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items tagged with Mark Wahlberg

It Takes a Vile Witch to Raise a Child: "Mama," "Broken City," and "The Last Stand"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-20 18:28:33

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Nélisse, and Megan Charpentier in MamaMAMA

A new film titled Mama opened this past weekend, and it stars Jessica Chastain. Given the current Oscar nominee’s cinematic omnipresence over the past two years, you may be inclined to say, “Well, of course it does.” But I’m leading with that information because in addition to being almost insanely prolific, Chastain (whose recent résumé also boasts The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, and, of course, Zero Dark Thirty) is about as reliable an indicator of quality as this decade’s movies have provided. And against considerable odds, not the least being its unpromising January release date, director Andrés Muschietti’s outing is a supernatural fright flick of considerable quality – gripping and nerve-racking and sensationally well-made, and yet another showcase for Chastain’s stirring soulfulness and remarkable versatility.


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Sunshine Strip: "Magic Mike," "Moonrise Kingdom," "People Like Us," and "Ted"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-07-01 23:23:45

Channing Tatum in Magic MikeMAGIC MIKE

Walking into the auditorium for a nearly sold-out, mid-afternoon screening of Magic Mike – “nearly sold-out” and “mid-afternoon” being phrases that rarely go together at the cineplex – I gauged the audience of obviously ecstatic patrons and said to my friend, “This is gonna be fun.” Man, we had no idea.


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Meryl Marky Mark Melees: "The Iron Lady," "Contraband," "Carnage," and "Joyful Noise"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-01-15 21:20:23

Jim Broadbent and Meryl Streep in The Iron LadyTHE IRON LADY

It’s hardly a newsflash that over the past several years – well, forever, really – Meryl Streep has treated us to a run of extraordinary performances, and her Margaret Thatcher in the screen biography The Iron Lady is one of the most extraordinary of them all. Yet the vexing question regarding Streep’s indelible work of late isn’t “How does she keep doing it?” It’s “How does she keep doing it with so little help from her directors?”


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En Pointe, on Edge: "Black Swan" and "The Fighter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-20 00:02:21

Natalie Portman in Black SwanBLACK SWAN

In director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, the first words we hear are uttered by professional ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), who tells her mother, “I had the craziest dream last night.” And for the next 105 minutes, the movie unfurls like a crazy dream itself – a crazy, fascinating, terrifying, exhilarating dream that you have no desire to wake from. You can label the film a psychological drama, or a hallucinogenic thriller, or an art-house horror flick, and each would be appropriate. But none of those tags really hints at how much delectable fun Black Swan is. As with a dream that you want to return to the moment you wake up, you want to experience the intoxicating, rapturous weirdness of Aronofsky’s vision all over again the minute the end credits start to roll.


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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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