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items tagged with Reese Witherspoon

Homecoming Dance: "Four Christmases," "Australia," and "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-12-03 08:10:44

Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in Four ChristmasesFOUR CHRISTMASES

In the spirit of those magical pre-Thanksgiving treats Fred Claus, Deck the Halls, and Christmas with the Kranks, director Seth Gordon's Four Christmases is Hollywood's annual, star-filled affair that celebrates the joys of the holidays through wisecracks, gaudy colors, pummeling "comic" violence, and occasional projectile vomiting. It differs from its predecessors, though, in one notable regard: It doesn't suck. At least not completely.


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The Hitman with the Heart of Gold: "Bangkok Dangerous," "Babylon A.D.," and "Disaster Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-09-10 08:34:40

Nicolas Cage and Shahkrit Yamnarm in Bangkok DangerousBANGKOK DANGEROUS

There are a handful of motion-picture elements that are all but guaranteed to make my eyelids droop, including (a) mopey, droning voice-over narration by a film's tough-guy protagonist, (b) a color palette composed almost entirely of steely grays and blues, the traditional template for the "serious" action thriller, and (c) Nicolas Cage. Consequently, I hit the narcoleptic's jackpot with Bangkok Dangerous, a determinedly, even absurdly solemn outing by directing brothers Danny and Oxide Pang. The film is a remake of the siblings' 1999 Thai-language release of the same name, but not having seen it, I can't imagine that the Pangs' original endeavor could be more glum and exhausting than this revamp; I'm pretty certain it was only my constant head-shaking, at the continued waste that has become Cage's career, that kept me awake.


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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“I’d Like to Thank … ”: 2006 Oscar Aftermath
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2006-03-08 00:00:00
In the minutes following the announcement of this year’s Academy Awards nominations, media outlets were abuzz about the downbeat nature of the major contenders, and it was widely predicted that this year’s Oscar telecast – which aired on Sunday, March 5 – would be the lowest-rated one in ages.
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