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items tagged with Forest Whitaker

Taking One for the Team: "Draft Day," "Oculus," "Rio 2," and "Mysteries of the Unseen World"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-04-13 19:59:04

Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner in Draft DayDRAFT DAY

Draft Day casts Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns’ general manager on the titular day in which his professional and personal crises reach their boiling points. And 20 minutes before its climax, director Ivan Reitman’s pro-football saga lands on what is simultaneously its most ironic and most perverse moment, which finds a roomful of executives and analysts bickering about a potential trade, and Costner’s Sonny Weaver Jr. ending the squabble with the incensed directive “Just give me a moment of silence so I can think!” The moment is ironic because, to this point, the movie has already been flooded with silence. The moment is also perverse because, after 90 minutes of pause-heavy introspection and hushed build-up – with the audience all but slavering for a scene of biting, fast-paced bickering – now is when Sonny demands some quiet?


Read More About Taking One For The Team: "Draft Day," "Oculus," "Rio 2," And "Mysteries Of The Unseen World"...


Oscar-Baiting the Hook: "Out of the Furnace," "The Book Thief," and "Philomena"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-08 17:05:53

Woody Harrelson and Christian Bale in Out of the FurnaceOUT OF THE FURNACE, THE BOOK THIEF, and PHILOMENA

When it comes to films vying for Academy Awards attention, there are several themes and subjects generally guaranteed to pique voters’ interest: post-war trauma; post-incarceration estrangement; the Holocaust; Judi Dench. Yet while a trio of recently released titles collectively addresses these and other Oscar-bait-y topics, I can’t help feeling that the talents behind all three might wind up disappointed come nominations-announcement morning. Well, except for Judi Dench. There’s just no stopping that Dame.


Read More About Oscar-Baiting The Hook: "Out Of The Furnace," "The Book Thief," And "Philomena"...


Disney on Ice: "Frozen," "Black Nativity," and "Homefront"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-02 15:57:22

FrozenFROZEN

As its fans (and I’m one of them) will gladly attest, Disney’s Frozen is a bit of a throwback to the studio’s recent golden age of animated entertainments – that period from the late ’80s to the mid-’90s that found more-or-less traditional fairy and folk tales goosed with healthy portions of Broadway razzmatazz. (Those in the press championing this new work as a welcome and rather bold return to form, however, do seem to have conveniently forgotten about 2009’s excellent The Princess & the Frog and 2010’s near-excellent Tangled.) But while much of the film follows the standard Disney-in-its-prime formula to the letter – big-eyed ingénue heroine, check; wacky animal sidekick, check; rafter-shaking power ballad destined to win an Oscar, check – there is one aspect to Frozen that separates it from the Little Mermaid/Beauty & the Beast/Lion King herd: The movie is kind of bonkers.


Read More About Disney On Ice: "Frozen," "Black Nativity," And "Homefront"...


Serving in Silence: "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Jobs," and "Kick-Ass 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-08-19 09:06:55

Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker in Lee Daniels' The ButlerLEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER

While raving to him about Lee Daniels’ The Butler – the glorious, heart-rending, hugely entertaining Civil Rights saga that may showcase the finest performance yet by star Forest Whitaker – a friend asked if it was the sort of movie that needed to be seen at the movies, or if it was something that could wait until home video. I replied that, as much as I think great films should always be seen first in as grandly scaled a format as possible, it was probably a work that wouldn’t lose much in the transition from big to smaller screen. Although director Daniels’ effort covers some 75 years of American history, with Whitaker portraying an eight-term White House servant over more than 50 of them, it’s still a rather intimate epic boasting a mostly understated visual style, and will no doubt play just fine in home-theater settings. (Actually, after the film’s “For Your Consideration” screeners are eventually sent out, I think it’s going to play awfully fine in the home-theater settings of Oscar voters. My first thought on the drive home was that even though it’s only August, this year’s Best Picture, Director, and Actor races were already all sewn up.)


Read More About Serving In Silence: "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Jobs," And "Kick-Ass 2"...


Mishmash Accomplished: "Green Zone," "Remember Me," "She's Out of My League," and "Our Family Wedding"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-14 20:42:47

Matt Damon in Green ZoneGREEN ZONE

 

Set in Baghdad during the early months of 2002, director Paul Greengrass' action thriller Green Zone casts Matt Damon as a stalwart, driven military officer who gradually discovers that the American government lied about the proliferation - even the existence - of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This might strike you as old news, and it is. The disappointing surprise of Green Zone, though, is that the movie itself should feel like such old news, and in ways that have nothing to do with Greengrass and Damon re-teaming after the considerable artistic and popular successes of their Bourne Supermacy and Bourne Ultimatum films.
Read More About Mishmash Accomplished: "Green Zone," "Remember Me," "She's Out Of My League," And "Our Family Wedding"...





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