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items tagged with Joan Cusack

McCarthyism ... the Good Kind: "Win Win," "Fast Five," and "Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-02 13:33:21

Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer in Win WinWIN WIN

When I say that writer/director Tom McCarthy’s Win Win could easily serve as the inspiration for a long-running TV series, I don’t mean it in any way insultingly, partly because our current small-screen options are, in general, vastly superior to our big-screen ones. Mostly, though, it’s because this serious-minded comedy is so teeming with nuanced, empathetic characters and complicated yet wholly plausible situations and circumstances that you want to luxuriate in Win Win’s universe for far longer than the movie’s too-brief 100 minutes – like, for an hour a week over several seasons.


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L.A.-ians Vs. Predators: "Battle: Los Angeles," "Red Riding Hood," and "Mars Needs Moms"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-13 18:49:44

Aaron Eckhart in Battle: Los AngelesBATTLE: LOS ANGELES

My number-one, hands-down, love-it-to-death favorite scene in the science-fiction action spectacle Battle: Los Angeles occurs roughly 40 minutes into the film. Hundreds of meteors have fallen to earth in urban centers around the globe, and are revealed to be teeming with aliens, who waste no time in annihilating everything and everyone in their paths. After engaging in long sequences of L.A.-based retaliation, a stalwart band of Marines is helicoptered into Santa Monica to fend off one of these attacks, and a frightened lieutenant ducks into in an apartment complex’s laundry room, where he watches the horrific destruction through a window. Suddenly hearing a noise behind him, the man whips around, expecting to come face-to-face with one of the monstrous invaders from another world. Yet instead of terror, the lieutenant’s face quickly registers relief, as the sound he heard was just that of the washing machine’s spin cycle.

You know what that means, right? That in the midst of this apocalyptic showdown that, as we’ve witnessed on TV newscasts, has been going on for several hours now, someone in that apartment complex decided it was a good time to throw in a load of laundry.


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The Flicks Are All Right: Mike Schulz’s 10 Most Enjoyable Movies of 2010
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2011-01-03 12:00:00

Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in The Social NetworkBefore commencing with the annual fawning, I thought I’d begin by exercising one of my God-given rights as a reviewer: the right to bitch about the sorry state of movies. I think it’s supposed to go something like this:

Boy, are the movies in a sorry state!


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To Eternity, and Beyond: "Toy Story 3," "Legends of Flight 3D," and "Jonah Hex"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-20 22:13:46

Toy Story 3TOY STORY 3

Sitting in the packed auditorium for a matinée screening of Toy Story 3, I was unsurprised to find that one of my fellow audience members was an infant who cried almost throughout the entire film. I would've been more irritated by the distraction if, for hefty chunks of the movie's opening and closing reels, I wasn't such a weepy infant myself.
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Charmed and Dangerous: "Public Enemies," "Away We Go," and "My Sister's Keeper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-03 12:00:00

Johnny Depp in Public EnemiesPUBLIC ENEMIES

With a low-key yet intensely charismatic Johnny Depp as its lead, you could describe Michael Mann's Public Enemies as the story behind the criminal activity of the infamous, Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. But that's not entirely accurate. The film is also about the nascent, frequently misguided authority of the FBI, personified here by a stalwart agent (a somber, less-throaty-than-usual Christian Bale) and showboating chief J. Edgar Hoover (a spectacular Billy Crudup). It's also about early media saturation in our country, and the public's complicity in turning villains into heroes, and the labyrinthine hierarchies among American gangsters, and - as embodied by a dazzlingly desirable and powerful Marion Cotillard - the ever-unpredictable nature of love. And, more than anything, it's about the exquisite craftsmanship of Michael Mann, whose Public Enemies doesn't look or sound quite like any other crime movie you've seen, and whose technical virtuosity might make Public Enemies impossible to forget.


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