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items tagged with James Gandolfini

Hit the Road, Jack: “The Departed” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-11 04:38:41

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson in The DepartedTHE DEPARTED

Because Martin Scorsese's internal-affairs thriller The Departed is so colossally entertaining, so brimming with performance and filmmaking craft, I may as well get its major failing out of the way right off the bat: What the hell is Jack Nicholson doing here?


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Stark Raving: “All the King’s Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” and “Everyone’s Hero”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-27 04:41:49

Jude Law and Sean Penn in All the King's MenALL THE KING'S MEN

In his role as the initially idealistic, eventually corrupt Louisiana governor Willie Stark in All the King's Men, Sean Penn delivers a series of impassioned orations to Stark's constituency, and every time he does, the movie displays a robust, dramatic fire. A self-described "hick" preaching to those he feels have been similarly politically oppressed, Stark barks out his plans for a better future, and Penn, with a thick drawl and a timbre that rises and falls in waves, attacks these scenes with an egocentric bluster that, at first, veers dangerously close to parody - close your eyes, and he could be Jackie Gleason on a dyspeptic tirade in Smokey & the Bandit. Yet you don't laugh at him. Penn's Stark is such a powerful, daunting presence that he transcends hammy Southern caricature through the legitimate emotion in his outbursts and the intensity of his gaze, and during the governor's stump speeches, King's Men writer/director Steven Zaillian has the good sense to get out of Penn's way and let him run the show.


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Post-Halloween Tricks and Treats: "Shaun of the Dead," "The Grudge," "Saw," "Shall We Dance?", "I Heart Huckabee's," "Surviving Christmas," and "Celsius 41.11"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-11-03 00:00:00

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the DeadSHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE GRUDGE, and SAW

Halloween has come and gone, but three horror flicks are currently in theaters and – surprise! – two of them are actually good.


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"From Hell" Is Heaven-Sent: Also, "Riding in Cars with Boys" and "The Last Castle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-24 00:00:00

Johnny Depp in From HellFROM HELL

You can be forgiven for assuming that From Hell, Allen and Albert Hughes’ re-telling of the Jack the Ripper saga (based on the immensely popular graphic novel), is a follow-up to Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, what with its previews focusing on a shadowy murderer, lots of fog and mist, Johnny Depp’s investigator speaking in a British accent (Cockney this time), and Heather Graham in the Christina Ricci role of the Corseted Love Interest.


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Notes on Brad, Julia, and "The Mexican"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-03-07 00:00:00

Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts in The MexicanTHE MEXICAN

We’ve had the evidence for years, but I think it’s time we made it official: Brad Pitt is a gonzo supporting player stuck in a (rather dull) leading man’s body. Recently, he portrayed the heavily-accented Irish boxer in Snatch, giving the film a jolt of pure, comedic adrenalin – his screen time was brief, but he was the most entertaining performer in the movie – and when he appeared as a supporting actor in 12 Monkeys, Thelma & Louise, and True Romance (probably his best, and easily his funniest, screen work), his performances were well-calibrated and often inspired. Pitt can display a true flair for off-kilter comedy; it’s telling that his most enjoyable lead performance has come from the darkly comic cult film Fight Club, where his Tyler Durden was clearly one of Pitt’s nutjob character roles gone berserk.


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