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items tagged with Marcia Gay Harden

Johnny B. Bad: "Black Mass" and "Grandma"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-09-20 01:40:19

Johnny Depp in Black MassBLACK MASS

There’s a scene in the gangster thriller Black Mass that should sound bells of recognition for all fans of the genre. In it, legendary crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) and some friends are enjoying a dinner prepared by one of Bulger’s associates: FBI agent John Morris (David Harbour). Bulger compliments Morris on their steaks and asks what seasoning was used, to which the agent replies that it’s a secret family recipe whose ingredients, upon further pressing, he genially reveals. That’s when Bulger seems to snap.

His smile curls into a frown, his eyes go deader than usual, and he calmly inquires of Morris that if the agent is willing to share this “family secret” so quickly, what other secrets – perhaps secrets about Bulger – might he have shared? During the unbearably thick silence that follows, Morris and his tablemates appear nearly frozen with panic. Bulger, meanwhile, stares and stares, and we in the audience prepare for an inevitable, horrific burst of violence. And then ... Bulger laughs. A lot. Exclaiming “You should see your face!”, he insists he was just busting Morris’ balls. Very slowly, the others begin to smile, and then they, too, laugh. And as this sensationally tense sequence ends on a note of cautious cheer, it’s impossible to ignore the suggestion of what we just witnessed: GoodFellas with Johnny Depp in the Joe Pesci role. All that was missing was the psychotic query “I’m funny how?!"


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Whip Lass: "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Old Fashioned," and "Kingsman: The Secret Service"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-02-16 00:00:38

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades of GreyFIFTY SHADES OF GREY

Everyone knows that movies aren’t books. Yet it’s amazing how many people – critics, specifically – have chosen to forget that fact when discussing Fifty Shades of Grey, director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s and screenwriter Kelly Marcel’s adaptation of E.L. James’ pop-porn phenomenon.


Read More About Whip Lass: "Fifty Shades Of Grey," "Old Fashioned," And "Kingsman: The Secret Service"...


Limp Woody: "Magic in the Moonlight," "The Giver," and "Let’s Be Cops"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-17 17:16:13

Emma Stone and Colin Firth in Magic in the MoonlightMAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT

It would be wonderful to say that Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, the lighthearted tale of a stuffy British magician (Colin Firth) who attempts to disprove the gifts of a convincing psychic (Emma Stone) in 1928 Paris, was a throwback to the auteur’s oft-referenced early, funny movies – the ones, such as Sleeper and Love & Death, that we fans enjoy returning to again and again. (In the case of Love & Death, for me, “again and again” multiplied by about 20.) Unfortunately, it’s more of a throwback to the writer/director’s less-referenced early-autumnal period, and its not-so-funny movies – the ones, such as The Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Hollywood Ending, that even we die-hards didn’t really care about the first time around.


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Blades of Glory: “Whip It” and “The Invention of Lying”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-04 22:29:02

Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, and Kristen Wiig in Whip ItWHIP IT

In case you hadn't heard, the coming-of-age comedy Whip It marks the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, and it's an ideal project in a Baby's First Directing Gig way; the film is exactly the kind of earnest, peppy, relentlessly formulaic Hollywood outing in which a novice helmer can get her feet wet without causing too much damage. The surprise of the movie, though, is that it's so enjoyable, especially considering that so far as its storyline goes, nothing in it is the least bit surprising.


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Out of ’Toon: "Enchanted" and "The Mist"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-11-28 08:43:35

Amy Adams in EnchantedENCHANTED

Disney's Enchanted is a diverting, reasonably clever movie, but boy, does lead actress Amy Adams deserve a better one. Playing a relentlessly cheerful animated heroine who finds herself transported to modern-day Manhattan, Adams assumes a character that could be a one-joke conceit and delivers a stunningly vibrant and committed tour-de-force performance; you could call her a three-dimensional presence in a two-dimensional role if the actress didn't give the impression of playing far more dimensions than that. Adams is heavenly. The film itself is decidedly more earthbound.


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