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items tagged with One Missed Call

Get Off His Lawn: "Gran Torino," "The Unborn," and "Bride Wars"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-12 15:48:55

Clint Eastwood in Gran TorinoGRAN TORINO

As much as I love Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, and Bronco Billy, I'll admit that I've never been a huge Clint Eastwood fan. (Don't remember Bronco Billy? The 12-year-old in me will never forget it.) Gran Torino, however, is something truly special, a simple - though not simple-minded - and straightforward melodrama that succeeds as both a heartfelt meditation on aging and an exhilarating crowd-pleaser, and Clint is so thrillingly, spectacularly Clint in his latest directorial offering that it's likely his performance won't just please fans, but ensnare a batch of new ones. After catching the movie in Chicagoland during the holidays, I saw it again this past weekend both for the sheer enjoyment of the experience and to see if Gran Torino is really as good as I remembered. It is. (I also wanted to hear lines I originally missed through our raucous audience laughter, but no luck - the cackles were just as loud this time around. Maybe on a third viewing.)


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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