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items tagged with James Franco

’Til Death Threats Do Us Part: "Date Night" and "Letters to God"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-11 19:53:50

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date NightDATE NIGHT

Playing husband and wife in the marital action comedy Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey partner each other with such skillful ease, and radiate such genuine affection for one another, that my issues with the film have come to feel insignificant, and even a little petty. I had a not-bad time at director Shawn Levy's latest. But reflecting on the experience, I've found it awfully difficult to wipe the grin from my face; surrounded by an exceptional cast of second bananas, Carell and Fey are so genial and inventive together that it's easy to ignore the dully synthetic, determinedly formulaic Hollywood product they're appearing in.
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Best. Oscars. Ever.: Notes on the 2009 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2009-02-23 19:11:28

OscarsSeriously, by the end of Hugh Jackman's opening number during the 2009 Academy Awards telecast, did it even matter if the rest of the show was any good?


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It’s Not Easy Buying Green: "Pineapple Express" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-08-13 08:43:05

Seth Rogen and James Franco in Pineapple ExpressPINEAPPLE EXPRESS

As the happily zonked, pot-dealing Saul in Pineapple Express - written by Superbad screenwriters Seth Rogen (who also stars) and Evan Goldberg - James Franco is wonderfully unpredictable. The actor has flashed the occasional grin in previous film roles, but his uncanny resemblance to James Dean finds him so often used for brooding melancholy, most notably in the Spider-Man films, that his emergence as an inventive and quick-witted comedian in this stoner-buddy action farce is cause for celebration. Or rather, it would be, if Franco had a better movie in which to display his gifts.


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2006
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:39:47

BarnyardBarnyard (PG) - As it had been at least six or seven hours since I had last seen a computer-animated family movie at the cineplex, I was delighted to catch a screening of Barnyard. Unfortunately, it only took about six or seven hours to all but completely forget the experience; the film is your standard pap about Believing in Yourself and Sticking by Your Friends and such, and it may hopelessly confuse the young kids it's geared towards - I'm sorry, but male cows? With udders? Yet, for what it is, it's agreeable enough and boasts a surprisingly bouncy soundtrack, and the movie displays a welcome nasty streak - when Danny Glover's sage, kindly mule kicked that elderly farmer in the head, knocking him unconscious, I laughed pretty hard. When he did it twice more, I laughed twice as hard.


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