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items tagged with Meryl Streep

I'd Like to Thump the Academy … : Notes on the 2015 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2015-02-23 22:00:33

producer/writer/director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and team members of Best Picture Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)Neil Patrick Harris, at the tail end of last night's Academy Awards ceremony, climaxed his hosting duties with the resolution to a magic trick he'd set up earlier in the evening. Much, much earlier in the evening.


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Into the Weeds: "Into the Woods" and "The Homesman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-29 01:06:33

Emily Blunt and James Corden in Into the WoodsINTO THE WOODS

Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” – lyrics from Into the Woods

 

Like a lot of stage-musical fans, I’ve been wishing – patiently but eagerly for more than 25 years now – for a film version of Stephen Sondheim’s modern classic Into the Woods. Now, thanks to Sondheim, original book and screenplay author James Lapine, director Rob Marshall, and the fairytale-happy folks at Disney, we have one.

So here’s the good news: Barring some minor changes, the movie is incredibly faithful to the show’s stage roots. But here’s the bad news: It’s so faithful that it’s under-imagined and kind of suffocating. And here’s the worst news: It isn’t much fun.


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Compound Fractured: "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-21 19:02:06

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part ITHE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1

Like its immediate predecessor Catching Fire, director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is reasonably gripping and rarely dull, although its presentation – as was bound to happen – does make the movie feel less like a satisfying two-hour entertainment than the not-bad first half of a much better four-hour entertainment. (Or five-hour entertainment, depending on how plushly Lawrence and Lionsgate pad the goodbye in next year’s Part 2.) But I was really put off by one moment in the film, which found Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch complaining that the makeup worn by Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss needed to be scrubbed off, as it was making the young warrior look 35. The line was amusing and Haymitch wasn’t wrong, but why wasn’t anyone bothered that the rest of Mockingjay 1 was making her look 13?


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Walking, Running, Retching, Kvetching: "A Walk Among the Tombstones," "The Maze Runner," "Tusk," and "This Is Where I Leave You"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-09-21 22:19:52

Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the TombstonesFriday, September 19, 10:10 a.m.-ish: It’s been six weeks since my last quadruple feature, and I’m expecting this one to start with supreme novelty, considering that the poster for the day’s first feature, A Walk Among the Tombstones, boasts the image of a brooding Liam Neeson holding a gun. That’s right: Liam Neeson! That guy from Schindler’s List! Brooding and holding a gun! How does Hollywood keep coming up with such fresh ideas?!


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Limp Woody: "Magic in the Moonlight," "The Giver," and "Let’s Be Cops"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-17 17:16:13

Emma Stone and Colin Firth in Magic in the MoonlightMAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT

It would be wonderful to say that Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, the lighthearted tale of a stuffy British magician (Colin Firth) who attempts to disprove the gifts of a convincing psychic (Emma Stone) in 1928 Paris, was a throwback to the auteur’s oft-referenced early, funny movies – the ones, such as Sleeper and Love & Death, that we fans enjoy returning to again and again. (In the case of Love & Death, for me, “again and again” multiplied by about 20.) Unfortunately, it’s more of a throwback to the writer/director’s less-referenced early-autumnal period, and its not-so-funny movies – the ones, such as The Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Hollywood Ending, that even we die-hards didn’t really care about the first time around.


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