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items tagged with Robert De Niro

"Girls" Power: “Dreamgirls” and “The Good Shepherd”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-03 08:19:12

Anika Noni Rose, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Hudson in DreamgirlsDREAMGIRLS

You may have heard that, in the middle of Bill Condon's Dreamgirls, former American Idol belter Jennifer Hudson lets loose with a power ballad that has the audience cheering and applauding at its finish. If the screening I attended is any indication, this rumor is untrue. The audience cheers and applauds the number way before Hudson's finale. And no one in their right mind could blame them.


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"Hide & Seek" Can’t Bear Its Cheap Twist: Also, "Boogeyman" and "Alone in the Dark"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-02-08 00:00:00

Dakota Fanning in Hide & SeekHIDE & SEEK

(Warning: Potential spoilers – for both Hide & Seek and Million Dollar Baby – ahead. Proceed with caution.) If you haven’t yet seen Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, it might be too late to do so without prejudice, since numerous critics, pundits, and op-ed writers have probably already ruined the film for you.


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"Lemony Snicket" Not Quite an Unfortunate Event: "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Phantom of the Opera," "Meet the Fockers," and "Spanglish"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-12-29 00:00:00

Emily Browning, Jim Carrey, and Liam Aiken in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsLEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

A friend recently introduced me to the considerable joys of Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket novels, the first three of which have been adapted for the new Jim Carrey vehicle Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.Handler rivals Roald Dahl in his talent for concocting exquisitely macabre and funny children’s stories, and the Unfortunate Events series is almost embarrassingly enjoyable reading. (I’m currently on book nine of, thus far, 11.) The novels follow three orphans – Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny – as they’re whisked from relative to relative while evading their evil uncle, Count Olaf, a demented character actor attempting to murder them for their inheritance, and the surprising intricacy of the books’ plotting is matched by their wit and humor; after reading them you feel jazzed and alert, like waking from an oddly funny nightmare.


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"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" Transcends Metal and the Documentary: Also, "Shark Tale," "Friday Night Lights," and Ladder 49"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-10-13 00:00:00

James Hetfield in Metallica: Some Kind of MonsterMETALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster has the sort of title guaranteed to repel viewers who might love it the most. This warts-and-all documentary, chronicling the two-plus years devoted to creating Metallica’s St. Anger CD, is like the best episode of Behind the Music ever made, offering an intimate look at the relationship between guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and detailing the nightmare involved in getting the group recording again after a five-year hiatus. The movie will be Mecca for metal fans, yet its appeal isn’t totally insular. Audiences who may be loath to sit through a doc on any heavy-metal group might not realize what directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have fashioned here; Some Kind of Monster is one of the finest recordings of the collaborative artistic process ever committed to film, a hard-edged and endlessly fascinating look at the excruciating work that goes into the making of an album. And for those for whom documentaries are even less appealing than heavy metal, it must be said that the film is one of the funniest and most shockingly touching screen works of the year, This Is Spinal Tap with actual human beings at its core. It’s a thrilling experience.


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Make a Date with "Mean Girls": Also, "Man on Fire," "Godsend," and "The Barbarian Invasions"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-05-05 00:00:00

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Rachel McAdams in Mean GirlsMEAN GIRLS

Recently, some friends introduced me to the considerable pleasures of Freaks & Geeks on DVD, and I understood why the show barely lasted a season; it was a nearly pitch-perfect rendering of high school’s everyday horrors and comic humiliations, and what mass audience, hoping for mindless entertainment, wants to subject themselves to that? And just like that sublime TV series, Mean Girls, the new teen comedy directed by Mark Waters and written by Tina Fey, is so wickedly sharp and achingly funny that its target audience probably won’t know what to make of it.(At the screening I attended, everyone laughed like hell at the overt physical comedy, but the movie’s most hilarious dialogue fell on deaf ears.)


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