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items tagged with Ellie Kemper

Mike and the Bearable, Horrible, Not-Good, Fairly Bad Day – Notes on Another Quadruple Feature: "Planes: Fire & Rescue," "Persecuted," "Sex Tape," and "The Purge: Anarchy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-20 13:44:48

Planes: Fire & RescueFriday, July 18, 10:30 a.m.-ish: My 3D glasses in place, I prepare to watch the animated sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue with surprisingly vivid memories of its precursor, probably because it was released a mere 11 months ago. I’m really hoping that, this time around, director Roberts Gannaway’s tale of anthropomorphic vehicles with bulging eyes and recognizable celebrity voices won’t remind me of Pixar’s Cars every three minutes, and happily, it doesn’t. Instead, I’m frequently reminded of the astronaut epic The Right Stuff, which is a much cooler movie to pilfer from.


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Magic / Mike: Schulz’s 10(-Plus) Most Enjoyable Movies of 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-01-07 16:15:13

It’s incomplete, with such 2012 releases as Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Rust & Bone, Arbitrage, The Intouchables, Not Fade Away, and Here Comes the Boom (ha ha!) still requiring my viewing. And it’s certainly eclectic, as even I can’t fathom a double feature of titles number one and two below. But in an all-around outstanding year for movies, the following ranking of 10 selections – with a bonus inclusion – is, as of January 6, my list of the absolute best times I had as a film fanatic this past year.


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Getting High School: "21 Jump Street" and "Casa de Mi Padre"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-03-20 18:14:50

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street21 JUMP STREET

As an undercover police officer who, in 21 Jump Street, can say to his platonic partner “I cherish you, man” in a way that’s both hysterical and intensely touching, Jonah Hill possesses a rare gift for completely unembarrassed sincerity. By now, it should go without saying that Hill is a sensational verbal comedian and a fearless physical one. But as in his bro-mantic scenes opposite Michael Cera in Superbad, the actor brings to this action comedy something few others would think to: absolute honesty and emotional transparency. Hill is funny as hell here, but his character is never a joke.

Yet the delightful shock of this parody of and homage to the late-’80s TV drama – a series that famously cast Johnny Depp as a pretty-boy cop who infiltrates schools and youth hangouts disguised as a student – is that Hill’s co-star actually matches him in earnestness and hilarity, and his name is Channing Tatum.


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Single Wiped Female: “Bridesmaids,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Priest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 00:07:46

Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig in BridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS

You wouldn’t necessarily think that exhaustion and depression would be fertile subjects for a big-screen slapstick – at least, for a big-screen slapstick that didn’t star Paul Giamatti. Yet in director Paul Feig’s buoyant and brainy Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig plays a sad, discouraged, frequently humiliated maid of honor with such inventiveness and style that she seems to be creating a new comic archetype right before your eyes. Hiding her misery behind a thinly veiled mask of courtesy and good cheer, and letting her anger and resentment spill out in sarcastic asides and messy, chaotic bursts, Wiig’s Annie – like many of the brilliantly talented performer’s most memorable characters – is a singular creation. And so, too, is Bridesmaids, a female-driven Judd Apatow comedy (he’s a co-producer) with the rare distinction of being smarter than it is funny, though it’s still plenty funny.


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