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items tagged with Ray Liotta

Four Stories and Seven Hours or So – Notes on a Quadruple Feature: "Divergent," "Muppets Most Wanted," "The Earth Wins," and "God’s Not Dead"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-03-25 20:01:29

Theo James and Shailene Woodley in DivergentMarch 24, 10:30 a.m.-ish: After several days spent visiting friends in Ohio – among them, now, my hosts’ adorable 17-month-old daughter – I return to my movie-reviewing duties filled with fresh perspective and hope for the future. Then I see Divergent, which earned $54.6 million over the weekend, and is already green-lit for two follow-up films. Well, the feeling was fun while it lasted.


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“Pines” Soul: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Oblivion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-22 03:15:21

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the PinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

You may not remember this if you’re 25 or younger, but between the mid-’70s and mid-’90s, we were sometimes treated to Very Special Episodes of long-running sitcoms. These episodes, which were usually twice as long as their shows’ 22-minute standard, found beloved characters momentarily wrestling with Weighty Themes and tackling Important Issues, and were frequently showered with critical praise and awards despite, or maybe because of, their general self-consciousness and bloat. (Michael J. Fox and Helen Hunt surely owe several of their Emmys to VSEs.) They’re mocked now, and they were kind of mocked then, and so it might seem like a particularly condescending insult to say that director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines feels like nothing so much as a Very Special Episode of a gritty, edgy indie drama.


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Ho Ho Horrible: "Rise of the Guardians," "Killing Them Softly," and "The Collection"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-12-03 13:45:05

Rise of the GuardiansRISE OF THE GUARDIANS

There appears to be a certain amount of bafflement, among those who track such things, as to why Rise of the Guardians has failed to make its expected dent on the late-autumn box office. Did the action comedy open too soon after the release of the similarly animated Wreck-It Ralph, thereby splintering its audience? Was the casting of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy as makeshift superheroes an idea deemed too juvenile for viewers over the age of three? Was the film’s title generic and confusing, leading potential crowds to expect the arrival of the owls of Ga’Hoole?

If I may, I’d like to posit a different, simpler theory: The movie just sucks.


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Happy Feet / Glum Defeat: "Step Up 3D" and "Charlie St. Cloud"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-09 12:00:00

Step Up 3DSTEP UP 3D

From its opening, outdoor melee, in which we're assaulted by soap bubbles and multi-colored balloons, to its jaw-dropping dance-off finale, which suggests a mass seizure titled Attack of the TRON Clones, Step Up 3D is proudly, even profoundly, ridiculous.
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Fangs, but No Fangs: “Daybreakers,” “Youth in Revolt,” “The Young Victoria,” and “Wild Ocean 3-D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-01-11 12:00:00

Ethan Hawke in DaybreakersDAYBREAKERS

There are probably perfectly valid reasons that I'm unaware of, but for all the wonders that CGI effects have delivered over the years, why is it so hard to produce a decent fireball?


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