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items tagged with Ian McShane

A Goodman Is Hard to Find: "10 Cloverfield Lane," "The Young Messiah," and "The Brothers Grimsby"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-03-12 20:28:11

John Gallagher Jr., Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

If your biggest complaint about a movie lies with its title, that movie is probably pretty great, and director Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane is pretty great – a splendidly acted, hugely entertaining nail-biter that continually surprises despite its claustrophobic setting and cast of characters that can be counted on the fingers of one hand. But while it may lure fans of 2008’s astoundingly irritating “found footage” monster mash Cloverfield, did that title really need to be baked into this one, effectively establishing Trachtenberg’s outing as some kind of sequel or prequel? Theoretically, the thrill of 10 Cloverfield Lane lies in our not knowing where its true threat lies. It’s a measure of the film’s success that it works despite a title implying exactly where that threat lies.


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How the Grinch Stole Brooklyn: "St. Vincent," "John Wick," and "Ouija"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-10-26 23:15:25

Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Murray in St. VincentST. VINCENT

St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as the titular (if decidedly un-saintly) Vincent, a cranky, disheveled grump who may be the meanest man in Brooklyn, if not all of New York. He speaks in a honking regional dialect and guzzles brown liquor by the quart, and his only pals are a pair of fellow barflies and the local hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. He’s frequently seen chain-smoking in a porkpie hat with oversize sunglasses, and spends his days at the track making losing bets with his bookie. At his ramshackle home, he watches old Abbott & Costello movies on an ancient television and, when drunk, drives straight over his white picket fence. When a neighbor kid needs to use a pay phone, Vincent begrudgingly gives him a dime for the call. Given all this, in what year would you guess St. Vincent takes place? 1957? 1958?


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And a Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes on Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," and "Lucy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-26 22:28:21

Pandas: The Journey HomeFriday, July 25, 12:30 p.m.-ish: I take my seat for the latest big-screen edu-tainment at the Putnam Museum, and can’t imagine a better way to begin my third quadruple feature of the month. For one thing, the movie I’m at is only 40 minutes long, which will shorten my work day considerably. For another, the movie is all about pandas. Pandas! Who doesn’t love pandas? I figure that, at worst, the National Geographic presentation Pandas: The Journey Home will be adorable. So I’ll admit to some more-than-mild surprise when, not 10 minutes into the film, we’re treated to the (tasteful) sight of a female panda being artificially inseminated, right after witnessing the (tasteful) sight of a male panda mating with her. Hmmm, I think. Didn’t see that in Disney’s Bears.


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Happily Grimm: "Snow White & the Huntsman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-04 02:34:19

Charlize Theron in Snow White & the HuntsmanSNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN

The first words heard in Snow White & the Huntsman are “Once upon a time ... ,” and for the next 125 minutes, the movie unfurls like a malicious, exhilarating fairytale for adults – or a bedtime story for really, really naughty kids. In an age when most screen adaptations of familiar childhood stories quickly descend into camp – either intentionally (Mirror Mirror) or unintentionally (Red Riding Hood) – the intelligence and violence and emotional hunger of debuting director Rupert Sanders’ Snow White saga feel utterly welcome, and even somewhat revolutionary. By the film’s finale (and I presume this isn’t a spoiler), good has triumphed and evil has been vanquished, but the weight of the characters’ horrific experiences hasn’t been forgotten; it’s clear from their serene yet exhausted expressions that while Snow White and her kingdom’s subjects get their Happily Ever After, they’ll more likely be living Happily, Hesitantly, Ever After.


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Privateerible: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-22 18:15:09

Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES

During the first hour of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the third sequel in Disney’s hugely successful franchise, characters are routinely told to beware of the mermaids – half-woman/half-fish beings who use their comely looks and tranquil siren songs to drag seafaring men to their deaths. Our adventurers take note of the warnings but pay them little mind, and really, why should they? Disney, after all, is the studio that gave us the benign cutie-pies of The Little Mermaid and (through its Touchstone Pictures label) Splash. Just how nasty can these things be?

We eventually find out, and as a result, I’ll likely never look at Ariel or Daryl Hannah the same way again.


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