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items tagged with Michael Pena

Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-20 21:01:52

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.


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Maul Cop: "Observe & Report" and "Hannah Montana: The Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-04-12 19:15:26

Anna Faris and Seth Rogen in Observe & Report

OBSERVE & REPORT

It's been a couple of days, and I'm still not sure what to make of writer/director Jody Hill's unexpectedly disturbing broad comedy Observe & Report, in which bipolar security guard Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) attempts to apprehend a shopping-mall flasher and win over the skank of his dreams (Anna Faris).


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Neither Naughty Nor Nice: "Fred Claus" and "Lions for Lambs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-11-14 08:19:21

Paul Giamatti and Vince Vaughn in Fred ClausFRED CLAUS

As crass, demeaning, insufferable holiday-themed comedies go, Fred Claus is a little bit better than The Santa Clause 3, Deck the Halls, Surviving Christmas, and Christmas with the Kranks. (This faint praise might also extend to examples released before 2004, but I've succeeded in blocking those titles from memory.) It's also a little bit worse than 80 percent of the movies I've seen this year.


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A Less Than Fair "Trade": "World Trade Center"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-16 04:43:28

Nicolas Cage in World Trade CenterWORLD TRADE CENTER

Following Paul Greengrass' United 93, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center is the second 9/11-themed movie to arrive in the past four months - including A&E's Flight 93 and the Discovery Channel's The Flight That Fought Back, the fourth in the last year - and make no mistake: There will be more. There are so many tales to be told and so many elements of this national tragedy to focus on that, as cinematic subject matter, 9/11 is practically inexhaustible.


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Explosive "Crash" an Early Contender for Best of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" and "XXX: State of the Union"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-11 00:00:00

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in CrashCRASH

Crash, the magnificent drama by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, fits alongside such sprawling, ensemble-driven works as Grand Canyon, Short Cuts, and Magnolia, movies in which plotlines dovetail within one another and themes enmesh, and where bitter, dissatisfied characters might not wind up more content than before – some might not even wind up alive – but they will definitely have shared, for better or worse, An Experience. (These characters might not receive traditional happy endings, yet they almost invariably find degrees of solace and a measure of hope.) Moviegoers who crave a clearly delineated moral to their stories can be driven batty by films of this ilk; more than once I’ve heard someone ask, apropos of one of these works, “But what was its point?” Crash, like its predecessors, explores characters so hungry for contact and meaning and understanding in a chaotic universe that they’re ready to explode, and oftentimes do. That hunger becomes the point.


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