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items tagged with Martin Landau

Elementary Ghouls: "Frankenweenie," "Hotel Transylvania," and "Taken 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-07 18:16:19

FrankenweenieFRANKENWEENIE and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

Not two months after the release of ParaNorman, two other animated, family-friendly spook fests can now be found at national cineplexes: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, the Mary Shelley-like tale of a beloved pooch’s magical resurrection, and Hotel Transylvania, a manic slapstick about the world’s most comically macabre bed-and-breakfast. And after catching up with the latter titles during a recent double feature, my immediate thought was this: Man, ParaNorman sure was good, wasn’t it?


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Curses!: "Dark Shadows"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-05-14 03:09:07

Johnny Depp in Dark ShadowsDARK SHADOWS

Dark Shadows, director Tim Burton’s take on the 1966-71 gothic soap opera that remains a cult favorite, is gently satirical and totally watchable, and filled with inventive fringe touches. Led by Johnny Depp, its cast features a bunch of terrific comedians – a number of whom don’t often get the chance to be comedians – and the visuals are thoroughly impressive. All told, it’s probably Burton’s best film, and certainly his best live-action film, in more than a decade. So why, in the end, doesn’t all of that mean more than it actually does?


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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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London Bitches Falling Down: "Mrs. Henderson Presents" and "Match Point"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-02-08 00:00:00

Kelly Reilly and Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson PresentsMRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS

Beginning with its first reel, I had a pretty fair inkling that I would wind up hating Mrs. Henderson Presents, but the point of no return occurred around the 30-minute mark.


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Witty "Homicide" Can’t Escape Hollywood’s Blockbuster Fever: "Hollywood Homicide" and "Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-06-18 00:00:00

Josh Hartnett and Harrison Ford in Hollywood HomicideHOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE

During Hollywood’s Summer Blockbuster season, we critical types generally spend three months bemoaning the tired, formulaic scripts that inevitably lead to tired, formulaic summer movies, and when we do find something worth sitting through – The Matrix Reloaded, say, or X2: X-Men United – it’s almost always despite the banality of their screenplays. (Which makes the release of a Finding Nemo, in which the brilliant execution is matched by an inspired script, even more miraculous.) Who cares about inventive plotting or smart dialogue or even basic coherence if, instead, you get to watch Keanu Reeves tussle with a hundred Hugo Weavings? Undemanding, turn-your-brain-off-and-enjoy entertainment certainly has its place, and even those of us with a particular aversion to Hollywood Blockbusters might be inclined to be a bit more generous than usual in our appraisal of empty-headed summertime escapism.


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