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items tagged with Liam Neeson

For the Children, or Merely Childish?: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe" and "Syriana"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-14 00:00:00

Tilda Swinton and Skandar Keynes in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson’s imagining of the first book in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, is almost childishly clunky, but it’s nearly impossible to dislike. Geared, as it appears, toward a very young audience – I’d say seven or eight – the movie is sweet, and it’s sincere, and it displays a welcome touch of fairy-tale simplicity. Despite the rather prosaic nature of its presentation, Narnia is one of those movies that, if it catches children at the right age, might linger in their memories for some time to come; it’s just magical enough to suggest how magical it should have been. For kids who are finally seeing their beloved Narnia novel translated to the big screen, Adamson’s Narnia will be good enough. It just doesn’t have much to offer the rest of us. Adamson is co-director of the Shrek movies, and he does a fair enough job with the movie’s CGI wonders; the lion Messiah Aslan (voiced, to the surprise of no one, by Liam Neeson) moves with regal grace, and the beavers who accompany the Pevensie children on their quest seem to be, for kids in the audience, enjoyably frisky characters. But all throughout the film, I had the nagging feeling that, if he was allowed, Adamson would have happily computer-generated his humans, too.


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"Batman Begins" Is Faithful, but Not Much Fun
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-06-22 00:00:00

Christian Bale in Batman BeginsBATMAN RETURNS

Many Hollywood blockbusters feel so generic as to have been formed by committee, and in Batman Begins, that committee appears to be comprised entirely of comic-book bloggers. Just how afraid of Internet fanboys have movie studios become? It has been widely reported that this new installment in the superhero franchise is a deliberate rebuke to director Joel Schumacher’s beyond-campy Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, and I couldn’t be more on board with that; Schumacher managed to turn Warner Brothers’ moody franchise into a half-assed Mardi Gras spectacle, minus the debaucherous fun. (Only in Schumacher’s hands could Uma Thurman come off as a depressed drag queen.)


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2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-02-16 00:00:00
After the announcement of last year’s Oscar nominations, in which the Academy made almost shockingly inspired choices across the board, this year’s slate of nominees was bound to be a more predictable lot; barring a few minor surprises – the director and screenplay nods for Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake (still unseen by me) chief among them – voters opted for traditional, safe choices in 2004, especially among the squarer-than-usual Best Picture contenders.
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"House of Flying Daggers" an Intoxicating Action Spectacle: Also, "Elektra" and "Kinsey"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-01-19 00:00:00

House of Flying DaggersHOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS

Like many of us, one of my favorite movie memories will forever remain the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door of her black-and-white world to reveal the dazzling hues of Munchkinland; the impression that left on me as a child – the colors seemed more vibrant than any you’d encounter in real life – was so profound that, seeing the movie again as an adult, the scene still gets me a little misty-eyed.


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2004 in Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-01-12 00:00:00
Was I feeling especially sensitive in 2004, or were the year’s most memorable cinematic works, coincidentally, the most unabashedly romantic ones? It could certainly be me – the only (fictional) televised event that moved me to tears was the unlikely but enormously satisfying kiss between Martin Freeman’s Tim and Lucy Davis’ Dawn on The Office Special.
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