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items tagged with Ian McKellen

Cruel Yule: “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” and “Flushed Away”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-08 04:20:49

Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, and Martin Short in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape ClauseTHE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE

Unless you have small children there to chaperone you - or are a small child yourself - you probably won't be caught dead at a screening of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. (Your only other excuses for seeing it, of course, are if you're a movie critic and/or a major Tim Allen fan, and please, God, let the "ands" be in the minority there.) So you certainly don't need me to recommend steering clear of this second sequel to the holiday hit of 1994. The jokes are as lame as could be imagined; the ultra-bright, hyper-chipper presentation - with its candy-colored gaudiness - could easily cause a toothache; and the plotting features less spirit, cleverness, and heart than you'll find in the 56 lines of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Can any of this be considered a surprise?


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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.


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Sensory Deprivation: "The Da Vinci Code" and "Just My Luck"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-24 06:45:39

Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci CodeTHE DA VINCI CODE

Throughout Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code – based, of course, on Dan Brown’s staggeringly successful novel – Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou continually find themselves in dimly lit rooms, gloomy cathedrals, and the occasional underground tomb. When the characters finally do venture outdoors, their visibility doesn’t much improve, as almost the entire movie takes place at night. And during the film’s two-and-a-half-hour running length, deprived of nearly all natural (and even artificial) light, I never craved a nap so badly in my life.
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A Hundred-Plus Reasons to Go to the Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2004-10-27 00:00:00
My first article for the River Cities’ Reader appeared in Issue 18, way back in March of 1995. (You know how long ago that was? Tom Hanks had only one Oscar.) Serving as the Reader’s film critic was, and still is, a terrific gig – for an avowed movie fanatic who loves to write, the chance to expound on the state of cinema has always been about more than giving a particular work a “yay” or “nay” vote; it’s given me, in a minor way, the opportunity to analyze an entire culture, to try to understand what’s in the heads of those who make films, and those who distribute films, and the millions of us who view them.
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"X2" Fun but Missing Its Soul: "X2: X-Men United," "It Runs in the Family," and "The Real Cancun"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-05-07 00:00:00

Hugh Jackman in X2: X-Men UnitedX2: X-MEN UNITED

Most reviewers disliked the original X-Men, Bryan Singer’s Marvel Comics adaptation that earned money but little critical respect in the summer of 2000. I, on the other hand, loved the original, so much so that, three years later, it still merits regular rotation in my DVD player.


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