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items tagged with Mike Leigh

Devilish Fun: "The Last Exorcism," "Get Low," and "Takers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-30 01:09:19

Ashley Bell in The Last ExorcismTHE LAST EXORCISM

For the majority of its length, The Last Exorcism is a hell of a good time. I'd love to say that's because the movie is terrifying, but it isn't, really; the biggest jolt you're likely to experience comes in the first 20 minutes, when a teen unexpectedly hits a car's rear window with a rock. Yet until it goes seriously off the rails in its final third, director Daniel Stamm's low-tech scare flick is clever and engrossing (without being all that gross), and it boasts a protagonist who's something unique for his genre: a funny, friendly sort whom you're still aching to see get what's coming to him.
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Unexpected Moments Enliven "The Pacifier": Also, "Stage Beauty" and "Robots"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-16 00:00:00

Vin Diesel in The PacifierTHE PACIFIER

There’s a moment in the Vin Diesel family comedy The Pacifier that should have really pissed me off, but instead it made me almost unaccountably happy: About midway through the film, Diesel, playing a former Navy SEAL entrusted with the safety of five fatherless youths (you’ve seen the trailers, you get the idea), enters their suburban digs covered in raw sewage, the victim of a practical joke pulled by the family’s oldest siblings.


Read More About Unexpected Moments Enliven "The Pacifier": Also, "Stage Beauty" And "Robots"...


2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-02-16 00:00:00
After the announcement of last year’s Oscar nominations, in which the Academy made almost shockingly inspired choices across the board, this year’s slate of nominees was bound to be a more predictable lot; barring a few minor surprises – the director and screenplay nods for Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake (still unseen by me) chief among them – voters opted for traditional, safe choices in 2004, especially among the squarer-than-usual Best Picture contenders.
Read More About 2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders...


Post-Halloween Tricks and Treats: "Shaun of the Dead," "The Grudge," "Saw," "Shall We Dance?", "I Heart Huckabee's," "Surviving Christmas," and "Celsius 41.11"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-11-03 00:00:00

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the DeadSHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE GRUDGE, and SAW

Halloween has come and gone, but three horror flicks are currently in theaters and – surprise! – two of them are actually good.


Read More About Post-Halloween Tricks And Treats: "Shaun Of The Dead," "The Grudge," "Saw," "Shall We Dance?", "I Heart Huckabee's," "Surviving Christmas," And "Celsius 41.11"...


Zellweger Shines (Again) in “Diary”: “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Blow,” and “Josie & the Pussycats”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-04-18 12:00:00

Renee Zellweger in Bridges Jones's DiaryBRIDGET JONES'S DIARY

A terrific leading character can atone for a lot of wrongs in a film, and there might be no better proof of that thesis than Bridget Jones's Diary, Sharon Maguire's adaptation of Helen Fielding's incredibly popular novel. Our heroine, a 32-year-old British woman who works a dead-end publishing job, is a completely realistic type we almost never see in movies: a chain-smoking, wine-slurping, slightly overweight, unsatisfied-in-relationships flirt who wants desperately to better herself but doesn't have the motivation or discipline to do so. Flawed as she is, she's intensely endearing, and as perfectly played by Renée Zellweger, she's a magically comic creation, even more wonderful than Zellweger's previous incarnations of Dorothy Boyd and Nurse Betty. That the moviemakers spend the film's running length putting her in one humiliating situation after another, and that she's trapped in a predictable love triangle between a cad and a sweetie, aren't to be held against her; Bridget Jones, and Zellweger herself, triumph over their circumstances, creating a totally enjoyable cinematic work, flaws and all.


Read More About Zellweger Shines (Again) In “Diary”: “Bridget Jones’S Diary,” “Blow,” And “Josie & The Pussycats”...





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