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items tagged with Kate Winslet

Star Wars: "Doubt," "Valkyrie," "The Reader," "Bedtime Stories," and "Marley & Me"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-07 16:38:13

Meryl Streep in DoubtDOUBT

Based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, writer/director John Patrick Shanley's period drama Doubt - set in 1964, and concerning a nun who suspects a priest of sexual misconduct with an altar boy - isn't much of a movie. Shanley's previous directorial effort was 1990's Joe Versus the Volcano, and it's a shame he wasn't able to get in more practice over the last 18 years; in an attempt to gussy up the visual blandness that accompanies most theatrical adaptations, Shanley opts for a series of high- and low-angle shots and symbolic thunder, lightning, and wind effects that oftentimes make Doubt resemble a satire of a low-budget horror flick. And it's still visually bland.


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Nominees and Wannabes: Eight 2006 DVDs That Received – or Just Missed – Oscar’s Attention
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-02-21 08:38:06

Ryan Gosling in Half NelsonI consider myself an Academy Awards completist: Prior to the annual Oscar telecast, I want to see as many of the nominated films as I can. But I'm also a lazy completist - I want to see these movies so long as I don't have to drive really far. (This is why, to my disappointment and discredit, I'll be watching Sunday's telecast without having viewed Little Children, Venus, and The Good German.)

Thank goodness, then, for DVD.


Read More About Nominees And Wannabes: Eight 2006 DVDs That Received – Or Just Missed – Oscar’S Attention...


Mad Mel: “Apocalypto” and “The Holiday”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-12-13 10:08:03

Rudy Youngblood in ApocalyptoAPOCALYPTO

There was a lot that I hated about Mel Gibson's Mayan-language action epic Apocalypto.

I hated the obviousness of the opening 20 minutes, with the director crudely working overtime to make the Mayans "relatable." (Look! They played practical jokes! And teased their friends about their sex lives! And gave blow jobs! Just like us!) I hated the way Gibson was cranking up the audience's bloodlust via the sentimental idylls; our hero, Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), is given not only a sage, loving father and a devoted, nine-months-pregnant wife, but perhaps the cutest toddler on God's green earth.


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Cruel Yule: “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” and “Flushed Away”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-08 04:20:49

Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, and Martin Short in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape ClauseTHE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE

Unless you have small children there to chaperone you - or are a small child yourself - you probably won't be caught dead at a screening of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. (Your only other excuses for seeing it, of course, are if you're a movie critic and/or a major Tim Allen fan, and please, God, let the "ands" be in the minority there.) So you certainly don't need me to recommend steering clear of this second sequel to the holiday hit of 1994. The jokes are as lame as could be imagined; the ultra-bright, hyper-chipper presentation - with its candy-colored gaudiness - could easily cause a toothache; and the plotting features less spirit, cleverness, and heart than you'll find in the 56 lines of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Can any of this be considered a surprise?


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Stark Raving: “All the King’s Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” and “Everyone’s Hero”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-27 04:41:49

Jude Law and Sean Penn in All the King's MenALL THE KING'S MEN

In his role as the initially idealistic, eventually corrupt Louisiana governor Willie Stark in All the King's Men, Sean Penn delivers a series of impassioned orations to Stark's constituency, and every time he does, the movie displays a robust, dramatic fire. A self-described "hick" preaching to those he feels have been similarly politically oppressed, Stark barks out his plans for a better future, and Penn, with a thick drawl and a timbre that rises and falls in waves, attacks these scenes with an egocentric bluster that, at first, veers dangerously close to parody - close your eyes, and he could be Jackie Gleason on a dyspeptic tirade in Smokey & the Bandit. Yet you don't laugh at him. Penn's Stark is such a powerful, daunting presence that he transcends hammy Southern caricature through the legitimate emotion in his outbursts and the intensity of his gaze, and during the governor's stump speeches, King's Men writer/director Steven Zaillian has the good sense to get out of Penn's way and let him run the show.


Read More About Stark Raving: “All The King’S Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” And “Everyone’S Hero”...





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