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items tagged with Naomi Watts

Monkey Shines: "King Kong"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-21 00:00:00

Naomi Watts and King KongKING KONG

The most telling detail in Peter Jackson’s grand, overlong, monstrously enjoyable King Kong remake is, considering the scope of this production, a relatively minor one. Having been captured by the natives of Skull Island, the ingénue Ann (Naomi Watts) is presented – tied and shrieking – as a sacrifice/gift to the enormous ape, who emerges from the jungle, frees Ann from her bindings, and grasps her in his giant paw. (Kong doesn’t grace the scene until roughly an hour into the movie, and the moments leading up to his arrival are a miracle of sound design and visual suggestion; Kong’s appearance is absolutely worth waiting for.) Like a petulant toddler who doesn’t want to share his toy, Kong quickly races back to his jungle retreat with his new plaything in hand, and the force and velocity of the ape’s movements make Ann resemble nothing so much as a human rag doll, her body limp and her limbs flailing.


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"Saw II" Effective, But Not Much Fun: Also, "Doom," "Stay," and "Prime"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-02 00:00:00

Saw IISAW II

Since we’re no longer forced to endure Cary Elwes shrieking his hammy little head off for 90 minutes, Saw II was inevitably going to be a less annoying experience than 2004’s Saw, but the movie is pretty effective in its own right. Not entertaining, mind you, but effective. Last fall’s surprise horror hit saw Elwes and another mad overactor at the mercy of the serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) – who devises for his prey wildly elaborate devices of torture that defy both description and belief – and in one of Saw II’s few impressive twists, he’s apprehended at the end of the movie’s first reel. What follows resembles what might result if you watched The Silence of the Lambs and Seven in picture-in-picture format. As Jigsaw – in sinister, I-know-something-that-you-don’t Hannibal Lecter mode – is interrogated, and his master plan dissected, by Donnie Wahlberg’s quick-to-boil cop, a whole new slew of potential victims, including Wahlberg’s teenage son, try to survive a vicious spook house by evading Jigsaw’s contraptions and deconstructing the maddeningly obtuse sets of clues the killer has left them. (Like its precursor, Saw II makes explicit what Seven left to your imagination.)


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"The Ring Two" All Wet: Also, "Hostage" and "Aliens of the Deep"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-23 00:00:00

Naomi Watts in The Ring TwoTHE RING TWO

After sitting through the lifeless horror sequel The Ring Two, the only thing I wanted – besides a major jolt of caffeine to wake me up – was a towel. What is up with all the freakin’ water in this movie? With the exceptions of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Esther Williams in anything, I can’t think of a leading actress who spends as much screen time soaked as Naomi Watts does in this half-hearted follow-up to 2002’s The Ring.


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2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-02-16 00:00:00
After the announcement of last year’s Oscar nominations, in which the Academy made almost shockingly inspired choices across the board, this year’s slate of nominees was bound to be a more predictable lot; barring a few minor surprises – the director and screenplay nods for Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake (still unseen by me) chief among them – voters opted for traditional, safe choices in 2004, especially among the squarer-than-usual Best Picture contenders.
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2004 in Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-01-12 00:00:00
Was I feeling especially sensitive in 2004, or were the year’s most memorable cinematic works, coincidentally, the most unabashedly romantic ones? It could certainly be me – the only (fictional) televised event that moved me to tears was the unlikely but enormously satisfying kiss between Martin Freeman’s Tim and Lucy Davis’ Dawn on The Office Special.
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