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items tagged with Romantic Dramas

Disappointment Big Really A: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-07 16:41:29

Taraji P. Henson and Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonTHE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Visually arresting and wildly ambitious, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a tough film to dislike. But I'm giving it a shot anyway, because while director David Fincher's 165-minute opus is spectacular in lots of small ways, it's frustrating and fundamentally unsatisfying in much, much bigger ones. Given several days to reflect on the experience, I no longer hate the movie the way I initially did, yet I remain convinced that what could have, and should have, been a magical, lyrical piece of work is instead a graceless, obvious, and frequently maddening one.


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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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Vamping: "Twilight" and "Bolt"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-26 08:22:50

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in TwilightTWILIGHT

Let's just get it out of the way: No, I haven't read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, and no, I didn't really care for the film version. But I won't begrudge the movie its popular appeal, because while watching director Catherine Hardwicke's and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg's take on Meyer's teen-vampire tale, it was pretty easy to see what would make the material absolutely irresistible to its target audience. For those of us who aren't its target audience, maybe not so much.


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O.D.s ’n’ P.I.s: "Holding Trevor" and "Ice Blues," at the QCAD Film Festival, November 15
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-12 08:09:31

Brent Gorski and Eli Kranski in Holding TrevorHOLDING TREVOR and ICE BLUES

Even though they share the "gay film" label, the two evening presentations at the Quad Citians Affirming Diversity's November 15 film festival - Holding Trevor and Ice Blues - don't have that much in common: The former is a frequently comedic drama about gay youths in Los Angeles; the latter is a mystery featuring a gay detective in upstate New York.

Yet the movies do share one rather inspiring trait: Instead of making pious assertions that gays are "just as good as everyone else," they make the point - and make it subtly - that gays are just as goofy and messed up and human as everyone else, which is a far more inspiring and realistic message. They also share another trait: Both movies are really entertaining.


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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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