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items tagged with Jim Piddock

Prenuptial Agreement: “The Five-Year Engagement,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” “The Raven,” and “Safe”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-29 22:03:44

Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie in The Five-Year EngagementTHE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

Say what you will about the current state of movies. Yet in the history of the medium, have the actors who populate film comedies ever been as across-the-board-excellent as they are right now? It took about 20 minutes for this question to pop into my head during The Five-Year Engagement, and once it did, I’m not sure I ever stopped pondering it; from the stars to the supporting cast to the bit players who show up for all of three seconds, director Nicholas Stoller’s rom-com features an embarrassment of performance riches. The movie itself? Eh, it’s okay.


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Smother’s Day: "Because I Said So," "Catch & Release," and "Epic Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-02-07 08:27:58

Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore in Because I Said SoBECAUSE I SAID SO

I adore Diane Keaton, but after sitting through her torturously affected performance in Michael Lehmann's Because I Said So, I'd be hard-pressed to explain why. Playing the meddling, overbearing mother of Mandy Moore's chatterbox caterer - a single woman for whom Mom is desperately acting as matchmaker - Keaton has the unenviable task of playing an abjectly hateful character, a woman so hell-bent on micro-managing her daughter's life that she makes everyone around her miserable.


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“Best” and Worst: “Best in Show” and “Pay It Forward”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-11-01 12:00:00

Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara in Best in ShowBEST IN SHOW

The genius of Christopher Guest lies in his belief that nothing is funnier than mediocrity. (He's the antithesis of Peter Shaffer's Salieri in Amadeus, who saw it as a tragic failure.) In his two finest cinematic efforts, This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman, the performers examined in the "mockumentary" format - Tap's hard rockers and Guffman's thespians - were delightful because of their clueless self-satisfaction; they truly thought they were creating Art, or at least really kick-ass entertainment. And the joke blossomed every time we watched them perform their shows before audiences, because it turned out that these well-meaning hacks, while by no means terrific, weren't all that bad. They might have been lacking in talent, but their enthusiasm was infectious, and it made sense that their shows were hits. (God knows I've seen worse community-theatre productions than Guffman's Red, White, & Blaine.) Guest, who co-wrote both films and served as director for Guffman, was thereby able to poke fun at his characters and have you genuinely rooting for them at the same time.


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