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Bored. Mike Bored. : "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-11-07 23:25:53

Daniel Craig in SpectreSPECTRE

Watching the opening credits to the new James Bond thriller Spectre, I leaned back in my seat, smiled, and thought, “Man, I love these things.” Not Bond movies, per se, but their opening credits. The lushly rendered colors. The serenely gliding camera pans. The artful poses and undulating torsos. The charming, deferential formality of the star’s name followed by “ … as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in … .” The mystery of the accompanying pop song, which is as likely to be atrocious as marvelous. (Spectre’s “Writing’s on the Wall,” sung by Sam Smith, leans more toward the former. And call it gender bias or even blatant sexism, but I do think that unless you’re Paul McCartney or maybe Simon Le Bon, these duties should really be handled by women.)

But my absolute favorite thing about the James Bond title sequences is that in the 53 years since Dr. No, they’ve hardly changed a whit, meaning that those serving such below-the-line positions as second-unit assistant director, supervising sound editor, and “Mr. Craig’s makeup” get listed at the start right alongside Ian Fleming and Daniel Craig themselves. It’s a lovely gesture and a touching hat-tip to the series’ longevity, and it’s got to be cool for those professionals whose names usually flash on-screen while patrons are leaving the auditorium. I bet it’s cool even if, as in Spectre, your eye is being averted from those names by the silhouetted octopus tentacles shown embracing Bond and his two nubile lady friends. At first, I wondered: Why an octopus? To suggest the elastic, multi-limbed reach of evil? To prepare us for an underwater Bond in the vein of Thunderball? I never really got my answer, but after two-and-a-half punishingly long hours, I started thinking the creature was merely there to create a perverse nostalgia for the comparative wit and excitement of Octopussy.

Read More About Bored. Mike Bored. : "Spectre" And "The Peanuts Movie"...

Mime on Wire: "The Walk," "Tiny Giants 3D," and "Hell & Back"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-10-03 21:55:47

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The WalkTHE WALK

There have been verified reports of patrons vomiting during the last half hour of The Walk, director Robert Zemeckis’ big-budget take on Philippe Petit’s famed 1974 high-wire trek between Manhattan’s Twin Towers, a tale previously recounted in James Marsh’s Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire. The response of those patrons is understandable; as a lifelong sufferer of vertigo – especially when those vertiginous heights are around 1,368 feet above street level – I did have to look at the cineplex floor a few times to steady my nerves. But in the end, my senses of profound terror, anxiety, and euphoria at Zemeckis’ cinematic feat proved worth the discomfort. I only wish I could say the same for the movie’s first 90 minutes, which could easily provoke vomiting among those, like myself, who gag at the mere thought of revisiting Amélie.
Read More About Mime On Wire: "The Walk," "Tiny Giants 3D," And "Hell & Back"...

Social Climbers: "Everest," "Captive," and "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-09-20 01:33:21

Jason Clarke in EverestEVEREST

At present, the only way to see director Baltasar Kormákur’s adventure drama Everest – the only legal way, at any rate – is in its IMAX 3D presentation, as the film won’t be released in other, less surcharge-filled formats until September 25. Yet even if, like me, you consider yourself a generally frugal (i.e., cheapskate) cineplex patron, I implore you to suck it up, shell out the extra dough, and treat yourself to the biggest, loudest Everest available. I’m not sure how well this thing will play on smaller screens, but the IMAX 3D version is a staggering, even humbling experience for the eyes and ears – a mountain that, on your TV or computer or iPhone, might more accurately suggest a molehill.
Read More About Social Climbers: "Everest," "Captive," And "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials"...

I'd Like to Thump the Academy … : Notes on the 2015 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2015-02-23 22:00:33

producer/writer/director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and team members of Best Picture Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)Neil Patrick Harris, at the tail end of last night's Academy Awards ceremony, climaxed his hosting duties with the resolution to a magic trick he'd set up earlier in the evening. Much, much earlier in the evening.

Read More About I'd Like To Thump The Academy … : Notes On The 2015 Academy Awards Telecast...

Winged Crusader: "Birdman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-16 21:51:00

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in BirdmanBIRDMAN

Hands-down the most technically audacious backstage farce ever attempted, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman finds its director in a cheeky, playful frame of mind. The movie’s many miracles pretty much start right there, because who knew that Iñárritu was even capable of a cheeky, playful frame of mind?

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