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items tagged with Jesse Eisenberg

A Supposedly Fun Thing He’ll Never Do Again: "The End of the Tour," "Tangerine," and "The Tribe"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-08-24 01:03:04

Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel in The End of the TourTHE END OF THE TOUR

An interviewer for Rolling Stone travels to Bloomington, Illinois, to meet his subject: an author embarking on the last leg of his book tour. They make small talk at the author’s house. They smoke incessantly. They gorge on junk food. They travel to Minnesota for a reading and radio segment. They visit the Mall of America. They catch a multiplex movie. They hang out with a couple of young women. They consume more junk food. They return to Bloomington. They part ways.

In broad outline, that is the entire plot of director James Ponsoldt’s and screenwriter Donald Margulies’ The End of the Tour. And with the possible exception of Mad Max: Fury Road, no other 2015 release, to date, has entertained, thrilled, and devastated me quite as much as this one. (The film is currently playing at Iowa City’s Marcus Sycamore Cinema.) I’ll concede that much of the reason for my enjoyment might be strictly personal, or at least intensely specific. But I also don’t think anyone needs to have been an interviewer, or an interviewee, to be dazzled by the film’s intelligence, emotional complexity, and deep empathy, or by the insight it demonstrates regarding the oddly fraught practice of the celebrity profile. You probably also don’t need to be an admirer of David Foster Wallace to find yourself frequently moved to tears, but if you are one, consider yourself warned.
Read More About A Supposedly Fun Thing He’Ll Never Do Again: "The End Of The Tour," "Tangerine," And "The Tribe"...


Deputy Dogged: "Sinister 2," "Hitman: Agent 47," and "American Ultra"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-08-23 04:00:52

James Ransone in Sinister 2SINISTER 2

You know the feeling you get when you go to summer camp and make a great new friend, but he/she isn’t there the next summer, or the summer after that, and you end up forgetting about that friend until the next summer, when, all of a sudden, there he/she is? I don’t, because I never went to summer camp. But I’m betting that sensation is similar to what I felt in the first minutes of Sinister 2 once I recognized James Ransone, who played Ethan Hawke’s adorably dippy deputy pal in 2012’s Sinister. Although the actor has amassed a bunch of film and TV credits since then (albeit not in anything I’ve seen), I can’t say I’ve thought of him even once since the release of that low-budget horror hit. Yet the second Ransone’s character showed up in director Cirián Foy’s follow-up, with his chronic awkwardness and puppy-dog eyes and intense likability, it was like being reunited with a long-lost buddy whom you’re ashamed to have let slip away. Ransone’s presence here – as our romantic lead, no less! – was a hugely welcome surprise. That Sinister 2 didn’t at all suck might’ve been a bigger one.
Read More About Deputy Dogged: "Sinister 2," "Hitman: Agent 47," And "American Ultra"...


Taking One for the Team: "Draft Day," "Oculus," "Rio 2," and "Mysteries of the Unseen World"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-04-13 19:59:04

Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner in Draft DayDRAFT DAY

Draft Day casts Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns’ general manager on the titular day in which his professional and personal crises reach their boiling points. And 20 minutes before its climax, director Ivan Reitman’s pro-football saga lands on what is simultaneously its most ironic and most perverse moment, which finds a roomful of executives and analysts bickering about a potential trade, and Costner’s Sonny Weaver Jr. ending the squabble with the incensed directive “Just give me a moment of silence so I can think!” The moment is ironic because, to this point, the movie has already been flooded with silence. The moment is also perverse because, after 90 minutes of pause-heavy introspection and hushed build-up – with the audience all but slavering for a scene of biting, fast-paced bickering – now is when Sonny demands some quiet?


Read More About Taking One For The Team: "Draft Day," "Oculus," "Rio 2," And "Mysteries Of The Unseen World"...


Hocus Bogus: "Now You See Me" and "After Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-02 22:49:47

Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco in Now You See MeNOW YOU SEE ME

Given its premise, its cast, and the fact that it’s a summertime release without a superhero or a number (or both) in the title, it was easy to feel jazzed about the prospect of Now You See Me, director Louis Leterrier’s effects-driven caper about larcenous Las Vegas magicians scoring the heist of the century. Unfortunately, it took all of three minutes for that anticipatory excitement to turn, for me, into irritation, which then turned into active aggravation, which then turned into a disengaged torpor that lasted until the end credits rolled. Ta da.


Read More About Hocus Bogus: "Now You See Me" And "After Earth"...


Viva Italia!: "To Rome with Love," "Savages," and "Katy Perry: Part of Me"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-07-09 17:50:33

Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg in To Rome with LoveTO ROME WITH LOVE

After Woody Allen’s rather staggering success with Midnight in Paris – personal-best box-office, the man’s first Academy Award in 25 years – I guess it was inevitable that critics, as a whole, would greet the filmmaker’s follow-up project with a collective “meh.” And that’s certainly happened with Woody’s new To Rome with Love. (Not that it matters, but the comedy is currently sitting with a “45-percent fresh” rating – i.e., “not fresh at all” – at the review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com.)

But I’d argue that the movie’s less generous critics have picked entirely the wrong picture to be indifferent toward, because the To Rome with Love that I saw was sensational – charming, hilarious, imaginative, and, in its offhanded way, enormously adventurous. As Woody’s latest is composed of a quartet of frothy comic vignettes set in the Eternal City, all of them reminiscent of the short fictions he occasionally writes for The New Yorker, it’s easy to see how the film is being perceived as slight. Yet that description, while somewhat accurate, doesn’t begin to suggest the masterly finesse and intelligence that Woody and his tremendous cast demonstrate here. If Midnight in Paris remains the writer/director’s finest achievement of the past two decades, To Rome with Love easily lands in the top five, and with more than 20 releases to choose from, that’s hardly something to sniff at.


Read More About Viva Italia!: "To Rome With Love," "Savages," And "Katy Perry: Part Of Me"...





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