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items tagged with Naomi Watts

Secrets and Lies: “J. Edgar,” “Immortals,” and “Jack & Jill”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-11-13 19:56:39

Armie Hammer and Leonardo DiCaprio in J. EdgarJ. EDGAR

Pretty much everything that’s bothersome about director Clint Eastwood’s biographical drama J. Edgar is only bothersome for the movie’s first half hour. That may sound like a lot of time spent bothered. But the film does run 135 minutes, even its weakest moments are by no means awful, and in the end, it emerges as a really fine work with a really fine central performance. So as a nod to J. Edgar (the movie, not the man), let's just get it out of the way and address its failings at the start.


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Given Half a Chance: “50/50,” “What’s Your Number?”, “Dream House,” and “Dolphin Tale”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-02 19:17:46

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in 50/5050/50

Director Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man afflicted with a rare form of spinal cancer, and Seth Rogen as his loud, loutish, perpetually stoned best friend. Consequently, I expected the film’s title and my chances of actually enjoying the movie to be one and the same. It’s always great seeing Gordon-Levitt onscreen, but is there anyone left who isn’t longing for a break from Rogen’s braying, one-note shtick, even if, as he is here, the man isn’t just presumably but damn near literally playing himself? (50/50’s script is loosely autobiographical, and Rogen and author Will Reiser are real-life pals and frequent writing partners.)


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Secret Agent Woman: "Fair Game" and "The Warrior's Way"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-05 19:03:54

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Fair GameFAIR GAME

Presuming that it might not open locally, I caught director Doug Liman’s Fair Game – in which Naomi Watts plays outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, and Sean Penn plays Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson – in Chicagoland on Thanksgiving night. I thought the movie was intelligent and intensely well acted, but still didn’t feel much toward it, and with so many of the film’s characters arguing over events that, by 2010, have become old (if still infuriating) news, my eyelids grew droopy during a few scenes too many.


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Immaterial Girl: "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and "The International"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-02-16 14:51:46

Isla Fisher in Confessions of a ShopaholicCONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

Since I'm not their target demographic, I guess it shouldn't bother me that so many perky, theoretically harmless chick flicks these days are so breathtakingly shrill and stupid. But why doesn't it bother their target demographic? January gave us the offensively unfunny Bride Wars, and now, hot on that film's stiletto heels, comes Confessions of a Shopaholic, which trashes its promising setup and excellent performers in a candy-colored morass of clichés, contrivances, and incessant brainlessness. The film is like a rom-com take on Speed Racer - it even has John Goodman as a loveably ineffectual dad - and it doesn't feature one moment of recognizable human behavior. And audience members still applauded at the end.


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The Blond Leading the Bland: "Drillbit Taylor," "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns," and "Shutter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-03-26 08:16:18

Nate Hartley, Owen Wilson, David Dorfman, and Troy Gentile in Drillbit TaylorDRILLBIT TAYLOR

Last summer, when Superbad hit it big, we learned that co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote a first draft of the script when they were 13. Rogen is now credited as co-writer (with Kristofer Brown) for the revenge-of-the-nerds comedy Drillbit Taylor, and although I haven't done any research on the film's history, I'm kind of hoping it's something he began working on when he was, say, eight or nine. Juvenile is one thing, but remedial is quite another, and unfortunately, Drillbit Taylor feels as though it was hastily assembled during a grade-school sleepover in which Rogen began prepping Superbad, with My Bodyguard and Ferris Bueller's Day Off used as additional "inspiration."

 


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