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items tagged with Paul Giamatti

The Fraudulent World of Disney: "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Walking with Dinosaurs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-22 21:39:01

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. BanksSAVING MR. BANKS

Saving Mr. Banks concerns the efforts of the crinkly-eyed Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) in getting the persnickety, Hollywood-averse British author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to sign over the book rights to Mary Poppins. (Spoiler Alert: He does.) And as it’s a Disney movie about a Disney movie with Disney products and Disney people – including Uncle Walt himself – popping up nearly every time you blink, the cynic in me resisted director John Lee Hancock’s dramatic comedy for as long as humanly possible. Then Thompson’s seemingly impenetrable Travers broke down while watching the Banks family sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” at Mary Poppins’ first public screening, and I was a goner. Aw crap, I thought while wiping away tears. Two more minutes and I would’ve been fine.


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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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Ghost World: "The Conjuring," "R.I.P.D.," "RED 2," and "Turbo"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-21 16:59:39

Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga, and Ron Livingston in The ConjuringTHE CONJURING

I was about halfway through my screening of The Conjuring when I noticed that I was having a most unusual reaction to director James Wan’s haunted-house opus: For the life of me, I couldn’t stop smiling.


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Primary Concern: "The Ides of March," "Real Steel," and "Courageous"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-09 21:02:46

Philip Seymour Hoffman and George Clooney in The Ides of MarchTHE IDES OF MARCH

Audiences demanding insight, or even much depth, from director George Clooney’s The Ides of March will no doubt leave the film disappointed – unless, that is, the revelation that political candidates and their staffers routinely lie and spin and backstab strikes any of those viewers as a newsflash. Yet if you enter this tale of Machiavellian (and, as its title suggests, Shakespearean) intrigue not expecting trenchant analysis so much as a good, gripping yarn supremely well-told, you’re in for a major treat. Smart and fast and gratifyingly vicious, Clooney’s latest is a drama that plays like a thriller, and it’s full-to-brimming with sequences you want to watch over and over again; for those conversant in West Wing-ese, the movie suggests a juicy episode of Aaron Sorkin’s TV series if every character in it was played by Ron Silver.


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One Night in Bangkok: "The Hangover Part II" and "Kung Fu Panda 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-27 18:38:50

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, and Ed Helms in The Hangover Part IITHE HANGOVER PART II

Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II is the sequel to the director’s box-office smash from the summer of 2009, and it’s just like the original.

Let me re-punctuate that: It is just. Like. The original.


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