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items tagged with Final Destination

Fate Accompli: “Final Destination 5” and “30 Minutes or Less”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-14 18:12:15

Nicholas D'Agosto and Emma Bell in Final Destination 5FINAL DESTINATION 5

Because the quality has been noticeably, if not altogether damagingly, dipping with each new installment, there was reason to expect Final Destination 5 to be the horror series’ most tired and underwhelming entry to date. Yet like some long-running TV series that suddenly finds new life after years of going through the motions, this fifth in the popular Death-has-been-cheated-and-he’s-pissed franchise is a terrific return to sick-joke form, the most enticingly queasy and legitimately funny Final Destination since the second outing in 2003.


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Stop! You’re Killing Me!: "Final Destination 3," "When a Stranger Calls," and "The Pink Panther"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-02-15 00:00:00

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Final Destination 3FINAL DESTINATION 3

Final Destination 3 is, almost unequivocally, the least successful of the franchise’s entries. But you know what? The movie is still pretty terrific. It’s easy to resent sequels that’s don’t deviate at all from the proven formula of their forebears, especially in regards to horror flicks; audiences want these follow-ups to give them what they loved about the original but not merely what they loved about the original. (The most common complaint I hear about horror sequels is “It’s just like the first one.”)


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"Scary Movie 3" an Improvement, but Not Clever Enough: Also, "Runaway Jury" and "Radio"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-10-29 00:00:00

Anna Faris and Drew Mikusa in Scary Movie 3SCARY MOVIE 3

With Scary Movie 3, the assignment of directing has been passed from Keenen Ivory Wayans to Airplane!’s David Zucker, which is a big step forward right there. (Zucker isn’t much of a director, either, but at least he has ideas on how to shape a scene, and is actually pretty adept at making his film parodies look like the films they’re parodying.) Plus, any time Zucker and company are satirizing the outrageous pomposity of M. Night Shymalan, whose Signs receives – and deserves – particularly harsh treatment here, Scary Movie 3 is everything you want a movie spoof to be: smart, funny, and more than a little mean. (And heartening – until now, I thought I was the only one who detested Shymalan’s “Hitchcockian” appearance as the vet who accidentally kills Mel Gibson’s wife in Signs.) The wide-eyed, appealing Anna Faris returns as the lead, ably satirizing Naomi Watts’ reporter from The Ring, and comic actors such as Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim, and legendary spoofster Leslie Nielsen all score some laughs. So why is Scary Movie 3 still so disappointing?


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"The Recruit" Shouldn’t Be Boring – But It Is: Also "Darkness Falls" and "Final Destination 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-02-05 00:00:00

Al Pacino and Colin Farrell in The RecruitTHE RECRUIT

In Roger Donaldson’s The Recruit, Colin Farrell plays M.I.T. graduate James Clayton, whose astonishing computer prowess catches the attention of C.I.A. agent Walter Burke (Al Pacino). Burke enlists Clayton to join the organization, bringing the young man to a top-secret, governmental compound nicknamed The Farm, where Clayton will train as a C.I.A. operative. While at The Farm – a hall-of-mirrors environment where, we’re told ad nauseum, “nothing is what it seems” – Clayton falls for fellow recruit Layla (Bridget Moynahan), who, Burke later reveals, is secretly a mole, attempting to sabotage the C.I.A. from within; Clayton’s assignment is to catch her in the act. Will Clayton’s love for Layla threaten his allegiance to the C.I.A.? Does Layla even have a secret agenda? Is Burke really who we think he is? Is anything what it seems?


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