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items tagged with Jessica Lange

The Time-Traveler Wife: "The Vow," "Safe House," and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-02-12 18:42:17

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in The VowTHE VOW

Even though I’m frequently annoyed, if not downright appalled, by them, I really don’t ask a lot from traditional romantic weepies. If the actors involved share more-than-sufficient chemistry, and the film provides at least a decent amount of legitimate passion and pathos – with a few good jokes thrown in to keep the proceedings human – I’ll generally feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth. And happily, I got my money’s worth at The Vow. I’d hardly argue that director Michael Sucsy’s love-among-the-mental-ruins effort is a good movie, but despite never being as interesting as it keeps threatening to be, this audience-friendly drama fulfills its basic requirements with the utmost sincerity and even something approaching wit.


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The Papal Chase: "Angels & Demons" and "The Last Lullaby"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-17 22:04:42

Tom Hanks in Angels & DemonsANGELS & DEMONS

You may not necessarily know character actor Armin Mueller-Stahl by name, but you likely know him by sight, and almost surely by voice. Familiar from such thrillers as Eastern Promises, The Game, and the recent The International - and Oscar-nominated as David Helfgott's über-strict father in Shine - the 78-year-old German, with his closely-cropped gray hair and wizened eye slits, doesn't look much different now from how he did playing Jessica Lange's is-he-a-Nazi-or-isn't-he? dad in 1989's Music Box. And he sounds exactly the same, with that heavily accented, hoarse whisper of his; by the time the performer reaches the end of a sentence, he always seems dangerously close to running out of breath.


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Monkey Shines: "King Kong"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-21 00:00:00

Naomi Watts and King KongKING KONG

The most telling detail in Peter Jackson’s grand, overlong, monstrously enjoyable King Kong remake is, considering the scope of this production, a relatively minor one. Having been captured by the natives of Skull Island, the ingénue Ann (Naomi Watts) is presented – tied and shrieking – as a sacrifice/gift to the enormous ape, who emerges from the jungle, frees Ann from her bindings, and grasps her in his giant paw. (Kong doesn’t grace the scene until roughly an hour into the movie, and the moments leading up to his arrival are a miracle of sound design and visual suggestion; Kong’s appearance is absolutely worth waiting for.) Like a petulant toddler who doesn’t want to share his toy, Kong quickly races back to his jungle retreat with his new plaything in hand, and the force and velocity of the ape’s movements make Ann resemble nothing so much as a human rag doll, her body limp and her limbs flailing.


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A Dirty Job, but Somebody’s Gotta Describe It ...: "The Aristocrats" and "Broken Flowers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-09-14 00:00:00

Gilbert Gottfried in The AristocratsTHE ARISTOCRATS

For those who don’t yet know, The Aristocrats is a literal one-joke movie. In Paul Provenza’s documentary, nearly a hundred comedians re-tell an old vaudeville gag about a group of performers whose act consists of them performing the filthiest, most repellant stage atrocities imaginable – some immoral, most illegal, all unimaginable (or so it would seem). The performers’ stage moniker? The Aristocrats.


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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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