see get what's coming to him.
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Gone to Seed: "The Switch," "Eat Pray Love," and "Nanny McPhee Returns"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-22 21:28:44

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston in The SwitchTHE SWITCH

Since it's a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston that actually doesn't suck, it's temping to overrate The Switch, which opens with Aniston's Kassie preparing to be artificially inseminated, and BFF Wally (Jason Bateman) - who secretly loves her - swapping her sperm donor's donation for one of his own.
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Guess-Who’s Coming to Dinner: "The Kids Are All Right" and "Dinner for Schmucks"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-01 18:25:16

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska, and Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All RightTHE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

In general terms, explaining what director Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right is "about" is a pretty easy task: 18-year-old Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and 15-year-old Laser (Josh Hutcherson) - the children of a contented and devoted lesbian couple (Annette Bening's Nic and Julianne Moore's Jules) - arrange a first meeting with their shared sperm-donor father (Mark Ruffalo's Paul), and through several more meetings, watch as his casually disruptive presence gradually, irrevocably alters their family dynamic. Yet while this is an accurate, if simplified, plot synopsis, it doesn't come remotely close to explaining what this buoyant, original, altogether extraordinary dramatic comedy is actually about.
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’Til Death Threats Do Us Part: "Date Night" and "Letters to God"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-11 19:53:50

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date NightDATE NIGHT

Playing husband and wife in the marital action comedy Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey partner each other with such skillful ease, and radiate such genuine affection for one another, that my issues with the film have come to feel insignificant, and even a little petty. I had a not-bad time at director Shawn Levy's latest. But reflecting on the experience, I've found it awfully difficult to wipe the grin from my face; surrounded by an exceptional cast of second bananas, Carell and Fey are so genial and inventive together that it's easy to ignore the dully synthetic, determinedly formulaic Hollywood product they're appearing in.
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