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items tagged with Jessica Chastain

In the Beginning … : "Prometheus" and "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-11 13:42:37

Logan Marshall-Green, Noopi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender in PrometheusPROMETHEUS

After many months of speculation, the question of whether Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is, in fact, a prequel to the director’s Alien can finally be answered: Hell yeah it is. And a good thing, too, because the enticing echoes of that 1979 sci-fi/horror essential are among the scant few elements that truly resonate in this visually extraordinary but only fitfully engaging endeavor.


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Sweet and Lowdown: Or, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Mike Schulz’s Favorite Movies of 2011* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2012-01-01 12:01:00

If you will, please permit me a quick public apology before I expound on my 10 favorite movies of this past year:

Sorry, Muppets. If I hadn’t caught that out-of-town flick a week ago, you totally would’ve made the list. (Instead, you top the list of the 150 other 2011 movies I saw.)


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... And "Jack & Jill" Came Tumbling After: 150 Movies Not on 2011's 10-Favorites List
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2012-01-01 12:00:00

The MuppetsEvery January, I share my numerical rankings of the 10 most enjoyable movies I saw during the previous year. I do not, however, share my numerical rankings of all the other titles I caught during those 12 months, as such a list would, I think, be hopelessly arbitrary, terribly self-indulgent, and something that only a person with too much time on his hands would attempt.

Let’s get cracking, shall we?


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You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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Mississippi Yearning: "The Help" and "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-14 18:16:01

Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis in The HelpTHE HELP

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s much-loved bestseller, The Help concerns the tenuous relationships between black domestic workers and their privileged white employers in early-’60s Mississippi, and it’s a fairly obvious movie, with director Tate Taylor opting for broad brushstrokes over subtlety, and the occasionally wrenching drama sitting, rather uncomfortably, alongside klutzy jokiness. Yet offhand, I can’t think of another popular entertainment whose flaws matter less than this film’s, because everything that’s lacking in the picture is more than made up for in the fearless, emotionally precise, and oftentimes devastating portrayals of Taylor’s cast. The Help is easy to complain about, but all it takes is one of the magnificent Viola Davis’ fierce, tearful stares – or a blast of Octavia Spencer’s anger, or a flash of Emma Stone’s heartbreak, or a burst of Jessica Chastain’s joy – to make your complaints feel positively moot.


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