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items tagged with musicals

Vox Populi: "Les Misérables" and "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-12-31 14:19:38

Isabelle Allen and Hugh Jackman in Les MiserablesLES MISÉRABLES

Director Tom Hooper’s take on the über-beloved musical Les Misérables is, in numerous regards, a maddeningly weak stage-to-screen transfer. Scenes have been bluntly presented with no discernible invention or style. The incessant employment of closeups creates stagnancy in sequences and numbers that beg for breathing room. The movie’s two most prominent actors are cast in roles for which they can’t nearly do vocal justice. And, so help me, I ravenously gobbled up every last, unsubtle, frequently disappointing morsel of the thing.


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Time Warped: "Looper," "Pitch Perfect," "Won’t Back Down," and "House at the End of the Street"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-01 13:11:53

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in LooperLOOPER

Rian Johnson’s Looper, a time-travel thriller set primarily in the year 2044, casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a contract killer whose life is upended with the arrival of his latest target: his older self, who has been transported from the year 2074 and is played by Bruce Willis. This means that, with Gordon-Levitt delivering rather uncanny likenesses of his co-star’s traditional scowls and smirks – and with the younger actor’s countenance bizarrely altered to resemble the elder actor’s familiar face – Willis essentially plays both leading roles ... which isn’t the most enticing of setups if, like me, you generally find one Bruce Willis more than enough.


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Father No-Nos Best: "That's My Boy" and "Rock of Ages"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-17 18:49:36

Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler in That's My BoyTHAT’S MY BOY

Lord knows I don’t want to encourage him, but if Adam Sandler absolutely must continue to star in comedies released under his Happy Madison Productions banner, could the rest of them at least have the good sense, and bad taste, to be rated R?


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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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