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items tagged with Renny Harlin

And a Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes on Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," and "Lucy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-26 22:28:21

Pandas: The Journey HomeFriday, July 25, 12:30 p.m.-ish: I take my seat for the latest big-screen edu-tainment at the Putnam Museum, and can’t imagine a better way to begin my third quadruple feature of the month. For one thing, the movie I’m at is only 40 minutes long, which will shorten my work day considerably. For another, the movie is all about pandas. Pandas! Who doesn’t love pandas? I figure that, at worst, the National Geographic presentation Pandas: The Journey Home will be adorable. So I’ll admit to some more-than-mild surprise when, not 10 minutes into the film, we’re treated to the (tasteful) sight of a female panda being artificially inseminated, right after witnessing the (tasteful) sight of a male panda mating with her. Hmmm, I think. Didn’t see that in Disney’s Bears.


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Driving Forces: "Fast & Furious" and "12 Rounds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-04-05 22:36:41

Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast & FuriousFAST & FURIOUS

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the viewers who are really, really dying to see Fast & Furious - like the guy ahead of me in line for tickets, who said to his buddy, "I want to sit as close to the screen as humanly possible" - will already have seen it by the time this review is published. So there's probably little harm in telling you that while the original stars of 2001's The Fast & the Furious do return for this fourth (if you can believe it) installment in the fossil-fueled franchise, Michelle Rodriguez's character gets killed off before the end of the first reel. Lucky lady.


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Stark Raving: “All the King’s Men,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “The Covenant,” and “Everyone’s Hero”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-27 04:41:49

Jude Law and Sean Penn in All the King's MenALL THE KING'S MEN

In his role as the initially idealistic, eventually corrupt Louisiana governor Willie Stark in All the King's Men, Sean Penn delivers a series of impassioned orations to Stark's constituency, and every time he does, the movie displays a robust, dramatic fire. A self-described "hick" preaching to those he feels have been similarly politically oppressed, Stark barks out his plans for a better future, and Penn, with a thick drawl and a timbre that rises and falls in waves, attacks these scenes with an egocentric bluster that, at first, veers dangerously close to parody - close your eyes, and he could be Jackie Gleason on a dyspeptic tirade in Smokey & the Bandit. Yet you don't laugh at him. Penn's Stark is such a powerful, daunting presence that he transcends hammy Southern caricature through the legitimate emotion in his outbursts and the intensity of his gaze, and during the governor's stump speeches, King's Men writer/director Steven Zaillian has the good sense to get out of Penn's way and let him run the show.


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