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items tagged with Emily Blunt

Ridley’s Believe It or Not: "The Martian" and "Sicario"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-10-03 22:01:02

Matt Damon in The MartianTHE MARTIAN

If you, too, are a devotee of Ridley Scott’s Alien, you’ll no doubt remember how its title came into view during the opening credits: as a series of vertical, diagonal, and horizontal white lines that slowly appeared, beginning with the “I,” one or two at a time until the capitalized “ALIEN” was wholly spelled out. Thirty-six years later, the title for Scott’s sci-fi tale The Martian is revealed in the exact opposite manner: as a full, capitalized “THE MARTIAN” that gradually fades away, one portion at a time, until only the “I” remains.

Obviously, that disappearing act is a decidedly minor touch, especially in a film that runs just shy of two-and-a-half hours. But it might also be Scott’s most quietly clever touch, and not merely because The Martian’s chief narrative concerns an “I” that winds up left all alone. By offering a literal reverse of his 1979 achievement’s opener, Scott seems to be suggesting, with an wink, that his new endeavor will be 180 degrees removed from the claustrophobic, stomach-bursting horror of Alien, and that proves decidedly to be the case. While this adaptation of Andy Weir’s bestseller (with its script by Drew Goddard) does share some of Alien’s themes, principally the life-and-death imperatives behind deep-space problem-solving, Scott’s latest is expansive instead of spare, chatty instead of terse, heartening instead of nihilistic. It’s also, far and away, and from beginning to end, the most sheerly likable movie Ridley Scott has yet made – an exciting, moving, and altogether glorious sci-fi bear hug that leaves you feeling almost ridiculously happy. Given a career that’s found him exploring every conceivable shade of dark, it turns out that Scott looks pretty great in the light.
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Into the Weeds: "Into the Woods" and "The Homesman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-29 01:06:33

Emily Blunt and James Corden in Into the WoodsINTO THE WOODS

Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” – lyrics from Into the Woods

 

Like a lot of stage-musical fans, I’ve been wishing – patiently but eagerly for more than 25 years now – for a film version of Stephen Sondheim’s modern classic Into the Woods. Now, thanks to Sondheim, original book and screenplay author James Lapine, director Rob Marshall, and the fairytale-happy folks at Disney, we have one.

So here’s the good news: Barring some minor changes, the movie is incredibly faithful to the show’s stage roots. But here’s the bad news: It’s so faithful that it’s under-imagined and kind of suffocating. And here’s the worst news: It isn’t much fun.


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The Kids Aren’t All Right: "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Edge of Tomorrow"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-06-08 20:53:27

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our StarsTHE FAULT IN OUR STARS

The first words heard in the romantic tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars come from Shailene Woodley’s cancer-stricken teen Hazel, who tells us, in voice-over narration, that Hollywood movies are never honest in their depiction of sad stories, and promises that when it comes to the sad story she’s about to relate, “This is the truth.” And in retrospect, the film lost me with those four little words, because almost nothing that happened over the next two-plus hours felt even close to true.


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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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Time Warped: "Looper," "Pitch Perfect," "Won’t Back Down," and "House at the End of the Street"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-01 13:11:53

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in LooperLOOPER

Rian Johnson’s Looper, a time-travel thriller set primarily in the year 2044, casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a contract killer whose life is upended with the arrival of his latest target: his older self, who has been transported from the year 2074 and is played by Bruce Willis. This means that, with Gordon-Levitt delivering rather uncanny likenesses of his co-star’s traditional scowls and smirks – and with the younger actor’s countenance bizarrely altered to resemble the elder actor’s familiar face – Willis essentially plays both leading roles ... which isn’t the most enticing of setups if, like me, you generally find one Bruce Willis more than enough.


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