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items tagged with fantasy movies

Bibbidy-Bobbidi Boon: "Cinderella" and "Run All Night"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-14 22:04:07

Richard Madden and Lily James in CinderellaCINDERELLA

Given its sumptuous production design and its array of multi-hued gowns so breathtaking that costumer Sandy Powell should just be sent her inevitable Oscar via express mail, Disney’s new, live-action Cinderella has to be the most opulent deeply unnecessary movie ever made. Somewhat unexpectedly, it’s also one of the more satisfying deeply unnecessary movies ever made. Director Kenneth Branagh’s fairytale adaptation, with its script by Chris Weitz, may have no reason to exist beyond the obvious mercenary one, but it’s strong and heartfelt and quite beautifully acted – proof that even in the revisionist age of Maleficent, it’s not always necessary to re-invent the wheel.


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Horns Aplenty: "Maleficent" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-06-01 22:53:12

Angelina Jolie in MaleficentMALEFICENT

Disney’s Maleficent is director Robert Stromberg’s re-imagined fairy tale told from the perspective of, and with much empathy for, the sorceress who put the “Sleeping” in Sleeping Beauty. If this is the beginning of a trend – one in which the studio, in effect, remakes its animated classics so that their evil villains are no longer evil or villainous – I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next. A baby Scar who seeks vindication after other lion cubs make fun of his unfortunate birthmark? A young, svelte Ursula the Sea Witch driven to malice and gluttony when her sister is turned into caviar?


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Smaug Alert: "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-16 04:34:43

Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

The first great sequence in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – and, sadly, one of the few truly great sequences in Peter Jackson’s second (or fifth, if you’d rather) J.R.R. Tolkien installment – is an escape scene. At its start, hobbit protagonist Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf companions sneak out of the Elven dungeon cells in which they’ve been imprisoned, and hope for clean getaways by stashing themselves in empty wine barrels and floating down a nearby river. Sounds simple. And it might have been if it weren’t for the rapids, and the waterfalls, and the whizzing arrows, and the savage orcs, and Orlando Bloom gingerly bouncing atop our heroes’ heads.


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Air, Sea, and Land Travels: "Planes," "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," and "We’re the Millers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-08-11 19:41:33

PlanesPLANES and PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS

From a grown-up’s perspective, I guess that as far as family entertainment at the cineplex goes, Disney’s animated Planes and the mythology adventure Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters could both be considered “harmless.” But can you really apply that adjective when something, in both movies, is indeed being killed – namely, your time?


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Wizard of Blahs: "Oz the Great & Powerful" and "Dead Man Down"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-03-10 03:08:36

James Franco in Oz the Great & PowerfulOZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL

As numerous effect-heavy entertainments have proved over the years, few film actors, and even fewer good ones, look altogether comfortable performing in wholly pixelated landscapes opposite wholly digitized characters. Yet I’m not sure I’ve seen any star look less connected with his artificial environment than James Franco does in Oz the Great & Powerful, director Sam Raimi’s mega-budgeted and intensely disappointing prequel to The Wizard of Oz.


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