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items tagged with Gary Oldman

Marley and Me: "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "The Fourth Kind," "The Men Who Stare at Goats," and "The Box"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-08 21:18:25

Disney's A Christmas CarolDISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL

For the most part, Disney's A Christmas Carol - the third of director Robert Zemeckis' features to employ the process of performance-capture animation - is a strong, serious, stunningly well-designed piece of work, and an unexpectedly resonant take on Charles Dickens' holiday classic. But I do feel compelled to ask Mr. Zemeckis a question: Must everything be transformed into a Hollywood thrill ride?


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Get Off His Lawn: "Gran Torino," "The Unborn," and "Bride Wars"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-12 15:48:55

Clint Eastwood in Gran TorinoGRAN TORINO

As much as I love Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, and Bronco Billy, I'll admit that I've never been a huge Clint Eastwood fan. (Don't remember Bronco Billy? The 12-year-old in me will never forget it.) Gran Torino, however, is something truly special, a simple - though not simple-minded - and straightforward melodrama that succeeds as both a heartfelt meditation on aging and an exhilarating crowd-pleaser, and Clint is so thrillingly, spectacularly Clint in his latest directorial offering that it's likely his performance won't just please fans, but ensnare a batch of new ones. After catching the movie in Chicagoland during the holidays, I saw it again this past weekend both for the sheer enjoyment of the experience and to see if Gran Torino is really as good as I remembered. It is. (I also wanted to hear lines I originally missed through our raucous audience laughter, but no luck - the cackles were just as loud this time around. Maybe on a third viewing.)


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Harlequin Romance: "The Dark Knight"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-07-23 08:14:56

Heath Ledger in The Dark KnightTHE DARK KNIGHT

The buzz on Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight may start to wane by the time the late actor is awarded the Oscar for it, but the effects of this performance are likely to be felt for years, if not decades.


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Pitfall Wizard: "Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-07-18 08:43:00

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter & the Order of the PhoenixHARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

I have no idea whether Alan Rickman, who portrays the impenetrable, vaguely sinister wizard Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, realized that the Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix movie would hit screens 10 days before the release of J.K. Rowling's seventh (and purportedly final) Potter book. But Rickman's portrayal seems so shrewdly tied in to readers' hunger for a new installment - and their passionate "Is Snape a villain or isn't he?" debate - that, with very little screen time to do it in, he practically emerges as the film's star.


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"Batman Begins" Is Faithful, but Not Much Fun
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-06-22 00:00:00

Christian Bale in Batman BeginsBATMAN RETURNS

Many Hollywood blockbusters feel so generic as to have been formed by committee, and in Batman Begins, that committee appears to be comprised entirely of comic-book bloggers. Just how afraid of Internet fanboys have movie studios become? It has been widely reported that this new installment in the superhero franchise is a deliberate rebuke to director Joel Schumacher’s beyond-campy Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, and I couldn’t be more on board with that; Schumacher managed to turn Warner Brothers’ moody franchise into a half-assed Mardi Gras spectacle, minus the debaucherous fun. (Only in Schumacher’s hands could Uma Thurman come off as a depressed drag queen.)


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