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items tagged with Kristen Wiig

Single Wiped Female: “Bridesmaids,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Priest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 00:07:46

Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig in BridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS

You wouldn’t necessarily think that exhaustion and depression would be fertile subjects for a big-screen slapstick – at least, for a big-screen slapstick that didn’t star Paul Giamatti. Yet in director Paul Feig’s buoyant and brainy Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig plays a sad, discouraged, frequently humiliated maid of honor with such inventiveness and style that she seems to be creating a new comic archetype right before your eyes. Hiding her misery behind a thinly veiled mask of courtesy and good cheer, and letting her anger and resentment spill out in sarcastic asides and messy, chaotic bursts, Wiig’s Annie – like many of the brilliantly talented performer’s most memorable characters – is a singular creation. And so, too, is Bridesmaids, a female-driven Judd Apatow comedy (he’s a co-producer) with the rare distinction of being smarter than it is funny, though it’s still plenty funny.


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Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-20 21:01:52

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.


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Cartoon Nut Work: “Despicable Me” and “Predators”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-07-11 19:33:40

Despicable MeDESPICABLE ME

When a computer-animated feature doesn't have the Pixar label attached to it, I tend to be grateful for whatever flashes of true cleverness I can get, and it's a pleasure to report that Despicable Me delivers hundreds, if not thousands, of these flashes. They arrive in the form our protagonist's minions, and are called Minions, and resemble canary-yellow gel capsules with functioning limbs and one or two eyes. They're also just about the cutest, silliest, funniest damned creatures that have ever waddled, bounced, and shrieked through an animated outing (excepting your own children, of course). I liked Despicable Me just fine, but I never loved the movie more than when these miniature slapstick wonders were on-screen; the Minions' boss may be a super-thief, but these goofy little buggers easily steal the show.
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It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Ogre: "Shrek Forever After" and "MacGruber"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-23 21:15:00
Shrek Forever After

SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.
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’Til Death Threats Do Us Part: "Date Night" and "Letters to God"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-11 19:53:50

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date NightDATE NIGHT

Playing husband and wife in the marital action comedy Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey partner each other with such skillful ease, and radiate such genuine affection for one another, that my issues with the film have come to feel insignificant, and even a little petty. I had a not-bad time at director Shawn Levy's latest. But reflecting on the experience, I've found it awfully difficult to wipe the grin from my face; surrounded by an exceptional cast of second bananas, Carell and Fey are so genial and inventive together that it's easy to ignore the dully synthetic, determinedly formulaic Hollywood product they're appearing in.
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