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items tagged with dramas

Cirque du Soulful: "Water for Elephants," "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family," "Rio," and "African Cats"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-24 04:27:54

Robert Pattinson in Water for ElephantsWATER FOR ELEPHANTS

After his where’s-my-paycheck? turn in The Green Hornet, I was mildly concerned that, following his Oscar-winning Inglourious Basterds portrayal, Christoph Waltz might be resigned to a career of forever playing Euro-trashy über-villains in Hollywood action dreck. With director Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants, though – a Depression-era romance based on Sara Gruen’s beloved novel – my fears have proved unfounded. As the egomaniacal, possibly sociopathic owner and ringleader of a second-tier traveling circus, enraged by the blossoming affections between his star-performer wife (Reese Witherspoon) and the troupe’s young veterinarian (Robert Pattinson), Waltz is every bit as mesmerizing – charming, unpredictable, terrifying – as he was in Quentin Tarantino’s World War II opus. Yet fantastic though he is, Waltz’s talents here aren’t a shock. The bigger surprise is that the movie itself is so bloody marvelous.


Read More About Cirque Du Soulful: "Water For Elephants," "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family," "Rio," And "African Cats"...


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.


Read More About A-Stabbin' The Dorks: "Scream 4," "The Conspirator," "Soul Surfer," And "Your Highness"...


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.


Read More About Hare, Hare!: “Rabbit Hole,” “Sanctum,” “The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti,” And “The Roommate”...


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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