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items tagged with Paul Dano

Song of Solomon: "12 Years a Slave" and "The Best Man Holiday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-11-18 19:20:09

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave12 YEARS A SLAVE

It’s impossible to imagine any viewer of director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave not haunted for hours, if not days or weeks, by its potent, frequently horrific imagery. Be it the protracted sight of protagonist Solomon Northrup hanging from a tree, his wiggling toes barely touching the dirt, or the early shot of Northrup caged in a Washington, D.C., prison with the camera slowly tilting upward to implicate Capitol Hill in his (and all slaves’) ordeal, McQueen continually delivers wrenching visual representations to match this already-wrenching tale. Yet if pressed for the one image that I find lingering above all others in this magnificent, devastating film, it would simply be the face of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who, in one unbroken take near the finale, almost seems to encapsulate hundreds of years of injustice in one anguished stare.


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Missing Inaction: “Prisoners” and “Battle of the Year”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-09-22 04:45:18

Jake Gyllenhaal in PrisonersPRISONERS

Prisoners, which features Jake Gyllenhaal as a feverishly driven detective, is the most exciting and emotional cop thriller we’ve been treated to since last fall’s End of Watch, which Gyllenhaal also starred in. Beyond that, director Denis Villeneuve’s effort is probably the most suspenseful, evocative, and disturbing procedural thriller since David Fincher’s 2007 Zodiac ... which also boasted Gyllenhaal in a leading role. I’m generally skeptical about the effectiveness of good-luck charms, but if the actor cared to accompany me the next time I buy a lottery ticket, you wouldn’t hear me complain.


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Time Warped: "Looper," "Pitch Perfect," "Won’t Back Down," and "House at the End of the Street"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-01 13:11:53

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in LooperLOOPER

Rian Johnson’s Looper, a time-travel thriller set primarily in the year 2044, casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a contract killer whose life is upended with the arrival of his latest target: his older self, who has been transported from the year 2074 and is played by Bruce Willis. This means that, with Gordon-Levitt delivering rather uncanny likenesses of his co-star’s traditional scowls and smirks – and with the younger actor’s countenance bizarrely altered to resemble the elder actor’s familiar face – Willis essentially plays both leading roles ... which isn’t the most enticing of setups if, like me, you generally find one Bruce Willis more than enough.


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Send in the Clones: "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Ruby Sparks," and "Last Ounce of Courage"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-09-16 18:31:39

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: RetributionRESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

If you were at a Friday-afternoon screening of Resident Evil: Retribution and heard, some 30 seconds before the end credits, an audible groan of frustration and annoyance, I apologize if my unplanned outburst was distracting. I just couldn’t believe that this mindless, endless series was going to require yet another freakin’ sequel.


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It Came from Outer Space, Y'All: "Cowboys & Aliens," "Crazy, Stupid, Love," and "The Smurfs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-07-31 22:51:33

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & AliensCOWBOYS & ALIENS

A full six writers are credited with the script and screen story for director Jon Favreau’s sci-fi/Western hybrid Cowboys & Aliens, which, based on the evidence, averages out to them contributing roughly half a fresh idea apiece. And I’m including the inspiration to call its saloon-keeper, rather than its doctor, "Doc."


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