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items tagged with Julia Stiles

Labored Day Weekend: "Closed Circuit," "Instructions Not Included," "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," "One Direction: This Is Us," and "Getaway"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-09-02 05:01:17

Eric Bana and Ciaran Hinds in Closed CircuitIt’s a commonly held belief, mostly because it’s generally true, that no worthwhile movies open on either the last weekend of August or Labor Day weekend. So I hope I wasn’t alone, among reviewers, in feeling trepidation about my most recent cineplex duties, given that this year, in a calendar rarity, those weekends were one and the same. (Would the films be twice as bad as usual? Would there be twice as many bad films to contend with?) But I’m pleased, and somewhat shocked, to report that my latest movie-going experiences weren’t relentlessly grim. They were just relentlessly weird, especially considering I had the best time at the weekend’s worst picture, and the lineup’s most professionally rendered offering made me fall dead asleep.


Read More About Labored Day Weekend: "Closed Circuit," "Instructions Not Included," "The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones," "One Direction: This Is Us," And "Getaway"...


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?


Read More About Mad About You: "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained," And "Parental Guidance"...


Traveling Exhibits: "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," "Terminator Salvation," and "Dance Flick"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-24 21:57:26

Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianNIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is to its precursor what Ghostbusters II is to Ghostbusters: the less-novel offering, sure, but a follow-up of surprising wit and great throwaway touches, and one that, in many ways, improves on source material that was pretty terrific to begin with. Despite its titular locale, no one is going to mistake director Shawn Levy's adventure comedy for a work of art, yet when this follow-up is really working - which is surprisingly often - it provides a giddy, giggly rush, and it's filled with comic bits that you could probably watch three or four times in succession and laugh at every single time. The movie is scrappy, silly, and a load of fun.


Read More About Traveling Exhibits: "Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian," "Terminator Salvation," And "Dance Flick"...


Heroes Aren’t Made; They’re Bourne: "The Bourne Ultimatum"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-08-08 08:19:37

Matt Damon in The Bourne UltimatumTHE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

There's a lot of plot in The Bourne Ultimatum - all manner of clandestine meetings and hidden motivations and governmental conspiracies - but the story can be neatly summed up by the titular fugitive himself: "Someone started all this," Bourne tells the brother of his murdered lover, "and I'm gonna find him." Nothing else is really germane here, and the exhilaration of this third entry in the spy-thriller franchise is that, with as visceral a filmmaker as Paul Greengrass at the helm, nothing else needs to be.


Read More About Heroes Aren’T Made; They’Re Bourne: "The Bourne Ultimatum"...


"Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," and "The Omen"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-06-14 05:11:08

Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan in A Prairie Home CompanionA PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

One of the many glories of Robert Altman is that he never pretends to know everything there is to know about the characters in his movies, and doesn't expect his audiences to, either. In an Altman film, you may think you have someone all figured out, until a later scene proves that you haven't begun to understand what makes them tick; Altman is fascinated with the dichotomy between characters' public and private faces. (It makes perfect sense that he eventually filmed a murder mystery.) It sometimes seems that there's not much going on in an Altman movie, and audiences could easily assume the same about the director's latest, A Prairie Home Companion. But if you're as enthralled with character as the director is, and with the drama of actors gradually revealing character, his ambling, "plotless" films can be sheer bliss.


Read More About "Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," And "The Omen"...





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