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items tagged with Emma Stone

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: "Annie" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-20 00:50:41

Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Rose Byrne in AnnieANNIE

Sony’s last-remaining grab for the holiday box office, the much-downloaded reboot of Annie, opened this weekend, and it must be said that as a musical – especially as a musically faithful interpretation of the stage show – it kind of sucks. The choreography’s a shambles and the mixing is poor and the original numbers are terrible, while familiar, enjoyable Annie tunes such as “Little Girls” and “Easy Street” are merely sampled, their melodies and lyrics awkwardly woven into new pop and hip-hop arrangements. (Three of the film’s myriad producers are Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, so I guess we should just be grateful that the titular orphan is played by Quvenzhané Wallis and not Willow. Or Jaden.)


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Winged Crusader: "Birdman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-16 21:51:00

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in BirdmanBIRDMAN

Hands-down the most technically audacious backstage farce ever attempted, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman finds its director in a cheeky, playful frame of mind. The movie’s many miracles pretty much start right there, because who knew that Iñárritu was even capable of a cheeky, playful frame of mind?


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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.


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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.


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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.


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