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items tagged with Drive

“Pines” Soul: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Oblivion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-22 03:15:21

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the PinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

You may not remember this if you’re 25 or younger, but between the mid-’70s and mid-’90s, we were sometimes treated to Very Special Episodes of long-running sitcoms. These episodes, which were usually twice as long as their shows’ 22-minute standard, found beloved characters momentarily wrestling with Weighty Themes and tackling Important Issues, and were frequently showered with critical praise and awards despite, or maybe because of, their general self-consciousness and bloat. (Michael J. Fox and Helen Hunt surely owe several of their Emmys to VSEs.) They’re mocked now, and they were kind of mocked then, and so it might seem like a particularly condescending insult to say that director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines feels like nothing so much as a Very Special Episode of a gritty, edgy indie drama.


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Wizard of Blahs: "Oz the Great & Powerful" and "Dead Man Down"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-03-10 03:08:36

James Franco in Oz the Great & PowerfulOZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL

As numerous effect-heavy entertainments have proved over the years, few film actors, and even fewer good ones, look altogether comfortable performing in wholly pixelated landscapes opposite wholly digitized characters. Yet I’m not sure I’ve seen any star look less connected with his artificial environment than James Franco does in Oz the Great & Powerful, director Sam Raimi’s mega-budgeted and intensely disappointing prequel to The Wizard of Oz.


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Happily Grimm: "Snow White & the Huntsman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-04 02:34:19

Charlize Theron in Snow White & the HuntsmanSNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN

The first words heard in Snow White & the Huntsman are “Once upon a time ... ,” and for the next 125 minutes, the movie unfurls like a malicious, exhilarating fairytale for adults – or a bedtime story for really, really naughty kids. In an age when most screen adaptations of familiar childhood stories quickly descend into camp – either intentionally (Mirror Mirror) or unintentionally (Red Riding Hood) – the intelligence and violence and emotional hunger of debuting director Rupert Sanders’ Snow White saga feel utterly welcome, and even somewhat revolutionary. By the film’s finale (and I presume this isn’t a spoiler), good has triumphed and evil has been vanquished, but the weight of the characters’ horrific experiences hasn’t been forgotten; it’s clear from their serene yet exhausted expressions that while Snow White and her kingdom’s subjects get their Happily Ever After, they’ll more likely be living Happily, Hesitantly, Ever After.


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Sweet and Lowdown: Or, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Mike Schulz’s Favorite Movies of 2011* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2012-01-01 12:01:00

If you will, please permit me a quick public apology before I expound on my 10 favorite movies of this past year:

Sorry, Muppets. If I hadn’t caught that out-of-town flick a week ago, you totally would’ve made the list. (Instead, you top the list of the 150 other 2011 movies I saw.)


Read More About Sweet And Lowdown: Or, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Mike Schulz’S Favorite Movies Of 2011* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)...


Near-Perfect Getaway: “Drive,” “Straw Dogs,” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-19 02:29:40

Ryan Gosling in DriveDRIVE

Drive is the first action thriller I’ve seen in ages in which the chases and threats and killings actually matter. Yet it’s also the first movie I’ve seen in ages, in any genre, in which a kiss actually matters, which is a far greater surprise. Directed by Danish helmer Nicolas Winding Refn, whose work here earned him Best Director laurels at this past spring’s Cannes Film Festival, the film is a sleek, exciting, and unexpectedly affecting tour de force of mood, like what you’d get if the Michael Mann of Manhunter and the David Lynch of Blue Velvet collaborated on a scrappy, grubby B-picture for drive-in audiences. I couldn’t possibly mean that as a higher compliment.


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