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items tagged with J.J. Abrams

Get Her to the Greeks: "300: Rise of an Empire," "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," and "Titans of the Ice Age 3D"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-03-10 01:35:07

Eva Green in 300: Rise of an Empire300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

No movie that opens with Gerard Butler being beheaded, even off-screen, can be all that bad, and so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by the not-so-bad-ness of director Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire. I still am, considering how little fun I had at Zack Snyder’s smash-hit predecessor from 2007, yet personally speaking, it’s not hard to identify what makes this CGI-heavy bloodbath an overall better time – a much better time – than 300. But we’ll get to her momentarily.


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Lively, Long, and Prosperous: "Star Trek Into Darkness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-05-18 18:09:57

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Star Trek Into DarknessSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Star Trek Into Darkness opens on a note of frenzied, almost satiric busyness. For reasons initially left unexplained, and in a set piece suggesting a futuristic Raiders of the Lost Ark, Captain Kirk and “Bones” McCoy are first seen racing through a jungle of crimson foliage on a foreign planet, attempting to escape the clutches of dozens of yowling savages with black eyeballs and papier-mâché skin. The chase eventually leads the pair to the edge of a cliff where they leap into the water below, just as Mr. Spock – much to the concern of his unusually panicked fellow crew members – beams into the belly of an active, ready-to-burst volcano. Director J.J. Abrams’ franchise extender isn’t even five minutes old, and between the shouting, the manically staged mayhem, the whiplash editing, and composer Michael Giacchino’s pummeling score, it already feels like a typically overstuffed blockbuster sequel, yet one without any of the wit that Abrams brought to 2009’s terrifically witty Star Trek reboot. But then something wonderful happens.
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Not-Even-Close Encounters: “Super 8”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-06-12 22:57:16

Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney in Super 8SUPER 8

Though many of us might agree with the sentiment, saying that writer/director J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 stumbles in its last half hour isn’t entirely accurate. For one thing, “stumbles” implies a relatively minor disruption, and what happens to this Spielberg-influenced sci-fi thriller as it nears its climax is hardly minor; the movie, in its final 30 minutes, doesn’t stumble so much as fly off a cliff, fall onto a bunch of land mines, and explode.


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Keep On Trekkin': "Star Trek," "Next Day Air," and "Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-10 20:30:29

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Star TrekSTAR TREK

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek revamp is the second pop-mythology origin tale that Hollywood has delivered this month, and it's a pleasure to report that the film is everything Wolverine isn't: speedy, smart, thrilling, funny, and, in the end, almost criminally enjoyable.


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Cruise in for a Bruisin’: "Mission: Impossible III"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-10 09:00:17

Tom Cruise and Keri Russell in Mission: Impossible IIIMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

Call it envy, call it sour grapes, call it schadenfreude, but I’ll admit to hugely enjoying the public meltdown of Tom Cruise, mostly because it’s finally making him interesting. Cruise has always been too bland to be true. He’s moderately proficient, and in several of his films – most recently Collateral and Minority Report – he’s even been impressive. But he has too few resources to draw upon as a performer. It would be hard to accuse Cruise of slouching on the job – he’s determined and earnest, and you can sense him trying to suggest interior life. But his line readings have no surprise and his on-screen performances rarely build; whenever a new scene begins, Cruise appears to have forgotten everything his character experienced in his previous scenes. He can’t seem to play more than one emotion, or one thought, at a time.


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