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items tagged with Eva Mendes

“Pines” Soul: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Oblivion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-22 03:15:21

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the PinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

You may not remember this if you’re 25 or younger, but between the mid-’70s and mid-’90s, we were sometimes treated to Very Special Episodes of long-running sitcoms. These episodes, which were usually twice as long as their shows’ 22-minute standard, found beloved characters momentarily wrestling with Weighty Themes and tackling Important Issues, and were frequently showered with critical praise and awards despite, or maybe because of, their general self-consciousness and bloat. (Michael J. Fox and Helen Hunt surely owe several of their Emmys to VSEs.) They’re mocked now, and they were kind of mocked then, and so it might seem like a particularly condescending insult to say that director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines feels like nothing so much as a Very Special Episode of a gritty, edgy indie drama.


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Beat(en) Cops: "The Other Guys"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-09 12:00:00

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in The Other GuysTHE OTHER GUYS

I'm not going to pretend that I understood the crime plot in director Adam McKay's The Other Guys, which concerns Wall Street chicanery, bureaucratic red tape, a pension-fund swindle, and a suicide or a murder, though I'm hesitant to state exactly which. Seriously, when did goofy-ass Will Ferrell comedies get so complicated?
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Goner, Baby, Goner: "The Lovely Bones," "The Book of Eli," and "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-01-18 12:00:00

Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely BonesTHE LOVELY BONES

The Lovely Bones, director Peter Jackson's long-awaited take on Alice Sebold's beloved novel, is a stupefyingly bad movie, the kind of big-screen debacle that makes you wonder if its entire creative team wasn't suffering through some hideous, collective blockage of talent all throughout filming. You can feel it going wrong in the first minutes, when a car's quick swerve results in an unconvincing and inappropriately comedic loss of a hubcap, but the shock of Jackson's endeavor is that practically nothing in it goes right. Tonally, just about every scene here feels a little bit off, and the rest feel way, way off; it's almost as if Jackson, screenwriting collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and a (usually) wildly gifted cast purposely set out to make the absolute worst Lovely Bones adaptation possible.


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Nuts and Dolts: "Burn After Reading," "The Women," and "Righteous Kill"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-09-17 08:15:57

Brad Pitt in Burn After ReadingBURN AFTER READING

Brad Pitt is so adorably dim-witted in the Coen brothers' espionage comedy Burn After Reading, and John Malkovich is so hilariously profane (and singularly weird), that it's a little heartbreaking to admit just how disappointing the actors' debut outing with the Coens actually is. From 1984's Blood Simple to last year's No Country for Old Men, the filmography of Joel and Ethan has been chockablock with enjoyably eccentric throwaway characters. Until now, though, I'd never seen a Coen brothers movie that was nothing but a series of enjoyably eccentric throwaway characters; Pitt, Malkovich, and the film's other hard-working performers provide a decent enough time, yet I still left Burn Without Reading feeling a little bewildered and annoyed, and counting the months - hopefully not too many - until the siblings' next endeavor.


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