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items tagged with Little Miss Sunshine

Over the Hill, Under the Gun: "Bad Grandpa" and "The Counselor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-10-27 17:24:54

Jackson Nicoll and Johnny Knoxville in Bad GrandpaBAD GRANDPA

This might surprise a grand total of none of you, but Bad Grandpa – which also goes by the more telling title Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – isn’t much of a movie. The first Jackass release to feature an actual narrative, and actual characters, in place of the usual parades of comically vile, violent challenges and stunts (though there are a few of those, too), director Jeff Tremaine’s road-trip slapstick is mostly shapeless and certainly obvious, and nowhere near as hilarious as you want it to be.

Yet it’s also a continually interesting and, in the end, rather sweet sociological experiment reminiscent of Borat, but a Borat without the mean-spiritedness. If Sacha Baron Cohen’s outing, with its Candid Camera-style employment of “real people” clearly not in on the joke, reveled in displaying how crass and ignorant Americans could be, Tremaine’s suggests just how tolerant and polite we can be – and given the circumstances presented here, that’s apparently mighty tolerant and polite indeed.


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New Year’s Resolution: "Fruitvale Station" and "The Way Way Back"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-28 21:56:35

Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz in Fruitvale StationFRUITVALE STATION

Marvel Studios’ recent spate of superhero movies has trained us – or tried to train us, at any rate – to stick around for at least the first few minutes of the end credits, offering the promise of a bonus scene designed to build excitement for comic-book adventures yet to come. (Not to give the details away, but Marvel’s new The Wolverine features a happy doozy of one promoting 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.) Yet while they couldn’t possibly have been expecting this same sort of credit cookie at the independent drama Fruitvale Station, the audience members with whom I saw the film stayed similarly glued to their seats, almost as though none of them was quite ready for the experience to be over. Given how haunting and emotionally overpowering writer/director Ryan Coogler’s debut feature is, it would be impossible to blame them.


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Oscar-a-a-aziness: Analyzing the Trickiest Categories (and They’re Big Ones) in the 2013 Academy Awards Race
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-02-13 12:00:00

Don’t tell anyone. But usually, when it comes to predicting the winners of the Academy Awards’ major races, it doesn’t take much to look like you know what you’re talking about.


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Send in the Clones: "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Ruby Sparks," and "Last Ounce of Courage"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-09-16 18:31:39

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: RetributionRESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

If you were at a Friday-afternoon screening of Resident Evil: Retribution and heard, some 30 seconds before the end credits, an audible groan of frustration and annoyance, I apologize if my unplanned outburst was distracting. I just couldn’t believe that this mindless, endless series was going to require yet another freakin’ sequel.


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Tilt 'n' Whirl: "Adventureland" and "Sunshine Cleaning"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-04-05 22:41:31

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart in AdventurelandADVENTURELAND

My first awareness of writer/director Greg Mottola's Adventureland came at Christmastime, when some family members and I saw a trailer for the comedy before, of all things, a screening of Doubt. The movie's my-summer-at-an-amusement-park setup looked kind of promising, but given the preview's one-liners and visual gags, the supporting cast (Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig), and Mottola's credit as the director of Superbad, it seemed like an incredibly inappropriate teaser to run before John Patrick Shanley's nonsecular drama. When the trailer ended, my brother and I shared an incredulous look and a chuckle at the apparent incongruity. "Know your audience," he said with a laugh.


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