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items tagged with Kathryn Bigelow

The Needle in the Haystack: "Zero Dark Thirty," "Gangster Squad," "A Haunted House," and "Hitchcock"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-14 18:45:03

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark ThirtyZERO DARK THIRTY

As an orchestrator of cinematic suspense, Kathryn Bigelow might currently be without peer in American movies. The sequences of Jeremy Renner dismantling explosives in the director’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker were miniature masterpieces of sustained excitement; despite our knowing, through much of the film, that it was too early for Renner’s Sergeant William James to be killed off, each masterfully shot and edited act of bomb disposal vibrated with legitimate threat. In Zero Dark Thirty – Bigelow’s and screenwriter Mark Boal’s fictionalized docu-drama about the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden – nearly every scene feels like a ticking time bomb. There is, of course, never any doubt about the narrative’s outcome, yet Bigelow’s gifts for composition and pacing ensure that you still watch the picture with rapt attention and dread. And blessedly, she’s also a spectacular entertainer. The movie is tough-minded and sometimes tough to watch, but even when Bigelow is fraying your nerves, she’s tickling your senses.


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Cawps and Rawbbuhs: “The Town”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-09-19 20:46:00

Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner in The TownTHE TOWN

Director/co-writer/star Ben Affleck’s crime drama The Town is an enjoyable, frustrating, fascinating contradiction: a movie with a storyline that’s nearly impossible to buy, yet one performed and directed with such assurance and strength that it’s nearly impossible not to buy. You can roll your eyes at the film’s many clichés and contrivances, but you can’t say they’re presented with anything less than full commitment; for a two-hour-plus movie that doesn’t provide even one truly novel character, situation, insight, or plot twist, The Town is remarkably fresh.


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All About Steve. And Alec.: Notes on the 2010 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2010-03-08 19:26:14

Best Actress winner Sandra BullockAll told, I thought this year's Academy Awards telecast was awfully satisfying, and I'm not saying that because I predicted 18 out of 24 categories correctly.

Yup. 18 out of 24.

Tying my personal best.

And three of my incorrect guesses were in the short-film categories, where no one knows what the hell is going on.

But I digress.


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In Glourious Company: Mike Schulz’s 10 Most Enjoyable Movies of 2009
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2010-01-04 12:00:00

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in Inglourious BasterdsAs one calendar year ends and another begins, it feels like a good time to give thanks. And amidst the lame romantic comedies and thrill-less thrillers and unending stream of remakes, sequels, and - in the case of Rob Zombie's Halloween II - even the remake of a sequel, there was actually quite a lot that I was thankful for in the movie year of 2009.


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Bombs Away: "Funny People," "The Hurt Locker," and "G-Force"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-08-03 12:57:48

Adam Sandler and Leslie Mann in Funny PeopleFUNNY PEOPLE

Leslie Mann, the wife of comedy kingpin Judd Apatow, is unfailingly awesome, and I love her in her husband's first two outings as a film writer/director: 2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin and 2007's Knocked Up. So it pains me to say that I would've enjoyed Apatow's third auteurist venture - the current Funny People - a whole lot more if Mann's character had been excised from it completely. Of course, that would've made the movie almost a full hour shorter than it is. That would've been all right, too.


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