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items tagged with Morris Chestnut

Song of Solomon: "12 Years a Slave" and "The Best Man Holiday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-11-18 19:20:09

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave12 YEARS A SLAVE

It’s impossible to imagine any viewer of director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave not haunted for hours, if not days or weeks, by its potent, frequently horrific imagery. Be it the protracted sight of protagonist Solomon Northrup hanging from a tree, his wiggling toes barely touching the dirt, or the early shot of Northrup caged in a Washington, D.C., prison with the camera slowly tilting upward to implicate Capitol Hill in his (and all slaves’) ordeal, McQueen continually delivers wrenching visual representations to match this already-wrenching tale. Yet if pressed for the one image that I find lingering above all others in this magnificent, devastating film, it would simply be the face of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who, in one unbroken take near the finale, almost seems to encapsulate hundreds of years of injustice in one anguished stare.


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Heart Attack: "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," "Not Easily Broken," and "Dolphins"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-21 15:56:20

Jaime King and Megan Boone in My Bloody Valentine 3-DMY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D

You can assume you're in good hands at a modern horror movie when, within its first couple of minutes, that grizzled, ‘80s-scare-flick veteran Tom Atkins (he of The Fog and Creepshow and Halloween III: Season of the Witch) shows up as a scowling local sheriff. You pretty much know you're in good hands when the very first thing that Atkins growls, upon finding himself ankle-deep in holiday-themed carnage, is "Happy fuckin' Valentine's Day!" And if, by some miraculous happenstance, you get to watch this seminal genre moment occur while wearing 3-D glasses, to boot... . Well, I've seen better movies than My Bloody Valentine 3-D recently, but bless its forcibly-removed heart, I can't remember the last one that made me feel - in a good way - like a 13-year-old again.


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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.


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"Shrek 2" Won’t Win New Converts: Also, "Breakin' All the Rules"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-26 00:00:00

Shrek 2SHREK 2

If a sequel manages to make any improvements on the original, it’s usually cause for at least minor celebration, so I was pleased to see a few changes for the better in Dreamworks’ computer-animated Shrek 2.


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"Identity" and "Confidence" Flawed but Enjoyable: Also, "City of God," "Bulletproof Monk," and "Malibu's Most Wanted"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-04-30 00:00:00

John Hawkes, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, and John Cusack in IdentityIDENTITY and CONFIDENCE

By some bizarre coincidence, this past weekend saw the arrival of two new films, Identity and Confidence, that share an almost frightening number of similarities.


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