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items tagged with Ralph Fiennes

Bored. Mike Bored. : "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-11-07 23:25:53

Daniel Craig in SpectreSPECTRE

Watching the opening credits to the new James Bond thriller Spectre, I leaned back in my seat, smiled, and thought, “Man, I love these things.” Not Bond movies, per se, but their opening credits. The lushly rendered colors. The serenely gliding camera pans. The artful poses and undulating torsos. The charming, deferential formality of the star’s name followed by “ … as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in … .” The mystery of the accompanying pop song, which is as likely to be atrocious as marvelous. (Spectre’s “Writing’s on the Wall,” sung by Sam Smith, leans more toward the former. And call it gender bias or even blatant sexism, but I do think that unless you’re Paul McCartney or maybe Simon Le Bon, these duties should really be handled by women.)

But my absolute favorite thing about the James Bond title sequences is that in the 53 years since Dr. No, they’ve hardly changed a whit, meaning that those serving such below-the-line positions as second-unit assistant director, supervising sound editor, and “Mr. Craig’s makeup” get listed at the start right alongside Ian Fleming and Daniel Craig themselves. It’s a lovely gesture and a touching hat-tip to the series’ longevity, and it’s got to be cool for those professionals whose names usually flash on-screen while patrons are leaving the auditorium. I bet it’s cool even if, as in Spectre, your eye is being averted from those names by the silhouetted octopus tentacles shown embracing Bond and his two nubile lady friends. At first, I wondered: Why an octopus? To suggest the elastic, multi-limbed reach of evil? To prepare us for an underwater Bond in the vein of Thunderball? I never really got my answer, but after two-and-a-half punishingly long hours, I started thinking the creature was merely there to create a perverse nostalgia for the comparative wit and excitement of Octopussy.

Read More About Bored. Mike Bored. : "Spectre" And "The Peanuts Movie"...

The Inn Crowd: "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Captain America: The Winter Solider," and "Veronica Mars"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-04-06 22:48:22

Paul Schlase, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton, and Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest HotelTHE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Generally speaking, I’m not one to argue for the inclusion of more foul language and bloody violence in a director’s oeuvre, and feel especially awkward doing so a mere week after being bored silly by the endless profanities and exploding squibs in the latest Schwarzenegger flick. But I’ll happily make an exception in the case of Wes Anderson, at least based on his most recent outing, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Like all Anderson efforts, this one, too, could be filed in the “precious comic bauble” category, given its deliberately artificial production design and obsessively controlled compositions and overall suggestion of an improv-free zone. Yet this endlessly inventive and funny new work might boast more interior life than any of the writer/director’s other live-action achievements, and for that I’m afraid we have to thank the forcible removal of Jeff Goldblum’s fingers, and Ralph Fiennes’ tendency to drop the F-bomb into every other sentence.

Read More About The Inn Crowd: "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Captain America: The Winter Solider," And "Veronica Mars"...

Fairly Stale Fairy Tale: "Mirror Mirror," "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," and "Wrath of the Titans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-05 18:15:03

Julia Roberts and Lilly Collins in Mirror MirrorMIRROR MIRROR

Mirror Mirror is a slightly modernized, family-comedy version of the Snow White fairy tale, and offhand, I can think of few directors less suited to the material than this film’s Tarsem Singh, the music-video veteran whose big-screen credits include those wildly baroque (and decidedly adult) spectacles The Cell and Immortals. Yet every once in a while, when a director is spectacularly wrong for a project, the results can be much more interesting than if he were right for it, and that certainly seems the case here; this aimless, pointless little trifle is mostly a drag, but I can only imagine how deadening it might’ve been without Singh at the helm.

Read More About Fairly Stale Fairy Tale: "Mirror Mirror," "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," And "Wrath Of The Titans"...

Sweet and Lowdown: Or, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Mike Schulz’s Favorite Movies of 2011* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2012-01-01 12:01:00

If you will, please permit me a quick public apology before I expound on my 10 favorite movies of this past year:

Sorry, Muppets. If I hadn’t caught that out-of-town flick a week ago, you totally would’ve made the list. (Instead, you top the list of the 150 other 2011 movies I saw.)

Read More About Sweet And Lowdown: Or, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Mike Schulz’S Favorite Movies Of 2011* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)...

Closing the Book: "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" and "Winnie the Pooh"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-07-18 01:32:49

Daniel Radcliffe and Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2

As the end credits began rolling at my screening of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the (need I say it?) final installment in the film series adapted from J.K. Rowling’s beloved novels, I’ll admit that I anticipated more applause than I actually heard. Then again, it’s awfully hard to clap while simultaneously wiping tears from your cheeks.

Read More About Closing The Book: "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part 2" And "Winnie The Pooh"...

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