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items tagged with Jonathan Liebesman

Fairly Stale Fairy Tale: "Mirror Mirror," "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," and "Wrath of the Titans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-05 18:15:03

Julia Roberts and Lilly Collins in Mirror MirrorMIRROR MIRROR

Mirror Mirror is a slightly modernized, family-comedy version of the Snow White fairy tale, and offhand, I can think of few directors less suited to the material than this film’s Tarsem Singh, the music-video veteran whose big-screen credits include those wildly baroque (and decidedly adult) spectacles The Cell and Immortals. Yet every once in a while, when a director is spectacularly wrong for a project, the results can be much more interesting than if he were right for it, and that certainly seems the case here; this aimless, pointless little trifle is mostly a drag, but I can only imagine how deadening it might’ve been without Singh at the helm.


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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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Hit the Road, Jack: “The Departed” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-11 04:38:41

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson in The DepartedTHE DEPARTED

Because Martin Scorsese's internal-affairs thriller The Departed is so colossally entertaining, so brimming with performance and filmmaking craft, I may as well get its major failing out of the way right off the bat: What the hell is Jack Nicholson doing here?


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"The Recruit" Shouldn’t Be Boring – But It Is: Also "Darkness Falls" and "Final Destination 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-02-05 00:00:00

Al Pacino and Colin Farrell in The RecruitTHE RECRUIT

In Roger Donaldson’s The Recruit, Colin Farrell plays M.I.T. graduate James Clayton, whose astonishing computer prowess catches the attention of C.I.A. agent Walter Burke (Al Pacino). Burke enlists Clayton to join the organization, bringing the young man to a top-secret, governmental compound nicknamed The Farm, where Clayton will train as a C.I.A. operative. While at The Farm – a hall-of-mirrors environment where, we’re told ad nauseum, “nothing is what it seems” – Clayton falls for fellow recruit Layla (Bridget Moynahan), who, Burke later reveals, is secretly a mole, attempting to sabotage the C.I.A. from within; Clayton’s assignment is to catch her in the act. Will Clayton’s love for Layla threaten his allegiance to the C.I.A.? Does Layla even have a secret agenda? Is Burke really who we think he is? Is anything what it seems?


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