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items tagged with Dwayne Johnson

The Family That Slays Together... : "The Last House on the Left," "Miss March," and "Race to Witch Mountain"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-16 12:49:10

Martha MacIsaac in The Last House on the Left

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

Seven weeks into its release, the ludicrous, laughable Taken is still in the top five at the box office, and it wasn't until seeing The Last House on the Left that I had a theory as to why: One should never underestimate the cinematic appeal of watching Daddy beat the crap out of his kid's assailants. It's doubtful that director Dennis Iliadis' remake of Wes Craven's grimy 1972 horror show will attract Taken-size crowds, but it, too, frames its nightmare around a brutalized teenage girl whose survival depends on the ass-kicking resourcefulness of her vengeful father (with her mother lending a hand, and a knife, for good measure). The difference between the movies, though, is that The Last House on the Left is actually a pretty good one.


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86ed: "Get Smart" and "The Love Guru"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-06-25 08:18:23

Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell in Get SmartGET SMART

I can only imagine the business conversation that led to remaking TV's Get Smart as a big-budget summertime blockbuster. But I'm guessing it went something like this: "Let's remake TV's Get Smart as a big-budget summertime blockbuster!" "Okay! Let's!"


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Between The Rock and a Heart Place: "The Jane Austen Book Club" and "The Game Plan:"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-10 08:11:54

Maria Bello and Hugh Dancy in The Jane Austen Book ClubTHE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB and THE GAME PLAN

On their surfaces, The Jane Austen Book Club and The Game Plan would seem to have nothing in common. One's a dramatic-sitcom wherein a sextet of bibliophiles dissect a noted author's works and unintentionally enact her plotlines; the other's a Disney slapstick wherein an adorable moppet teaches fatherhood lessons to a professional quarterback. (No points for guessing which film is which.)


Read More About Between The Rock And A Heart Place: "The Jane Austen Book Club" And "The Game Plan:"...


A Lighter Shade of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” and “The Protector”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:34:58

Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett in The Black DahliaTHE BLACK DAHLIA

The opening sequence of Brian De Palma's L.A. noir The Black Dahlia is so busily choreographed that, at first, you think it has to be some sort of put-on. A melee involving a street full of cops and sailors in downtown Los Angeles circa 1946, the balletic, slow-motion punching and flailing is orchestrated within an inch of its life; nothing about it seems real, but it's so dazzlingly executed that you hardly care. But with Josh Hartnett's ersatz tough-guy narration droning away, it quickly becomes clear that the scene isn't meant to be funny. It isn't comedy that De Palma's going after here but stylization, and as The Black Dahlia progresses, it's obvious that the director doesn't have the cast or screenwriter required to give his baroque touches a context. A few nastily enjoyable moments aside, the film is dour, dull, and confusing, enlivened only by a few zesty supporting portrayals and whatever directorial wit De Palma can bring to it.


Read More About A Lighter Shade Of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” And “The Protector”...





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