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items tagged with James Gandolfini

In Glourious Company: Mike Schulz’s 10 Most Enjoyable Movies of 2009
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2010-01-04 12:00:00

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in Inglourious BasterdsAs one calendar year ends and another begins, it feels like a good time to give thanks. And amidst the lame romantic comedies and thrill-less thrillers and unending stream of remakes, sequels, and - in the case of Rob Zombie's Halloween II - even the remake of a sequel, there was actually quite a lot that I was thankful for in the movie year of 2009.


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“Wild Things,” I Think I Love You: “Where the Wild Things Are”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-18 20:44:12

Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini) and Max Records in Where the Wild Things AreWHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Where to begin in describing all the things that could've gone wrong with director Spike Jonze's live-action take on Where the Wild Things Are? And where to begin in describing all the things that have gone magically, even miraculously, right with it?


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Subway Training Day: "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" and "Imagine That"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-06-14 21:51:47

Denzel Washington in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3

Set in modern-day New York City, director Tony Scott's action-thriller The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 finds Denzel Washington playing transit-authority executive Walter Garber, a conscientious worker and devoted family man accused of accepting bribes, and consequently - 799 WORDS TO GO!!! - demoted to the rank of dispatcher. One afternoon, while monitoring routine subway transport, Garber notices an irregular stop made by one particular train, and attempts to make radio contact with its motorman. Instead, he makes contact with the train's hijacker, a tattooed psychopath who calls himself Ryder, and - 751 WORDS TO GO!!! - is played by John Travolta. Ordering Garber to secure a ransom of $10 million, Ryder insists that he'll begin shooting passengers if his demands aren't met, and given an hour to procure the money, Garber, a hostage negotiator (John Turturro), and the city's mayor (James Gandolfini) unite to stop the - 700 WORDS TO GO!!! - madman from ... .

Oh, I'm sorry, are those interruptions irritating? Well, you'd better get used to it - gripping and entertaining though it mostly is, Scott's movie oftentimes feels like the cinematic equivalent of that opening paragraph.


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The Papal Chase: "Angels & Demons" and "The Last Lullaby"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-17 22:04:42

Tom Hanks in Angels & DemonsANGELS & DEMONS

You may not necessarily know character actor Armin Mueller-Stahl by name, but you likely know him by sight, and almost surely by voice. Familiar from such thrillers as Eastern Promises, The Game, and the recent The International - and Oscar-nominated as David Helfgott's über-strict father in Shine - the 78-year-old German, with his closely-cropped gray hair and wizened eye slits, doesn't look much different now from how he did playing Jessica Lange's is-he-a-Nazi-or-isn't-he? dad in 1989's Music Box. And he sounds exactly the same, with that heavily accented, hoarse whisper of his; by the time the performer reaches the end of a sentence, he always seems dangerously close to running out of breath.


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Great Expectation: "Knocked Up"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-06-06 09:26:16

Katherine Heigl, Leslie Mann, Seth Rogen, and Paul Rudd in Knocked UpKNOCKED UP

A few hours before I saw the film, a friend asked if I was looking forward to Knocked Up, and as a devoted fan of writer/director Judd Apatow, I responded, only half-jokingly, that I was because "Judd Apatow is going to save movie comedy." After seeing the movie, I'm not sure there was reason to even half-joke: Judd Apatow just might save movie comedy. Over the past 10 years, there are only a handful of TV series that hold a candle to Apatow's Freaks & Greeks and Undeclared, and his directorial debut The 40-Year-Old Virgin is pretty much the current dirty/sweet-comedy standard-bearer; Knocked Up suggests that beyond being a sensational entertainer, Apatow may be that rare comic pioneer who is also (gasp!) a comedic artist.


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