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items tagged with Gavin O Connor

Grin and Bear It: "Kung Fu Panda 3," "Anomalisa," "The Finest Hours," "Jane Got a Gun," and "Fifty Shades of Black"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-02-01 16:06:36

Jack Black and Bryan Cranston in Kung Fu Panda 3KUNG PU PANDA 3

Did the makers of Kung Fu Panda 3 not get the memo that second sequels in franchises are traditionally supposed to suck? Because this thing, to quote Jack Black’s hirsute and animated alter ego Po, is “Awesome!!!” with all three exclamation points.
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The Cough Heard 'round the World: "Contagion" and "Warrior"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-12 18:11:20

Jude Law in ContagionCONTAGION

I’m presuming, and hoping, that a bunch of you spent your weekend’s cineplex allowances on Contagion, director Steven Soderbergh’s bleak, elegant, deeply disturbing thriller about the planet’s decimation by a new strain of flu-like virus. I’m also praying that none of you saw it while on a date, because I can barely imagine how awkward the drive home must’ve been. One cough or casual touch from your movie-going companion and you’d be frantically ransacking the car for hand sanitizer and a surgeon’s mask.


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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"Miracle" Too Calculated to Be Enjoyable: Also, "The Big Bounce" and "The Perfect Score"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-02-11 00:00:00

Kurt Russell in MiracleMIRACLE

Although I’m generally a sucker for triumph-of-the-underdog sports flicks – 1986’s Hoosiers remains my favorite – and was all set to have a good sniffle at Miracle, the movie is so cynically programmed to be a lump-in-the-throat audience-pleaser that I found it all too easy to resist.


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