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items tagged with musicals

Mississippi Yearning: "The Help" and "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-14 18:16:01

Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis in The HelpTHE HELP

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s much-loved bestseller, The Help concerns the tenuous relationships between black domestic workers and their privileged white employers in early-’60s Mississippi, and it’s a fairly obvious movie, with director Tate Taylor opting for broad brushstrokes over subtlety, and the occasionally wrenching drama sitting, rather uncomfortably, alongside klutzy jokiness. Yet offhand, I can’t think of another popular entertainment whose flaws matter less than this film’s, because everything that’s lacking in the picture is more than made up for in the fearless, emotionally precise, and oftentimes devastating portrayals of Taylor’s cast. The Help is easy to complain about, but all it takes is one of the magnificent Viola Davis’ fierce, tearful stares – or a blast of Octavia Spencer’s anger, or a flash of Emma Stone’s heartbreak, or a burst of Jessica Chastain’s joy – to make your complaints feel positively moot.


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The Plague Is the Thing: “Season of the Witch” and “Country Strong”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-09 21:49:11

Nicolas Cage in Season of the WitchSEASON OF THE WITCH

For one of my New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d attempt a pretty tough one: To not accidentally (or intentionally) doze off during any 2011 movies. Mind you, this isn’t something I do at a lot of screenings – a Skyline here, a Speed Racer there. But falling asleep at the cineplex is, for me, rather like snoozing while in your office cubicle; it seems the least I can do during a stretch of daytime work is stay conscious. And as a test for my new resolve, what trickier challenge could I have asked for than the very first 2011 feature out of the gate: Season of the Witch?


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"Love" and Other Flicks: "Love & Other Drugs," "Tangled," "Faster," and "Burlesque"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-11-28 23:43:18

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal in Love & Other DrugsLOVE & OTHER DRUGS

In my 2009 review of the director’s turgid World War II drama Defiance, I opened by asking, “Am I the only person who wishes that Edward Zwick would go back to making sharp, bitchy comedies like his 1986 Rob Lowe-Demi Moore romance About Last Night ... ?” Well, less than two years later, Zwick has returned to those romantic-comedy roots with Love & Other Drugs. Because, apparently, I needed another reminder to be careful what I wish for.


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So, You Think You Can Dance? And Sing? And Act?: "Fame" and "Surrogates"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-09-27 23:53:50

Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Cody Longo, Paul Iacono, Kay Panabaker, and Asher Brook in FameFAME

Not long into Kevin Tancharoen's remake of Fame, there's a brief sequence that completely underscores the difficulty - if not impossibility - of successfully updating Alan Parker's R-rated musical drama from 1980 for young audiences in 2009.


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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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