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items tagged with Ricky Gervais

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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The Agony of the Ecstasy: "Snitch" and "Escape from Planet Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-24 17:48:56

Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, and Dwayne Johnson in SnitchSNITCH

As a film star, Dwayne Johnson possesses a lot of gifts – or, at least, sufficiently impressive gifts for what his résumé has required. Though God knows he’s physically intimidating, Johnson is also our most thoroughly genial of ass-kickers, with even his most violent of big-screen endeavors leavened by a welcome lightness of touch and hint of amused self-mockery. And as he has proved in all those bland family entertainments over the years, Johnson still manages to appear game and committed in movies that don’t deserve his considerable charisma, often salvaging entire scenes through unexpectedly silly gestures or readings that show just how inventive a comedian he can be. (I was happy for 10 whole minutes following his brief channeling of co-star Michael Caine in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. They were about the only 10 minutes during the movie in which I was happy.)


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An Act Built for Misery: Comedian Doug Stanhope Performs His Lacerating Stand-Up at RIBCO on September 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: News/Features

Category: Comedy

2012-09-14 12:00:00

Doug Stanhope

(Author's warning: You know that label that gets slapped on certain CDs boasting raunchy language? The one that reads "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content"? Please imagine that label getting slapped on this interview, too.)

 

If you read the praise bestowed on him by critics and contemporaries in Great Britain, you might imagine that Doug Stanhope is less a stand-up comedian than a stand-up deity.

The UK’s daily newspaper the Guardian, for example, had this to say: “Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realizing how transparent the confidence trick of Western propaganda can be made to seem. What he has in abundance is the charm, don’t-give-a-damn swagger, and aggressive intelligence that make for important, exciting comedy.”

Iconic British comedian Ricky Gervais, meanwhile, offered this tweet to the world: “Doug Stanhope might be the most important stand-up working today.”

So how does the American Stanhope, who makes frequent tour stops in England and Scotland, feel about spending time abroad?

“I hate it,” says the 45-year-old comedian during a recent phone interview. “It’s not good at all. I mean, I have a great fan base over there, but I just hate the day-to-day of being there. It’s so ... depressing. Like, I get seriously depressed, and I don’t want to do comedy ever again, anywhere.


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Blades of Glory: “Whip It” and “The Invention of Lying”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-04 22:29:02

Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, and Kristen Wiig in Whip ItWHIP IT

In case you hadn't heard, the coming-of-age comedy Whip It marks the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, and it's an ideal project in a Baby's First Directing Gig way; the film is exactly the kind of earnest, peppy, relentlessly formulaic Hollywood outing in which a novice helmer can get her feet wet without causing too much damage. The surprise of the movie, though, is that it's so enjoyable, especially considering that so far as its storyline goes, nothing in it is the least bit surprising.


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Traveling Exhibits: "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," "Terminator Salvation," and "Dance Flick"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-24 21:57:26

Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianNIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is to its precursor what Ghostbusters II is to Ghostbusters: the less-novel offering, sure, but a follow-up of surprising wit and great throwaway touches, and one that, in many ways, improves on source material that was pretty terrific to begin with. Despite its titular locale, no one is going to mistake director Shawn Levy's adventure comedy for a work of art, yet when this follow-up is really working - which is surprisingly often - it provides a giddy, giggly rush, and it's filled with comic bits that you could probably watch three or four times in succession and laugh at every single time. The movie is scrappy, silly, and a load of fun.


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