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items tagged with Joel Coen

The Crash of 29: “The Age of Adaline," "Little Boy," and "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-04-26 21:54:06

Michiel Huisman and Blake Lively in The Age of AdalineTHE AGE OF ADALINE

In director Lee Toland Krieger’s The Age of Adaline, Blake Lively plays a 29-year-old who, following a supernatural accident involving a car crash and a bolt of lightning, goes through life never again aging a day, and 82-year-old Ellen Burstyn plays her daughter. You may recall that Burstyn also recently portrayed Matthew McConaughey’s elderly daughter in Interstellar. If this is the continuation of a trend for the magnificent actress, I’m really hoping she keeps acting for another decade or more, because I’m dying to eventually see her cast as the great-grand-niece to that adorable little girl on Modern Family.


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True Defective: "Unbroken," "The Imitation Game," and "Big Eyes"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-29 01:20:46

Jack O'Connell in UnbrokenUNBROKEN, THE IMITATION GAME, and BIG EYES

Among other titles, Christmas Day brought with it the area releases of Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Each of them opens with a title-card variant on “This is a true story.” Each of them ends with a series of title cards informing us what happened to characters after the films’ narratives concluded. And each of them, for occasional better and more frequent worse, feels absolutely, 100-percent Hollywood.


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Bee Prepared: "Bad Words," "Enemy," and "Sabotage"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-03-31 14:41:47

Rohan Chand and Jason Bateman in Bad WordsBAD WORDS

It’s not impossible to make a comedy centered on an angry, sullen, emotionally inaccessible bastard, as Oscar Isaac recently proved in Inside Llewyn Davis. In that film, however, Isaac had a Coen-brothers script and a bunch of sensational folk songs to help carry him through. In Bad Words, director/star Jason Bateman merely has a half-workable comic conceit and access to unlimited profanities. The anger, sullenness, and inaccessibility, I’m sorry to say, win out.


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Plains Spoken: "Nebraska," "Gimme Shelter," and "I, Frankenstein"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-26 23:52:43

Will Forte and Bruce Dern in NebraskaNEBRASKA

After opening nationally (in larger markets) in November, Alexander Payne’s comic elegy Nebraska – nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Director – finally hit Quad Cities cineplexes this past weekend. I actually saw the film in Chicagoland over the holidays, and ordinarily, when preparing to review a film I first viewed a month prior, I’d take in a second screening to reacquaint myself with the images, dialogue, and performances. But I didn’t with Payne’s latest. I took in a second screening just for the sheer pleasure of the experience. Memories of Nebraska’s marvelous images, dialogue, and performances, thank you very much, were still wonderfully fresh.


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Folk Yeah!: "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Lone Survivor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-13 03:18:31

Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake, and Adam Driver in Inside Llewyn DavisINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

There are some Coen-brothers movies – Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou? and True Grit come immediately to mind – that, because they exude such palpable filmmaking energy and are so spectacularly quotable, I wanted to talk about immediately after first seeing them. Then there are the rarer Coen-brothers movies, among them The Hudsucker Proxy and Intolerable Cruelty and Burn After Reading, that I didn’t feel much like talking about afterward, mostly because I didn’t enjoy them much on a first go-round. (Though I’ve consequently become a big fan of Joel’s and Ethan’s Hudsucker and Burn, in the case of Intolerable Cruelty, second and third go-rounds did nothing to improve matters.)

And then there are Coen-brothers movies such as the new Inside Llewyn Davis, a work that is, I think, so good that I don’t want to discuss it for fear of not coming close to doing it justice.


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