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items tagged with Matthew Vaughn

You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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Generation X: "X-Men: First Class"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-06-05 19:46:46

Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy in X-Men: First ClassX-MEN: FIRST CLASS

If you had told the 10-year-old me that Hollywood would one day release a series of big-budgeted, serious-minded films based on the X-Men comic books, he probably would’ve done cartwheels for about a week. And if you told that same mini-me that he’d one day grow almost completely apathetic toward this film series, he probably would’ve laughed in your face.


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Not So Much, No: “Kick-Ass” and “Death at a Funeral”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-19 13:48:01

Aaron Johnson in Kick-AssKICK-ASS

Considering that its climax finds 46-year-old actor Mark Strong beating the holy hell out of 13-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz - who was 11 during filming - I didn't hate the comic-book adaptation Kick-Ass the way I thought I would. I actually hated it in a completely different way.
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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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