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items tagged with Peter Straughan

Smarter Denser Colder Meh: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "The Devil Inside"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-01-09 15:36:16

Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyTINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

You know that handy, lame, relationship-ending sentiment “It’s not you; it’s me”? That’s what I feel like saying to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the new adaptation of the famed John le Carré novel. I readily concede that director Tomas Alfredson’s spy thriller is beautifully made, boasting engaged, cagey performances and a number of superbly shot set pieces. But for all of the film’s merits, I found myself hugely relieved when its end credits rolled, because Alfredson’s intensely complicated endeavor appeared so much smarter than I am that I took almost no pleasure from the experience. My issue isn’t that the movie is a dog. It’s that, for most of Tinker Tailor’s 125 minutes, I felt like a dog watching a movie.


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You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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