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items tagged with Naomi Watts

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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Tit for Tats: "Eastern Promises" and "Good Luck Chuck"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-09-26 08:25:56

Vincent Cassel and Viggo Mortensen in Eastern PromisesEASTERN PROMISES

As I generally try to, I held off on reading reviews of David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises until I'd actually viewed the movie. (Admittedly, I occasionally fail at this task.) I was well aware of its hype - the film received the top prize at the recent Toronto International Film Festival - but also leery of it, as Cronenberg is a critics' darling whom I admire but whose works I usually don't. (Despite titles such as A History of Violence, eXistenZ, and Naked Lunch, the last movie of his I genuinely adored was 1988's Dead Ringers.)


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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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