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items tagged with Morgan Freeman

“Pines” Soul: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Oblivion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-22 03:15:21

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the PinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

You may not remember this if you’re 25 or younger, but between the mid-’70s and mid-’90s, we were sometimes treated to Very Special Episodes of long-running sitcoms. These episodes, which were usually twice as long as their shows’ 22-minute standard, found beloved characters momentarily wrestling with Weighty Themes and tackling Important Issues, and were frequently showered with critical praise and awards despite, or maybe because of, their general self-consciousness and bloat. (Michael J. Fox and Helen Hunt surely owe several of their Emmys to VSEs.) They’re mocked now, and they were kind of mocked then, and so it might seem like a particularly condescending insult to say that director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines feels like nothing so much as a Very Special Episode of a gritty, edgy indie drama.


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Worst Intervention Ever: "Evil Dead," "Olympus Has Fallen," and "Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-07 17:49:05

Jane Levy in Evil DeadEVIL DEAD

While I like the movie just fine, I’m not enough of a fanatic for Sam Raimi’s 1981 splatter classic The Evil Dead to get in a twist about the existence of director Fede Alvarez’s new, definite-article-free remake Evil Dead. (It’s when Hollywood inevitably remakes Raimi’s priceless horror sequel Evil Dead II that we’re gonna have problems.) But despite being mostly entertained by Alvarez’s beyond-bloody outing, especially during its second half, I do have to question the decision to make it, for so much of its length, so bloody serious. This is a film, after all, in which a demon is released by a supernatural incantation, nail guns and electric carving knives are the weapons of choice, and one character escapes a (more-)dreadful fate by enacting a speedier version of 127 Hours. How are we not asked to laugh at all this?


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Magic / Mike: Schulz’s 10(-Plus) Most Enjoyable Movies of 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-01-07 16:15:13

It’s incomplete, with such 2012 releases as Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Rust & Bone, Arbitrage, The Intouchables, Not Fade Away, and Here Comes the Boom (ha ha!) still requiring my viewing. And it’s certainly eclectic, as even I can’t fathom a double feature of titles number one and two below. But in an all-around outstanding year for movies, the following ranking of 10 selections – with a bonus inclusion – is, as of January 6, my list of the absolute best times I had as a film fanatic this past year.


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Robbie May Be Bloody Bonkers: "Paranormal Activity 4," "Alex Cross," and "Meerkats 3D"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-22 02:23:35

Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Pity those who walk into Paranormal Activity 4 having no familiarity with this popular horror series’ previous entries. You should really pity the rest of us, too, but first things first.


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Scraped Crusader: "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Red Stroke"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-07-21 18:03:17

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight RisesTHE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises, as you’ve perhaps heard, is the concluding chapter in Christopher Nolan’s series of grandly scaled, intensely serious-minded Batman adventures that began with 2005’s fittingly titled Batman Begins and continued with 2008’s The Dark Knight. It is also, as you perhaps hoped, a terrifically satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy – flawed, at times distractingly flawed, but powerful and resonant and deeply emotional. After my lukewarm responses to The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, I would’ve been relieved to exit this summer’s latest superhero blockbuster merely content. Instead, I left Nolan’s 165-minute comic-book epic simultaneously jazzed and sated, and more than ready to see it again.


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