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items tagged with Malcolm D. Lee

Song of Solomon: "12 Years a Slave" and "The Best Man Holiday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-11-18 19:20:09

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave12 YEARS A SLAVE

It’s impossible to imagine any viewer of director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave not haunted for hours, if not days or weeks, by its potent, frequently horrific imagery. Be it the protracted sight of protagonist Solomon Northrup hanging from a tree, his wiggling toes barely touching the dirt, or the early shot of Northrup caged in a Washington, D.C., prison with the camera slowly tilting upward to implicate Capitol Hill in his (and all slaves’) ordeal, McQueen continually delivers wrenching visual representations to match this already-wrenching tale. Yet if pressed for the one image that I find lingering above all others in this magnificent, devastating film, it would simply be the face of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who, in one unbroken take near the finale, almost seems to encapsulate hundreds of years of injustice in one anguished stare.


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And Here's to You, Mr. Robinson: "42" and "Scary Movie 5"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-13 20:58:35

Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman in 4242

42, writer/director Brian Helgeland’s dramatization of three years in the life of baseball trailblazer Jackie Robsinson, is an earnest, deliberately old-fashioned entertainment, an inspirational bio-pic made with professionalism and care but little in the way of emotional or thematic nuance – it’s the very definition of what-you-see-is-what-you-get filmmaking. In three specific scenes, though, this seemingly prototypical triumph-of-the-underdog sports flick also achieves a legitimate, rousing greatness, and it’s the sort of expansive and lingering greatness that makes you leave the picture feeling, with few reservations, that the movie as a whole was truly great.


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Continental Divide: "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," "Soul Men," and "Role Models"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-12 08:05:32

Madagascar: Escape 2 AfricaMADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA

Dreamworks' animated hit Madagascar concerned a group of Central Park Zoo denizens who, en route to Africa, find themselves stranded on the island of the film's title, and ended with the citified animals forcibly, though not unhappily, taking residence in their newfound environs. Not having seen Madagascar since its 2005 release, I'll admit that I had to look up this last bit of information before catching Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. And if and when there's a Madagascar 3, I'll no doubt have to look up the details on its predecessor, because a mere two days after attending this sequel, I've already forgotten nearly everything about it.


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"Wedding" Shows Deft Touch with Romantic Comedy: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," and "Undercover Brother"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-06-12 00:00:00

Nia Vardalos and Lainie Kazan in My Big Fat Greek WeddingMY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING

In the first 20 minutes of the romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding, there’s a scene so simple it feels revelatory. Our heroine, Toula (Nia Vardalos), is a 30-year-old waitress in a diner owned by her Greek-with-a-vengeance parents, and has always been, as she describes herself, “a frump” – plain, bespectacled, overweight, and sadly single.


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