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items tagged with Jane Lynch

The Agony of the Ecstasy: "Snitch" and "Escape from Planet Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-24 17:48:56

Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, and Dwayne Johnson in SnitchSNITCH

As a film star, Dwayne Johnson possesses a lot of gifts – or, at least, sufficiently impressive gifts for what his résumé has required. Though God knows he’s physically intimidating, Johnson is also our most thoroughly genial of ass-kickers, with even his most violent of big-screen endeavors leavened by a welcome lightness of touch and hint of amused self-mockery. And as he has proved in all those bland family entertainments over the years, Johnson still manages to appear game and committed in movies that don’t deserve his considerable charisma, often salvaging entire scenes through unexpectedly silly gestures or readings that show just how inventive a comedian he can be. (I was happy for 10 whole minutes following his brief channeling of co-star Michael Caine in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. They were about the only 10 minutes during the movie in which I was happy.)


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Biting (Off) the Hand That Feeds You: "The Cabin in the Woods," "The Three Stooges," "The Raid: Redemption," and "Lockout"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-15 21:33:49

Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth, and Anna Hutchison in The Cabin in the WoodsTHE CABIN IN THE WOODS

Hollywood’s been leading toward it for decades, and with the blithely enjoyable, exceedingly clever The Cabin in the Woods, it’s finally happened: A movie has been released in which practically everything about it – its plot, its twists, its performers, its characters, its themes, its jokes – could be considered a spoiler.


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Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-20 21:01:52

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.


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It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Ogre: "Shrek Forever After" and "MacGruber"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-23 21:15:00
Shrek Forever After

SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.
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When Bad Movies Happen to Good Actors: “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” and “Post Grad”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-08-23 22:52:46

Jeremy Piven and James Brolin in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell HardTHE GOODS: LIVE HARD, SELL HARD

Assuming his talents haven't waned in the current, sixth season of Entourage, Jeremy Piven's bile-spewing Hollywood agent Ari Gold remains (as of season five) as corrosively entertaining as ever, and the Neal Brennan comedy The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard suggests that Piven's Gold routine could be just as enjoyable on big screens as small ones. It would certainly help, though, if the actor were given a few funny scripts to work with, or at least funnier than this shapeless, scattershot comedy about used-car hucksters trying to unload 211 vehicles over a long Fourth of July weekend.


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