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items tagged with Mark Ruffalo

The Loons! The Loons!: “Shutter Island”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-22 14:46:00

Shutter IslandSHUTTER ISLAND

Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese's operatically paranoid adaptation of Dennis Lehane's 2003 suspense thriller, is easily the best movie of 2010 thus far, so it seems a bit churlish to wish that was higher praise. Don't get me wrong: Even running a wildly overlong 138 minutes, the film is mostly terrific, and one of the very rare works of its kind in which your interest actually increases during the final reels. Yet given Scorsese's glorious technical acumen and the efforts of a ridiculously gifted cast, I still left the cineplex feeling that it just missed greatness, and not even greatness along the lines of GoodFellas or The Departed - more like the genre excellence of Scorsese's 1991 remake of Cape Fear. Shutter Island is a strong, worthy offering, yet as far as this year's releases go, it's only a few degrees more satisfying than Youth in Revolt or Daybreakers. But hey, it's early - I'll happily take it.


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Pigs in a Blanket: "Wild Hogs" and "Zodiac"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-03-07 08:35:10

Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen, John Travolta, and William H. Macy in Wild HogsWILD HOGS

I try. Honest to God, when sitting in a crowded auditorium, watching a charmless, lazy, ridiculously unfunny movie such as Wild Hogs, I try to get on the audience's wavelength and figure out what it is that's making them howl with laughter.


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Stark Raving: “All the King’s Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” and “Everyone’s Hero”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-27 04:41:49

Jude Law and Sean Penn in All the King's MenALL THE KING'S MEN

In his role as the initially idealistic, eventually corrupt Louisiana governor Willie Stark in All the King's Men, Sean Penn delivers a series of impassioned orations to Stark's constituency, and every time he does, the movie displays a robust, dramatic fire. A self-described "hick" preaching to those he feels have been similarly politically oppressed, Stark barks out his plans for a better future, and Penn, with a thick drawl and a timbre that rises and falls in waves, attacks these scenes with an egocentric bluster that, at first, veers dangerously close to parody - close your eyes, and he could be Jackie Gleason on a dyspeptic tirade in Smokey & the Bandit. Yet you don't laugh at him. Penn's Stark is such a powerful, daunting presence that he transcends hammy Southern caricature through the legitimate emotion in his outbursts and the intensity of his gaze, and during the governor's stump speeches, King's Men writer/director Steven Zaillian has the good sense to get out of Penn's way and let him run the show.


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Coal in a Critic’s Christmas Stocking: "The Producers," "Fun with Dick & Jane," "Rumor Has It," "The Ringer," and "Memoirs of a Geisha"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-01-04 00:00:00

Matthew Broderick, Will Ferrell, and Nathan Lane in The ProducersTHE PRODUCERS

Devotees of the theatre had plenty of reason to be excited about The Producers, the movie version of Mel Brooks’ stage work based on his 1968 movie. (Got that?) This tale of two Broadway crooks who plan to make a fortune on the worst musical ever conceived has been brought to the screen by the Broadway production’s director/choreographer, Susan Stroman, with all of Brooks’ musical-comedy numbers intact, and the show’s original stars, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, reprise their roles as Bialystock and Bloom. It’s enough to make a theatre fan nearly giddy with anticipation.Yet after more than two hours spent with this theatrical adaptation, I wanted nothing more than to get my ass to a movie.


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Foster Soars, but "Flightplan" Is Earthbound: Also, "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" and "Just Like Heaven"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-09-28 00:00:00

Jodie Foster in FlightplanFLIGHTPLAN

Movies such as Flightplan are hell to review. How do I explain, exactly, why the film doesn’t work without giving away the plot secrets that prevent it from working? Like last fall’s already-forgotten The Forgotten, director Robert Schwentke’s airborne thriller involves a missing child. During a trans-Atlantic flight from Berlin to America, Jodie Foster’s newly widowed Kyle lays her six-year-old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) down for a nap, falls asleep herself, and wakes to find the girl missing. Obviously, escape from the plane is impossible, but Julia is nowhere to be found, and, more disturbingly, no one on the flight seems to remember her being aboard. Could Julia have merely been a figment of Kyle’s imbalanced imagination?


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