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items tagged with Marianne Jean Baptiste

Let’s Remake a Deal: "RoboCop," "About Last Night," and "Endless Love"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-16 22:23:13

Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman in RoboCopROBOCOP, ABOUT LAST NIGHT, and ENDLESS LOVE

I caught a triple-feature this past weekend, and lemme tell ya, it made me feel like a teenager again. Specifically, it made me feel 19, my age when the original RoboCop debuted; 18, my age when the original About Last Night debuted; and 13, my age when the original Endless Love debuted. I don’t know what confluence of release strategies resulted in this trifecta of Reagan-era remakes, but I guess I should be grateful to Hollywood for the collective trip down memory lane. I’d be more grateful if the movies themselves were better, but ... .


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Devilish Fun: "The Last Exorcism," "Get Low," and "Takers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-30 01:09:19

Ashley Bell in The Last ExorcismTHE LAST EXORCISM

For the majority of its length, The Last Exorcism is a hell of a good time. I'd love to say that's because the movie is terrifying, but it isn't, really; the biggest jolt you're likely to experience comes in the first 20 minutes, when a teen unexpectedly hits a car's rear window with a rock. Yet until it goes seriously off the rails in its final third, director Daniel Stamm's low-tech scare flick is clever and engrossing (without being all that gross), and it boasts a protagonist who's something unique for his genre: a funny, friendly sort whom you're still aching to see get what's coming to him.
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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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"Spy Game" Trips on Logic: Also, "Behind Enemy Lines"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-12-05 00:00:00

Robert Redford and Brad Pitt in Spy GameSPY GAME

Tony Scott’s Spy Game opens with one of those enjoyably implausible preludes we’re used to seeing in the James Bond series: It’s 1991, and American CIA agent Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) is attempting to free a female captive (Catherine McCormack) from a Chinese prison. How will he accomplish this task? Why, by masquerading as a doctor called in to give vaccinations to the inmates, feigning fatal electrocution after touching a wired prison fence – which results in the momentary shut-down of the prison’s electrical power, including its surveillance cameras – lying “dead” on a hospital gurney, fleeing the scene when no one’s looking, scrambling down ratty corridors in search of the captive, bribing a mentally defunct witness with a piece of gum, and accompanying the prisoner back to the “dead” man’s gurney, where prison guards will unknowingly escort the duo to an ambulance and then to freedom. And what trips up the plan? The gum.


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Finally! A Great Movie! (And Two More Crummy Ones...): "The Original Kings of Comedy," "The Cell," and "Bless the Child"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-08-30 00:00:00

D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, and Bernie Mac in The Original Kings of ComedyTHE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY

If The Original Kings of Comedy, the filmed preservation of the wildly popular comedy revue, were merely as funny as it is, it would probably stand as the best American movie of the year so far. But director Spike Lee has done something incredibly savvy with the project. Aided by the terrific editor Barry Alexander Brown, Lee has given the material true cinematic fluidity. The editing rhythms are all right on, the camera is always right where it should be to give the performers their biggest laughs (and it seems that Lee has about a hundred different cameras at his disposal), and there are just enough segments with the performers joshing and relaxing off-stage to give the film true dimension; we’re aware that their stand-up personas only hint at who they are.


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