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items tagged with Emma Thompson

Bridges Over Troubled Waters: “Crazy Heart,” “An Education,” “From Paris with Love,” and “Australia: Land Beyond Time”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-08 14:47:00

Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy HeartCRAZY HEART

Writer/director Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart is a character drama of gentle, lulling rhythms -- so lulling, in truth, that I momentarily dozed off halfway through the film. But I'm pretty sure that I was smiling as I slept, because the steady, deliberate pacing feels just right for the tale Cooper's telling, and because star Jeff Bridges is so masterfully assured as down-and-out country singer Bad Blake that he leaves you in a state of utter, unadulterated happiness and calm. (The actor might almost be saying, "Go ahead and nap. I'll be here when you wake up.") There may have been more exciting screen performances amidst 2009's releases, but possibly none as thoughtful, lived-in, and moving as Bridges'; in his hands, a role that easily could've been a one-note conceit is nothing short of symphonic.


Read More About Bridges Over Troubled Waters: “Crazy Heart,” “An Education,” “From Paris With Love,” And “Australia: Land Beyond Time”...


End-of Daze: “2012” and “Pirate Radio”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-15 22:38:13

Morgan Lily and John Cusack in 20122012

After 2012 - the movie, not the year - it will be exceedingly difficult for Roland Emmerich to deliver yet another of his expensive, apocalyptic disaster cartoons. So, you know, I guess we should be grateful for small favors.


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Into the Woods: "Defiance" and "Last Chance Harvey"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-19 15:48:21

Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig in DefianceDEFIANCE

Am I the only person who wishes that Edward Zwick would go back to making sharp, bitchy comedies like his 1986 Rob Lowe-Demi Moore romance About Last Night...? The director's latest - the action drama Defiance - tells the astonishing, true-life story of the Bielski brothers, who hid hundreds of fellow Jews in a makeshift Lipiczańska Forest camp during World War II, and who managed to fend off Russian officers and German armies through innovation, daring, incredible bravery, and a well-stocked supply of artillery. With Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber as the ideologically warring siblings Tuvia and Zus Bielski, Defiance is impassioned and serious and God knows it's sincere, and it wasn't until about 45 minutes had passed that I realized I no longer watch Edward Zwick movies; I endure them.


Read More About Into The Woods: "Defiance" And "Last Chance Harvey"...


Tears of a Clown: “Stranger Than Fiction,” “A Good Year,” and “Wordplay”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-22 08:26:14

Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger Than FictionSTRANGER THAN FICTION

While watching an emotional climax toward the end of Marc Forster's Stranger Than Fiction, I experienced the oddest case of déjà vu. In the film, a man discovers that his life may be in the hands of an unseen puppet-master - that he, himself, has no control over his own existence - and all of a sudden I was transported back to June of 1997, watching Peter Weir's The Truman Show. Yet what set me off wasn't just that the metaphysics of the two films are similar, or even that a comedian (Will Ferrell instead of Jim Carrey) was enacting the situation; it was that the protagonist's seemingly hopeless circumstances had me in tears, and yet all around me, people were laughing.


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Good Help Is So Hard To Find...: "Big Momma's House 2," "Nanny McPhee," "Underworld: Evolution," and "The Matador"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-02-01 00:00:00

Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's House 2BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2

In the second season of TV’s Arrested Development, struggling wannabe actor Tobias, separated from his wife and daughter, devises a brilliant strategy for insinuating himself back into their lives: He dons a wig and a frumpy housedress, speaks in a high, quasi-British falsetto, and greets his family as Mrs. Featherbottom, hired by “the agency” to serve as housekeeper and nanny. (Tobias, as the narration points out, is giddily – and ridiculously – enacting the plot to Mrs. Doubtfire.) His family is, naturally, unconvinced by Tobias’ disguise, but they’re happy to let him continue the ruse anyway – the house never looked cleaner. This subplot was a typically, fiendishly clever one for the series; by finally addressing the “Are you kidding?” element of this comic staple – where seemingly smart characters are fooled by a touch of latex and rouge – it subverted expectation by making our “hero” the butt of his own joke. Tobias’ drag act made it impossible to ever again watch Mrs. Doubtfire – or even Tootsie or Some Like It Hot or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – in quite the same way.


Read More About Good Help Is So Hard To Find...: "Big Momma's House 2," "Nanny McPhee," "Underworld: Evolution," And "The Matador"...





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