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items tagged with Natalie Portman

Booty Texts: “No Strings Attached” and “The Way Back”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-23 20:35:41

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings AttachedNO STRINGS ATTACHED

Against all expectations, at least my expectations, director Ivan Reitman’s No Strings Attached is a perfectly enjoyable piece of midwinter fluff, engaging and breezy and of no consequence whatsoever. Yet I’ll admit to being somewhat shocked when, two days after seeing it, I replayed the notes I quietly recorded during my screening, and discovered that I didn’t whisper even one criticism or complaint in the whole of its 105 minutes, which is a claim I can’t even make about The Social Network.

Then again, the movie is a formulaic romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, so I suppose the complaints do take care of themselves.


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The Flicks Are All Right: Mike Schulz’s 10 Most Enjoyable Movies of 2010
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2011-01-03 12:00:00

Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in The Social NetworkBefore commencing with the annual fawning, I thought I’d begin by exercising one of my God-given rights as a reviewer: the right to bitch about the sorry state of movies. I think it’s supposed to go something like this:

Boy, are the movies in a sorry state!


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En Pointe, on Edge: "Black Swan" and "The Fighter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-20 00:02:21

Natalie Portman in Black SwanBLACK SWAN

In director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, the first words we hear are uttered by professional ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), who tells her mother, “I had the craziest dream last night.” And for the next 105 minutes, the movie unfurls like a crazy dream itself – a crazy, fascinating, terrifying, exhilarating dream that you have no desire to wake from. You can label the film a psychological drama, or a hallucinogenic thriller, or an art-house horror flick, and each would be appropriate. But none of those tags really hints at how much delectable fun Black Swan is. As with a dream that you want to return to the moment you wake up, you want to experience the intoxicating, rapturous weirdness of Aronofsky’s vision all over again the minute the end credits start to roll.


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The War at Home: "Brothers," "Armored," "Everybody's Fine," and "Transylmania"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-12-06 22:35:54

Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire, Bailee Madison, and Taylor Geare in BrothersBROTHERS

In director Jim Sheridan's Brothers, adapted from a 2004 Danish film of the same title, a stalwart Marine captain (Tobey Maguire) is captured, tortured, and presumed dead during his fourth tour in Afghanistan. Miraculously, however, he survives the ordeal, only to return home convinced - and not entirely without reason - that his loving wife (Natalie Portman) is sleeping with his ex-con brother (Jake Gyllenhaal). Even if the movie weren't a remake, this wouldn't exactly be the most inventive of plotlines, but there's still enough about Brothers that's raw, painful, and touching to make it satisfying melodrama regardless of its contrived design. Or rather, there would be, if you weren't so frequently distracted by all the capital-A Acting that's going on.


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Jocks Strapped: "Semi-Pro" and "The Other Boleyn Girl"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-03-05 07:56:32

Will Ferrell in Semi-ProSEMI-PRO

In the '70s-era sports comedy Semi-Pro, Will Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, a one-hit-wonder pop star who becomes the owner of the American Basketball Association's Flint Tropics, a struggling Michigan team for which he also serves as coach, promoter, and star player. And forgive me for asking, but shouldn't any one of these five roles have been enough for Will Ferrell?


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