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items tagged with Matt Damon

Vegas, baby! Vegas!: "Ocean's Thirteen," "Surf's Up," and "Mr. Brooks"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-06-13 08:35:17

Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt in Ocean's 13OCEAN'S THIRTEEN

Memories of the meandering, tiresome, and ceaselessly smug Ocean's Twelve - Steven Soderbergh's first sequel to his 2001 heist flick Ocean's Eleven - were enough to make me leery about Ocean's Thirteen, and during the film's first reel, that feeling rarely subsided; it, too, seemed both simplistic and maddeningly convoluted, and inordinately pleased with itself from the get-go.


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"Girls" Power: “Dreamgirls” and “The Good Shepherd”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-03 08:19:12

Anika Noni Rose, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Hudson in DreamgirlsDREAMGIRLS

You may have heard that, in the middle of Bill Condon's Dreamgirls, former American Idol belter Jennifer Hudson lets loose with a power ballad that has the audience cheering and applauding at its finish. If the screening I attended is any indication, this rumor is untrue. The audience cheers and applauds the number way before Hudson's finale. And no one in their right mind could blame them.


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Hit the Road, Jack: “The Departed” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-11 04:38:41

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson in The DepartedTHE DEPARTED

Because Martin Scorsese's internal-affairs thriller The Departed is so colossally entertaining, so brimming with performance and filmmaking craft, I may as well get its major failing out of the way right off the bat: What the hell is Jack Nicholson doing here?


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For the Children, or Merely Childish?: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe" and "Syriana"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-14 00:00:00

Tilda Swinton and Skandar Keynes in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson’s imagining of the first book in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, is almost childishly clunky, but it’s nearly impossible to dislike. Geared, as it appears, toward a very young audience – I’d say seven or eight – the movie is sweet, and it’s sincere, and it displays a welcome touch of fairy-tale simplicity. Despite the rather prosaic nature of its presentation, Narnia is one of those movies that, if it catches children at the right age, might linger in their memories for some time to come; it’s just magical enough to suggest how magical it should have been. For kids who are finally seeing their beloved Narnia novel translated to the big screen, Adamson’s Narnia will be good enough. It just doesn’t have much to offer the rest of us. Adamson is co-director of the Shrek movies, and he does a fair enough job with the movie’s CGI wonders; the lion Messiah Aslan (voiced, to the surprise of no one, by Liam Neeson) moves with regal grace, and the beavers who accompany the Pevensie children on their quest seem to be, for kids in the audience, enjoyably frisky characters. But all throughout the film, I had the nagging feeling that, if he was allowed, Adamson would have happily computer-generated his humans, too.


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Gilliam’s "The Brothers Grimm" Not Grimm Enough
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-09-07 00:00:00

Heath Ledger and Matt Damon in The Brothers GrimmTHE BROTHERS GRIMM

Fairy tales, at their core, exert a powerful emotional pull, and at rare moments in Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, the director finds a visual equivalent to their hypnotic, wicked appeal. In this typically unclassifiable Gilliam excursion, the first glimpse of Little Red Hiding Hood traipsing through the gloomy forest is enough to give any adult viewer a shiver. Gilliam frames her entrance, and the later arrival of Hansel and Gretel, with ominous portent, the colors – that cape and hood especially – are enticing, and the forest sets have a creepy, storybook elegance. For the briefest of moments, you’re a kid again, enraptured by the haunting, suggestive simplicity of these stories; our first sightings of Little Red, Hansel, and Gretel bring with them a spark of tingly joy.


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