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items tagged with Philippa Boyens

Goner, Baby, Goner: "The Lovely Bones," "The Book of Eli," and "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-01-18 12:00:00

Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely BonesTHE LOVELY BONES

The Lovely Bones, director Peter Jackson's long-awaited take on Alice Sebold's beloved novel, is a stupefyingly bad movie, the kind of big-screen debacle that makes you wonder if its entire creative team wasn't suffering through some hideous, collective blockage of talent all throughout filming. You can feel it going wrong in the first minutes, when a car's quick swerve results in an unconvincing and inappropriately comedic loss of a hubcap, but the shock of Jackson's endeavor is that practically nothing in it goes right. Tonally, just about every scene here feels a little bit off, and the rest feel way, way off; it's almost as if Jackson, screenwriting collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and a (usually) wildly gifted cast purposely set out to make the absolute worst Lovely Bones adaptation possible.


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Monkey Shines: "King Kong"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-21 00:00:00

Naomi Watts and King KongKING KONG

The most telling detail in Peter Jackson’s grand, overlong, monstrously enjoyable King Kong remake is, considering the scope of this production, a relatively minor one. Having been captured by the natives of Skull Island, the ingénue Ann (Naomi Watts) is presented – tied and shrieking – as a sacrifice/gift to the enormous ape, who emerges from the jungle, frees Ann from her bindings, and grasps her in his giant paw. (Kong doesn’t grace the scene until roughly an hour into the movie, and the moments leading up to his arrival are a miracle of sound design and visual suggestion; Kong’s appearance is absolutely worth waiting for.) Like a petulant toddler who doesn’t want to share his toy, Kong quickly races back to his jungle retreat with his new plaything in hand, and the force and velocity of the ape’s movements make Ann resemble nothing so much as a human rag doll, her body limp and her limbs flailing.


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