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items tagged with Joshua

Child Labor: “Orphan” and “The Ugly Truth”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-27 15:37:15

Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Vera Farmiga in OrphanORPHAN

Director Jaume Collet-Serra's Orphan features that most indestructible and, oftentimes, luridly enjoyable of horror-flick staples - the psychopathic prepubescent - and would probably be a lot of fun if it wasn't so relentlessly unpleasant and stupid. Those of us who've been known to get a kick out of these Omen-esque outings will probably give the movie the benefit of the doubt for far longer than it deserves. But for all of its effective jolts and expert acting, Orphan is so frustratingly illogical that it trashes whatever goodwill you extend toward it, and the experience is too unremittingly dour and punishing to be any kind of not-so-guilty pleasure. (One of the friends I saw the film with left the auditorium saying, "I need a shower now." Get in line, pal.)


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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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