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items tagged with Orlando Jones

The Pop of the King: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Astro Boy,” and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-01 18:57:10

Michael Jackson's This Is ItMICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT

For a film that seemed to have "commercial exploitation" written all over it, Michael Jackson's This Is It is an intensely loving and even indispensable piece of work -- a joyous celebration of performance drive, hard work, and a fearsome amount of skill. Culled from roughly 100 hours of rehearsal footage from the late star's planned concert tour, director Kenny Oretga's behind-the-scenes account doesn't offer much in the way of insight, nor is it meant to. Yet it's still a first-rate spectacle that, at times, provides an almost ridiculous amount of pleasure; somehow, miraculously, Ortega and his editors have shaped their footage into a documentary that boasts the kineticism, excitement, and boundless ebullience of a kick-ass movie musical.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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"Antwone Fisher" Wins – as the Most Overrated Movie of 2002: Also, "Biker Boyz" and "Real Women Have Curves"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-02-12 00:00:00

Derek Luke and Denzel Washington in Antwone FisherANTWONE FISHER

It’s a bit late, but it finally arrived. The closing of each year brings with it at least one touching, inspirational, triumph-of-the-human-spirit movie designed to make audiences weep and Oscar voters genuflect, while certain Midwestern film critics roll their eyes and wish they could throw things at the screen. (Previous examples: I Am Sam, The Hurricane, and Shine.) For a while, it looked like 2002’s might be About Schmidt, but the film barely qualified; it wasn’t incompetently made, and it did provide a few laughs. At last, though, we have a winner.


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"Evolution" Could Have Used Some: Also, "The Animal"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-06-13 00:00:00

David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Seann William Scott, and Orlando Jones in EvolutionEVOLUTION

The sci-fi comedy Evolution is like Ghostbusters without Bill Murray, which isn’t surprising since both films were directed by Ivan Reitman, but it also means that it’s like Ghostbusters without the big laughs. In that 1984 blockbuster, Murray delivered his lines with an italicized innuendo that made even his throwaway quips hilarious; without his presence, the film (and its underrated 1989 follow-up) would just have been a moderately pleasant, cheesy, overscaled, haphazardly paced affair. That’s Evolution.


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