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items tagged with James Woods

Guns and Blammo: "White House Down" and "The Heat"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-29 21:27:33

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House DownWHITE HOUSE DOWN

At the start of the Roland Emmerich thriller White House Down, Channing Tatum’s military veteran John Cale is seen applying for a position with the president of the United States’ Secret Service detail. By the film’s end, he’ll have rescued hostages, shot innumerable bad guys, ensured peace in the Middle East, averted nuclear apocalypse, and saved the commander in chief’s life several times over. In short: most impressive job interview ever.


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Near-Perfect Getaway: “Drive,” “Straw Dogs,” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-19 02:29:40

Ryan Gosling in DriveDRIVE

Drive is the first action thriller I’ve seen in ages in which the chases and threats and killings actually matter. Yet it’s also the first movie I’ve seen in ages, in any genre, in which a kiss actually matters, which is a far greater surprise. Directed by Danish helmer Nicolas Winding Refn, whose work here earned him Best Director laurels at this past spring’s Cannes Film Festival, the film is a sleek, exciting, and unexpectedly affecting tour de force of mood, like what you’d get if the Michael Mann of Manhunter and the David Lynch of Blue Velvet collaborated on a scrappy, grubby B-picture for drive-in audiences. I couldn’t possibly mean that as a higher compliment.


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"Be Cool" a Maddening Waste of Time and Talent: Also, "The Jacket" and "Cursed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-08 00:00:00

Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Be CoolBE COOL

Granted, I’ve missed a few of the year’s more high-profile flicks – Are We There Yet?, White Noise, Son of the Mask, that thing with the Heffalumps – but, in general, the releases I have viewed have been so crummy as to be some kind of joke. (The Citizen Kane of the group would actually be the remake of Assault on Precinct 13, which should tell you everything you need to know about Hollywood’s output in early 2005.) But, with the arrival of Be Cool, the joke is no longer funny. Be Cool is worse than Elektra. Hell, it’s worse than Alone in the Dark. I literally can’t remember the last time I left a screening feeling so angered by the waste of time and talent onscreen; it’s the sort of smug, lazy Bad Movie that puts you in a foul mood for the rest of the day.


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Washington Can’t Save the Witless "John Q.": Also, "Collateral Damage"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-02-20 00:00:00

Denzel Washington in John Q.JOHN Q.

In Nick Cassavetes’ soapbox-lecture-cum-thriller John Q., Denzel Washington stars as blue-collar worker John Archibald, a middle-aged Chicagoan struggling with tight finances but deeply in love with his wife, Denise (Kimberly Elise), and a great father to their only son, Mike (Daniel E. Smith). While rounding the bases at a little-league game, Mike collapses, and it’s revealed that Mike’s heart is three times the size it should be; unless the Archibalds can come up with the enormous fee required for a heart transplant, Mike will die. The Archibalds do have health insurance, but because their insurance company recently switched to an HMO (cue the duh-duh-dun music), their coverage is no longer sufficient for Mike’s operation, and when all of their other money-raising options have been eliminated, John arms himself, takes the hospital’s emergency room hostage, and announces that, yes, Mike will be getting that transplant.


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"The Score" Hits Its Mark Amid Summer Dregs: Also, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," "Kiss of the Dragon," and "Cats & Dogs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-07-18 00:00:00

Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinFINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN

I can’t imagine who could make sense of the gobbledygook plotting of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, yet I can’t imagine who will fail to be wowed by the movie’s effects; it might be the most visually extraordinary, intellectually banal sci-fi work since 2001: A Space Odyssey. There isn’t a moment in the film that isn’t amazing to watch, and that includes the moments when the heroine (voiced by Ming-Na) simply walks alone with her hair blowing lightly past her cheeks; Final Fantasy stands as the current standard-bearer in computerized realism.


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