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items tagged with John Lee Hancock

The Fraudulent World of Disney: "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Walking with Dinosaurs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-22 21:39:01

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. BanksSAVING MR. BANKS

Saving Mr. Banks concerns the efforts of the crinkly-eyed Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) in getting the persnickety, Hollywood-averse British author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to sign over the book rights to Mary Poppins. (Spoiler Alert: He does.) And as it’s a Disney movie about a Disney movie with Disney products and Disney people – including Uncle Walt himself – popping up nearly every time you blink, the cynic in me resisted director John Lee Hancock’s dramatic comedy for as long as humanly possible. Then Thompson’s seemingly impenetrable Travers broke down while watching the Banks family sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” at Mary Poppins’ first public screening, and I was a goner. Aw crap, I thought while wiping away tears. Two more minutes and I would’ve been fine.


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Happily Grimm: "Snow White & the Huntsman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-04 02:34:19

Charlize Theron in Snow White & the HuntsmanSNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN

The first words heard in Snow White & the Huntsman are “Once upon a time ... ,” and for the next 125 minutes, the movie unfurls like a malicious, exhilarating fairytale for adults – or a bedtime story for really, really naughty kids. In an age when most screen adaptations of familiar childhood stories quickly descend into camp – either intentionally (Mirror Mirror) or unintentionally (Red Riding Hood) – the intelligence and violence and emotional hunger of debuting director Rupert Sanders’ Snow White saga feel utterly welcome, and even somewhat revolutionary. By the film’s finale (and I presume this isn’t a spoiler), good has triumphed and evil has been vanquished, but the weight of the characters’ horrific experiences hasn’t been forgotten; it’s clear from their serene yet exhausted expressions that while Snow White and her kingdom’s subjects get their Happily Ever After, they’ll more likely be living Happily, Hesitantly, Ever After.


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Not to My Lycan: "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and "The Blind Side"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-22 22:10:50

Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: New MoonTHE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

Like last November's film version of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, this November's follow-up, the helpfully titled The Twilight Saga: New Moon, is a mostly dour affair, a vampire tale less concerned with blood-letting than with the pain of teenage heartache, romantic longing, chastity, and maudlin acoustic ballads. That's why, despite some occasional levity, it's a shock to find director Chris Weitz's movie boasting not one but two absolutely outstanding jokes.


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Surprisingly, "The Alamo" Isn’t Instantly Forgettable: Also, "Hellboy," "Walking Tall," "The Fog of War," and "In America"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-04-14 00:00:00

The AlamoTHE ALAMO

The Alamo is surprisingly not-bad. John Lee Hancock’s long-delayed drama is by no means a great movie, but it’s a pretty darned good audience movie, a middlebrow weeper like A Beautiful Mind or Titanic that, despite its flaws (and against your better judgment), you can find yourself really falling for.


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