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items tagged with John Cusack

Serving in Silence: "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Jobs," and "Kick-Ass 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-08-19 09:06:55

Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker in Lee Daniels' The ButlerLEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER

While raving to him about Lee Daniels’ The Butler – the glorious, heart-rending, hugely entertaining Civil Rights saga that may showcase the finest performance yet by star Forest Whitaker – a friend asked if it was the sort of movie that needed to be seen at the movies, or if it was something that could wait until home video. I replied that, as much as I think great films should always be seen first in as grandly scaled a format as possible, it was probably a work that wouldn’t lose much in the transition from big to smaller screen. Although director Daniels’ effort covers some 75 years of American history, with Whitaker portraying an eight-term White House servant over more than 50 of them, it’s still a rather intimate epic boasting a mostly understated visual style, and will no doubt play just fine in home-theater settings. (Actually, after the film’s “For Your Consideration” screeners are eventually sent out, I think it’s going to play awfully fine in the home-theater settings of Oscar voters. My first thought on the drive home was that even though it’s only August, this year’s Best Picture, Director, and Actor races were already all sewn up.)


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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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Oui, Oui!: “Midnight in Paris” and “Judy Moody & the Not Bummer Summer”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-06-12 23:00:26

Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams in Midnight in ParisMIDNIGHT IN PARIS

The overall experience of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, at least for me, can be effectively visualized in one sequence – one shot, really – in this jubilant, intoxicating comedy.


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Trouble Bath: "Hot Tub Time Machine" and "How to Train Your Dragon"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-29 13:47:33

Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, and John Cusack in Hot Tub Time MachineHOT TUB TIME MACHINE

Early in director Steve Pink's new comedy, miserable fortysomethings Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Lou (Rob Corddry) decide to cheer themselves up with a weekend retreat to the beloved ski lodge of their youth, taking Adam's similarly downbeat nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) along for the trek. In the 24 years since the friends' last visit, the lodge has turned into a weathered dump. But their old room still has a jacuzzi, and after a debaucherous night of liquor, cocaine, and bubbling hot water, the four men awaken, and gradually discover that they've been magically transported to 1986. Gazing at the agent of this disruption with the space/time continuum, Nick says, "It's like some kind of ... hot tub time machine." And then, with the slowest of head movements and the deadest of deadpans, Nick turns and stares down the camera, as if to say, "Are you freaking kidding with this?"
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End-of Daze: “2012” and “Pirate Radio”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-15 22:38:13

Morgan Lily and John Cusack in 20122012

After 2012 - the movie, not the year - it will be exceedingly difficult for Roland Emmerich to deliver yet another of his expensive, apocalyptic disaster cartoons. So, you know, I guess we should be grateful for small favors.


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