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items tagged with Elizabeth Banks

Continental Divide: "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," "Soul Men," and "Role Models"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-12 08:05:32

Madagascar: Escape 2 AfricaMADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA

Dreamworks' animated hit Madagascar concerned a group of Central Park Zoo denizens who, en route to Africa, find themselves stranded on the island of the film's title, and ended with the citified animals forcibly, though not unhappily, taking residence in their newfound environs. Not having seen Madagascar since its 2005 release, I'll admit that I had to look up this last bit of information before catching Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. And if and when there's a Madagascar 3, I'll no doubt have to look up the details on its predecessor, because a mere two days after attending this sequel, I've already forgotten nearly everything about it.


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The Weak in Review: "Changeling," "RocknRolla," "Zack & Miri," and "The Haunting of Molly Hartley"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-05 08:29:31

Angelina Jolie in ChangelingCHANGELING

Clint Eastwood's Changeling finds John Malkovich giving a thoughtful, restrained performance as a righteous pastor, and Michael Kelly giving an exceptional one as a dogged detective. Oh, and the period design for the film's 1928 Los Angeles setting is quite good. Having gotten that out of the way, the rest of the movie is so awful - so maddeningly phony and contrived - that I wanted to hurl things at the screen.


Read More About The Weak In Review: "Changeling," "RocknRolla," "Zack & Miri," And "The Haunting Of Molly Hartley"...


Meet the Prez: “W.”, “The Express,” and “Max Payne”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-22 08:17:04

Josh Brolin in W.W.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of movie Oliver Stone's W. is trying to be, but that just makes it easier to appreciate it for what it is: A terrifically entertaining political comedy (with tragic undertones) that plays a bit like a sequel to Hal Ashby's 1979 Being There, in which a series of borderline-ludicrous circumstances find a friendly, well-meaning simpleton elected commander-in-chief. Now what?


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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Are You My Mother?: "Definitely, Maybe," "The Spiderwick Chronicles," and "Jumper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-02-20 08:36:25

Rachel Weisz and Ryan Reynolds in Definitely, MaybeDEFINITELY, MAYBE

If anyone's keeping track, writer-director Adam Brooks' Definitely, Maybe is the third romantic comedy of 2008 to climax with its protagonist taking a hasty cab ride to an inevitable romantic clinch and subsequent Happily Ever After. And that's about the only conventional element in it. I'm a little staggered by just how wonderful this movie is, as nothing about the film, from its cutesy setup to the presence of leading actor Ryan Reynolds, appeared to suggest anything more than the latest spin on a tireless (and, by now, tiresome) genre. Yet Definitely, Maybe is sensational, so smart and witty and refreshingly grown-up that, hours after seeing it, you may still find yourself in a great mood; the only times I stopped smiling at the movie were when I was laughing out loud.


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