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items tagged with Helen Mirren

Brain, Brain, Go Away: "The Hundred-Foot Journey," "Into the Storm," "Step Up: All in," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-11 00:51:58

Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot JourneyFriday, August 8, 10 a.m.-ish: I’m at The Hundred-Foot Journey, and five minutes into this lighthearted foodie dramedy, I’m already regretting my decision to only have yogurt for breakfast. With director Lasse Hallström’s camera slavering over the creation of steaming, succulent pots and grills of Indian cuisine, all of it enhanced by spices and oils whose aromas are practically wafting off the screen, this is not the movie to see if you’re hungry. Considering screenwriter Steven Knight’s T-shirt-ready dialogue – which features such pithy bromides as “Life has its own flavor,” “We cook to make ghosts,” and the grammatically vexing “Food is memories” – it’s not really the movie to see if your brain is hungry, either.


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Ghost World: "The Conjuring," "R.I.P.D.," "RED 2," and "Turbo"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-21 16:59:39

Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga, and Ron Livingston in The ConjuringTHE CONJURING

I was about halfway through my screening of The Conjuring when I noticed that I was having a most unusual reaction to director James Wan’s haunted-house opus: For the life of me, I couldn’t stop smiling.


Read More About Ghost World: "The Conjuring," "R.I.P.D.," "RED 2," And "Turbo"...


"Ga-a-ah!"s and Monsters: "World War Z" and "Monsters University"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-23 18:59:48

Mireille Enos and Brad Pitt in World War ZWORLD WAR Z

Beginning with the fact that it’s directed by Marc Forster – a competent-enough craftsman whose previous works (including Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, and the deadening James Bond entry Quantum of Solace) have hardly been known to quicken one’s pulse – practically everything about the suspenseful and exciting zombie chiller World War Z feels a little bit off, and that’s what I liked about it.


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The Needle in the Haystack: "Zero Dark Thirty," "Gangster Squad," "A Haunted House," and "Hitchcock"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-14 18:45:03

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark ThirtyZERO DARK THIRTY

As an orchestrator of cinematic suspense, Kathryn Bigelow might currently be without peer in American movies. The sequences of Jeremy Renner dismantling explosives in the director’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker were miniature masterpieces of sustained excitement; despite our knowing, through much of the film, that it was too early for Renner’s Sergeant William James to be killed off, each masterfully shot and edited act of bomb disposal vibrated with legitimate threat. In Zero Dark Thirty – Bigelow’s and screenwriter Mark Boal’s fictionalized docu-drama about the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden – nearly every scene feels like a ticking time bomb. There is, of course, never any doubt about the narrative’s outcome, yet Bigelow’s gifts for composition and pacing ensure that you still watch the picture with rapt attention and dread. And blessedly, she’s also a spectacular entertainer. The movie is tough-minded and sometimes tough to watch, but even when Bigelow is fraying your nerves, she’s tickling your senses.


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You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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