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items tagged with Ken Watanabe

Godz Not Dead: "Godzilla" and "Million Dollar Arm"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-05-18 14:16:28

GodzillaGODZILLA

To get the inarguable out of the way, director Gareth Edwards’ new take on Godzilla is an incalculably stronger piece of work than Roland Emmerich’s woebegone 1998 version. Its visual effects are superb, and occasionally stunning. Its supporting cast boasts some obscenely gifted actors. It has been crafted with professionalism, confidence, seriousness of purpose, and obvious respect for its cinematic forebears. And taken overall, I found the experience so deathly boring that in the midst of its incredibly loud, debris-strewn action finale, I actually fell asleep. On two separate occasions.


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Perish (in) the Thought: "Inception"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-07-18 22:07:19

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in InceptionINCEPTION

Inception, the latest offering from the director of Memento, The Prestige, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight, is, I think, my new favorite of Christopher Nolan's screen works. Considering the breadth of the compliment, I briefly considered letting my review stand with that one sentence, but I suppose a few more paragraphs are in order.
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The Pop of the King: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Astro Boy,” and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-01 18:57:10

Michael Jackson's This Is ItMICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT

For a film that seemed to have "commercial exploitation" written all over it, Michael Jackson's This Is It is an intensely loving and even indispensable piece of work -- a joyous celebration of performance drive, hard work, and a fearsome amount of skill. Culled from roughly 100 hours of rehearsal footage from the late star's planned concert tour, director Kenny Oretga's behind-the-scenes account doesn't offer much in the way of insight, nor is it meant to. Yet it's still a first-rate spectacle that, at times, provides an almost ridiculous amount of pleasure; somehow, miraculously, Ortega and his editors have shaped their footage into a documentary that boasts the kineticism, excitement, and boundless ebullience of a kick-ass movie musical.


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No Guts, No Glory: "Letters from Iwo Jima," "The Last King of Scotland," and "Pan's Labyrinth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-24 08:16:47

Letters from Iwo JimaFor devoted movie hounds, and those who enjoy getting caught up with potential Academy Award nominees, this past weekend was an embarrassment of riches, as Davenport's Showcase 53 presented the local debuts of Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland, and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. Of course, the wide(r) release of these three films makes good business sense - what better time for such specialized works to attract audiences if not the weekend after the Golden Globes and before the announcement of 2006 Oscar nominees? (Showcase 53 and Moline's Great Escape Theatre also, wisely, brought The Queen back to area screens - seriously, folks, it's so much fun! - and Great Escape re-opened Babel.)


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The 2004 Alternate Oscars
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2004-02-25 00:00:00
For the past couple of years, as a prelude to the Academy Awards presentation (scheduled to air on ABC at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 29), I’ve devoted an article to re-constructing the top six Oscar categories, replacing what I felt were unworthy contenders with my own personal preferences; this enabled me to extoll the virtues of the deserving while also allowing me to whine, “Why the hell didn’t Naomi Watts get noticed for Mulholland Dr.?” And before this year’s contenders were announced in late January, I was already writing my annual article in my head: “Where’s Johnny Depp’s nomination? And what about Keisha Castle-Hughes? And how about Marcia Gay Harden and Shohreh Aghdashloo and Fernando Meirelles?” And then what did the Academy go and do? They nominated them all.
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