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items tagged with James Franco

War, Strife, and the House of Payne: "The Sitter," "Like Crazy," "Margin Call," "The Descendants," "New Year's Eve," and "Dog Jack"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-12-11 21:28:51

Landry Bender, Kevin Hernandez, Max Records, and Jonah Hill in The SitterIn a rather perverse bit of scheduling, at least for me, last weekend brought with it the area release of exactly zero debuting films, while this past weekend delivered six ... on the same weekend, I should add, that I had a lengthy road trip out of town and appeared in four performances of a local stage production. But I’m not one to complain. Onward!


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Swap Meat: “The Change-Up” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-07 00:13:07

Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds in The Change-UpTHE CHANGE-UP

The Change-Up, in which Jason Bateman’s discontented husband and father magically swaps bodies with Ryan Reynolds’ perfectly contented slacker dumb-ass, is an appallingly smutty and juvenile slapstick. In the segment that finds Reynolds (in Bateman’s body) preparing a late-night feeding for his pal’s infant twins – with one tot seen playing with butcher knives and the other reaching into the blender and sticking his tongue into an electrical socket – it features one of the most painfully unfunny scenes in cinema history, and I’m not excluding any given scene in Sophie’s Choice or Schindler’s List.


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A-Stabbin' the Dorks: "Scream 4," "The Conspirator," "Soul Surfer," and "Your Highness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-18 17:44:08

Neve Campbell in Scream 4SCREAM 4

Directed, as all of the franchise’s outings have been, by Wes Craven, and written by Kevin Williamson, Scream 4 is a sequel, a reboot, and a big middle finger to reboots, all in one bloody, meta, mostly tedious package. It opens beautifully and features a bunch of (mostly verbal) horror-comedy pleasures, yet its overall effect is wearying; Craven and Williamson are so focused on deconstructing the genre – the Scream series in particular – for a media-soaked, hipper-than-thou young audience that even its “surprises” are in quotation marks. Watching Scream 4 is like watching a movie with its commentary track running before you’ve had a chance to experience the film without it.


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Oscars / The Grouch: Notes on the 2011 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2011-02-28 19:41:18

Best Actor Colin FirthBefore getting into what went wrong at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony – and sadly, quite a bit went wrong – let’s begin by addressing the one portion of the telecast that, for maybe the first time in Oscar history, went magically right.


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Out on a Limb: "127 Hours" and "The Rite"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-30 22:23:03

James Franco in 127 Hours127 HOURS

At my first screening of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours (which I initially caught in Chicagoland over Thanksgiving weekend), I was immediately knocked out by how vibrantly entertaining it was – hardly a fait accompli when a movie climaxes with a bloody act of self-amputation.


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