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items tagged with Jesse Eisenberg

Tilt 'n' Whirl: "Adventureland" and "Sunshine Cleaning"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-04-05 22:41:31

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart in AdventurelandADVENTURELAND

My first awareness of writer/director Greg Mottola's Adventureland came at Christmastime, when some family members and I saw a trailer for the comedy before, of all things, a screening of Doubt. The movie's my-summer-at-an-amusement-park setup looked kind of promising, but given the preview's one-liners and visual gags, the supporting cast (Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig), and Mottola's credit as the director of Superbad, it seemed like an incredibly inappropriate teaser to run before John Patrick Shanley's nonsecular drama. When the trailer ended, my brother and I shared an incredulous look and a chuckle at the apparent incongruity. "Know your audience," he said with a laugh.


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DVDs to Watch, and Watch Again: "The Squid & the Whale" and "The Dying Gaul"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-03-29 00:00:00

THE SQUID & THE WHALE and THE DYING GAUL

Before accepting his career-achievement prize at the Academy Awards this year, director Robert Altman – his voice-over accompanying clips from his works – explained his raison d’etre: “Stories don’t interest me,” he said. “Basically, I’m more interested in behavior.” Considering his contributions to film, the admission made perfect sense – how do you adequately describe the story of M*A*S*H or Nashville or Short Cuts? But it also touched on something elemental about the movie-going experience, in terms of the emotional connections we often make with the characters on-screen. When these literally two-dimensional figures reveal themselves to be as complicated and unpredictable, as human, as we are – when we recognize their behavior with a laugh or a nod or a wince – “story” doesn’t really matter a damn; the experience of watching characters just being can be its own spellbinding reward.


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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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