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items tagged with Jeffrey Wright

For the Children, or Merely Childish?: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe" and "Syriana"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-14 00:00:00

Tilda Swinton and Skandar Keynes in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson’s imagining of the first book in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, is almost childishly clunky, but it’s nearly impossible to dislike. Geared, as it appears, toward a very young audience – I’d say seven or eight – the movie is sweet, and it’s sincere, and it displays a welcome touch of fairy-tale simplicity. Despite the rather prosaic nature of its presentation, Narnia is one of those movies that, if it catches children at the right age, might linger in their memories for some time to come; it’s just magical enough to suggest how magical it should have been. For kids who are finally seeing their beloved Narnia novel translated to the big screen, Adamson’s Narnia will be good enough. It just doesn’t have much to offer the rest of us. Adamson is co-director of the Shrek movies, and he does a fair enough job with the movie’s CGI wonders; the lion Messiah Aslan (voiced, to the surprise of no one, by Liam Neeson) moves with regal grace, and the beavers who accompany the Pevensie children on their quest seem to be, for kids in the audience, enjoyably frisky characters. But all throughout the film, I had the nagging feeling that, if he was allowed, Adamson would have happily computer-generated his humans, too.


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A Hundred-Plus Reasons to Go to the Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2004-10-27 00:00:00
My first article for the River Cities’ Reader appeared in Issue 18, way back in March of 1995. (You know how long ago that was? Tom Hanks had only one Oscar.) Serving as the Reader’s film critic was, and still is, a terrific gig – for an avowed movie fanatic who loves to write, the chance to expound on the state of cinema has always been about more than giving a particular work a “yay” or “nay” vote; it’s given me, in a minor way, the opportunity to analyze an entire culture, to try to understand what’s in the heads of those who make films, and those who distribute films, and the millions of us who view them.
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"Harold & Kumar" No Masterpiece, But It’s Smart and Fun: "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," "The Manchurian Candidate"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-11 00:00:00

How strange that, of the two movies I recently caught as a double-feature – Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, directed by Dude, Where’s My Car? auteur Danny Leiner – not only is Harold & Kumar the better of the two, it’s the only one really worth discussing in any detail.


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2003 in Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2003-12-24 00:00:00

Among the year’s seemingly endless spate of business-as-usual Hollywood product, with the remakes and sequels and – in the case of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – a de facto remake of a sequel, I saw exactly one work in 2003 that, with absolutely no qualms, I would call a masterpiece, and it made its debut on HBO. (It was that kind of year.)
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Fun Flicks at Last!: "Shaft" and "Fantasia 2000"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-06-21 12:00:00

Samuel L. Jackson and Toni Collette in Shaft

SHAFT and FANTASIA 2000

For about a month now, when friends have asked me what new movies they should see, I've come dangerously close to drawing a blank. I'd mention Gladiator (which, naturally, most of them had already seen) and Small Time Crooks (which, sadly, most were uninterested in). Then I'd generally guide them in a different direction altogether, like Paul Thomas Anderson's magnificent Magnolia, which recently returned to Moline's discount cineplex. Or video and DVD, with the recent release of two extraordinary documentaries: Chris Smith's hilarious and touching American Movie, probably the best film of 1999 that wasn't seen locally, and Errol Morris' disturbing but brilliant Mr. Death: The Rise & Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.


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