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items tagged with Michael Douglas

Arcade-ia: "Ender’s Game," "Last Vegas," and "Free Birds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-11-03 18:40:35

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in Ender's GameENDER’S GAME

In writer/director Gavin Hood’s sci-fi adventure Ender’s Game, our titular hero (Asa Butterfield) is a 12-year-old who’s bullied both at school and at home, whose gestating anger leads to frequent violent outbursts, and whose frighteningly focused skills at computer-simulated war games not only earn him the respect of his peers but, eventually, the grateful thanks of every man, woman, and child on the planet. It is, in short, a Revenge of the Nerd fable to out-Carrie Carrie, and about the strongest argument for 24/7 video-game compulsion that any young game-hound could wish for. Just keep playing, you can hear the movie whispering to its console-obsessed demographic. One of these days, you’ll show ’em. You’ll show ’em all.


Read More About Arcade-Ia: "Ender’S Game," "Last Vegas," And "Free Birds"...


Ground Zero Offense: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "Red Tails," and "Haywire"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-01-23 15:34:23

Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Extremely Loud & Incredibly CloseEXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE

The protagonist of director Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s famed 9/11/01-themed novel and adapted by screenwriter Eric Roth – is Oskar Schell, an 11-year-old Manhattanite who tells a new acquaintance that he was once tested for Asperger’s syndrome, but that “the results weren’t definitive.” My first thought upon hearing that admission was that Oskar’s folks really should’ve sought a second opinion, because with young actor Thomas Horn tearing through breathless reams of stream-of-consciousness dialogue, his condition seemed definitive as all-get-out. My second thought, which I only fully composed during the end credits, and which I apologize for in advance, was that watching Extremely Loud was like watching a movie while an 11-year-old with Asperger’s yammers in your ear for 130 minutes.


Read More About Ground Zero Offense: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "Red Tails," And "Haywire"...


Blah, Blah, Blah ... and Surprisingly Fun - Notes on a Quadruple Feature: "You Again," "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," "The Virginity Hit," and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-09-26 19:11:08
Billy Unger, Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, and Kristin Bell in You AgainFriday, September 24, 11:30-ish: I attend a morning screening of You Again, and pretty much know what I’m in for as soon as the Touchstone Pictures logo appears: a brightly lit, jauntily scored, aggressively manic entertainment with plenty of “heart” and no laughs whatsoever. (I half-expect a Tim Allen cameo, but instead get a Dwayne Johnson cameo, which probably should’ve been more expected.)
Read More About Blah, Blah, Blah ... And Surprisingly Fun - Notes On A Quadruple Feature: "You Again," "Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole," "The Virginity Hit," And "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"...


Claws for Concern: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," and "Fighting"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-04 12:45:20

Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

As someone who really and truly adores the X-Men movies - even the Brett Ratner one, which hardly anyone likes - I was prepared to accept any number of flaws and disappointments in X-Men Origins: Wolverine just for the chance to watch Hugh Jackman bear his adamantium claws and toss off a few pithy, sarcastic zingers. And for a while, Jackman's presence was enough.


Read More About Claws For Concern: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past," And "Fighting"...


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.


Read More About Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007...





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