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items tagged with horror movies

A "Scandal"-ous Waste of Skill: "Notes on a Scandal," "Volver," "Smokin' Aces," and "The Hitcher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-31 09:33:08

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench in Notes on a ScandalNOTES ON A SCANDAL

In Richard Eyre's Notes on a Scandal, Judi Dench appears to be having an amazingly fine time playing an evil harridan. Why does the movie itself have to be such a dud? In the film, Dench portrays prickly history teacher Barbara Covett, who becomes pathologically obsessed with Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a younger colleague in the art department. (As Barbara's last name suggests, Eyre's film, based on the novel by Zoë Heller, won't be much concerned with subtlety.) When Barbara discovers that the married Sheba has been carrying on with a 15-year-old student (Andrew Simpson), she uses the knowledge to surreptitiously gain Sheba's trust, in the hopes of turning their friendship into something more, shall we say, Sapphic. Subsequently, threats are made, careers are jeopardized, relationships are destroyed ... and why oh why isn't the movie more fun?


Read More About A "Scandal"-Ous Waste Of Skill: "Notes On A Scandal," "Volver," "Smokin' Aces," And "The Hitcher"...


The Jig Is Up: “Saw III,” “Catch a Fire,” “Flicka,” and “Roving Mars”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-01 04:31:53

Shawnee Smith and Bahar Soomekh in Saw IIISAW III

There's a shot in Saw III - one of the less repellent ones, and one of the few that makes any sense whatsoever - that proves pretty emblematic of the movie as a whole. A middle-aged man, attempting to escape the machinations of the serial killer Jigsaw, runs down a dank hallway and vomits, and as he does, the camera pans down for a close-up of the bile. In a nutshell, that's Saw III - having our faces shoved in puke. (Also blood, entrails, and, in one sequence, pureed pig.) Whatever ultra-violent wit the Saw series may have once boasted is nowhere on display here; the film is 105 minutes of solid torture, both for Jigsaw's hapless victims and for the audience.


Read More About The Jig Is Up: “Saw III,” “Catch A Fire,” “Flicka,” And “Roving Mars”...


Hail to the Cheat: “Man of the Year,” “One Night with the King,” and “The Grudge 2”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-18 04:24:47

Laura Linney and Robin Williams in Man of the YearMAN OF THE YEAR

The best I can say about Barry Levinson's Man of the Year is that, considering its advertising, it isn't at all the movie I was expecting.


Read More About Hail To The Cheat: “Man Of The Year,” “One Night With The King,” And “The Grudge 2”...


Hit the Road, Jack: “The Departed” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-11 04:38:41

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson in The DepartedTHE DEPARTED

Because Martin Scorsese's internal-affairs thriller The Departed is so colossally entertaining, so brimming with performance and filmmaking craft, I may as well get its major failing out of the way right off the bat: What the hell is Jack Nicholson doing here?


Read More About Hit The Road, Jack: “The Departed” And “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”...


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”...





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