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items tagged with Russell Crowe

There’s Gonna Be a Floody, Floody: "Noah"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-03-31 14:47:50

Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in NoahNOAH

Like most of you, I’d presume, I’ve known the biblical story of Noah’s Ark since early childhood. And also, presumably like most of you, I’ve always kind of wondered how Noah was able to construct a floating vessel big and sturdy enough to carry “two of all living creatures, male and female” through 40 days and 40 nights of torrential downpours and Earth-engulfing floods. But with the release of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, the answer to the question of “Who built the Ark?” has finally been provided, and – who woulda thunk it? – apparently we have Frank Langella and Nick Nolte to thank.


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Are You Not Entertained?!: "Pompeii," "3 Days to Kill," and "Winter’s Tale"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-23 19:23:46

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kit Harington in PompeiiPOMPEII

About a half-hour into Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, the film’s protagonist – a gladiator-turned-slave amusingly named Milo – hears the unfamiliar sound of the nearby Mount Vesuvius preparing to erupt. “It is the mountain,” says Milo’s comrade Atticus. “It grumbles from time to time.” So do movie reviewers, and this latest 3D action spectacle by the director of Mortal Kombat, Death Race, and a trio of Resident Evil flicks would, at first glance, appear to be exactly the sort of thing I’d personally grumble about: a predictably corny, derivative, overscaled costume party with loads of generic violence and nothing in the way of subtlety or emotional nuance.

Yet while it’s easy to name the movie’s most direct influences, Gladiator and Titanic chief among them, what I didn’t at all expect was for this swords-and-sandals outing to be so thoroughly, cheerfully indebted to 1970s disaster epics in the vein of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure; Pompeii, to its cheeky credit, is kind of like 1974’s Earthquake with the ancient Roman city cast in the role of Los Angeles.


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The Unnecessarily Dark Knight: "Man of Steel" and "This Is the End"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-17 11:25:36

Henry Cavill in Man of SteelMAN OF STEEL

During the final third of director Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, Henry Cavill’s caped crusader and Michael Shannon’s villainous General Zod take turns pummeling each other into Smallville storefronts and Metropolis skyscrapers, and the combined force of their Kryptonian blows routinely causes the edifices to tumble to the ground. For most of the length of this relentlessly noisy and dour superhero outing, it felt as though they were tumbling directly on my head.


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Gold Men Sunset: Notes on the 2013 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-02-25 20:33:40

Best Actor Daniel Day-LewisSeth MacFarlane, I thought, did a fine job hosting the 85th Academy Awards ceremony. He turned out to be a fine choice for the frequently thankless Oscar-emcee position, tossing in some fine jokes in between the generally fine production numbers and mostly fine acceptance speeches ... .

I’m sorry, but I am alone in thinking that last night’s telecast, in the end, was just a little too “fine”?


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It Takes a Vile Witch to Raise a Child: "Mama," "Broken City," and "The Last Stand"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-01-20 18:28:33

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Nélisse, and Megan Charpentier in MamaMAMA

A new film titled Mama opened this past weekend, and it stars Jessica Chastain. Given the current Oscar nominee’s cinematic omnipresence over the past two years, you may be inclined to say, “Well, of course it does.” But I’m leading with that information because in addition to being almost insanely prolific, Chastain (whose recent résumé also boasts The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, and, of course, Zero Dark Thirty) is about as reliable an indicator of quality as this decade’s movies have provided. And against considerable odds, not the least being its unpromising January release date, director Andrés Muschietti’s outing is a supernatural fright flick of considerable quality – gripping and nerve-racking and sensationally well-made, and yet another showcase for Chastain’s stirring soulfulness and remarkable versatility.


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