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items tagged with horror movies

Schlock Appeal: “Snakes on a Plane,” “Step Up,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Pulse”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-23 04:18:23

Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a PlaneSNAKES ON A PLANE

Incessant buildup for a potential Hollywood blockbuster is nothing new, of course. But in the case of Snakes on a Plane, it was the nature of the buildup that proved fascinating; everything hyped about this cheesy scare flick - the hysterically candid title, the presence of Samuel L. Jackson in bellowing motherf---er mode, the re-tooling to secure an R rating from its original PG-13 - seemed to promise, "This movie is gonna suck, and you're gonna love it." Offhand, I can't think of another movie that was so aggressively - one might say honestly - marketed as the schlock it was almost certain to be. By the time the movie opened last Friday, the anticipation among connoisseurs of cinematic crap had reached such a fever pitch that nothing less than the Best Bad Movie of All Time would do.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Snakes on a Plane isn't the best bad movie of all time. But it'll still do.


Read More About Schlock Appeal: “Snakes On A Plane,” “Step Up,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” And “Pulse”...


Cars, Cops, Callers, and Caves: “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Miami Vice,” “The Night Listener,” and “The Descent"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-09 04:28:02

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky BobbyTALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY

The Will Ferrell spoof Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, like the actor's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is less a movie than a sketch-comedy figure with a little bit of movie draped around him. And despite its narrow conceit - again, just like Anchorman - it isn't bad at all.


Read More About Cars, Cops, Callers, And Caves: “Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby,” “Miami Vice,” “The Night Listener,” And “The Descent"...


"Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," and "The Omen"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-06-14 05:11:08

Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan in A Prairie Home CompanionA PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

One of the many glories of Robert Altman is that he never pretends to know everything there is to know about the characters in his movies, and doesn't expect his audiences to, either. In an Altman film, you may think you have someone all figured out, until a later scene proves that you haven't begun to understand what makes them tick; Altman is fascinated with the dichotomy between characters' public and private faces. (It makes perfect sense that he eventually filmed a murder mystery.) It sometimes seems that there's not much going on in an Altman movie, and audiences could easily assume the same about the director's latest, A Prairie Home Companion. But if you're as enthralled with character as the director is, and with the drama of actors gradually revealing character, his ambling, "plotless" films can be sheer bliss.


Read More About "Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," And "The Omen"...


Power Grabber: “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “See No Evil,” and “Over the Hedge”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-31 05:12:50

Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Ian McKellen in X-Men: The Last StandX-MEN: THE LAST STAND

In his X-Men films of 2000 and 2003, Bryan Singer managed a marvelous blend of gravitas, insouciance, and pure ass-kicking spectacle, and the highest praise I can give X-Men: The Last Stand is that director Brett Ratner, nearly scene for scene, fools you into thinking that Singer helmed this one as well. For a director with an indistinct visual style, there are far worse ways to go than aping the visual style of others, and in the case of The Last Stand, Ratner’s channeling of Singer’s tone seems less unimaginative than duly reverent, and even inspiring; you can feel Ratner working diligently to not louse up Singer’s vision. And he hasn’t. This third, and purportedly final, entry in the mutant-superhero saga is a spectacular entertainment, and if you were worried that Ratner’s participation would guarantee acceptable effects but little in the way of personality, your fears will prove unfounded – it’s a more-than-satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy.


Read More About Power Grabber: “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “See No Evil,” And “Over The Hedge”...


Brush with Greatness: "Art School Confidential," "Poseidon," "An American Haunting," "Akeelah & the Bee," "Hoot," and "RV"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-17 08:25:35

John Malkovich and Max Minghella in Art School ConfidentialART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL

I’ve read critics who have described Terry Zwigoff’s Art School Confidential as nihilistic, sour, and mean-spirited. They’re saying it like that’s a bad thing. Working with screenwriter Daniel Clowes – adapting the film from his comic book, and again collaborating with the director who helmed 2001’s Clowes-scripted Ghost World – Zwigoff has, here, fashioned a wonderfully nihilistic, sour, and mean-spirited comedy; it might take easy potshots at the politics and posturings of the art community, but those potshots are funny and clever, and the film’s refusal to sentimentalize any of its characters (even our protagonist) is incredibly refreshing. Still, the movie has been met with much dissatisfaction, if not outright annoyance. Art School Confidential seems, to me, the most thoroughly misunderstood movie of the year.


Read More About Brush With Greatness: "Art School Confidential," "Poseidon," "An American Haunting," "Akeelah & The Bee," "Hoot," And "RV"...





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