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items tagged with Harald Zwart

Labored Day Weekend: "Closed Circuit," "Instructions Not Included," "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," "One Direction: This Is Us," and "Getaway"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-09-02 05:01:17

Eric Bana and Ciaran Hinds in Closed CircuitIt’s a commonly held belief, mostly because it’s generally true, that no worthwhile movies open on either the last weekend of August or Labor Day weekend. So I hope I wasn’t alone, among reviewers, in feeling trepidation about my most recent cineplex duties, given that this year, in a calendar rarity, those weekends were one and the same. (Would the films be twice as bad as usual? Would there be twice as many bad films to contend with?) But I’m pleased, and somewhat shocked, to report that my latest movie-going experiences weren’t relentlessly grim. They were just relentlessly weird, especially considering I had the best time at the weekend’s worst picture, and the lineup’s most professionally rendered offering made me fall dead asleep.


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Waxing on: “The Karate Kid,” “The A-Team,” “Marmaduke,” and “Killers”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-13 22:56:28

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate KidTHE KARATE KID

The opening scenes in director Harald Zwart's The Karate Kid remake, with the preternaturally confident and magnetic Jaden Smith taking over the Ralph Macchio role, are really good. But your first indication that the movie might wind up being really great - or, at the very least, a really great time - comes with its introduction of Mr. Han, the Pat Morita substitute played here by Jackie Chan.
Read More About Waxing On: “The Karate Kid,” “The A-Team,” “Marmaduke,” And “Killers”...


Eyes Wide Shut: "Coraline," "Push," and "The Pink Panther 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-02-12 17:53:30

CoralineCORALINE

Employing extraordinarily supple, nearly tactile stop-motion animation and 3D effects, the children's film Coraline is filled with visual magic, and just about corners the market on unsettling imagery. A grinning pair of parental doppelgängers, with buttons sewn into their eye sockets, serve a dinner composed of mango milkshakes and chocolate beetles. Two morbidly obese British dowagers unzip their skins and emerge as lithe trapeze artists. A feral alley cat talks, and a theatre full of mutts attends a vaudeville, and it's all strange and clever and tantalizingly designed. Is it ungrateful, if not downright senseless, to admit that I could hardly wait for this movie to end?


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Jones and Del Toro Elevate "The Hunted": Also, "Agent Cody Banks" and "Boat Trip"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-03-26 00:00:00

Benicio del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones in The HuntedTHE HUNTED

Offhand, I can’t think of an acting team more oddly matched, and strangely inspired, than Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro. Talk about your odd couples: Jones, with his clipped, no-bullshit gruffness that gives way to a kind of mellow humor, and Del Toro, with his loopy line readings and eloquent silences (you’re always wondering what, exactly, is going on in his head). When both men are at the top of their game – Jones in Lonesome Dove or The Fugitive, Del Toro in Traffic or his brief, brilliant turns in The Pledge and Fearless – they’re marvelously vibrant performers, so even if you’re dreading yet another routine action picture, the chance to see this duo play opposite one another might be reason enough to sit through The Hunted. The movie, directed by thriller veteran William Friedkin, winds up being little more than a violent screen adaptation of “Where’s Waldo?”, but Jones and Del Toro, at least, give it some punch.


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Affronts to Good Cinema: "One Night at McCool's" and "Freddy Got Fingered"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-05-02 00:00:00

Liv Tyler in One Night at McCool'sONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL'S

One Night at McCool’s, the noir-esque comedy by debuting director Harald Zwart, begins promisingly enough: Three men – a good-natured bartender (Matt Dillon), a snaky lawyer (Paul Reiser), and a hangdog detective (John Goodman) – visit three separate confessors (hit-man Michael Douglas, incredulous shrink Reba McEntire, and randy priest Richard Jenkins), each detailing their obsession with the mysterious, definitely dangerous Jewel (Liv Tyler), the beauty who ruined their lives. Physically, emotionally, financially, this trio of saps couldn’t be more disparate, and we’re initially curious to see how their stories connect, how Jewel wound up seducing them, and what, exactly, her intentions are.


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