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items tagged with Emma Stone

Limp Woody: "Magic in the Moonlight," "The Giver," and "Let’s Be Cops"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-17 17:16:13

Emma Stone and Colin Firth in Magic in the MoonlightMAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT

It would be wonderful to say that Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, the lighthearted tale of a stuffy British magician (Colin Firth) who attempts to disprove the gifts of a convincing psychic (Emma Stone) in 1928 Paris, was a throwback to the auteur’s oft-referenced early, funny movies – the ones, such as Sleeper and Love & Death, that we fans enjoy returning to again and again. (In the case of Love & Death, for me, “again and again” multiplied by about 20.) Unfortunately, it’s more of a throwback to the writer/director’s less-referenced early-autumnal period, and its not-so-funny movies – the ones, such as The Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Hollywood Ending, that even we die-hards didn’t really care about the first time around.


Read More About Limp Woody: "Magic In The Moonlight," "The Giver," And "Let’S Be Cops"...


Static Electricity: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "As High as the Sky"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-05-04 18:33:56

Jamie Foxx and Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

The biggest problem I had with 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man was that director Marc Webb’s superhero-origin tale – with its “let’s get this tiresome exposition over with” vibe and general lack of personality – felt merely like the setup for more interesting web-slinging adventures to come. The biggest problem I have with Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that it feels almost exactly the same, like a character- and conflict-building preamble that we have to endure to get to the eventual good stuff. Things certainly happen in Webb’s latest cinematic comic book, but they appear to happen solely because its surviving characters need to be positioned properly for their roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, the inevitable outing in which maybe, finally, the series will start living up to the imposed adjective in its title.


Read More About Static Electricity: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" And "As High As The Sky"...


Girls Gone Wilder: "Spring Breakers," "Application," and "The Croods"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-01 16:47:56

Selena Gomez, Rachel Korine, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson in Spring BreakersSPRING BREAKERS

At the screening of Spring Breakers that I attended, I counted eight viewers who walked out of the movie, and stayed out, well before the end credits rolled. In all honesty, I’m amazed the tally wasn’t higher than that. The movie being touted in print and in trailers promises a rowdy, randy romp in the sun with built-in audience-grabbers: Disney princesses acting nasty! James Franco with cornrows and grillz! But the movie that writer/director Harmony Korine has actually made – despite, indeed, its also being a rowdy, randy romp in the sun – bears so little relation to its cheeky, borderline-innocuous advertising campaign that patrons can be easily forgiven for feeling badly misled and deciding to bolt. It would be like going to see Dumbo and instead getting Gus Van Sant’s Elephant.


Read More About Girls Gone Wilder: "Spring Breakers," "Application," And "The Croods"...


Skit-ish: "Movie 43," "Parker," and "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-28 00:40:01

Leslie Bibb, Justin Long, and Jason Sudeikis in Movie 43MOVIE 43

Ordinarily, Movie 43 would be the sort of unsatisfying, throwaway release that I’d dispense with in a paragraph, or maybe just a sentence or two. And it’s not as though its opening-weekend box-office intake – a meager $5 million, despite the presence of nearly every star in Hollywood – necessitates longer consideration of the film. But this anthology comedy in the style of those ’70s cult classics Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube seems to me a special case. How often, after all, do you get the chance to write about what might be your all-time least-enjoyable experience at the cineplex – including that time during the early ’90s when you had to leave a screening for emergency root-canal surgery?


Read More About Skit-Ish: "Movie 43," "Parker," And "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"...


The Needle in the Haystack: "Zero Dark Thirty," "Gangster Squad," "A Haunted House," and "Hitchcock"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-14 18:45:03

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark ThirtyZERO DARK THIRTY

As an orchestrator of cinematic suspense, Kathryn Bigelow might currently be without peer in American movies. The sequences of Jeremy Renner dismantling explosives in the director’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker were miniature masterpieces of sustained excitement; despite our knowing, through much of the film, that it was too early for Renner’s Sergeant William James to be killed off, each masterfully shot and edited act of bomb disposal vibrated with legitimate threat. In Zero Dark Thirty – Bigelow’s and screenwriter Mark Boal’s fictionalized docu-drama about the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden – nearly every scene feels like a ticking time bomb. There is, of course, never any doubt about the narrative’s outcome, yet Bigelow’s gifts for composition and pacing ensure that you still watch the picture with rapt attention and dread. And blessedly, she’s also a spectacular entertainer. The movie is tough-minded and sometimes tough to watch, but even when Bigelow is fraying your nerves, she’s tickling your senses.


Read More About The Needle In The Haystack: "Zero Dark Thirty," "Gangster Squad," "A Haunted House," And "Hitchcock"...





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