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items tagged with Rose Byrne

“Pines” Soul: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Oblivion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-22 03:15:21

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the PinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

You may not remember this if you’re 25 or younger, but between the mid-’70s and mid-’90s, we were sometimes treated to Very Special Episodes of long-running sitcoms. These episodes, which were usually twice as long as their shows’ 22-minute standard, found beloved characters momentarily wrestling with Weighty Themes and tackling Important Issues, and were frequently showered with critical praise and awards despite, or maybe because of, their general self-consciousness and bloat. (Michael J. Fox and Helen Hunt surely owe several of their Emmys to VSEs.) They’re mocked now, and they were kind of mocked then, and so it might seem like a particularly condescending insult to say that director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines feels like nothing so much as a Very Special Episode of a gritty, edgy indie drama.


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Single Wiped Female: “Bridesmaids,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Priest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 00:07:46

Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig in BridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS

You wouldn’t necessarily think that exhaustion and depression would be fertile subjects for a big-screen slapstick – at least, for a big-screen slapstick that didn’t star Paul Giamatti. Yet in director Paul Feig’s buoyant and brainy Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig plays a sad, discouraged, frequently humiliated maid of honor with such inventiveness and style that she seems to be creating a new comic archetype right before your eyes. Hiding her misery behind a thinly veiled mask of courtesy and good cheer, and letting her anger and resentment spill out in sarcastic asides and messy, chaotic bursts, Wiig’s Annie – like many of the brilliantly talented performer’s most memorable characters – is a singular creation. And so, too, is Bridesmaids, a female-driven Judd Apatow comedy (he’s a co-producer) with the rare distinction of being smarter than it is funny, though it’s still plenty funny.


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Haunted Man's Son: "Insidious," "Source Code," and "Hop"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-03 19:02:56

InsidiousINSIDIOUS

It features every cliché in the haunted-house handbook. It borrows liberally from other, iconic horror movies. It’s by the director of the original Saw and the slightly more bearable killer-mannequin flick Dead Silence. And for all of the momentary jolts provided by the loud bangs and shrieking violins on its soundtrack, the most shocking thing about Insidious is how irrationally good it is.

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Sex? Drugs? Rock ’n’ Roll!: "Get Him to the Greek" and "Splice"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-06 21:12:49

Jonah Hill and Russell Brand in Get Him to the GreekGET HIM TO THE GREEK

It probably says less about the movie than our current movie culture when I say that, for my money, Nicholas Stoller's Get Him to the Greek is the smartest, shrewdest, and overall best film I've yet seen in 2010. The competition, after all, is in no way fierce; if forced to compose a 10-best list at this admittedly early point in this regrettably weak year, I'd include Stoller's raunchy comedy, Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, and then respectfully plead the Fifth.


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Apocalypse Nigh: "Knowing," "Waltz with Bashir," and "Brain Dead"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-23 12:41:57

Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne in Knowing

KNOWING

Knowing, director Alex Proyas' new portents-of-doom thriller starring Nicolas Cage, has an intriguing premise and some enjoyably nightmarish effects. Yet it's still such a shallow and deeply silly piece of work that, even though the movie explores numerology, determinism, and the eternal mysteries of the universe, somehow you just know it's all going to climax with Cage pointing a gun at someone and screaming, "I want my son! Now!!!" The film isn't really a disappointment - lord knows its previews made Knowing look much worse than it is - but its disconcerting blend of high drama and low camp tends to get you giggling at the exact moments you should be taking it the most seriously.


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