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items tagged with Paul W.S. Anderson

Are You Not Entertained?!: "Pompeii," "3 Days to Kill," and "Winter’s Tale"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-23 19:23:46

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kit Harington in PompeiiPOMPEII

About a half-hour into Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, the film’s protagonist – a gladiator-turned-slave amusingly named Milo – hears the unfamiliar sound of the nearby Mount Vesuvius preparing to erupt. “It is the mountain,” says Milo’s comrade Atticus. “It grumbles from time to time.” So do movie reviewers, and this latest 3D action spectacle by the director of Mortal Kombat, Death Race, and a trio of Resident Evil flicks would, at first glance, appear to be exactly the sort of thing I’d personally grumble about: a predictably corny, derivative, overscaled costume party with loads of generic violence and nothing in the way of subtlety or emotional nuance.

Yet while it’s easy to name the movie’s most direct influences, Gladiator and Titanic chief among them, what I didn’t at all expect was for this swords-and-sandals outing to be so thoroughly, cheerfully indebted to 1970s disaster epics in the vein of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure; Pompeii, to its cheeky credit, is kind of like 1974’s Earthquake with the ancient Roman city cast in the role of Los Angeles.


Read More About Are You Not Entertained?!: "Pompeii," "3 Days To Kill," And "Winter’S Tale"...


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.


Read More About Send In The Clones: "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Ruby Sparks," And "Last Ounce Of Courage"...


Toby, or Not Toby?: "Paranormal Activity 3," "The Three Musketeers," and "Johnny English Reborn"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-23 21:51:38

Paranormal Activity 3PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

Let’s cut right to it, because in the end, whatever complaints I have about the movie are irrelevant: Paranormal Activity 3 scared me silly.


Read More About Toby, Or Not Toby?: "Paranormal Activity 3," "The Three Musketeers," And "Johnny English Reborn"...


The Blunder Years: "Flipped," "16 to Life," and "Resident Evil: Afterlife"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-09-12 19:47:14

Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe in FlippedFLIPPED

Rob Reiner’s 1986 Stand by Me told us that we’ll never have better, more meaningful friends than the ones we had when we were 12. His new film, Flipped, tells us that we’ll never have better, more meaningful romances than the ones we had when we were 12. It’s touching, if a little sad, that it’s all apparently been downhill for the director since hitting his teen years, but does Reiner’s nostalgic yearning somehow excuse his latest for being so bland, saccharine, and childish? Set just a few years after Reiner’s summer-of-’59 hit, Flipped is like Stand by Me without profanity, dirty jokes, unforced camaraderie, and Kiefer Sutherland. In other words, it’s just a stone’s throw away from utterly excruciating.


Read More About The Blunder Years: "Flipped," "16 To Life," And "Resident Evil: Afterlife"...


Don’t Believe the Hype on "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open WaterOPEN WATER

We all know that shoestring-budgeted independent works aren’t necessarily going to have the professional sheen of Hollywood output, but after reading the rave reviews for Open Water, I feel compelled to ask: Just how much amateurishness are we expected to endure in the name of cinematic political-correctness (i.e., loving an indie solely for being an indie)? Barring an ingeniously edited sequence during a thunderstorm and a few stomach-tightening moments when sharks make surprise appearances, I didn’t find Open Water the least bit scary, let alone “Riveting!”, “Electrifying!”, and all the other superlatives currently being lavished on it (and this from someone who still gets freaked out watching The Blair Witch Project). Worse still, the movie is so badly performed and overwritten that it has the unintentional effect of coming off as totally phony, and since the film was notoriously shot with the leading actors surrounded by real sharks, realism is Open Water’s only true draw. Are we film critics now so openly hateful toward CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbusters that we’ll happily convince ourselves that tedious, flatly staged thrillers such as Open Water are actually great?


Read More About Don’T Believe The Hype On "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien Vs. Predator" And "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"...





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