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items tagged with Patrick Stewart

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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Power Grabber: “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “See No Evil,” and “Over the Hedge”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-31 05:12:50

Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Ian McKellen in X-Men: The Last StandX-MEN: THE LAST STAND

In his X-Men films of 2000 and 2003, Bryan Singer managed a marvelous blend of gravitas, insouciance, and pure ass-kicking spectacle, and the highest praise I can give X-Men: The Last Stand is that director Brett Ratner, nearly scene for scene, fools you into thinking that Singer helmed this one as well. For a director with an indistinct visual style, there are far worse ways to go than aping the visual style of others, and in the case of The Last Stand, Ratner’s channeling of Singer’s tone seems less unimaginative than duly reverent, and even inspiring; you can feel Ratner working diligently to not louse up Singer’s vision. And he hasn’t. This third, and purportedly final, entry in the mutant-superhero saga is a spectacular entertainment, and if you were worried that Ratner’s participation would guarantee acceptable effects but little in the way of personality, your fears will prove unfounded – it’s a more-than-satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy.


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"X2" Fun but Missing Its Soul: "X2: X-Men United," "It Runs in the Family," and "The Real Cancun"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-05-07 00:00:00

Hugh Jackman in X2: X-Men UnitedX2: X-MEN UNITED

Most reviewers disliked the original X-Men, Bryan Singer’s Marvel Comics adaptation that earned money but little critical respect in the summer of 2000. I, on the other hand, loved the original, so much so that, three years later, it still merits regular rotation in my DVD player.


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Skip the Big Releases and Check Out These Two Winners: "Spirited Away" and "Frida"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-12-18 00:00:00

Anyone who has been reading this column regularly over the past few years has perhaps noticed an annual trend: While I generally aim for reviews of two or three new releases per weekend (even more if I’m feeling particularly adventurous), once December rolls around, that number generally slips to two at best, and oftentimes, only one.


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Freaks and Geeks: "X-Men," "Disney's The Kid," and "Scary Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-07-25 00:00:00

Hugh Jackman in X-MenX-MEN

Movie reviewers kill me sometimes. The same critics who raved about the "kinetic thrill-ride" that was the senseless Mission: Impossible 2 and who called the ridiculous The Patriot "passionate and engrossing" are now turning up their noses at Bryan Singer’s X-Men adaptation. According to most news sources, the movie is portentous, under-plotted, filled with too many characters (or, for X-Men fans, too few), and serves as nothing but the setup film for an obvious franchise.


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