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items tagged with John Ortiz

Tony Soprano and a Pit Bull Walk into a Bar ... : "The Drop," "Dolphin Tale 2," and "No Good Deed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-09-14 20:02:12

Tom Hardy in The DropTHE DROP

Tom Hardy, by this point in his career, has had enough major roles in enough major movies to qualify as a familiar face. And a good thing, too, because if we were forced to rely on his voice and specific screen type, how, from film to film, would we ever recognize him? The British star’s latest is the crime thriller The Drop, and it’s a solid piece of work – hardly novel, but gripping and enjoyable nonetheless. Yet it’s tough to imagine any Hardy fan even thinking about skipping it, considering that, much like the recent home-video release Locke, the movie allows this brilliantly chameleon-like character actor to perform an exquisite slow burn that lasts 90-ish minutes, and to sound and seem quite unlike anyone he’s ever played before.


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Mad About You: "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained," and "Parental Guidance"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-12-31 14:13:50

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings PlaybookSILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook is a modern romantic comedy, which means that, in essence, its storyline would fit rather snugly alongside those of many offerings in the cinematic oeuvres of Katherine Heigl and Kate Hudson. But allow me to blow your minds with this little nugget of information: While its narrative arc may seem familiar, even insultingly so, almost nothing in the movie happens the way you think it will. Somehow, using author Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel as a blueprint, Russell has taken a tale involving two impossibly good-looking near-lovers, an emotionally distant family, and a big dance contest, and has ensured that you truly can’t predict whether the seemingly de rigueur unions and reconciliations and victories will actually transpire. What’s the deal with this Russell guy? Doesn’t he know that’s not the way things are done in Hollywood?


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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