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items tagged with James McAvoy

WOW•E: "WALL•E" and "Wanted"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-07-02 08:34:22

WALL•EWALL•E

Pixar's WALL•E is the best 100 minutes I've spent at the movies this year. It may wind up being the best 100 I'll have spent at the movies all year. (The first half seems perfect, and the second half seems merely to be Pixar working at full inspiration, which is the closest thing to perfect.) Prior to WALL•E, I found it impossible to decide whether Toy Story 2 or Finding Nemo or The Incredibles was my favorite of the studio's features. Now they're all fighting for second.


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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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Liar, Liar: "Atonement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-09 08:14:07

Keira Knightley and James McAvoy in AtonementATONEMENT

It seems that lately, whenever I leave the film version of some well-regarded or beloved novel - be it No Country for Old Men or Gone Baby Gone or one of the Harry Potters - I feel a nagging guilt for not having previously read the books they're based on, and I'd consider remedying that if I wasn't concerned about being subsequently disappointed by the adaptations. (Or, in the case of most of the Potter movies, even more disappointed.) After seeing director Joe Wright's Atonement, though, I was completely annoyed with myself for being unfamiliar with author Ian McEwan's 2001 precursor - I was dying to understand what, when the end credits rolled, inspired a majority of my fellow audience members to applaud.


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Austentation: "Becoming Jane" and "Rush Hour 3"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-08-15 08:35:41

Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy in Becoming JaneBECOMING JANE

I have friends, most of them equipped with a Y chromosome, who wouldn't be caught dead at an 18th century British period film studded with corsets and bucolic splendor and one of those "That man is so insolent and frustrating I must be in love with him!" storylines.


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No Guts, No Glory: "Letters from Iwo Jima," "The Last King of Scotland," and "Pan's Labyrinth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-24 08:16:47

Letters from Iwo JimaFor devoted movie hounds, and those who enjoy getting caught up with potential Academy Award nominees, this past weekend was an embarrassment of riches, as Davenport's Showcase 53 presented the local debuts of Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland, and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. Of course, the wide(r) release of these three films makes good business sense - what better time for such specialized works to attract audiences if not the weekend after the Golden Globes and before the announcement of 2006 Oscar nominees? (Showcase 53 and Moline's Great Escape Theatre also, wisely, brought The Queen back to area screens - seriously, folks, it's so much fun! - and Great Escape re-opened Babel.)


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