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items tagged with Gary Fleder

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.


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Meet the Prez: “W.”, “The Express,” and “Max Payne”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-22 08:17:04

Josh Brolin in W.W.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of movie Oliver Stone's W. is trying to be, but that just makes it easier to appreciate it for what it is: A terrifically entertaining political comedy (with tragic undertones) that plays a bit like a sequel to Hal Ashby's 1979 Being There, in which a series of borderline-ludicrous circumstances find a friendly, well-meaning simpleton elected commander-in-chief. Now what?


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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 Oscar-Bait Parade Continues...: "Gosford Park," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "In the Bedroom," and "Impostor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-16 00:00:00

Gosford ParkGOSFORD PARK

In Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, set in 1932 England, a group of well-to-do guests is invited to a country estate for a shooting party, with their numerous servants in tow, and find their weekend disrupted by the murder of their host.


Read More About The Oscar-Bait Parade Continues...: "Gosford Park," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "In The Bedroom," And "Impostor"...


A Sinking Heart Over "Atlantis": "Hearts in Atlantis" and "Don't Say a Word"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-03 00:00:00

Anton Yelchin and Hope Davis in Hearts in AtlantisHEARTS IN ATLANTIS

Given current events, are audiences now so hungry for nostalgic, nonthreatening entertainment that they’ll happily accept something as profoundly awful as Hearts in Atlantis? If so, you certainly can’t blame them, but Lord knows they deserve better than this mawkish Stephen King adaptation, a gooey and incoherent fable that gets more maddening as it progresses. I have friends who swear by the greatness of King’s novel (unread by me), but the film version comes off as a mixture of the feyest aspects of the mostly terrific Stand by Me (based on King’s novella The Body) and the metaphysical hokiness of King’s The Green Mile. It proves to be a nearly unbearable combination, and yet something tells me that this wimpy, unfocused film could turn into a big hit among those who believe, as its author apparently does, that America died right about the time King turned 13.


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