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items tagged with Philip Seymour Hoffman

End-of Daze: “2012” and “Pirate Radio”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-15 22:38:13

Morgan Lily and John Cusack in 20122012

After 2012 - the movie, not the year - it will be exceedingly difficult for Roland Emmerich to deliver yet another of his expensive, apocalyptic disaster cartoons. So, you know, I guess we should be grateful for small favors.


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Star Wars: "Doubt," "Valkyrie," "The Reader," "Bedtime Stories," and "Marley & Me"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-07 16:38:13

Meryl Streep in DoubtDOUBT

Based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, writer/director John Patrick Shanley's period drama Doubt - set in 1964, and concerning a nun who suspects a priest of sexual misconduct with an altar boy - isn't much of a movie. Shanley's previous directorial effort was 1990's Joe Versus the Volcano, and it's a shame he wasn't able to get in more practice over the last 18 years; in an attempt to gussy up the visual blandness that accompanies most theatrical adaptations, Shanley opts for a series of high- and low-angle shots and symbolic thunder, lightning, and wind effects that oftentimes make Doubt resemble a satire of a low-budget horror flick. And it's still visually bland.


Read More About Star Wars: "Doubt," "Valkyrie," "The Reader," "Bedtime Stories," And "Marley & Me"...


Razor D’etre: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "The Great Debaters," and "Charlie Wilson's War"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-02 08:26:47

Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetSWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

As the title character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Johnny Depp gives a controlled, admirable one-note performance in a role that calls for many more notes. This isn't a knock - well, not a huge knock - on his singing of this legendary Stephen Sondheim musical; Depp may not have the vocal power or range to do full justice to Sondheim's and book-writer Hugh Wheeler's masterful creation, but he gives it a good shot, and his morose speak-singing fits director Tim Burton's interpretation of the work. It's the interpretation that's the problem.


Read More About Razor D’Etre: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street," "The Great Debaters," And "Charlie Wilson's War"...


Nominees and Wannabes: Eight 2006 DVDs That Received – or Just Missed – Oscar’s Attention
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-02-21 08:38:06

Ryan Gosling in Half NelsonI consider myself an Academy Awards completist: Prior to the annual Oscar telecast, I want to see as many of the nominated films as I can. But I'm also a lazy completist - I want to see these movies so long as I don't have to drive really far. (This is why, to my disappointment and discredit, I'll be watching Sunday's telecast without having viewed Little Children, Venus, and The Good German.)

Thank goodness, then, for DVD.


Read More About Nominees And Wannabes: Eight 2006 DVDs That Received – Or Just Missed – Oscar’S Attention...


Cruise in for a Bruisin’: "Mission: Impossible III"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-10 09:00:17

Tom Cruise and Keri Russell in Mission: Impossible IIIMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

Call it envy, call it sour grapes, call it schadenfreude, but I’ll admit to hugely enjoying the public meltdown of Tom Cruise, mostly because it’s finally making him interesting. Cruise has always been too bland to be true. He’s moderately proficient, and in several of his films – most recently Collateral and Minority Report – he’s even been impressive. But he has too few resources to draw upon as a performer. It would be hard to accuse Cruise of slouching on the job – he’s determined and earnest, and you can sense him trying to suggest interior life. But his line readings have no surprise and his on-screen performances rarely build; whenever a new scene begins, Cruise appears to have forgotten everything his character experienced in his previous scenes. He can’t seem to play more than one emotion, or one thought, at a time.


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