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items tagged with Dwayne Johnson

Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger by the Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," and "Snowpiercer"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-30 19:29:48

Keira Knightley in Begin AgainLike many reviewers who publish year-end recaps featuring top-10 rankings and such, I keep a running list of every new movie I see during the year, arranged in order of preference. (Wow. Seeing it in writing, that seems really anal-retentive. Maybe only I do that.) And after updating this list over the weekend, I scanned my current 10 favorites and thought, “For July, that’s a pretty great lineup.”

Of course, that lineup is only impressive because five of its titles – Life Itself, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Stranger by the Lake, Nymphomaniac: Volume One, and Snowpiercer – are 2014 films I caught on home video and through streaming services. If I only included movies that played at area cineplexes, my top-10-to-date wouldn't look so hot. I mean, sure, Muppets Most Wanted, 22 Jump Street, and Hercules were a lot of fun, but come on ... . Two sequels, both inferior to their predecessors, and Brett Ratner directing The Rock? (With apologies to Dwayne Johnson, who’s actually awesome.) Hell, the new-to-our-area indie musical Begin Again would almost land in my cineplex top 10, and I didn’t even like it that much.


Read More About Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger By The Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," And "Snowpiercer"...


And a Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes on Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," and "Lucy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-26 22:28:21

Pandas: The Journey HomeFriday, July 25, 12:30 p.m.-ish: I take my seat for the latest big-screen edu-tainment at the Putnam Museum, and can’t imagine a better way to begin my third quadruple feature of the month. For one thing, the movie I’m at is only 40 minutes long, which will shorten my work day considerably. For another, the movie is all about pandas. Pandas! Who doesn’t love pandas? I figure that, at worst, the National Geographic presentation Pandas: The Journey Home will be adorable. So I’ll admit to some more-than-mild surprise when, not 10 minutes into the film, we’re treated to the (tasteful) sight of a female panda being artificially inseminated, right after witnessing the (tasteful) sight of a male panda mating with her. Hmmm, I think. Didn’t see that in Disney’s Bears.


Read More About And A Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes On Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," And "Lucy"...


Meatheads: "Pain & Gain" and "The Big Wedding"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-28 23:04:34

Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie in Pain & GainPAIN & GAIN

In Pain & Gain, the witty, savvy, almost perfectly pitched new release by Michael Bay, Mark Wahlberg plays a dimwitted personal trainer who decides he’d rather steal than pursue the American dream, and – .

Yes, I just used “witty,” “savvy,” and “almost perfectly pitched” to describe a Michael Bay movie. Trust me, you’re not as shocked as I am.


Read More About Meatheads: "Pain & Gain" And "The Big Wedding"...


Gee, I Didn’t Hate "Joe": "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "The Host"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-01 16:52:15

Dwayne Johnson in G.I. Joe: RetaliationG.I. JOE: RETALIATION

If you handed a box of crayons to a group of eight-year-olds with action figures, they’d probably come up with a more entertaining storyline for G.I. Joe: Retaliation than the one we’re stuck with, which is your standard blockbuster nonsense about a megalomaniac’s plan for world dominion and the crack team of well-armed, quip-ready hotshots attempting to thwart him. In a welcome surprise, though, director Jon M. Chu’s follow-up to 2009’s G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra is, unlike its forebear, quite a bit of zippy, throwaway fun, a fast-moving and happily unpretentious diversion with jokes, and good ones, obviously written specifically for viewers well over the age of eight.


Read More About Gee, I Didn’T Hate "Joe": "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" And "The Host"...


The Agony of the Ecstasy: "Snitch" and "Escape from Planet Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-24 17:48:56

Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, and Dwayne Johnson in SnitchSNITCH

As a film star, Dwayne Johnson possesses a lot of gifts – or, at least, sufficiently impressive gifts for what his résumé has required. Though God knows he’s physically intimidating, Johnson is also our most thoroughly genial of ass-kickers, with even his most violent of big-screen endeavors leavened by a welcome lightness of touch and hint of amused self-mockery. And as he has proved in all those bland family entertainments over the years, Johnson still manages to appear game and committed in movies that don’t deserve his considerable charisma, often salvaging entire scenes through unexpectedly silly gestures or readings that show just how inventive a comedian he can be. (I was happy for 10 whole minutes following his brief channeling of co-star Michael Caine in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. They were about the only 10 minutes during the movie in which I was happy.)


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